META: Annoyance Week request

Submitted by BiSB on October 15th, 2012 at 10:17 AM

It's Little Brother Week here in the state of Michigan, and as many of you know, this week draws the Sparty trolls out from the dark recesses of the RCMB. And like the swallows of Capistrano, they flock to this board, start shitting on everything, and make a bunch of noise without expressing a single coherent thought.

You will be tempted to engage them. You will be tempted to debate them. This is futile. You can't debate a Spartan troll any more than you can debate floor tile. And we're not talking the nice slate tile; we're talking the shiny trucker rest stop floor tile. Instead, I humbly request that you report their presence to the Moderator Action Sticky thread (, and we will take appropriate action.

And to you Sparty trolls, I'd just like to remind you that there are a number of interesting SPAM lists to which one could potentially be signed up. So unless one relishes the prospect of sifting through a dozen needlepoint newsletters every day, methinks you should take this week off.

[EDIT - PGB:  If I might add, the flip-side is also true.  Please avoid starting "hate" threads that just get people all ramped up and make the Board look second-rate.  You stay classy, San Diego!]




October 15th, 2012 at 10:31 AM ^

The "Little Brother" meme needs to just go away. MSU has beaten us 4 in a row, and while I fully expect that streak to come to an end on Saturday, to continue calling them Little Brother when we haven't beaten them since that phrase was coined is a bit like the crowd yelling "you suck!" at the end of Temptation during a game we're losing.


October 15th, 2012 at 10:41 AM ^

...based on some of the recent taunts I've seen from Sparty Nation, they consider us to be a "Little Sister" which is kind of clever and original....and by "clever and original", I mean juvenile and pedestrian, but my expectations for the Spartan fanbase is pretty low.


October 15th, 2012 at 10:37 AM ^

While I find the meme tiresome as well and think we are better than that, as long as Sparty continues to obsess and try and dismiss any accomplishment that Michigan achieves in a vain attempt to elevate themselves above us, particularly when recents results would preclude the need for them to do so, they are behaving like a younger brother.

They are what they are, but I do agree that we can probably stop stating the obvious in so inflammatory a manner.

SirJack II

October 15th, 2012 at 12:07 PM ^

I really think Little Brother is more than just a meme, and is in fact a psychological reality. Sparty players themselves have referred to themselves using the term (though probably not post-Mike Hart).

It is a phrase that perfectly encapsulates Sparty's resentment and inferiority complex.


October 15th, 2012 at 10:54 AM ^

No joke, I flipped to the MSU game this past weekend and my 5 year old son asks if that is Michigan's little brother playing. Now, I am raising my children to be Michigan fans but have said nothing about MSU being our "Little Brother", I honestly have no idea where he pulled it from. My point is good luck getting the meme to go away when apperantly it is something people are born knowing.


October 15th, 2012 at 3:24 PM ^

I'm with you on "You suck."

But "Little Brother" (specifically referring to typical juvenile sibling relationships) is an apt metaphor, and long pre-dates the Hart comment, as applied to MSU and Texas A&M, and UCLA, and NC State, and other in-state rivalries with the same dynamic. Even four wins in a row hasn't changed the dynamic between fans of the schools, or between the players, or how recruiting in the state trends, just like how beating me in basketball or monopoly 4 times in a row never budged the 18-month difference in age between my little brother and me. Even after being a national power for a decade while Michigan struggled, MSU was quickly again supplanted as soon as Michigan was back on track. This futility of success and the inevitability of a return to mediocrity underline the spurned psyche of Spartan fandom.

Ever see a Michigan fan get upset because a non-Spartan alum is a Spartan fan? Yet Sparties constantly obsess over the slights they get from "Walmart Wolverines," as if Michigan is the only school whose athletics cast a shadow beyond the undergrad library. Throw a rock between the Great Lakes and you'll hit two Sparties who think non-Michigan alums are going around denigrating MSU academics (!!!). They've invented this straw man to cover up for elder favoritism, and the shame of non-invested observers (younger siblings, cousins, etc.) siding with the older brother.

And it's about us too. The older brother is constantly patronizing of the younger, constantly undermining little brother's successes. It's about our arrogance, and our willingness to exploit unfair advantages in size and access, and our darling status among the rest of the family.

They find it demeaning because they find everything demeaning, because Spartan fandom is nothing more than cauterized jealousy. It is one of the most negative and least rewarding fandoms I have ever witnessed. It's the reason their biggest media supporters are talk radio hosts, is the reason a troll-infested message board is their primary internet outlet, and their intelligent analysis blog is a well-written afterthought on SBNation.

The metaphor doesn't just work; it defines the rivalry. It's childish of course, but rivalries themselves are immature relationships in essense.


