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Monday, October 17, 2011

The Real William Gholston

The Real William Gholston: the Bad, the Good and... the Redemption

On a crisp autumn afternoon, more than 75,000 fans packed into Spartan Stadium for the annual rivalry game between MSU and U-M. For the first time since 1959-1962, the Spartans have beaten the Wolverines for four straight years. This senior class will leave Michigan State having never lost to their annual archrival. Unconfirmed rumors have indicated that Paul Bunyan will be paying property taxes in East Lansing for the fourth consecutive year.
As previously mentioned this is a RIVALRY GAME. Bad blood, tempers flare and emotions run at an all time high. During the game, MSU defensive end William Gholston took down Michigan QB Denard Robinson. After the play, Gholston wrenched the facemask of Robinson like it was a lug wrench on a flat tire. Gholston was flagged for an unsportsmanlike penalty and fifteen yards. This was an unacceptable and reckless act that does not reflect how this defensive squad has performed all season. This is not how the Spartans do business. There is no explanation or rationale that warrants something like this.
Later in the game, Gholston was again flagged in an unsportsmanlike penalty for a punch to the face to a Michigan lineman. In the interest of full disclosure, let’s explore the full story (pay close attention Wolverine fans). As the video below shows, Gholston is rushing in on Robinson, and falters to the ground. While on the ground, the Michigan lineman pushes the back of Gholston’s helmet down while also pulling his facemask to the turf.
What ensued was Gholston’s retaliatory punch to the lineman’s face. Again, this action was unacceptable and inexplicable, but perhaps in some way, it might also be just a little bit justified yet still over reactive. Gholston was flagged for another unsportsmanlike penalty and surrendered fifteen more yards.
(see video)

After this selfish and vengeful action, Gholston was immediately taken out of the game and received a verbal reprimand from Mark Dantonio. His words must have
gotten to the heart of Gholston’s primal anger. Call it a moment of “battlefield inspiration” to the likeness of King Leonidas himself. But Spartan warrior William Gholston channeled his aggression to the battle at hand-- before the whistle.
As the next two videos show, with Denard Robinson on the ground, William Gholston is the first player to pick up the rival QB for the next play.
First, it came after after a sack:
(see video)

Next, it came following a fumbled snap:
(see video)

As these two videos show, Gholston takes to the high road after his two moments of brutal indiscretion. William Gholston is not a dirty player. It’s worth repeating that WILLIAM GHOLSTON IS NOT A DIRTY PLAYER. In the closing seconds as the cloudy skies parted, and sun had set on a remarkable 28-14 Spartan victory, MSU players doused coach Mark Dantonio with a “Gatorade shower” while en route for the postgame coaches handshake with UM coach Brady Hoke at midfield. The video below also shows William Gholston in an attempt at reconciliation and good sportsmanship run over to Hoke to shake his hand. As you listen to the audio (admittedly difficult to hear) you can hear the commentator say, "No handshakes. Michigan’s running off the field." (insert unsportsmanlike comment here)
(see video)

So when Michigan fans talk about late hits and unsportsmanlike shots taken by William Gholston, I hope this piece sheds some light on the full story of this Spartan warrior. Someone once wrote, “INTEGRITY means doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching.” I just hope our perennial adversaries from Ann Arbor were watching… the whole game.

Go Green!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent summary of what really happened! Thanks for putting this together. As someone who as at the game, I never saw any of the fouls that were called on us, including those on Gholston. As far as I could tell, these were typical bad calls designed to help Michigan stay in the game.

    Once I saw some of the replays Saturday night and Sunday, I could see where the penalties came from. Gholston deserved to be flagged, and his team paid the price with the penalty. As you've pointed out, Dantonio also addressed the situation during the game.

    Too bad he did those things, but he was penalized during the game. That's different than when the UM player sucker-punched the ND player three years ago and no penalty was called during the game. If the league office (or Dantonio) decides that there should be more penalties against Gholston, that's fine, let's take it and move on...but after watching the video of the pretext for the "punch", things are much more clear about this situation.

    By the way, watching the game in person allowed me to see multiple cases of "extra-curriculars" all over the field all game long several seconds after plays were whistled dead. The prevailing strategy by the officials was to break up the scuffles and leave their flags in their pockets. I can see where they had to penalize Gholston, as he committed a personal foul in each case, but there was plenty of provocation from the the bumble-bees, ALL GAME LONG.


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