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Sunday, April 28, 2013


(based on a true story)

University of Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon has declined an invitation to join the administration of President Devin Gardner. The invitation was made by Gardner after he unilaterally assumed the title of "President", albeit only in his own mind, earlier this month. Gardner also believes he is the starting Shortstop for the New York Yankees.

This web site reported on the new United States President last week.

Brandon recently announced that he would not be running for United States Senator, as he was far too busy "thinking about beating Michigan State". Brandon added that MSU is not really a rival to UM, nor do the games with MSU really matter very much, at least not as much as games with other schools, one of which is the "real rival" to Michigan. When asked to name that school, Brandon explained that he's not really very good at geography or spelling, but that he knows the other school is located "somewhere in Ohio". Most observers believe Brandon is referring to Ohio State, but others think he must mean Ohio University, since the Bobcats knocked the UM men's basketball team out of the NCAA Tournament in 2012.

Brandon interrupted his obsessive ruminating about Sparty by declaring that he will also not be running for Secretary of State, Governor, Justice of the Peace, or Dog-Catcher. However, he said he would consider applying to become the first astronaut to land on Mars, but only if NASA would allow him to plant a flag with the block-M on the surface of the planet. Brandon said the M-flag would be appropriate because the words "Mars" and "Michigan" each begin with the same letter, and he says he's very good at remembering single letters of the alphabet, even if he can't remember the full names of other conference schools.

When Brandon was told that Mars was known as the "red planet" due to its appearance being similar to the school colors of both Ohio State and Louisville, he said he was too busy "thinking about beating Michigan State" for any space-trips.

Gardner had no word on who else he may be inviting to join his imaginary new government, but he said once he finished up with a three-game home-stand against the Houston Astros, he would return to the White House to think about it.

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Friday, April 26, 2013


It was nice to see all of the living ex-Presidents holding hands and singing love songs together this week at the library event in Texas. In case you missed it, here's the story about the dedication ceremony for the Bush Presidential Library.

But somehow missing was Devin Gardner, inadvertently left off the invitation list. What sort of a protocol mishap could have led to this glaring omission?

Since many of you are wondering who Devin Gardner is, let's review the details of his newfound status. Gardner is a football player at the University of Michigan, the guy who played back-up to Denard Robinson the past two years.

I know, I know, that just begs the question; "Who is Denard Robinson?" Quick refresher here. Denard Robinson was once-upon-a-time the lead running-back for UM, known for taking direct snaps from center, then making up whatever he could do with an offense that ran around the field dressed like bumblebees hoping the kid with the untied shoes could run for a touchdown. He played in the Forrest Gump Offense, based on the strategem "Run, Denard, Run". So, Gardner was the guy who played back-up to that guy.

Gardner is now so thrilled to be the next Denard "Forrest Gump" Robinson, that he has declared himself to be President of the United States of America. That's not his candidacy for President, mind you, that's his actual job. At least to him it is. In his own mind. (Sort of like having an imaginary friend, but for bigger people.)

So where was Gardner at the event in Texas? Where was DRob? Where was Tate Forcier? Where was Nick Sheridan? Where was Steven Threet? They were all starting quarterbacks at the University in Michigan, so doesn't that qualify them for Presidential status along with Gardner?

For that matter, where was Jim Harbaugh? Oh right, we now where Harbaugh is; a long, long, way away from UM.

You can just imagine Gardner addressing his teammates in the huddle. "My fellow wolverines," he might begin, "ask not what Brady Hoke can do for you, ask what you can do for Brady Hoke". Like maybe pass him another plate of cheese-fries.

One can hear Gardner in the locker room, giving a pregame address: "Four years and seven games ago, our fathers brought forth in this stadium a new football strategy, conceived in lunacy, and dedicated to the proposition that either Tate or Denard better run their asses off or we gonna' get beat down."

The media will gather for the post-game news conference, just to hear President Gardner proclaim, "Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was "civis Romanus sum". Today, in the world of football, the proudest boast is "Ich bin ein Weasel."

I guess the youngster can think whatever he wants to think about himself and his team. Maybe when he's getting ready to change a play at the line of scrimmage, he will shout out "I veto that!" If another player screws up a play, perhaps he will approach his teammate to offer him a "full pardon". He will undoubtedly refer to the team captains as "my cabinet", and the offensive line as "the secret service".

