Michigan Museday Kicks the Baby

Submitted by Seth on October 10th, 2011 at 10:17 PM

kickthebaby

Close-up of the stuff on Cartman's helmet.

Every year Michigan and Michigan State play each other for a piece of schlock the governor bought at Forwards in West Branch, and every year I discover I know a lot of annoying people who went to Michigan State.* Also: a lot of fellow Michigan fans who don't get why this is a big deal. This is why it's a big deal.

If it wasn't for Matt Millen, none of this would have happened!

Out-of-staters are bewildered that so much attention is paid to a mid-season, in-state rivalry that stands at 67-31-5. Really it's not even a full-state rivalry, as the west is pretty much blue or Notre Dame. Those who grew up in Ann Arbor don't see what the big deal is either. It's mostly about Detroit, where Michigan fans are seldom more than 10 feet from a Spartan, where classes of 10-year-olds are 70% Michigan fans and only 10% of those will get in.

Columnists searching for an overarching reason to root for the Tigers and Lions last night invariably arrived at some version of "good for the City of Detroit." If the success of the Tigers and Lions and Red Wings bind the City of Detroit in brotherhood, Michigan-Michigan State is about putting those brothers in the back seat of an un-air conditioned Taurus wagon for a five-hour drive to Mackinac.

This week in 2000 my brother (the littler one at right) announced to a bar full of Michigan fans that Michigan State was now our biggest rival because MSU beat us in '99. This got him laughed out of the Brown Jug. LittlebroYesterday Pat Caputo made the same mind exploding-ly stupid assertion. He's probably repeating it on the radio right now but you wouldn't know because nobody with 10 contiguous, functional neurons can listen to Detroit sports radio this week.

Before the '09 game I covered the metaphor evoked by Michigan/Michigan State:

But you can handle the bully [Ohio State]-- what's really irritating is when Little Brother starts picking up on something the class bully says and repeats it again and again.

And you hear it, because Little Brother is always there -- going to the YMCA, camp, the bus to school, soccer practice, a friend's house -- you can't get away from Little Bro.

Are you getting it yet? Michigan-Michigan State is a big rivalry because Michigan State fans desperately want it to be, and are willing to go to any lengths of annoyance (not universally) to make it so.

The Only Colors, which is the rational MSU fan site, just front-paged a diary-equivalent that defines the rivalry through moments of "Michigan was mean to me from 1850 to 1950." Things we must answer for:

  • In 1850 Michigan wanted to form an Ag school instead of a separate university.
  • Michigan proposed a system merger at the time of the Morrill Act land grant.
  • Yale said Michigan should be the site of a merged forestry program. (wait what?)
  • One of their professors suggested his botany program be rolled into Michigan's.
  • Michigan offered to house MSC's engineering department after a fire destroyed theirs.
  • Michigan didn't want MSC in the Big Ten.
  • Michigan regents opposed MSC's name change to MSU.

They in turn must answer for stupid billboards, letting themselves be Nike's ken doll on Saturday, thinking that "we have hot chicks" is about the only thing worth making fun of them for, using relevant Wikipedia articles to troll us, "The Situation," 394545398having a blog called "The Enlightened Spartan" which is actually their version of Damefan1, and the last three years of this:

That was Saturday: financial mathematicians screaming at Juggalos, and the Juggalos winning. The State meathead directly behind me literally said "bitch! fuck you!" whenever MSU tackled Denard Robinson for less than five yards. On Friday, Tim came back to his apartment to find a trail of blood leading to a passed-out State meathead who'd broken in. The same guys who clumsily spray-painted a bedsheet in 2008 to declare their glorious victory over the worst Michigan team in 50 years reprised their genius. As I walked home every glassy-eyed Stiffler that passed me upped the amplitude of my anger/depression cocktail. Jesus, they were everywhere. They came to Ann Arbor cocky and stupid and left cocky and stupid. Enduring it was brutal. In their eyes, that was probably the point.

