The issue of respect

Submitted by Wendyk5 on October 16th, 2011 at 12:16 AM

As I comb through all the msm stories about today's game, the majority of them seem to be about respect. Michigan State wants respect. And they seem to want our respect. They want us to acknowledge them and the game we play against them every year. They wanted to make a statement today with their physical play because, dang, why doesn't anyone respect us??

The funny thing is, they don't seem to care about the rest of the Big Ten. They're sick and tired of not getting our respect. So now they've won four years in a row, and STILL, this respect thing. Why is winning not enough? Why the huge need to make a a big, physical, over-the-top statement that may or may not hospitalize our players? Why is winning not enough? 

Respect will not come this way, Michigan State. Respect is earned, and never forced. I have never respected anyone who tried to force it on me, and neither have you. Maybe we're different than most, but Michigan fans respect sportsmanship. Competitiveness with good will. Winning and losing with grace. And we respect the rules, we really do. 

So if it's our respect you want, try some of those things. It just might work next time. 



October 16th, 2011 at 12:49 AM ^

about Sparty wanting respect. They scream about wanting respect, but do nothing to earn it. We can acknowledge that they played a better game today, but no one respects them for what they did because of how they did it.

On that score, Dantonio has clearly demonstrated that he doesn't respect the game of college football, or even his own players, if he tells them that the way to win is to physically hurt the opposition. The players only emulate what they see at the top of their program. No respect given, no respect earned.


October 16th, 2011 at 12:51 AM ^

Historically, their program isn't much different than Purdue's.  The only reason we care is because of the proximity.  Do you know how much Illinois fans hate Michigan?  I met a graduate once and was shocked to find out the number one game they wanted to win every year was Michigan.

I'm annoyed that we lost again to MSU, but only because it means we're not to where we need to be yet.  I want to get back to the Michigan teams where MSU was just another game and we only had to worry about losing one or two games a year (of course, we always made 4 or 5 more interesting than they should have been).  But Hoke's recruiting.  We'll dry up their talent pipelines and we'll be back there.  In the meantime, Sparty, enjoy it while it lasts.


October 16th, 2011 at 6:22 AM ^

I had the same experience when I met Penn State fans when I was visiting family in Eastern Pennsylvania. I tend to root for Penn State when we're not playing them, so it was incredibly jarring that when people would see my Michigan gear and start smack-talking and say that we were the game they circled on their calendars every single year and the team they wanted to beat the most.

Like Scott Van Pelt said today, MSU circles the Michigan game. But so do 11 other teams.

Mark Dantonio can say that things have changed (as he did in his postgame comments on the field), and this recent streak is to be applauded for them. But it hasn't changed that Michigan is the team the others want to beat and that Michigan State is another (lately tough) game on the schedule.

And, ultimately, if MSU wants our respect, maybe their ballcoach doesn't respond in smack-talking with a student athlete. Maybe they don't act petty, win or lose. Maybe they don't throw punches or try to break our quarterback's neck or injure him. Maybe the fans don't celebrate our loss more than their win.

I was raised to be fair and sportsmanlike. I don't care what school it is, if the behavior was as MSU's was today, I wouldn't support it (the actions). I cannot respect or abide it. I don't care if it's MSU, Eastern, Florida Atlantic, or even UM. Acting without class and integrity will NEVER gain my respect.

Congratulations on the win, MSU. It was well deserved. My respect, however, remains non-present.


October 16th, 2011 at 1:02 AM ^

We're the school every other b10 most wants to beat. Iowa and Wisky circle the Michigan game. How many schools give the slightest shit when Sparty comes to town? None. Nobody else even considers them a rival.


October 16th, 2011 at 1:08 AM ^

They beat us. They have been better recently. That deserves respect. Do it for 130 more years and it will be much more impressive. But they are good. It sucks.


