Life as a die-hard Michigan fan and an MSU grad

Submitted by Mercury Hayes on October 31st, 2013 at 10:43 PM

Rivalry week is extra uncomfortable for me. As a lifelong Michigan fan and a Michigan State graduate, sometimes I feel like I don't belong on either side of the rivalry.

When I decided to attend Michigan State, remaining a Michigan fan was a no-brainer. The first football games I remember were Michigan contests. The Rose Bowls in the early 90s, the home games against Minnesota and Purdue that my family sat through no matter the score or weather. And of course, the Virginia game - hence the username.

Being a fan of your school's biggest rival has major challenges that most sports fans never consider and that's why I'm writing this diary.

In undergrad, I was open about my fanhood. There were other Michigan fans on campus, in my dorm and on the floor, but I was the only one who would go tailgate with my friends during rivalry week in a Charles Woodson jersey. Only a few people tried to fight me each game day.

It's not like being at Michigan was any better. In college, the first thing anyone asked is what your major was. When I said "journalism" everyone knew I wasn't a Michigan student. The next question of course was, "why aren't you a Michigan student?"  The conversation always turned into some diatribe about how much better U-M was than MSU, as if I didn't know the University of Michigan pedigree. These academic conversations bothered me immensely because I didnt have the grades to go to U-M. As a huge Michigan supporter, this was crushing. But what can I say, I didn't have the foresight as a 13-year-old to understand how important my algebra and global studies courses were.

As I began to make something of myself, the conversations stopped bothering me. I'm proud of what I have accomplished and my MSU degree. I love the campus and my friends and family - just not the sports.

Some MSU fans can understand but some can't. Irrational fans, arguers, drunks and people who went to LCC love to lecture me on how I should be a Spartan fan.  Meanwhile, my fiance's family - a long line of Spartan fans and athlete's don't mean to mind one bit. I even dated a girl in college whose grandpa coached football for MSU and her family was more understanding about the unique situation than 99 percent of the fans I knew. 

Still there are situations where it is certainly not safe to admit to being a Michigan fan. My industry is dominated by Spartan graduates and I don't want to damage any relationships by pissing off the wrong crazy Spartan fan. Similarly, I wonder what other die-hard Michigan fans really think when I tell them I am a Wolverines fan. Do they even believe me?

As a former sports journalist, my work gave me a unique perspective on rivalries and sports in general. I covered MSU athletics without any bias, roomed with Spartan athletes and even had John L. Smith hit me with a rolled up newspaper in a joking fashion. He was truly one of the nicest people I ever had the pleasure interviewing.

Lloyd Carr on the other hand, not so much. I met him while job shadowing a U-M beat writer during OSU week. She told him I was a season ticket holder but an MSU student. He refused to shake my hand. I took this as the most direspectful thing anyone has done. He was kind of joking about the entire incident, but not entirely. He never shook my hand, which is like, 'what the hell dude, I buy tickets and support your team'! Seriously, I drove from East Lansing with another MSU student and U-M fan for every home game for the two years that I had access to a car.

Nine months later I sat in the stands during the Horror. I got so many text messages after the blocked field goal that my Blackberry crashed. I don't know if that is an indication of how poor the Blackberry devices were or how bad it is when all of your friends are Spartans.

Now that I'm older, the trash talk has slowed a bit. People are more mature, but there are still things that frustrate me. The Wal-Mart Wolverine cracks from the MSU fans and the MSU academia jokes from the Wolverines fans make me want to punch Taco Pants in the neck.

And we haven't even talked about the games yet. I can't tailgate at U-M because no one in my social circle does so. I can't tailgate at MSU because I will miss the U-M games. Sometimes schedule quirks allow for both, but generally I miss out. And since my fiance is an MSU fans, it usually turns into some awkward game day happenings. A few years ago I was forced to watch the U-M/UMass game a the East Lansing Bdubs. There are worse things that can happen in life, but most involve lizards eating your legs.

Even simple things like social media aren't fun when you root for your school's rival. Win or lose on gameday, my feeds will be filled with images of Mork Dantonio and whatever QB is playing this week. It is maddening. But I guess I signed up for this when I decided to remain a Wolverine.

Were there times when I considered changing my allegiance? Not really. The closest I came was after the Rodriguez debacle. I was team RichRod, and  after his firing briefly considered  making life easier and giving up football or casually cheering for MSU with my family and firends. Emphasis on briefly. I put up with the Horror, the basketball sanctions, Brian Ellerbee and Mike DeBord. That and the mere thought of giving up Michigan for MSU turned my stomach.