Also for giving their Tressel acolyte, ski mask posse leading coach an extension for beating the three worst Michigan teams of my lifetime.doc4cb122983360a052941666

I find rating rivalries by level of hatred or categorizing them does a disservice to the rivalries. They're each specific to their respective fan bases and regions. Put two fandom-as-loyalty programs in the same state and you get the Iron Bowl; keep the ag school out of the conference and you get Cy-Hawk. This one is what you get when the model Morrill Act university shares a state with a (recovering) apex program. Outside of the state they're the reason non-sports fans often wonder why Michigan shirts are sometimes green.** But here in metro-Detroit we daily have to hear them say things like "I can't stand people who root for Michigan who never even went there," as if they've never heard of a  Midwest Ivy whose only fans are alumni. I wonder if they'll same the same for Nebraska.

After last year one of the pantheon of Spartan nitwits on Detroit's airwaves suggested Michigan had become Northwestern. I heard this in literally the only five minutes of sports talk radio I listened to for the rest of 2010. Thus is the watch word of the Spartan faith: all history beyond last season is irrelevant except the Battle of Thermopylae as imagined by Zack Snyder (2011 addendum: and in basketball).

Hoke et al. immediately and dramatically ended the recent Sparty in-state recruiting party, so much so that Michigan fans are back to ingenuously praising a pair of Spartan commits in Ohio. The only reminder of that brief run should an annoyingly good spate of tailbacks and defensive ends for the next three years. At this point Brady Hoke can probably weather a loss to Michigan State without losing all the goodwill he's earned here so far. Beating them, however, would go a long way toward making Detroit a better place to live.

This is sparta

------------------------------------------

* Not you Stunt.

** Waitaminute…is there like a second Notre Dame in Indiana by any chance? Notre Dame A&M or something? Which one's the one with gold helmets?

Comments

Baldbill

October 11th, 2011 at 8:18 AM ^

Nice rundown of the importance. As someone who grew up in Michigan and understands it, I must say I have hated the little brother comment that Hart made. It thought it sounded dumb then and I find it being repeated endlessly to be mind numbingly dumb. I just think it an unworthy comment. MSU is a big time rival to us, but they are not the enemy, that is Ohio.

 

 

Rasmus

October 11th, 2011 at 9:20 AM ^

On the Hart comment, I felt the same way, but it would just be part of the lore (i.e., indicative of M arrogance from an MSU perspective, and a juvenile yet sometimes humorous joke from an M perspective) if not for Dantonio's essentially siding with Ohio State in its rivalry with Michigan. For me, that crosses a line, and now I have a hard time rooting for them, ever.

This year's MSU-OSU game was a thoroughly enjoyable double-dose of schadenfreude, but in the past, before Dantonio, I would probably have been pulling for Sparty -- I do have friends and relations who went there. This year, not so much, and not because of the divisions thing -- I want our division to be the stronger one (e.g., I was rooting for Nebraska last week), so our champion always crushes theirs. I just can't support a program based in Michigan that actively sides with Ohio State.

Eck Sentrik

October 11th, 2011 at 9:22 AM ^

The following year, in the week leading up to the game, ESPN ran a montage of spartan players saying "they treat us like we're their little brother". These were interviews PRIOR to the Little Brother game. Enough of them were saying the same damn thing that it probably came from the coaches.

 

I'm all for Dantonio's words biting him on the ass so yeah, it was perfect.

PeteM

October 11th, 2011 at 8:41 AM ^

When you have to assert that you are another team's biggest rival then you know that you aren't their biggest rival.  The dominant theme in this game (evey year) is MSU's insecurity.  Go over to RCMB, and you'll as many posts about Michigan as you will about their own team.  They're far more concerned with whether they're getting respect from Vegas, Denard's throwing issues, "SCUM's" arrogance than about their offensive line, Cousins etc.

readyourguard

October 11th, 2011 at 8:57 AM ^

Just as other fads such as Jersey Shore, Zubaz, the mullet, Zima, and Ska punk all have risen to shameful heights in popularity , the world has come it it's senses and all have faded back to obscurity.  I'm expecting Sparty to do the same.