Well, we should probably all give the new President a chance to enact his policies during his term in office. Maybe, if things go well, we'll get to see his "Vice-President" in action.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013


[Part Three of a Three-Part Series]

The predictions I make in this series will not qualify me as the next Nostradamus. I'm only saying that things will return to normal in the basketball rivalry between Michigan State and Michigan, beginning next season, specifically in the women's games.

No big surprise to pick MSU over UM in women's basketball, eh? After all, the Spartans hold the all-time series lead (62-16) and have won 21 of the past 23 rivalry games. Suzy Merchant is 13-2 against the Wolverines. We could go on-and-on with these kind of statistical comparisons. (And we will.)

But the Blues Sisters actually found a way to beat our Green Goddesses last season, a one-point win at the Crisis Center, then took a 20-win record into the Big Dance and actually won a game. So some people, at some point, will start the talk about the "rise of Michigan Women's Basketball" under their new head coach, and eventually how "the tables are turning" and so forth. Same as we hear about their men's team.

So let's squash that propaganda campaign before it has a chance to get started.

I pointed out in Part One of this series how challenging last season was for the Spartan Women, besieged by injuries throughout the year, losing three players for the season, and another one at the end that I didn't even mention (Akyah Taylor). Yet Coach Merchant still led her troops to a 25-win season, a third-place league finish, an appearance in the conference tournament final game,  and a second-round run in the NCAAs. Sounds a lot like what George Washington did at Valley Forge.

I described in Part Two of this series how the Michigan Women rode their five-member senior class to one of the best seasons in their dismal history, including the first win against MSU in four years. And how they did it the right way, with actual college students playing all four years, led by Jenny Ryan, a great player who would have fit right in wearing green-and-white, but chose otherwise.

I'm saying now that the trend-buck stops here.

Here's a quick look ahead at what we know about the basic on-court match-ups between the two teams for next year, minus much detail about several players on both teams who haven't played enough (or at all) to discuss:

This is where the Wolverines are weakest, with only two players over 6'1", neither of which has ever started a game. Val Driscoll (6'4") comes off a medical redshirt season after scoring 26 points her first two years as a deep-bench backup. Cyesha Goree (6'3") will look for her first starting assignment after scoring 23 points in two years. No freshmen are on the way to help.

For MSU, three veterans return to fill the lane, Juniors Becca Mills (6'4") and Jasmine Hines (6'3") along with Senior Analise Pickrel (6'3"). Hines is a wide-body who played in all but one game last year, scoring eight points and grabbing five rebounds per game. Mills started 28 games, scored nine and rebounded four, and hit nearly 33% of her three-point attempts. Pickrel played 29 minutes per game, scoring nine and rebounding four and leading the team in three-point shooting at 37%.

This looks like a game-long mismatch in favor of the Green team, especially considering that Madison Williams (6'7") may be able to contribute something on the court after her injury rehab.

Michigan brings a trio of guards with experience, Nicole Elmblad, Brenae Harris, and Madison Ristovski. Elmblad started all but one game, but averaged only four points and two assists. Harris and Ristovski were seventh and eighth in minutes played, but each scored less than two points per game. The Wolverines will rely on freshmen at these positions to back up the returnees.

The Spartans feature Senior Klarissa Bell and Junior Kiana Johnson, with backups Camille Glymph, Branndais Agee, and Aerial Powers. Bell led the team in scoring, rebounding, minutes played, and was third in assists. Johnson was third in scoring, second in assists, second in steals, and third in minutes played.

Agee is the Top 50 player who was sidelined by injury last year, Powers is the 6'0" Top-100 player who also lost last year due to injury, and Glymph is the Auburn transfer who was ranked #52 by ESPN coming out of high school. And Tori Jankoska joins the team after scoring 30 a game as a high school senior last year on the way to winning Miss Basketball in the State of Michigan.

MSU looks strong at the guard rotation, with two proven veteran leaders backed up by four promising newcomers.

Left unmentioned for Michigan State were 5'11" guard Mariah Harris, who played very little as a freshman after winning Player of the Year in Ohio Division Two in high school and getting a #44 national ranking. Also coming off the bench for MSU will be Akyah Taylor, a 5'11" forward who was named first-team all-state in Indiana as a high school senior.