So here's to Michigan hopefully making my Saturday/Weekend/Week/Month better by getting a win on Saturday. If not I'm going to hear about from every direction.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to return to ignoring my Facebook feed which is full of YouTube videos about how I'm not allowed to root for Michigan and that I'm a Wal-Mart Wolverine. Fuck that. Go Blue.

 

Comments

Awkward_Amalgamation

November 1st, 2013 at 12:40 AM ^

Hey, thanks for sharing. I enjoyed reading your story. I wonder...even if you had the grades to get into Michigan would you have still gone (or heavily considered) going to MSU for that journalism degree? Or were you still undecided at that point on which direction to go (degree-wise)?

Mercury Hayes

November 1st, 2013 at 11:18 AM ^

It would have been a very interesting decision. My older brother went to MSU and I enjoyed visiting. I felt like I belonged more at MSU than anywhere else. MSU was my first experience really being on a campus, staying in a dorm, going to parties and not having parental supervision. Additionally,  I think I benefitted from MSU's communications department as a whole. I'm in advertising, so I only use the journalism degree now for freelancing or writing diaries at MgoBlog!

But, I wonder if Michigan athletics would have made the decision for me. Maybe there is someone else on the board that made a similar decision.

Mgotri

November 1st, 2013 at 11:47 AM ^

I also didn't have the grades to get into Michigan, but my parents wouldn't let me go to MSU (the both work at UM). So I ended up going to EMU for the worst year and a half of my life mostly because I didn't feel like I belonged there. Mercifully, I had the grades at that point to transfer into Michigan. All my friends were at Michigan, and I spent most of my evenings there, but things didn't feel right until I was attending and living on campus. I think feeling comfortable where you are is more important than your fandom. Also, my enter key does not seem to be working.

chiphi08

November 1st, 2013 at 1:10 AM ^

I had a similar experience, didn't have the grades out of high school and went to CMU my freshmenyear, then reapplied, was waitlisted again, then I almost went to MSU. Before I accepted though I found out like a month before the semester started that I had gotten in to UM.Your level of fandom is truly impressive though and go blue this Saturday!

Mercury Hayes

November 1st, 2013 at 11:20 AM ^

Adding a layer of complexity to my story, MSU lost my transcripts and by the time my guidance conselour realized the error, I was relegated to the waiting list. Paid for the first semester of Central before getting accepted into MSU. Had to go to CMU for a semester too. CMU had a ton of Michigan fans.

aiglick

November 1st, 2013 at 1:17 AM ^

Awesome stuff. Thanks for sharing. Definitely an interesting perspective. Let's win this coming Saturday can believe it is almost Gameday again.

ronswanson

November 1st, 2013 at 2:20 AM ^

I too am a lifelong/diehard U of M sports fan. I was born 2 weeks after the '89 Bball championship and my father nearly named me Rumeal. Growing up I would be in diapers at football and basketball games, and even had Chris Webber put a basketball in my hands during halftime and held me up to dunk in Crisler when I was 2 years old. Absolutely nothing can change the allegiance that I had to the city of Ann Arbor and U of M sports. Spending at least one night a weekend at Yost and most likely the next day back up at Michigan Stadium. Traveled out to multiple Rose Bowls, and at least 3 or 4 home games each season growing up. I even have a commemerated brick at Michigan Statdium.

Then came high school, and like many other immature teens, I didn't give 2 squats about homework/studying/etc. and thus didn't have the grades to get into U of M. For instate schools (due to money were the only option although I would have gone to Ohio U or Clemson if possible), MSU was the clear cut best option for me and after the 4 years I look back and say that I wouldn't change a damn thing. I absolutely loved East Lansing and the college experience at Michigan State, found my niche as a Hospitality Business major and even got to do some side journalism work for MSU beat writer Shannon Shelton during football games.

Let it be known, that I did indeed become a Michigan State fan. I took pride in my school, but this did not change where my loyalties were at. While I loved everything about MSU (had the pleasure of attending some great games in MSU vs ND 2010, MSU vs Wisconsin 2011), it is 2nd to my love for U of M sports. I do not for one second say "we" or affiliate myself with the university when talking about the sports teams. I still actively follow recruiting because it is what I have known for so long.

I had the unfortunate experience of driving to Ann Arbor, during the first ever football saturday for me at MSU, to attend the debacle that was Appalachian St. I had both MSU and U of M student tickets that year. Trust me, I didn't hear the end of it and it only got worse as I attended MSU as a U of M fan during the worst stretch in program history. 