October 15th, 2012 at 3:39 PM ^

Is that Hart only said it because he heard MSU players refer to themselves as "not Michigan's little brother."  They came up with the term. It was just another case of MSU talking smack before the game, and Michigan talking smack after the game.

Waters Demos

October 16th, 2012 at 8:00 PM ^

I've never had much to say on this issue because, quite frankly, it's just so fucking stupid.  Stupid metaphor used by a stupid kid in front of stupid reporters that appeals to stupid fans and pisses off other stupid fans.  To top it off, it makes smart people talk about stupid things.  Really fucking stupid. 

The only thing I'll note is that I am the youngest amongst my brothers.  And despite the accidental chronology of birth, they prostrate themselves before me - physically, intellectually, and in whatever other category of success one might choose as a measure. 

I do not point this out to them, because to do so would be fucking stupid.  But not as stupid as a metaphor that derives from mere chance. 


October 18th, 2012 at 10:47 PM ^

Emphasis on juvenile oh most pedantic of Sparties. College football fandom has a lot to do with immaturity, so it shouldn't come as any surprise that rivalries mirror immature relationships. Any generalization isn't going to be near perfect; that doesn't mean it's not incredibly insightful as to the emotional triggers behind the behavior.

Note as well that it's better to be somebody's brother, even at the age when this means the purple nurple here and there, than what Dantonio's Spartans have been recasting themselves as: the bad guys.


October 18th, 2012 at 11:05 AM ^

Well thank you for that. I mean, after 26 years of fandom and alumni-hood, I couldn't possibly have known anything about the dynamic between the schools, what a rivarly is, or what "little brother" refers to. No doubt the term has been around a lot longer than you and me and Mike Hart, but only since he opened his mouth has it been used with such regularity where UM and MSU are concerned. It's just suddenly gotten old real quick, IMO.


October 15th, 2012 at 7:37 PM ^

I think you are missing what "Little Brother" really means. They are not little brother because of their record. It is because no matter what: win, lose, or draw they are always measuring their success next to the Maize and Blue. This is a fact which they want to deny to the end of their days, so let me give a sample size. After their loss to Ohio they found it necesary to say things like "at least we aren't Michigan" or "I am a better QB than Denard." Classic little bro move. Measure your success/loss always in the shadow of your big brother. That being said I have refrained from calling them little bro until we beat them- not that it changes the fact...They are always little brother.


October 15th, 2012 at 10:32 AM ^

The SPAM thing doesn't really serve as a deterrent, does it?  I mean, a person who signs up simply to troll doesn't use their real e-mail account, do they?

Then again, upon further reflection, we are talking about Spartan trolls....


October 15th, 2012 at 10:45 AM ^

Bisbino: any exceptions under which spartan posting is tolerated or allowed? Or are you really saying that from the mods perspective, any and all content or comments from Spartan partisans is considered trolling?

I guess the way your post reads, the assumption is that there is no coherent thought possible from Spartie, and hence, no discussion is possible.

Sometimes, imhe, it is worthwhile hearing from others not in your own ghetto. I vaguely recall there being some posters from East Lansing and Columbus and South Bend who were welcomed in the past at mgoblog. Has that policy changed?


October 15th, 2012 at 10:51 AM ^

I think its clear but, if not, he (we) are referring to Sparty Trolls and not the valuable Spartan contributors that we have on the Board.  There are several that are even-keeled, intelligent, and able to mix it up in a humorous but respectable manner.  As a public service announcement, lets try to appreciate (and not neg) posts by Spartan fans that are valuable.



October 15th, 2012 at 11:16 AM ^

We welcome outsiders to this board. We have valuable contributors from Notre Dame, OSU, Nebraska, and, yes, even MSU. They are more than welcome. Hell, if Sparty fans want to join this week and ask real questions or provide new insight, they are more than welcome as well.

I should have been more clear, this is directed SOLELY at the trolls.

Darker Blue

October 15th, 2012 at 10:47 AM ^

I demand the right to flamboyantly post my "annoyance" all over MGoBoard.


Really I don't care, so 




October 15th, 2012 at 11:25 AM ^

What do all Michigan and Michigan State graduates have in common?

They both got accepted at Michigan State.

I just point to the insane differential in both athletics and academics by any yardstick they wish to use and it's arguement over.

That is unless they want to discuss which school has a superior Animal Husbandry program.  That one they do win going away......


October 15th, 2012 at 11:34 AM ^

No, no man.  You've got it all wrong.  I was over at the RCMB and all those guys insist they got accepted to both Michigan and MSU.  In fact, they all insist they applied to U of M just to have the pleasure of turning scUM down after they got their acceptance letter.  It's totally true brah.