UM has a highly ranked freshman guard who missed the season with an injury. Michigan's recruiting class contains four guards, including three under 5'9", leaving gaping holes in the frontcourt and inexperience coming off the bench.

For UM fans who have accused me of "lacking logic" in my articles: Read it and weep. The future seems clear for the women's basketball rivalry between Michigan State and Michigan.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013


[Part One of a Three-Part Series]

With all of the attention grabbed by the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and the local focus on a half-dozen or more MSU and UM players who were rumored or expected to jump to the NBA, most sports fans lost track of the "other great team" that plays in the Breslin Student Events Center.

The Michigan State Women's Basketball team quietly put together another great season, compiling 20 wins for the 10th year in a row, and making the Big Dance for the fifth consecutive season. Suzy Merchant had arguably her best year as Head Coach, overcoming incredible adversity brought on by multiple injuries at the end of 2012, several of which were season-enders.

Two tough breaks came before the season started, the first on October 29, when freshman guard Aerial Powers tore her achilles-tendon and was immediately declared gone for the season. Powers is six-feet-even, which is very good-sized for a perimeter player in the women's game. She was all-state three times at Detroit Country Day, twice was named Class B Player of the Year, and was ranked in the Top 100 by several recruiting services, a level that loosely translates to "four-star" status in the men's game.

Only two days later, Madison Williams suffered her third ACL tear in as many years, sidelining her for the season that had yet to begin. Williams was a "McDonald's All-American" coming to MSU, the "Miss Basketball" for Michigan in 2010, and lost only four times in high school while leading her team to a pair of state titles. Her accolades as a recruit made her a target for every top program in America, but she chose Merchant and MSU to become the tallest player in the B1G at 6'7".

Highly-ranked freshman guard Brandais Agee was also unable to play due to a stress-fracture during preseason practice, after finishing second as 2012 "Miss Basketball" and making "Dream Team" status by both Detroit newspapers. Agee was held out the first four games of the year.

The season began with two players serving a self-imposed suspension for a summertime rules mishap, point-guard Kiana Johnson and small forward Akyah Taylor. Johnson was a Top 100 recruit coming to the Spartans, and led MSU in assists as a freshman, while Taylor was an Indiana first-team all-state selection as a senior. These two were unavailable for the first nine games of the season.

Michigan State started 8-1 with a shoestring lineup, riding the performances of juniors Klarissa Bell and Annalise Pickrel, and powered inside by sophomores Becca Mills and Jasmine Hines. Before Johnson and Taylor could return to action, Agee tore an ACL and was gone for the season.

That's three highly-ranked players who suffered season-ending injuries while two others missed most of the non-conference schedule due to suspension. But the Spartans finished in Second Place in the conference, went 25-9, and made it to the round of 32 in the Big Dance before falling to a team playing on their home court. Quite a season indeed.

Looking ahead, the Spartans hope to add all three injured players back to the active lineup next year, along with Camille Glymph, a 5'10" guard who transferred from Auburn last summer. They also welcome the 2013 "Miss Basketball" winner, Tori Jankoska, a shooting guard who averaged more than 30 points per game during her senior year at Freeland High School. MSU loses only two veterans from last year's team.

The latest news comes from the coaching staff, where Merchant has promoted Tempie Brown to Associate Head Coach, adding stability to program.

To close Part One of our three-part series, here are a few facts to highlight the success of our MSU Women's Basketball program:

  • MSU is one of 19 schools in the country who have qualified for the last five NCAA Tournaments.
  • Over the last eight years, Michigan State has posted a 12-7 record in the NCAA Tournament. Its 12 wins are the 12th most in the nation and tied with Purdue for the most among Big Ten schools.
  • The Spartans won 10 conference games this past season, extending their streak to 11 consecutive years with double-digit Big Ten wins, the longest active streak in the Big Ten.
  • During Coach Merchant's tenure, Michigan State has a 69-33 Big Ten record. The win total is second in the conference over that span.

Part Two of our series will take a quick look at the University of Michigan Women's Basketball program. You don't want to miss that! (Michigan State has won 21 of its last 23 games against Michigan and is 62-16 all-time against the Wolverines.)