I do think I have been blessed with the gift, due to my split allegiances, to be completely unbiased when it comes to talking about these sports teams. To be able to understand both sides of the ball, and not be completely one minded when analyzing strengths/weaknesses of these teams.

This week, along with MSU vs U of M basketball games, are just the worst for me. I can't win, and I lose no matter what. I watch these games wearing the color grey, not utterring a word and just watch the game play out. Sometimes my instincts get the best of me and I revert to what I've known my whole life.

That being said, I get the whole wal-mart crap argument all the damn time, knowing damn well that I even have friends who are MSU/OSU/etc fans and attended none of those schools.

I got this same video posted on my facebook wall, thinking the whole time that it's just some soul-less ginger who cares way too much about others lives and this hypocritically overplayed argument that has nothing to do with anything. It's America dammit, a free country, and you're going to tell me who I can and cannot root for? That's criminal, he should be ashamed, and anyone who watched the video and agreed (all msu students) are just letting the terrorists win.

An MSU win I would take with a grain of salt because I'd know MSU would have the inside track to Indy and it would result in a U of M loss, but a U of M win would be so gratifying just to shut my friends up.

 

Go Blue forever and always

Baldbill

November 1st, 2013 at 7:42 AM ^

I have many family memebers that are MSU fans and many that are UM fans, I never disrespected them or the school, growing up I happily rooted for MSU as long as it wasn't vs Michigan. I really didn't enjoy Mike Harts comment a few years ago, and I can't say as I enjoy what the current MSU coaches have done to the rivialry either. It has become far more bitter/ugly than it ever was as I grew up. I actively look forward to Dantonio and Narduzzi going to some other college. They have made this rivialry into something far less friendly. I am not very happy with the ongoing meme of the little brother either, it is dumb.

bringthewood

November 1st, 2013 at 11:23 AM ^

I agree.  I was born and raised in Ann Arbor and graduated from M in '80 and had many Sparty friends.  I went to a few games with Sparties in the 80's and it was a civilized rivalry.  I sense a darkness creeping into the rivalry that did not used to be there.  It may be that MSU winning has simply emboldened Sparty fans.

In looking back I don't remember hating MSU coaches like Perless or Saban or OSU coaches like Tressel or Cooper but think Dantonio is a dick at the level of Woody Hayes.  I know my dislike for MSU has really ramped up since he became coach.  I think he condones and encourages dirty play.  I have no problem with Izzo even when he was regularly destroying us.

It's interesting people choosing MSU as a backup to Michigan.  I applied to 3 schools, Michigan, MSU and Western.  I remember getting my MSU acceptance letter "You are a Spartan!" and feeling dirty.  I've raised both my kids as Michigan fans and neither would even apply to MSU even though I encouraged them to do so (the damage had already been done by then).  I think journalism and other degrees hospitality, landscape architecture, etc make a case for attending MSU, but I would have chosen a lesser school rather than attend MSU.  I know that is not logical.

 

Seth

November 1st, 2013 at 8:01 AM ^

I feel you, man!

My dad's a Michigan fan who went to State. I married a Spartan, and 4/5 of our combined siblings are MSU grads. All my michigan friends who care about going to games moved to cities across the country; most of the guys I hang out with in town are my brother's roommates from State.

I thought about going to State because of the same journalism program--I was a MIPA all star in high school and the girl they had recruiting me to EL was really really good looking. I went to Michigan because I got in and because I was a hopeless Michigan fan, and justified it because Mitch Albom (was a regular at the restaurant I worked at) told me working on the Daily and studying something other than the craft would be more valuable to a journalism career. Turns out it would have been if I'd stuck with something; once I got onto trade mags it was Spartan grads as far as the eye could see (except that Buckeye in accounting who made the Tressel years so pleasant).

I could be at a tailgate in East Lansing that shares its name with the building it's next to; instead I've had to be adopted by Brian's family on Saturdays. If you'd like to come along sometime, let me know.

1989 UM GRAD

November 1st, 2013 at 9:10 AM ^

My 7th grade son has already announced that he will not attend any sporting events if he finds himself attending MSU. His best friend, who is more focused academically and seems to be on the UM track, has indicated a similar sentiment should he find himself in Ann Arbor.

I've met some MSU students who grew up as Michigan fans, and many of them spend their weekends in Ann Arbor.