It's BEYOND time to end their shinanigans.

Indiana Blue

October 11th, 2011 at 8:57 AM ^

MSU had their day in the 1960's.  Their biggest game in history was the 10 - 10 tie with nd ... which c'mon ... a tie being the school's claim to fame?  This is somehow compared to Michigan being the all-time winningest program in college football and having more B1G titles than anyone, etc.  

The rivalry with nd comes from the fact that until just a few years ago Michigan was #1 and nd #2 in all-time wins.  The rivalry with tsio became such when Woody determined that he had such hatred for Michigan that he figuratively "spits" in Michigan's face at the end of the 1968 game.  Then came Bo and the 1969 game and the "war" has not stopped.

So yeah ... MSU is an in-state opponent.  Rivalry as compared to nd and tsio ?  eh - notsomuch.

Go Blue!

jaws4141

October 11th, 2011 at 8:59 AM ^

It's a civil war.  There are plenty of Spartan fans in the state of Michigan.  Thanks to Rich Rod the Spartans have owned the Wolverines the last three years.  Both teams are ranked in the top 25 and this is a huge game for both teams.   I could care less about the past.  I live in the present, and the Paul Bunyan trophy is in East Lansing.  Until Michigan beats MSU they are the better team.  That being said I think Michigan will kick the Spartans ASS!

  

mikoyan

October 11th, 2011 at 9:18 AM ^

The one thing I don't get is the almost insistence from Michigan State Fans that people have to go to the school they are rooting for.   I am pretty sure that every State Fan is not a graduate or former student of Michigan State.  I am willing to bet that they have their share of Walmart (or Spartan?) Spartans.  I am guessing the issue is more like, "Why don't they like us?"

GoWings2008

October 11th, 2011 at 1:53 PM ^

Even though I didn't go to Michigan, but spent my youth going to games and falling in love with the school, I'm thinking this phenomenon is born from ones family.  My dad and one older brother went to UM, the other brother to WMU, and both sisters to MSU.  Dad brought us up on UM football, but my sisters had to be different...which is to theorize that many who would have normally been Michigan fans became State fans just because they wanted to strike out on their own.  Over history, that plan has backfired.  But the recent successes over the last 3 yrs have given them a glimmer of justification as to why they choose wisely.  I really hope that DRob and Co. can shut them up one good time and show them that they chose....poorly.   (Thank you, Mr Spielberg...)

Waters Demos

October 11th, 2011 at 9:26 AM ^

I'd be interested to read honest and rational responses from posters on this blog to this here piece, which proposes that MSU folks end the silly preoccupation with M and instead see M on an at least equal footing.

I admit I already have a theory worked out for this, but it very well may be debunked (which is always a good thing). 

M-Wolverine

October 11th, 2011 at 10:32 AM ^

You can never achieve true greatness until you're about your own success (and not rooting for someone else to lose even when it would hurt that success). The problem is, it takes more than just saying it; you have to believe it. And failure has been so ingrained for so long, it takes more than a few years to overcome it; it takes a generation that has experienced nothing but success. And it's easier to lose (see the doom and gloom of Michigan students, expecting the other shoe to drop, vs. Those who expect Michigan greatness as the norm) than to build. The more guys like Caputo says they're the better program, the more it shows they're really worried about whether the success is sustainable. When you're really better, you don't have to say it all the time, it's just "well, duh". Which is why when we were good, beating MSU wasn't an accomplishment; just a relief. That may change because MSU is making themselves more worthy, but it still should be believed and accepted that you SHOULD be great (if one is a great school, or going to be).