Part 2
Part 3

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Monday, April 22, 2013


Most Americans are still trying to get over what happened a week ago at the Boston Marathon. We now know that the key to cracking the case was the use of strategically placed video surveillance cameras on the streets of Boston near the scene of the heinous crime.

We won't open a debate on this web site about the appropriateness or necessity of such cameras in all public places, but we can sure agree that some places should be covered by "cop cameras". Without them in Boston, the terrorists might still be on the loose.

A lesser crime was perpetrated last weekend against Michigan State University by cowards from the University of Michigan, when the famous "Sparty" statue was attacked and vandalized sometime during the night before the MSU Football Green-and-White scrimmage. This is a repeated criminal activity sponsored by the elitist Bluebloods who claim to be the consummate manifestation of God's perfection on earth. They think they can do no wrong, and when they lose in a sporting event, they claim they were wronged in some way, shape or form.

These are the hypocrites who verbally attack Spartan Nation in every manner possible, even physically in these cases. Then they laugh it off as if was just a silly joke that went over our heads.

A few years ago, an organized team of chUMp cowards staged a pre-dawn attack on our Sparty statue during the week before MSU played UM in football, only to be repelled by a better organized defensive unit comprised of Spartan Marching Band members. In this case, the weasels attacked with paint-guns from the darkness of the Dem Hall field, and were defeated and subdued by the Bandos. Several of them were held for campus police and arrested, charged and convicted.

You don't hear about that incident during the U-of-M student orientation programs. New Wolverines are brainwashed into thinking that they are better than the rest of humanity, and by the time they've been in school for awhile, they actually believe it. Those who stay become Arrogant Asses.

So they did it again, but in cowardly fashion, as nobody expected the attack outside of "game week". There were no defenders on hand as the chUMps vandalized public property under the cover of darkness. What a brilliant triumph of intellectual strategy by the self-proclaimed academic superstars.

Now we know that there are no boundaries of decency, no constraints of dignity, no limits to the lengths to which the weasels may extend themselves to deface Spartan Country in their self-loathing attempts to prove they are "better than us". Time to take some more serious action.

Let's end this series of idiotic acts by protecting the Sparty statue with video surveillance cameras. Not saying they should be all over campus, not trying to invent a new line-item in the stressed-out public education budget, just saying we should put about five cameras on the light-posts around the area to dissuade the Blue Punk Group from ever doing this again, and if they do, providing the local police with necessary information to go after them as vigorously as they chase down couch-burning boys and tee-shirt lifting girls on our own campus.

As as for that guy who posted a night-time picture of the painted Sparty before any authorities even knew that it had happened, I think he has a few questions to answer. His name is BUZZ SCHNEIDER, and he tweeted his hilarious laughter about the incident at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday, while it was still dark outside. What was he doing up at 5am on Saturday morning, how does he find such a picture if he didn't do it himself, and why in the name of Fritz Crisler does he call himself "BUZZ"? The guy who represents the "Harvard of the Midwest" goes by the name "Buzz"?

That alone tells you all you need to know about the University of Michigan.

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Sunday, April 21, 2013


We certainly welcome reader comments on any articles posted on this web site, including remarks from fans of the University of Michigan. We enjoy hearing from those folks, and getting a chance to show their perspective on subjects of mutual interest.

Some of the comments we've received recently have been amusing, to say the least. They have included personal name-calling and derogatory allegations, which are different than the way we often use amusing verbal labels that are intended to collectively describe a large segment of the UM fan base. Those comments have been answered, and the exchanges can be viewed by looking at the reply-threads at the bottom of each article.

In this article, we'll address one key statement made by a Wolverine fan very early this morning. The anonymous comment under review was purportedly made to refute my analysis that the Michigan Men's Basketball team is due for a backslide, effective immediately. There is one central thesis suggested by the reader, and we repeat it here verbatim:

This comment suggests that McGary (MM) and Robinson (GR3) are better players than any players on the MSU roster. So let's examine that claim by comparing the two UM players with several MSU players. This review will not include Derrick Nix, as he is graduating next month and will not play for the Spartans next year. It will also set aside any comparison to Adreian Payne, as his future remains technically uncertain.