October 16th, 2011 at 3:24 AM ^

I really don't know if you are referring to me. I would not deny that Gholston's attack (no other word) was different than Lewan's push, but if they came on the same play, then I believe it is necessary to include the push before the attack to provide context. This does not mean that the context eases the heinous nature of his retaliation, but it does address claims that were made on this very board that Lewan was helping him up as he punched him. This is an important distinction. Don't be so quick to call someone a troll, and I will try to provide context before posting a link that should have provoked inquiry instead of accusation. 


October 16th, 2011 at 8:34 AM ^

It was before the whistle and an attempt to keep the player down and out of the play.  It may not have been legal, but it was not a punch or twist of a facemask after the whistle.  Gholston is a goon and will likely be suspended by the BIG.  Lewan's actions won't draw any attention from the BIG office.

turd ferguson

October 16th, 2011 at 1:54 AM ^

I wrote about this in a "typology of college rivalries" diary and largely agree (
<br>I think that big brother - little brother rivalries are, by their nature, unhealthy for all involved. Michigan State's battle for respect from Michigan isn't winnable, since nothing on a football field will ever change the reality, understood by each side, that Michigan's a much better school. It's a trump card that is at the core of Michigan arrogance claims, MSU's inferiority complex, and this never-ending battle for respect.

turd ferguson

October 16th, 2011 at 2:02 AM ^

This dynamic, by the way, is what I think leads to MSU behaving like it did today. They have a visceral hatred of us - and always will - because the nature of college admissions is such that our school told many of them that they aren't good enough to be one of us. It's almost hard to blame them.
<br>I really believe that MSU would be better off if it could find another true rival.


October 16th, 2011 at 3:00 AM ^

There are plenty of instate rivalries with the same dynamic where one school is more presitigious than the other, but the team from the less prestigious school doesn't play like thugs. Iowa St doesn't play that way against Iowa, Oregon St doesn't play that way against Oregon, Wazzu doesn't play that way against Washington, etc.

Wine Country W…

October 16th, 2011 at 2:17 AM ^

Jerel Worthy's comments about respect resonate among the MSU family because they play upon longstanding resentments that go far beyond the football field. MSU students want the world to know that they are intelligent too (hence the curious fact that there appear to be more persons "admitted" to Michigan in East Lansing than in Ann Arbor). MSU donors and alumni begrudge the fact Michigan is the favored child in Lansing, Washington, and other places that matter. And the MSU football team, as we became painfully aware today, is angry about playing in the shadow of the winningest program in the country. If nothing else, Mark Dantonio deserves credit for stoking that anger, because it has proven deadly effective on a certain Saturday every October. Frankly, if we could somehow quantify anger, it's hard to see how Michigan matches that anytime in the near future. To whom would Michigan direct its all-consuming derision? Berkeley? The private (snobby) Ivies? Ohio State?

So, Jerel Worthy and Mark Dantonio, please believe me when I say that I do not disrespect you. Your Spartans kicked my beloved alma mater's ass today.  I am duly chastened. Your football team is better than mine.  Trust me too when I say that I do not joke at your university's expense. It is a fine institution, filled with beautiful women, buildings, and many excellent academic programs. Nor have I ever called you "little brother." I use that exotic, unusual phrase only to refer to . . . well . . . my daughter's younger brother . . . er,  my son.

So I ask you to please be gracious in victory. Do not denigrate your vanquished opponent. Do not celebrate the thuggishness of one of your own who momentarily lost his cool. Most of all, remember that one day you and yours will undoubtedly feel as miserable as the Michigan family feels today. Such is the logic and beauty of sport.


October 16th, 2011 at 9:01 AM ^


Worthy wasn't so modest.

Was this a dirty game?

"Definitely," Michigan State's star junior defensive tackle said. "Any rivalry you have like that, there’s always going to be little cheap shots and everything like that. We just got to play through it.

"It’s football, at the end of the day. It’s man on man, and we got to overcome it."

But all the personal fouls went against the Spartans. What's up with that?