Qmich

October 11th, 2011 at 10:54 AM ^

On a year-to-year basis: as long as they can compete with us, I will see them on the same level.  Clearly for past few years, they have been more than our equal.  

Historically: it's not even close.  Even though college football championships are one of the most screwed up things in competitive athletics, all signs point to M being on a different level than MSU.  Although wikipedia says the following about the M vs. MSU series (where do these numbers come from?):

"MSU's traditional archrival is the University of Michigan, against whom they compete for the Paul Bunyan Trophy. MSU has a 22–34–1 record in the annual trophy game."

Waters Demos

October 11th, 2011 at 11:40 AM ^

Thanks to you and M-Wolverine for the responses.  I think both are very fair with good points. 

I will say that my piece was more about university life in general, and not just about football.  One of the implicit claims is that while there's a lot to be proud of as to our football program, a football program does not university pride make.  Even if MSU football sucked worse than Minnesota does now, only every single year, I would still argue that we should not be looking up to anyone. 

My curiosity concerns whether if MSU folks adopted the position I advocated at TOC (which would by default make for fewer and less annoying MSU fans), M folks would really be happier in  their relationships with MSU fans (less annoyed/hateful with MSU fans and MSU in general). 

I have my doubts that it would make much difference (particularly if MSU continued its run against M in football).  But both responses here, to the extent that they are representative of M fans generally, only serve to at least partially debunk my theory. 

M-Wolverine

October 11th, 2011 at 11:54 AM ^

Is applicable to life as well as football.
<br>
<br>As for less annoying? Over time, I think so. I think it could be much more like a Michigan-ND rivalry, where you really want to beat them, and don't like "those guys", but most actual interaction isn't that bad, and a meeting of like equals. I've been to ND for games, and love beating them, but usually come away impressed with the majority of their fans. Can't say the same in Lansing (or especially Columbus). After a lot of years of noticeable (hypothetical) change, I could see it evolving into that.

profitgoblue

October 11th, 2011 at 11:58 AM ^

Another intelligent and insightful post by Waters.  And if you all notice, Misopogon had an awesome comment to that TOC article.

I am somewhat unique in that I consider myself both from Michigan and an out-of-stater.  Of all the Sparties I've spoken with, the vast majority have been unpleasant when discussing the fact that I attended Michigan.  Inevitably, the conversation always shifts to football.  Now, when I know I'm speaking to a Sparty, I avoid that conversation at all costs because it always gets offensive and personal.  Its sad, really.  Even though the "hatred" is much greater on both sides with OSU, at least OSU fans I know are more respectful.  Sure, we rib each other, but it always feels more like friendly ribbing.  The lack of civility from MSU fans that I've experienced makes it very, very hard to respect them, their school, and their football program.  And that's sad, I think. 

Waters Demos

October 11th, 2011 at 12:22 PM ^

That lack of civility you speak of also makes it hard for me to associate with many MSU people.  TOC was like a breath of fresh air when I discovered it.  In fact, that's understating it. 

But I think reality unfortunately shows that TOC is an island in an ocean of shameless stupidity (I think RCMB better captures common MSU sentiment - yes, that's very hard for me to write), and this is deeply troubling to me.  If I came from another school and interacted with such MSU fans, I'd almost certainly react the way you do, if not worse.

But my problem is that these people share an important common experience, and have the same rooting interests.  It's like being stuck in a beautiful home with idiots.  I'm ultimately not responsible for them, for which reason I don't feel embarrassed, but it would be easy to feel dragged down. 

Looking over Misopogon's comment very quickly (I'll take more time later when I have it), I don't see anything I disagree with.  In fact, at a glance I'd say we could use more comments like his to "change the tide on the rivalry." 

Sextus Empiricus

October 11th, 2011 at 9:52 AM ^

That MSU has kicked Michigan's butt up and down the field for 3 years means something to me.  Whether the rivalry is a rivalry is ridiculous when you consider that fact.  There is only one way to be the leaders and the best...you've got to beat all comers...including Spartans.