  • Points:  GR3's average of 11.0ppg would place him third on the MSU roster, behind Keith Appling and Gary Harris. MM's average of 7.5ppg would land him on fourth-place, behind the aforementioned as well as Branden Dawson.
  • Assists: GR3's assist average of 1.1apg would rank in sixth-place, after five current Spartan players, as well as Brandan Kearney. MM would be in seventh-place, just above Russell Byrd and Bella Sibedwo.
  • Steals:  The two UM players would rank fourth and fifth on the composite list.
  • Blocks:  MM would be second to Dawson, while GR3 would be tied for fifth with Denzel Valentine.
  • Free-Throw %:  GR3 would be fifth on the list, while MM is one of the worst free-throw shooters in the league, and would rank 11th on the MSU team, above only walk-ons.
  • Three-Point %:  GR3 would be the third-best long-distance shooter for MSU, behind Harris and Trice. But MM would be last on the team, well behind Byrd and Kearney.
Not very impressive numbers by comparison to the returning Spartans in the six categories listed above. That leaves rebounding and field-goal percentage, the two best categories for the UM players. They would rank first and second in FG%, and first and third in rebounding.

Using these eight statistical measurements, and not including Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne, we can see that Glenn Robinson has a composite comparative ranking of between 3rd and 4th best on the MSU roster, and that Mitch McGary would rank between 5th and 6th best. Statistically speaking, both players would compete for a starting position, with Robinson a probable starter and McGary probably one of the first players to come off the bench. (Not counting Nix and Payne.)

Let's expand our review beyond a team-vs-team player comparison and take a look at these two players against the rest of the league.

The Big Ten Network tracks 12 player performance categories on its website, ranking the top ten players in each category. McGary appears on one list (rebounding) and Robinson is absent from all 12. Three MSU players appear on these lists, Appling, Harris, and Dawson. (Nix and Payne are also on these lists.) The Michigan players who are on many of these lists are Burke and Hardaway, not McGary and Robinson.

Finally, let's take a look at how the league coaches and the reporters who cover the league rank these two players. Both groups rank the best players with First Team / Second Team / Third Team selections, as well as Honorable Mention, All-Freshman Team, and individual awards. McGary and Robinson were not named by the coaches in the top 24 players in the league, but the coaches picked Appling and Harris as Second Team awardees. Robinson made the all-fresman team along with Harris, but Harris was named Freshman of the Year. The media picks were similar, though Robinson was Honorable Mention (since they don't pick an all-freshman team). Gary Harris was also picked by the media as Freshman of the Year. (Payne and Nix were also picked by both the coaches and the media in their lists.)

To summarize our analysis of the claim that Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson are "better than any and all players on MSU":

  1. A statistical performance review shows that McGary and Robinson would compete for playing time and a starting position on the MSU team without Nix and Payne in the picture.
  2. McGary and Robinson are largely absent from the B1G conference stat-leaders, while Appling, Harris and Dawson are ranked in multiple top ten lists.
  3. The coaches in the league and the reporters who cover the league view McGary and Robinson as distinctly inferior players to three returning Spartans (along with Nix and Payne).

So it goes with the loose lips of Wolverine followers and fans who shoot their mouths off in any way they feel like doing, generally disparaging MSU players for no legitimate reasons. Spartan fans should not listen to such bunk without refuting the nonsense, and it is for that reason that we have presented this information here for you today.

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Friday, April 19, 2013


The high winds we've been experiencing this week are probably due to the collective sigh of relief from fans of Wolverine Men's Basketball, as their team avoided a total implosion when Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson decided to try a second year of college. Their long-forecasted departure for the NBA will apparently wait until next year.

Who in their right mind thought those two could actually make such a jump after their freshman seasons? Did anybody actually check their season stats before making such bold proclamations? Well, I did, and it doesn't take long to see through the Blue Wall of media manipulation in this case:

  • ROBINSON:  32% 3-point shooting, 1.1 assists per game, 1.0 steals per game
  • McGARY:  7.5 points per game, 44% free-throws, 0.7 blocks per game, zero three-pointers

Why would those numbers lead anybody to suggest, much less believe, that these guys were going to out-jump Magic Johnson to The League? The answer is that it wasn't the numbers that did it. It was the mainstream sports media, once again bowing down to Lord Yellow Shoes, trying to pump up the Blueblood reputation and inflate the public image of the most over-rated sports program in America.

