OT: Sparty's view on recruiting (Spartanfreude)

Submitted by brewandbluesaturdays on May 26th, 2011 at 12:53 PM

This is linked to in the B1G lunch links on ESPN, but Joe Rexrode comments back on feedback he received from a recent article on the in-state recruiting battles. The comments at the end are pretty good.


  My favorite

"Ever notice how Michigan doesn't really ever lose? They just have down years or the other team cheated.

This is what bugs me about recruiting: the whole "Michigan mystique", block M, trying to coopt good(?) men in the state of Michigan as being "Michigan Men", winningest program in history while we count victories we had against highschools in the 1900s stuff is just a big pile of crap to this Spartan. Along with the loud-mouthed alumni and non-alumni that make up their fan base. So it bugs me that high school recruits are still buying that stuff hook, line and sinker. I guess I shouldn't really expect 3 straight victories over them and a Big Ten Championship to change that."



May 26th, 2011 at 2:21 PM ^

id have to agree.. MSU fans are dumb enough to believe that everyone that attends MSU games is a student or an alumni... Yet at UM games no one actually went to UM.

I have several friends that went to MSU and none of them watch msu football, probably the reason why they can't even fill their stadium when they have one of their best years ever


May 26th, 2011 at 3:21 PM ^

The funny thing is that they see it as a negative that Michigan's long and storied tradition appeals to a huge number of people, whether or not they have attended Michigan.  That is the point.  Even during our down years, Michigan is emblematic of college football as a whole.  To most people MSU is an afterthought, even when they have what is probably their best team in decades.

It is also the height of delusion to convince themselves that they would not prefer to sell out their stadium, win head-to-head recruiting battles, earn more money for their athletic department and get the kind of coverage that Michigan does.


May 27th, 2011 at 12:16 AM ^

Shocking I know. I guess I fit the description if a walmart wolverine? My grandpa graduated from Michigan as did my pops. Grew up in Ohio and ended up going to Miami of Ohio for school because instate tuition was so much cheaper. Have followed the wolverines since I was knee high...according to the Spartans I'm not a real fan. Shucks, guess I need to find a new hobby

Waters Demos

May 27th, 2011 at 3:56 PM ^

isn't that you're not a real fan.  Whoever says that to you is an idiot.

It's that you're adopting someone else's accomplishments as your own.  This line of argument would go on to encourage you to enroll at UM, graduate, and then take pride in your own accomplishments, instead of wearing your dad's/granddad's slippers. 

I don't entirely subscribe to this for the reason you point out - it's not a matter of merits that someone can't afford out of state tuition.  But it does make me wonder why you don't adopt Miami of Ohio as your own (assuming that you don't - maybe you do, I don't know).  That's your accomplishment, and should be the primary (exclusive?) source of your pride (IMHE). 


May 28th, 2011 at 2:23 PM ^

Pretty much the description of sports? If you're not playing, or at least being a former player/coach, aren't you going "WOOOO my school is awesome!!!" for something you didn't do, never did, and will never do, and some other guy did all the work and succeeded? I mean, pro sports would go out of business if you had to actually accomplish anything to buy a ticket. And lots of people don't simply root for teams that are from their hometown. (I think they're called people who grew up with the Lions for the last 50 years). Not to mention all sorts of towns and states that don't have pro teams (or major college teams), but still like sports.

Waters Demos

May 28th, 2011 at 8:14 PM ^

In its strictest sense, the language you quoted can only have the meaning that you give it.  I agree.

So you have to loosen up the language a bit to go along with the argument (please note: just because I articulate an argument doesn't mean I subscribe to it entirely or at all.  I've said enough on this issue that hopefuly by now it's understood that my personal views are more subtle, less judgmental, and not to be conflated with the argument I'm articulating).  However, I think that we import looser meanings into certain phrases all the time as a matter of ordinary routine (otherwise we'd all be lawyers and nothing would get done). 

The argument sees this issue in terms of agency. 