My wife and I met at UM...so our Michigan roots run deep and have been passed on to our kids.

bringthewood

November 1st, 2013 at 11:10 AM ^

Neither of mine would even apply to MSU.  One is at Grand Valley and one at Michigan, both were very good students but Michigan is a bitch to get into now.  There are plenty of other alternatives to MSU as a second choice if not Michigan.  My wife was not happy that my kids would not consider MSU.  I would have been fine if they attended MSU but the brainwashing was too intense for them to consider it.

Mercury Hayes

November 1st, 2013 at 11:23 AM ^

To be more open minded. While I never rooted for MSU, I would sing the fight song (unless they were playing Michigan). I also enjoyed some very cool events. I got to watch U-M hoops come to town and got tickets when U-M football played in East Lansing. I also got to see MSU beat Wisconsin 49-14 in 2004 or so. It was an amazing game and I appreciated it because I love college football. It was also fun to get opportunities to go to the MSU/ND games because at the end of the day, I team I disliked lost!

Lastly, being a student afforded me the opportunity to attend a Final Four on the cheap. It was a great experience. Nothing like watching U-M last year, but going to the events was a pretty cool time, even if I wasn't vested in the outcome.

MaizeAndBlueWahoo

November 1st, 2013 at 9:21 AM ^

Very interesting.  Deserves all of the upvotes.  I have to say this: Growing up, my mom made it clear that among the colleges I would apply to would be an instate school.  I had to apply to one so that I would have the inexpensive option.  If my grades slipped below an acceptable level, which they did all the time in middle school, my mom's threat would be, "if you don't pick up your grades you'll have to apply to Michigan State because you won't get in to Michigan."  As a middle schooler I wasn't any easier to get through to than the average middle schooler, but repeated applications of that threat eventually took hold.

MaizeAndBlueWahoo

November 1st, 2013 at 10:13 AM ^

Yeah, that was me too.  I had like 3.0s but my mom knew I could do better than that.  I just didn't feel like doing homework.  Ever.  Nope, not scarred for life.  I'd say keep the message coming.  If your kid's like me, he'll get to high school and a combination of maturing just a little (and therefore doing a larger percentage of assigned homework) and less of the high school grade being based on homework will boost the ol' GPA.

Nothsa

November 1st, 2013 at 10:11 AM ^

 

I feel for you. I was born in Ann Arbor, lived 5 blocks from the stadium in elementary school, and became a lifelong fan. Something about being in the crowd as a 7 year old irrevocably sets your allegiances.But, when my family moved to Indiana, I rarely got to watch them (they weren't nationally televised that much in the late 70's or early 80's), and when it came time to go to college, I was happy to go to Indiana University. I was there in the stands the last time IU beat Michigan in football, and grimly watch that game every year, taking no joy in the outcome. At least this year's game was vastly entertaining.

After IU I eventually went on to get a PhD and for the past 13 years I've been proud to be a professor in an outstanding department - at Michigan State University. I've lived in East Lansing longer than I have anywhere else, which means of course that aspects of fandom seep in. I like the community, I love the campus, I enjoy tailgating, walking along the Red Cedar on a crisp fall Saturday morning with my kids (who worship Sparty of course) and cheer on the various floats and athletic teams in the cheesy but very genuine Homecoming Parade. I like the colors - I look better wearing dark green than I do in crimson or maize, that's for sure. Clueless blanket comments about MSU on this board and elsewhere tick me off... just like clueless blanket comments about Michigan or IU do.

As a mid-40's guy who left Ann Arbor when he was 8 years old, I can assure you that fandom doesn't really let go, but perhaps you'll find, as I have, that it mellows some. Life is complicated, and fortunately we're complex enough beings to live with the inconsistencies.