Those who are not staying to become champions represent 42% of minutes played last season, including 49% of their team scoring. It will hardly be the same team, but they avoided total devastation by retaining two of their non-student athletes.

Here's what UM has coming back:

  1. Jordan Morgan, Senior Forward
  2. Jon Horford, Junior Forward
  3. Glenn Robinson, Sophomore Forward
  4. Mitch McGary, Sophomore Forward
  5. Max Bielfeldt, Sophomore Forward
  6. Spike Albrecht, Sophomore Guard
  7. Caris LeVert, Sophomore Guard
  8. Nik Stauskas, Sophomore Guard

Those eight players will run the off-season workouts with each other, six of them for their first time. Looks like the training program will be directed by Morgan and Horford, who combined for 24 minutes of playing time and seven points per game last year. Those guys know how to "git 'er done".

It could have been worse for the Wolverines, but they have plenty of work cut out for them if they want to finish in the top half of the conference next season. 9 of their 11 players will be freshmen and sophomores. The "senior leadership" will come from a 15-minute-per-game backup. As for Spike-the-Second-Coming taking the reins? He played eight minutes per game for his 2.2 point season scoring average (just about the same as LeVert). At least Albrecht checks in at 5'11".

Thus ends the first phase of John Beilein's career as Michigan Head Coach. To the Victors go the spoils, which in his case is one conference title and one final four in six years. Now he must rebuild, not just reload. There is little reason to believe that UM can hit the 30-win mark next year, though they have a good chance to win 20. There is no reason to expect the Wolverines to win five games in the NCAA Tournament, but finishing fifth in the league is a fair forecast.


The Three-Part series looking at the current state of chUMps Basketball:

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Thursday, April 11, 2013


The college basketball playoffs are the most exciting event in amateur sports, largely because of the unpredictability of the event. Upsets are so common that the tournament was nicknamed "March Madness". So-called Cinderella teams like Wichita State this year, or George Mason in recent history, have captured the hearts of sports fans with their improbable runs to the Final Four.

In the final game, it's usually a highly seeded team that prevails, with occasional exceptions like 3-seeds Florida (2006) and Syracuse (2003). 4-seed Arizona beat a pair of 1-seeds to win it all in 1997, but they were the lowest ranked team to win the title in the last quarter of a century.

Exciting as it may be for the underdog to make a run, it only seems appropriate for the tournament champion to be a team that already won its league title, either in the regular season, or in the league tournament, or both. Such was the case this season with Louisville. The Cardinals completed the trifecta for a Golden Season that will shine for years to come.

The Michigan Basketball team has never had such a Golden Season. Their only NCAA Tournament title came in a year that they finished in 3rd-place in the Big Ten. The only times they won the league title and made the Final Four was in 1964 and 1965. Every other Final Four year for UM has come after a non-championship conference finish. And every other time they won the league title, they have failed to reach the Final Four.

Michigan State has had six Golden Seasons, the most recent being three years ago. The Spartans won their regular season league title and made the Final Four in 1979, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2009, and 2010. MSU also won the league tournament in 1999 and 2000. Both National Championship seasons included conference titles (1979 & 2000). These years were not built on short winning streaks or exciting runs, they were based on wire-to-wire dominance.

So it's no wonder we wear the shirts and hats and wave the flags to commemorate such memorable achievements. There were no blips on the screen, no wave-riding to a single trophy in these years. These were awesome years of tough players, great coaching, and wall-to-wall teamwork. They should be celebrated and remembered by all Spartans.

And no wonder the Wolverines are jealous, they've never had anything like it. It's been 48 years since they put together a conference title and a Final Four in the same year, and back then the Big Dance was the Little Sock Hop, with only 23 schools in the mix. They've gotten so sore watching Michigan State run past them and leave them in the dust that they've made up urban legends about Tom Izzo not being able to "win the big one". Izzo and his Spartans have crafted five Golden Seasons since 1999, while the Michigan program was imploding on its own deceit, denial, deception, and dishonesty.

The Spartan Basketball program has made its reputation with hard work and determination, while their arrogant southern cousins have devoted themselves to sinister skulduggery and shady subterfuge. While no allegations have been made about the John Beilein program to date, remember all the years it took for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to crack the blue wall last time.