The university is the principle, and the sports team is its agent/representative.  Without the university, there are no sports teams in its name.  The question then revolves around the primary function of the principle, which in this case is higher education.

So to have any association with the principle in this case (and, therefore, the agent [the sports team]), you need to have some connection with education.  Being a student/getting a degree are the clearest examples of such a connection (though there are others - e.g., professors, and IMHE, even the janitors have a claim of direct connection). 

If you have no connection to education as administered by the university, then you have have no connection to the agent . 

To see it the other way around ("My [X family member] went to school there, and I've watched [X football] since I was 3!!!") is turning everything on its head.  Now, the university exists as the agent of the football team, as if all the football team needed was a name, and the university a football team.  Of course, this is ridiculous.  It's a school - it doesn't need a football team in order to educate.

And worse still , claiming your pappy went there, and you've watched the team since forever, is underwhelming at best, and laughable at worst.  It comes off as piggy backing off of your dad's efforts/connection when you couldn't create your own because you weren't a good enough student (either you're too stupid or too lazy).  And now you want to pretend, which is perhaps the most pathetic part.

Again, just because I state the argument doesn't mean I subscribe to it.  For example, I think the sub-issue of out-of-state tuition is a dispositive consideration within the larger issue.  I also don't give a shit if someone has a private desire to root for any team. 

I'll only give you a strange, incredulous look filled with laughing contempt if you went to some other school, and you adopt M as your own while denigrating the university I actually graduated from (or its agent).  I'll regard you as a pitiful, laughable fool.  Short of that, I don't care.  (It's like admissibility of character evidence: it won't be admitted unless the defendant first brings it up - if the defendant opens the door, the prosecutor can walk through it with him). 

May I never write another word on this issue again.  Call me out if I do. 


May 28th, 2011 at 8:51 PM ^

You realize that paying a privately owned (or partially state-sponsored) organization to gain access to information they control, services they provide, and to live in buildings that they own is just a business transaction right?  

Like buying underwear, or a gold mine, or a blowjob.

Sports fandom is an emotional and philosophical reality that easily transcends such a basic description.

You're probably not; but you SOUND like a pretentious tool.

Waters Demos

May 28th, 2011 at 10:47 PM ^

I'm giving you an "Interesting" tag.  (Cf., . . .)

Note, however, that the "business transaction" doesn't take place at all unless you meet certain criteria.  So it's not like any other business transaction.  The local drug store or prostitute or whatever won't prevent you from giving them your money for whatever item/blowjob (assuming she has standards).  UM will, as will many other universities - there are higher standards. 

You have to meet those standards before schools like UM take your money.  Those schools discriminate.  They tell people "no - you're not good enough for us to take your money."  To say that this is the same as an ordinary exchange of money is a bit "basic" IMHE.

"You're probably not; but you SOUND like a pretentious tool."  I like your approach here.  It almost reminds me of something I'd say - the qualifier always disclaims liability for what would otherwise be either an assumption or an overstatement.  This way, you're in the clear.  Well done. 

But at the same time it's sufficiently hostile as to be polemical.  An attack.  An ad hominem attack.  That's not something I'd mount (BTW you're probably right about me - no need to qualify things). 

Whatever the case, I was and am seeking flames. 


May 29th, 2011 at 10:14 PM ^

But the amount of time and effort you put into this walverine narrative - both in this and other threads - illustrates how precious it's become for you (and by extension, many MSU fans). It's as though you came here to chew bubblegum and display your glaring insecurities. And you're all out of bubblegum.

Waters Demos

May 30th, 2011 at 9:38 AM ^

1.  Ad hominem?  Try again.

2.  Well, this was predictable.  The "MSU insecurity" meme is an easy one to throw around these parts.  It's comfortable, tried and true, and an over-simplifying crowd pleaser.  And, of course, like all oversimplifications, it has limited explanatory power.  The blanket approach with oversimplifications says more about the one applying them than who they're directed at (IMHE).  It would take a little more diligence and creativity to come up with something narrowly tailored to the circumstances.

