Those of us living near Lansing know the joys of being among Spartans, and with this being MSU week, I feel a duty to share those joys with anyone who might be unfamiliar. These people bring sunshine to our lives, and we would be remiss if we didn’t communicate our appreciation before this silly little game.
Michigan State athletics programs have become pioneers in 21st-century teambuilding. Concerned about the rapid decline of face-to-face contact, MSU athletes have repeatedly come together, in large groups, to contact the faces of their fellow athletes and classmates.
Spartans are known to generously extend a hand to those in need. They’ve developed a prison-to-work program seen by many as a model for how to reduce to an absolute minimum the time between prison and work. Their athletic director moonlights as a volunteer career counselor and their football coach as a public speaking coach, offering their time even to supposed athletic rivals. When one of their neighbors could use help just stretching his neck, scratching his eye, massaging his arm, or bludgeoning his face, a Spartan is always there to assist.
Sportsmanship is always the Spartan’s highest priority. When an opposing player gets hurt, MSU students come together to let that player know that he is as beloved and cherished as a sweet family pet. If a fan, who’s totally a CMU grad or something, gets unruly, the community reins him in immediately, nobly protecting our great-great-great-grandmothers along the way. The head basketball coach once even sat out a game in honor of NCAA rules.
A Spartan is green at his core, concerned about the environmental dangers of letting too many sofas eventually reach our landfills. He understands the medical importance of concussion research and bravely puts his student-athlete in harm’s way just so the rest of us can see what happens. He advocates for the consumer who is so often trampled upon by uncaring corporations. He even protects college athletics from the unsavory members of society by constantly reminding us that the only people entitled to enjoy college sports are those with college degrees.
So to all of the Michigan fans out there, please, if you have an opportunity to thank a Spartan this week, do it. The world just wouldn’t be the same without them.