We should remind the yellow-shoe lovers that they ought to defer their gratuitous celebrations over their limited recent success until enough years have passed that we know it was for real. In the meantime, Spartans can take pride in the great achievements of years gone by, knowing that our detractors have literally "never been there before".

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013


You'd think the Wolverines would be happy with their season. After all, it was only the second time they (legally) won more than 30 games in a year. Plus, they finished fourth in the conference regular season and fifth in the conference tournament. What's not to like? That doesn't sound so bad.

Speaking of sound, that splashing you hear in the background every few minutes is the sound of Michigan fans jumping off bridges sans bungee cords. They absolutely hate themselves right now. And why is that, you may ask? Simple. It's because John Beilein failed to win the championship.

Oh sure, you might say, there's that Regional Championship trophy they now own for winning four games in the NCAA Tournament. Most teams would be thrilled just to have that. After all, it signifies membership in the 99th percentile of Division One college basketball. But for the Wolverines, it represents nothing but shame, since they "didn't win the big one".

Fans across America won't understand these feelings of self-loathing, but here in Spartan Country, we've heard all about it for years. The Michigan Man has been telling us how bad Tom Izzo is, on the grounds that "he can get you to the Final Four, but he can't win the title". MSU fans have been told to hang their heads in disgust over the fact that their team, under the direction of their coach, has made Final Four status six times in 16 years. That's supposed to be our source of embarrassment.

So now that their beloved Wolverines have done exactly the same thing, they have scattered out of sight like a floor full of roaches when the lights say "We On".

They really shouldn't feel so bad about themselves, since their team has done this very same thing so many times before. In fact, Michigan has made it to the Final Four seven times in history, with one championship ring to show for their efforts. That makes them 1-for-7 in the category that they've been abusing Tom Izzo, while Izzo has gone 1-for-6.

MSU overall has been to eight Final Fours, with two championships, which is statistically average, a 25% success rate. Michigan's success rate in Final Fours is 14%. Their new motto, to paraphrase Rene' Descartes: "I stink, therefore I am".

Please consider telling your weasel-loving friends that they don't have to feel this way. In fact, with one tiny exception, this season is as good as it's ever been for them. (The exception of course, came in 1989, on a free throw in overtime after a phantom foul with three seconds left.) Other than the dominating one-point blowout in OT, this is their pinnacle.

Tell the Michigan Man to lighten up on John Beilein, as he is now one-sixth as accomplished as Tom Izzo. And at the rate he's going, Beilein can catch up by the time he is 90 years old (perhaps coaching Tim Hardaway the Fourth). And that thought alone is enough to put anyone into a "Maize Rage".

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Now that the Michigan Basketball team has reached another Final Four without a championship, it's time to ask whether the season they just played actually means anything. After all, there was no conference title in the regular season, and no tournament title of any kind. All they won was a Regional Championship in the NCAA Tournament.

Here in Spartan Country, we take pride in making a Final Four. We know how hard it is to do, and that doing so places your team in the 99th percentile of the entire sport. That's why we wear the shirts and the hats, and why we point out that every four-year player in the Tom Izzo Era has been to at least one Final Four.

But maybe not so much with Michigan "fans". These folks have been ragging on us for years, saying that we should feel like losers when our team makes the Final Four, even the championship game, without winning it all. They have actually impugned the credibility of Tom Izzo, tagging him with the reputation of not being a true "winner".

So what now, Wolverines? Does your season count for anything, or not? No conference title in the regular season or the post-season, and no national championship. Was your season a joke? If not, why not? And if not, what about all those seasons that MSU made the Final Four? What do you say about those? These questions need to be asked.

The B1G Conference certainly came out looking good, as its 4th place team ran to the final game and (with some swallowed whistles) made a game out of it until the end. And MSU looks pretty good as well, not just because of its 27 wins in a rebuilding year, but because of the 23-point beat-down of Michigan earlier in the year.

But what of Michigan? Is it true that Beilein "can't win the big one"? Are the Wolverines rightly to be called "losers"? We all need to ask these questions to anyone who adopted banana-yellow as their favorite wardrobe color during the past few weeks.