Illinois has a preoccupation with Michigan as well (though granted not as internecine wrt recruiting as MSUs.)  I don't want take away from any team that beats Michigan.  They deserve their bragging rights.  The claims to rivalry are only impugned by victory.  We need to win this game - the little brother meme feeds the Sparties.  Let's be done with this thing...on the field.  

Tater

October 11th, 2011 at 10:16 AM ^

Nobody gets as much mileage out of one victory as Michigan State.  Three victories is a critical overload that disrupts the very balance of existence itself.  If Sparty wins on Saturday, the Universe could very well collapse into a black hole.  

So, not only is another year of Sparty bragging on the line, but the fate of mankind hangs in the balance.  The Wolverines cannot allow Sparty to enjoy a dimension-shattering fourth consecutive victory.

Drew Sharp

October 11th, 2011 at 10:18 AM ^

Cartman: Kyle, what the hell is Ike wearing?  

Kyle: I don't know.  Something canadian.

Cartman:  But why is his head splitting in two?

Kyle: He beat me at Mortal Kombat.

Cartman: Once? 

Kyle: No, three times.

Cartman: What the hell, Kyle? You suck ass.  I thought you were good.

Kyle: I've been playing with one hand and my controller has a broken B button.  He thinks he's better now.

Cartman: Sure Kyle...sure.

Kyle: He kicked your ass, Cartman!  Let's go so I can kick your ass!  You can even use the TURBO button to make it close, like I didn't notice you using it the last seven times.  

Cartman: It's...uh...broken, and I'm getting grounded when I get home.

Kyle: Come on, Ike.  Let's go.  

 

mittenstatefan

October 11th, 2011 at 10:22 AM ^

I get that.  I don't have a problem being the little brother to the winningest program in football history.  I don't mind that our rivalry with you takes a back seat in your eyes to what is often considred the greatest rivalry in sports.

What I find tiresome, and believe to be disingenuous, is the assertion of this article that the in-state rivalry means nothing to you.  It may mean nothing to Misopogon personally.  I honestly doubt that, but even if it is the case, I believe he is in the minority of Michigan fans.  It sure seems to mean a lot to Brady Hoke, and it means a lot to most of the Michigan fans I know personally, the ones who aren't the ultimate personification of the elitist Michigan snob stereotype.

I grew up in the mitten, and I have a great deal of respect for the University of Michigan.  I root for Michigan whenever they aren't playing the Spartans, but there is no team I'd rather beat in any given year.  I know the feeling isn't mutual, but I'm ok with that.  There is room in the hearts of most Michigan fans for all their rivalries, even if the ivory tower types would prefer to focus on losing to OSU year after year.

Seth

October 11th, 2011 at 10:44 AM ^

Nothing to me?

The opposite! In fact the point of this article was to say that the rivalry's important to me, because I live in Southeast Michigan surrounded by State fans. I didn't put it in the article, but I also have a lot of respect for Michigan State and its athletics. Like you, I root for the in-state rival when they're playing anyone but us.

Getting constantly annoyed by a constant presence is a totally valid reason for rivalry. Suggesting it's "not important" is like calling the person trying to give me wet willies and screw up my Game Boy game while going over the Zilwaukee Bridge irrelevant.

Believe me, it's way worse to get beat up by the bully down the road, but characterizing the sibling rivalry as meaning nothing is completely whiffing. It's the second-most important game of the season, and much closer to Ohio State in importance than Notre Dame.

profitgoblue

October 11th, 2011 at 12:07 PM ^

Thanks for your post.  You hit on an interesting point in your closing, one that could be fleshed out further . . .