"Yeah, ya know, but it’s rough out there," Worthy said, hat tugged low and sweat still dripping down his face. "I’m just happy that we were able to go out there and persevere through the adversity that we had and get the job done."


October 16th, 2011 at 9:22 AM ^

Sparty, you are not Michigan.  Winning a handful of football games is not going to make you Michigan.

So just be who you are and quit looking to Michigan.  Celebrate those positive attributes that make you unique (I can't discern what they are but I'm sure you can figure something out).

The Jersey Shore does not try to be South Beach.



October 16th, 2011 at 9:40 AM ^

What everyone else said. In great rivalries the trans respect eachother, but hate eachother at the same time. What we saw yesterday was the furthest thing from respect.


October 16th, 2011 at 9:59 AM ^

I hate to say it, but I feel like this whole MSU hatred thing of UM all comes back to Tressel.  I don't recall this rivalry being so much "talk" until D'antonio got there.  Saban never talked even though he was still very competitive.  D'antonio is an Ohio guy that coached under Tressel at both Youngstown State and OSU.  I have no doubt that his hatred for UM and the style he's learned all comes from Tressel.  They are pretty much mirror images of each other.  Lets just hope D'antonio doesn't jump ship for OSU.


October 16th, 2011 at 10:21 AM ^

I'll respect Sparty when they earn it. They can achieve this by respecting the fact that they are playing other human beings, cleaning up their field, having their coach move to Ohio, actually punishing players who break rules, clean up their field, stop pretending like it's only a 1 game season, and stop being douches in general. Maybe then. Maybe.

Please note that none of the things I listed have nothing to do with the scoreboard.


October 16th, 2011 at 10:22 AM ^

Too bad for sparty fans that they had to wake up today and realize they are still sparty fans.  The average football fan still doesn't give a shit about them.  They are an afterthought in the world of College football.  They root for a regional program, attend an average University and will never be Michigan.  Win or lose it's gotta suck to be them.


October 16th, 2011 at 10:48 AM ^

Any institution that can help that many learning disabled people achieve a "degree" and illusion of accomplishment deserves our respect.


October 16th, 2011 at 11:15 AM ^

I'm not sure if anyone made mention of this elsewhere, but radio gave me an interesting take on things. I was driving and wasn't sure what station I'd find the game on. I landed on 760 and quickly learned it was the State broadcast. They mentioned that Hoke choose not to use his final timeout as a showing of respect to Dantonio so that State could then take a knee and walk off the field. They were surprised when Dantonio chose to run a play instead.
Then, they noted how the Spartan players ran up to Michigan players (who were leaving the field) and waved "goodbye" instead of celebrating with their fellow students. The MSU announcers didn't seem to find the actions very classy.
I then switched to the crackly home station of 1050 and heard the Michigan angle of the same events. Frankly, both teams were bothered by Dantonio and his players' lack of respect. A good phrase used was "act like you've been there before". I watched this situation on tv when I got home and realized that it wasn't even mentioned (nor was the "goodbye" confrontation even covered). So, State won't get any respect because they act like bitches. Even in victory - bitches. TV might not have discussed the end of game, but our squad will remember this as MSU cones to a2 next season without a QB, WR or TE


October 16th, 2011 at 11:41 AM ^

Ends when you try to break someone's neck at the bottom of the pile. 

Just Sayin'

Be tough in the game - a couple roughing the passer penatlies? Whatever.  Late hit out of bounds? Whatever.  Those can be mistakes coming from intensity during play so long as its within reason. 

Punching people? Facemask that's not incidental to a tackle? Hitting defenseless people well after they are outside of the play? That is dirty and does not earn respect no matter the score. 



October 16th, 2011 at 11:45 AM ^

Respect?  Really, MSU fans don't give a shit whether you're respect us or not.  We don't want your respect, we want your skulls on poles in front of our stadium.   And we'll be coming for more next year.  Hide your women, hide your wives, keep the kids out of the stadium.  The bad men are coming.