I was born in Williamston, Michigan. I played basketball for Williamston Middle School in the seventh grade. As an underprivileged kid, I was befriended by our head coach. One of his interventions to make a positive impact on my life was a trip to watch MSU play ball. I don't remember who they played, but I remember Scott Skiles driving to the basket over what seemed like ten guys to win the game. I never forgot that moment.
From there I bounced around, drifting and following sports in general. I remained aware of MSU and even followed some of their football. Eventually in the late 90's I ended up on active duty stationed at Ft. Bragg. For context, it as 1997. One of my three roommates was a big football fan. His team was Washington St. We were also highly competitive and nearly came to blows several times during many of our drunken endeavors. Needless to say, we all watched that game together in the barracks. I never forgot that moment either.
Again, I bounced around following sports in general.
I remember the likes of Chris Perry and "Too Far" Navarre, but I also remember Lorenzo White and Tony Mandarich. It's one hell of a dichotomy.
In the end, I never really followed any of it with real commitment until a freshman named Chad Henne started instead of Gutierrez. I've been there for every gut wrenching loss since. I did the walk of shame at Notre Dame stadium when the Irish came back to win in 2002. I watched the Rose Bowl against Vince Young and Texas with my wife's cousin who just returned from Iraq. (He is a Texas fan, so I was OK with the loss for him.) I was also at Michigan Stadium for the RR miracle against Wisconsin. Hell, before that I had my wife drive me to Ann Arbor just so I could stand outside the Big House on my birthday in July.
So there you have it. As a kid I pulled for Sparty. That is my sin. My wife likes to tell everyone I still pulled for Sparty when we met 15 years ago. Technically I was pulling for Sparty against UNC, so that does not count. Either way, in my heart I'm a Michigan fan. Call me a traitor. Do what you will. This confession may mean nothing. Or maybe I'm the Steve Bartman of Michigan Football. If that's the case, let this be my exorcism.