3.  What about, for example, all those EMU (or WMU, CMU, whatever) students/grads who spend time trashing MSU from an adopted (faux) M position?  Are they insecure because the school they attended is less renowned than MSU?  You'll probably say "no."  Predictably.

4.  "and by extension, many MSU fans."  Assumptions.  Generalizations.   So I represent more than myself?  I speak for "many MSU fans"?  News to me.  Can we play this game in reverse?  Because you attacked me on an ad-hominem level, then this means that, because you represent "many M fans," I can anticipate ad-hominem treatment by them as well.  Which doesn't say much for the capacity for "many M fans" to engage in rational, non-personalized discourse.  (This is unfair to your many MGoBoard compatriots who I've engaged with on an intelligent level.  Of course, nothing you say can undo my respect for them, but it's still arguably bush league). 


May 30th, 2011 at 9:54 AM ^

not represented in my simple post. Walverines is a construction propagated by many MSU fans (that's why I say "by extension", which I thought was obvious). You in particular defend its silly premise whenever and however you can. It's very precious to you, that's evident. It exposes insecurity because you're very clearly upset about these non-alums cheering for M, and not for MSU.
It's no business of yours why anyone is a fan of anything. And once that's established, understand that opposing fans will say anything to get under the skin of their rival - this includes non-alums talking shit about M's superior academic profile. Or better helmets, or winning percentage, or Heismans or anything else. No one is going to stop and consult your in-process rule book in what they're allowed to say and what they're not. Though I agree it's a bit silly for a high school drop-out to dig MSU on academics, the fact is that he's right - the team he cheers for does have a better academic record. Feel free to call him out on this. He'll probably throw poop at you and say you're all convicts. Such is the joy of fandom.
Walverine is a part of that fan dynamic, and so is my calling it out here. You so desperately push this narrative because you are jealous, and hope to stall the intensity of non-grad M fans. It won't work, yo.
Being a fan requires passion and loyalty, and little else. Your verbose arguments and attempts to instruct people on what they're allowed to do, say, and feel are more emblematic of your own shortcomings, not of "walverines".

Waters Demos

May 30th, 2011 at 11:49 AM ^

I'm happy to read your response, but this is the last time I'm going to post on this issue. 

Please note that you have not once responded to a single element of the argument that I laid out above (which BTW, I've noted I don't even adopt entirely).  Instead, you have continued to make blanket ad hominem assertions about me (that I'm jealous, that I'm insecure, that I want to impose my "rules" on others).  You're free to believe those things, and that's fine.  But they contribute nothing to the issue, which has nothing to do with me personally.

You have to separate the speech from the speaker. Just look at the argument on its merits independent of the fact that it happened to have come from me on this occasion.

Also note that I have not made a single ad hominem declaration against you, or speculated on your motives, or made any personal comment about you at all.  You've got me beat in this department.  I have no idea where you went to school, what your motives are, etc... and I don't care.  A fortiori, I see no need to speculate and hurl invented sinister motives at you. 

Finally, my stance has been very clear all along, and it's simple - be a fan of whomever you like.  No one cares or should care (including me [despite one of your ad hominem attacks on me]).  But before you denigrate other schools (which, BTW is childish and unnecessary if it goes beyond good natured ribbing), make sure you at least have a defensible platform to do so.  That proper platform, in this case, is to actually have a connection to the university from which you're looking down on someone else. 

I enjoyed the interaction, and I'm marking your post as "Interesting."  Mere differences of opinion are never grounds for downvotes (IMHE).  I think you probably disagree, but I respect your view on the matter. 

I really hope you enjoy your Memorial Day.  I plan to do some grilling, and I hope you enjoy whatever the day offers to you as well. 


May 26th, 2011 at 9:14 PM ^

People who go to LCC and act like they went to state are the worst.   my cousin dated a guy who went to lcc and he brags about MSU football like he went there. It's hilarious when he mentions walmart wolverines because I always ask him, "What did you major in at State?"  