truferblue22

November 1st, 2013 at 10:27 AM ^

I would invite you to our tailgate -- but it no longer exists as Dave Brandon has priced my poor, LS&A degree ass out of going to the games. I find this article interesting as I know a handful of people who are in your same boat. Let me begin by saying I have dozens of spartan grad friends. I started out at U-M Dearborn so I stayed in-touch with my HS friends, loads of whom went to msu. And since I didn't have that 'dorm experience' so-to-speak, I spent a ton of time up there visiting them (I always joked that with the amount of money I spent in parking tickets and sleeping in their dorms, MSU owed me an honorary degree). By the time I transfered to Ann Arbor, I obviously had some Michigan friends, but since I never lived in the dorms I missed out on making super-strong bonds (and I dropped out of the Greek life just as fast as I got in). So I've always kept in touch with my sparty friends -- who have only recently become insufferable (thanks, RichRod). While I was in college M never lost to sparty so it was never that terrible -- I wasn't much of a basketball fan and they would always try and bring that up instead (of course, because that's what they do), but it never really got to me. During this time I ran into loads of secret Michigan fans that went to state; I even remember a Facebook group along the lines of "Michigan fans who attend MSU" or something like that that had THOUSANDS of members. In fact, I actually dated a girl at msu who didn't care about sports so she would wear my Michigan shirts around campus. She pointed out that every, single time she wore them (in addition to a plethora of dirty looks) she would hear multiple "Go Blue"s throughout the day. So yeah, that's just my ramblings but I know loads of people who have been through the same experience as you. I cannot imagine how tough it must be/have been for you, I know they all dealt with the same crap -- I don't think I could take that day-in and day-out. In your shoes I think I would have just gone to a UP school or something far, far away -- you're a trooper. As far as I'm concerned, anyone who put up with all that is definitely as 'true blue' as any of the rest of us. If I ever get rich and can afford to go to Michigan games again, maybe I'll start an 'outsiders group' tailgate to bring all my friends to -- I'll keep ya posted :-p

Go Blue!!

Mercury Hayes

November 1st, 2013 at 11:27 AM ^

Thanks! And I was part of that Facebook group long ago. Not sure if it is still around. I found that if you wore a U-M hat, or shorts it wasn't as frowned upon as a shirt was. If you wore a shirt and a hat together, you could get into some trouble by the angry, uber-passionate fans.

One time in the cafeteria, a student told me that wearing my U-M shorts was like "killing babies." 

Other times I would also get the "Go Blue" or a story from another passionate fan in hiding. Some were more out in the open about it. Some wouldn't dare wear a shirt on campus. Some didn't care at all.

Another time, a classmate spotted a picture of me in the newspaper. I was wearing a blue hat and yellow shirt in the Maize Rage, between two friends in Spartan gear. The friend was pretty pissed because he had no idea of my fandom.

bringthewood

November 1st, 2013 at 11:22 AM ^

Two things about your story ring true:

1.  Michigan has a large contingent of arrogate asses (to quote famous MSU coach Daryl Rodgers).  It's only after getting into the working world that it get's tempered.

2.  Many MSU grads are insecure about their school (not attributing this to the author of this thread).  It's a good school with lots to offer but many grads will bristly at anything they see as a slight to their institution.  The institution "chip on the shoulder" is massive.

Both of these are rank generalizations but I think those two issues will always have you caught in crossfire.

I'm glad you are on our side and am proud to have you a member of the Wolverine Nation.

 

Mercury Hayes

November 1st, 2013 at 11:33 AM ^

I saw a lot of arrogance in college, but less now that I am in the working world. U-M fans at work seem to like it that I root for U-M fans. I'm apprehensive with which State fans know about my true fanhood because I don't want it to impact work (you never know who is prejudiced).

The thing that always frustrated me about the MSU and U-M comparisons is that everyone knows U-M is a better school, yet I don't think many Michigan fans will admit than MSU does a lot of things right. In the past 10 years or so the school has really raised its profile in the areas of engineering, physics, and healthcare. They are still very much in the shadow of U-M in many areas, but it certainly isn't a safety school or as bad as it is made out to be.

I feel this is amplified because U-M has more national and even internationl appeal while MSU has roots in mainly the midwest.

The best comparison I can give is this: if you listen to college-aged U-M fans, you would think MSU is Arizona State. And that's definitely not the case.

Moreover, I think Michigan State's emergence as a leader in physics and other areas benefits the Big 10 and also pushes U-M to be better in certain areas (obviously they want to retain the standing as the best engineering school around).

I see it as a benefit to both schools and the conference if MSU succeeds.

Chris of Dange…

November 1st, 2013 at 11:28 AM ^

I, too, am a lifelong Michigan fan who went to MSU.  One of my first sports memories is (sadly) of Mike Lantry missing the FG against Ohio in '73 that would have sent Michigan to the Rose Bowl.  Given my incomplete understanding of the rule book as an 8-year-old, I thought Ohio 'cheated' by not giving him another kick since he'd missed on third down and there was still time on the clock.  But I digress.

I live in NE Indiana now, and when the conversation turns to Big Ten sports, my friends (most of whom went to Purdue, IU, or the local combined satellite campus if they went to college at all) all ask why I'm a Michigan fan if I went to State.  I reply that they're asking the wrong question - it should be "Why did you go to State if you grew up a Michigan fan?"