I'm not sure if this was really a discussion about what is the biggest rivalry for Michigan fans (or Sparty fans) but more of a discussion of whether the "rivalry" feelings were mutual.  To the latter point, I say no.  I would say that the majority of Michigan fans would rank rivalries as follows:  1.  OSU,  2.  ND,  3.  MSU.  And that's fine - it doesn't mean that the Sparty game isn't an exciting and emotional one.  It just means that Sparty makes a lot more out of the game than Michigan does - the build-up is much more one-sided.  And, to be honest, Sparty fans do themselves a great disservice by approaching it in the wrong way (as was one of the points of WatersDemos's post, I believe).  The hate and personal attacks that come from the Sparty side simply prolongues the lack of respect that Michigan fans feel.  At least that's how I see things.  I may be in the minority here, but I suspect not.

stubob

October 11th, 2011 at 10:23 AM ^

<blockquote>Outside of the state they're the reason non-sports fans often wonder why Michigan shirts are sometimes green.</blockquote>

It's much more likely that an average fan wouldn't know the significance of either school. I constantly get asked "Did you go to Michigan or Michigan State? Which is which?"

I then proceed to mix up Colorado/Colorado State or Lincoln/Omaha or Austin/College Station just to piss them off.

mikoyan

October 11th, 2011 at 11:23 AM ^

Hell, I got beer dumped on me in Cincinatti by a Buckeye fan while I was wearing an Eastern Michigan shirt.  I suspect through some convoluted process they know what the symbols that make up Michigan look like but their brains can't process anything before or after those symbols.  And when I said, "Dude, it's an Eastern Michigan shirt", he looked at me dumbfounded at which point I used his confusion to get away.

kyeblue

October 11th, 2011 at 10:24 AM ^

What are the teams that you hate to lose the most. I am sure that for most M fans, it is either ND, bucknuts or Sparties. And, for most fans who lives in Michigan, losing to Sparties probably is the worst. 

 

 

 

schreibee

October 12th, 2011 at 3:41 PM ^

The joy in beating lil bro is mostly about shutting them up... it's like "ahh" & it's over.
The joy in beating tsio or Irish is lasting, satisfying, has a place in historical context of college FB pleasure. Think back on our great, memorable wins over moo. 3 OT by far, but also the bestdown the year following "Sparty Bob." I'm done ... my list is at an end. NOW think of memorable wins over ND or tsio... too many to count!!

joeyb

October 11th, 2011 at 10:31 AM ^

"Michigan-Michigan State is a big rivalry because Michigan State fans desperately want it to be, and are willing to go to any lengths of annoyance to make it so."

This is how I feel and why I don't really consider it to be more important than most other games in the conference. I just want to win so that I don't have to hear about it anymore. It would be the same thing with Illinois if I lived there or Wisconsin if I lived there. The only thing that you could argue that makes it a rivalry is that we have to "compete" with them for recruits. If the recruit is good enough, then we are either competing against a bigger program for the recruit or we are dealing with an MSU-fan and we have little chance of winning anyway.

BornInAA

October 11th, 2011 at 10:31 AM ^

because in Michigan chances are your neighbor or co-worker is a Sparty.

So you gotta hear the trash talk all year if you lose.

If you lose to Illinios, it stinks, but I don't think I have ever met an Illinios alumni.

SamIam

October 11th, 2011 at 10:41 AM ^

It is a rivalry and I hope it stays one....granted a lopsided in Michigan's favor one preferably.  Rivalry games are more fun to watch and make for better football experience.  Well maybe not, cause the last three years no one wanted to be in the room with me....I yell at the TV sometimes.  Im sure for the people who live in Michigan it is worse but even if you are prone to surf the web not many fans are more annoying than the MSU fans after they win.

maquih

October 11th, 2011 at 10:56 AM ^

I root for MSU whenever they play OOC, and usually even in-conference.  I love it when MSU beats tsio and the irish.  I really don't hate them at all, I kinda like them.  Of course, it's imperative that we beat them, if we aren't the best team in Michigan, how are we going to be the best team in the nation, or even the conference (and recruiting).   But, once the in-state game is over, I'll root for MSU against just about anybody.  Of course they really want to beat us, every team in the Big Ten lives to beat us, the winningest team in history.  That doesn't change the fact that they represent the State of Michigan and are our brothers.