May 26th, 2011 at 1:51 PM ^

I don't see any "obsession" with MSU, but I do see a spirited rivalry.  Really, MSU fans have every right to puff their chests and brag.  MSU beat Michigan three straight times for the first time in the life of most of their followers who post in comment fields and forums.  I'm sure "regression to the mean" means nothing to them except something rumored to be taught in a class they successfully avoided taking.   

The main problem, though, is that they are the most ignorant, belligerent, and obnoxious fanbase in college football.  They are worse than TSIO fans.  They are worse than good ol' Bubbas from Dixie with three teeth and a family tree with one branch.  Reading their blather ever since the Horror has been so painful that I eventually stopped and only read them during periods of Spartyfreude.

MSU wanted Michigan and their fanbase to take them seriously, and now they do.  Be careful what you ask for, Sparty.

OMG Shirtless

May 26th, 2011 at 3:50 PM ^

You have the most convoluted Izzo/MSU conspiracy theories on the planet and you're really going to try to say that people aren't obsessed with MSU?  Not too long ago you couldn't even type MSU without throwing in a dollar sign.

EDIT: I can't believe I forgot to mention when you used to refer to MSU as "MSUcks."


May 26th, 2011 at 1:01 PM ^

I don't think i have seen a group of more ignorant assholes in my life. Some of the things they say are just pathetic. 142 days until we beat the shit out of them!


May 26th, 2011 at 2:28 PM ^

Along with the loud-mouthed alumni and non-alumni that make up their fan base.

Yeah, because no MSU fan or alum has ever been an obnoxious loudmouth, the guy writing this rant excepted of course.

...and did this guy have the brass to question the legitimacy of some Michigan wins from 1900 when just yesterday, the board determined that of the 6 claimed MSU National Championships in football, that 4 of them were essentially bullshit?

Jebus, take the board out of your eye there friend.


May 26th, 2011 at 1:09 PM ^

the frustration about the sparty-punks and their dumb rhetoric and dumb logic, and dose it out to each UM player just before the game this fall. I loathe that bunch almost as much as the buckeyes, not because of their successes, but because of their mentality. From Dantonio's lenient wet bread style of discipline, to the mouthy bandwagon jumping fans with brand new gear, they annoy the hell out of me.


May 26th, 2011 at 1:10 PM ^

I love the wal-mart wolverine shit. If only alumni/students were allowed to be fans, college football stadiums would seat 5,000 people and the games would never be televised.


May 26th, 2011 at 1:22 PM ^

I know Michigan fans don't necessarily like to admit it, but he's not entirely wrong on this point:

Ever notice how Michigan doesn't really ever lose? They just have down years or the other team cheated.

Michigan's fans tend to be a pretty arrogant and entitled group. Look at the meltdowns over the past few years and people currently arguing that OSU's dominance over the past decade is due to Tressel's cheating. (Not saying that the meltdowns and cheating accusations are wrong, just that we Michigan fans tend to be arrogant, whiny, and entitled drama queens when things aren't going well.)

That said, the rest of his comment is utter and total nonsense.

Also, I agree with posters above. I'm getting tired of reading so much about MSU. 

EDIT: I whine better than I write.


May 26th, 2011 at 1:23 PM ^

I don't see how having a down year means Michigan didn't lose.  The fact is, Michigan is USUALLY good.  I don't think many people would agree that Michigan is supposed to lose to teams like Toledo, a bad version of Purdue, etc.  So when we have a down year, I don't think announcing it means anything other than, "We would have beaten you recently, and we probably would beat you in the future . . . but this year we're not very good."


May 26th, 2011 at 3:37 PM ^

Exactly.  If your self-worth is based on the fact that you beat a Michigan team that also lost to Toledo and many others, that doesn't say much about you.  Contrast that with the 90's, where Michigan beat some of the best OSU teams that had come along in quite some time.  When was the last time that MSU was the reason that Michigan didn't play for the NC or the B1G championship?  That is, how often does MSU beat a good Michigan team?