The answer is money.  At the time (if memory serves), State offered me a National Merit Scholarship; Michigan didn't.  Since that represented full tuition with enough left over to cover about half of what it cost to live in the dorm, that was the primary factor in my decision, especially since I had no college fund to speak of.

I'd also convinced myself that because State had placed second in the ACM Collegiate Programming Contest two years before, and had won it two years before that, that meant their CS department was better than Michigan's.  Whether that was actually correct, I have no idea, but I was happy with the education I got there.

So kudos to you, Mr. Hayes, for having the guts to tell your story and the skills to tell it well. 

NEEDZ MOAR UPVOTES!

FormerlyBigBlue71

November 1st, 2013 at 11:39 AM ^

I currently attend Eastern Michigan University and when I wear my Michigan Hoodie to class there are some people who will say things like " hey, thats the wrong colors man" or " do you know what school you go to"?  I then proceed to laugh in their face and tell them that If I had to be a fan of EMU football I would put a gun in my mouth!

lbpeley

November 1st, 2013 at 12:29 PM ^

Funny thing is, I don't mind the little brother talk and I don't mind the "UM is better academically" talk. I read here all the time of the fierce pride alums have for their colleges. For whatever reason I don't really understand that. I could not care less about MSU or UM academically. I got what I needed out of MSU and jumped into my career afterwards. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that pride in the least, just that I looked at college as a tool, or a stepping stone and that's about it. I had a couple good friends that I made there but after a few years we lost touch. They live east side and I live west side.

I assume my grades were not good enough for UM but it never entered my mind to want to attend UM. Hell, I didn't even really plan to attend MSU either but I heard through a friend that they had the course I wanted so that's what I did. Maybe I don't care about "my school" because I commuted. I never lived in EL or spent any real time there other than at class. 

I take a little bit of shit from my dickbag brother in law who's a staee fan. He likes to play the Wal Mart Wolverine card with me. Even after I pointed out to his dumb ass that he didn't go to MSU. Or any college for that matter. He's a Yankee fan, too and has never stepped foot in that state, much less the city. It's actually quite a study in hypocrisy with him.

Anyway, I enjoyed the post. Interesting perspective. I have one or two staee fan friends that I deal with. They are very aware of the one sided history of the rivalry and must realize they shouldn't pile on too hard during this little hiccup in time because I don't hear too much shit from them.

StateSmells

November 1st, 2013 at 2:46 PM ^

As evidenced by this thread, there are plenty of MSU students that are UM sports fans.  I have personally seen and met plenty of them and appreciate that their heart is at least in the right place

But, I have yet to find a single UM student/alum that is a Sparty fan.  Thankfully, I don't think they exist.

gwkrlghl

November 1st, 2013 at 11:02 PM ^

Disappointing to hear that Lloyd was kind of a douche to you. You should get all the props for maintaining your fandom through four years in East Lansing. You rule, Lloyd does not

And I also know people who graduated from Michigan who maintained their OSU and MSU allegiances the whole way through. The one MSU guy I knew was a gigantic douche about it so forget him but the OSU fans I knew were cool. Sometimes academics need to be separated from sports, get your degree and cheer for your favorite team. They dont necessarily have to be the same institution

Slamdo

November 2nd, 2013 at 12:28 AM ^

As a Michigan grad and a current MSU faculty, I can appreciate both sides.  I will always favor Blue in my sporting teams.  But as a faculty member of MSU and a parent of many children who all have MSU and UM as an option, I realize that Michigan State is also an acedemic institution that has a tremendous background for providinig all the tools that our youth need to succeed in life.  UM is clearly a harder school to get into, but it is also a very competitive environment with an "only the strong survive" mentality.  Some thrive, but others will find this environment extremely frustrating and it may not be the best learning environment for all.  I know many parents who have consulled their children away from UM and towards MSU for this reason, even when their children were accepted to UM.  While I am a tried and true Wolverine who reaped all the benefits of a Michigan degree, I also take pride in the fact that the state of Michigan has several excellent educational opportunities, and MSU is certainly one of them.  I have two children enrolled at UM.  One is thriving and the other may be better off somewhere else.  If one of my own chose MSU I would still be very proud to see them graduate there.  We should not mix sports enthusiasm with the bigger items in life.  My childrens happiness is far more important to me than my loyalty to a football team and I will root for MSU in all things non sports related, while maintaining my love for the maize and blue.

mtblue

November 2nd, 2013 at 1:40 PM ^

"There are worse things that can happen in life, but most involve lizards eating your legs."

 

I don't care where you went to school.  That is golden.