Don

October 11th, 2011 at 11:04 AM ^

"The only reason the Michigan and Ohio State game is going to be played each year is because it is protected. Otherwise, it would be a once-in-awhile occasion."

Translation: "The only reason to breathe air is because it's absolutely necessary for life. Otherwise you'd never have to breathe it."

uminks

October 11th, 2011 at 11:09 AM ^

My top 3 least favorite teams:

1.) MSU

2. ND

3. OSU

 

My top rivalry list:

1.) OSU

2.) ND

3.) MSU

4.) MN

I don't see this spartan winning streak lasting much longer. Even if we lose this year it will be over in 2012 in Michigan stadium. The tide will turn and Michigan will go on beating MSU like a drum for most years with the exception of the occasional MSU upset.

bigdukesix

October 11th, 2011 at 11:26 AM ^

I've long thought that there were interesting parrallels between Texas' rivalries and Michigan's.  Like Michigan, our biggest rivalry is a cross-border one.  We even have a similar all-time winning percentage against OU as you do against tOSU. 

And Texas has a greater than >2/3 winning percentage against Texas A&M, which is a much more serious rivalry from their perspective than it is from ours.  As mentioned in this post with regards to Sparty, a big part of the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry from UT's perspective is how annoying the Aggies are when they win.  They act like it's the Super Bowl, prom night, and Christmas morning all rolled into one.  Some of their fans make the same argument that all history apart from last year is irrelevant, which means the Aggies are going to surpass Texas if they haven't already. 

Meeeeshigan

October 11th, 2011 at 2:19 PM ^

I really enjoyed this piece, but I must respectfully disagree with you on one point:

" Really it's not even a full-state rivalry, as the west is pretty much blue or Notre Dame."

Having grown up in and currently living in Grand Rapids, this is definitely (unfortunately) not true. Also having spent many summers in Northwest Michigan, I can attest to the fact that Western Michigan is very much a split between Spartan and U-M fans, with ND a distant third. Just as you mentioned about Detroit,  "Michigan fans are seldom more than 10 feet from a Spartan" here as well. The neighbors on my street are almost exactly a 50-50 U-M/MSU split, with many proudly flying their flags during football season. There are Spartan fans everywhere in this state, reinforcing your point that we may never dismiss this rivalry because of our constant proximity to those who would loudly endorse it.

Seth

October 11th, 2011 at 2:33 PM ^

I knew I'd get someone from GR to call me out on this. I've heard both (MSU is big, ND is bigger) from GR/Kzoo/Skeegon/TC Michigan fans, more saying that ND is equal to or greater than MSU where they're from than giving Sparty the lead. This is something I've asked people about a long time but that's hardly a sample.

If you're from EGR or Kentwood, those areas seem to get more Sparty, since it's a lot of college grad suburbanites similar to suburban Detroit. But I've been to a few high school games all around the area and it's striking how much maize and blue's around.

Seth

October 11th, 2011 at 5:53 PM ^

They have: the New York Yankees.

Side note: on your blog you mentioned the possibility of M-MSU becoming a "winner wins the division" thing. M-OSU went from being a border war to the preeminent rivalry in north america because the winner of that game effectively claimed a Big Ten/Western Conference championship. This could well be the future of M-MSU on a divisional level, but I think Nebraska at the very least has the program power to claim a good fourth of the division championships. Iowa will get theirs too.

Another thing this rivalry has going for it that goes in next year's column is this:

Michigan home games in odd years:

-Nebraska
-Notre Dame
-Ohio State

Michigan marquee home games in even years:

-Michigan State

Except for the years Michigan is hosting Penn State (which historically has been at Michigan in odd years)