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Sunday, April 7, 2013


Turns out the University of Michigan isn't so "special" after all. Their students, their faculty, their campus, their fans; its all about the same as you would find anywhere else. They are just another school, not much more, not much less.

The proof in the pudding Saturday night came with the stereotypical student couch burnings, a behavior that happens in many places, perhaps in  response to a team win or a team loss, or maybe just because it was getting to be Springtime and that old sofa just had to go.

No big deal, you say? Well, you're right, it's not a very big deal. Except when it happens at Michigan State University, and the wolverine-loving sports media drum it up as the 12th sign of the Apocalypse. When students burn their old love-seats in East Lansing, task-forces are formed, emergency web-sites are created, and a manhunt is launched to bring the evil-doers to justice. In Ann Arbor, the same thing happens and there are no arrests.

Ann Arbor, as you may remember, is the town that for many years sponsored the annual "Naked Mile", another springtime event during which hundreds of folks would strip down and run around together, all without fear of arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment. They've been known to do a few other things around town as well.

Try any of these things around the MSU campus, and you will be headed directly to jail (do not pass "Go" and do not collect $200).

Do I think these things threaten human civilization as we know it? Not so much. They don't bother me, especially when nobody gets hurt. But several female students at MSU were arrested and publicly shamed for lifting their t-shirts up to their necks for a few seconds in 1999, even though it caused no harm.

The double-standard against Spartans continues unabated. Keep your eyes peeled for whatever happens after the game on Monday night, regardless of who wins and loses. Let's see if folks at the other school get the same treatment that folks get in Spartan Country.


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Thursday, April 4, 2013


After needlessly peppering Tom Izzo with questions about how devoted he should be to Michigan sports teams, our future hall-of-famer said he would be "cheering for the Spartans" while in Atlanta for the Final Four. This triggered an onslaught of criticism and abuse from trailer parks all across the state, as Amateur Einsteins wearing yellow and navy clothes jumped on our coach for supposedly not being aware of which teams actually qualified for the 2013 national semi-finals.

They want us to think he's wrong to cheer for his own team 365 days per year. They think that Tom Izzo should drop his own team the same way many chUMps turned against UM when Little Boy Blue started racking up losses in basketball and football.

Somebody should tell those chUMps it doesn't work that way in Spartan Country. When we wear green and white, we wear it forever. Through thick and thin, for better or worse. For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. In rain and snow, in the heat of the day and the gloom of the night. We will never surrender to our fear, despite the winds of change. We will never give up, even as Spartan Nation is challenged.

Tom Izzo will be "cheering for (his) Spartans" by telling media folks that he's proud of what his team did this year, as proud as he's been of most any of his 18 teams. He will lead the chorus of cheers for another great season completed, even though it didn't match our wildest dreams. He will cheer for our women's basketball program, and for the upcoming football season. He will cheer for our hockey coach, and for our baseball program.

Coach Izzo will be "cheering for the Spartans" because he is one of us, because he supports our academic and athletic missions, and he will do it in Atlanta because he does it every day. There is no game outcome that will change him in this regard, and there is no other team that will sway him to their side.

In these ways, Coach Tom Izzo is truly a Spartan, and as such he is loyal to his team. The concept of LOYALTY is just too much for some folks to comprehend.


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Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Let's just look at this week as "chUMps Gone Wild" on statewide sports media web sites. If you thought they were dUMb before last weekend, they are busy right now breaking their own records for stupidity.

Seems like every day for a month we see an article where Tom Izzo is quoted on whether he likes UM, hates them, is lukewarm on them, remembers them in any way, or dreams about them every night. We never see John Peeline quoted on these subjects, but only because nobody asks him the same questions they ask to Coach Izzo.

Did you catch that, weasel wannabes? It's the sports media that ask Tom Izzo such stupid questions as, "Will you root for Michigan in their big game against Whoever University?" You might remember that Mark Dantonio is asked each and every year whether he will be rooting for whatever coach UM has at the time (there have been three in football during the Dantonio era) right before "Ann Arbor" plays "Ohio". It's not as if the MSU coaches are calling up sports reporters and asking them to print their comments about a game between two teams that don't include their own squad.

If questions so poorly conceived as these came up during a legal process in an American courtroom, a lawyer would simply say, "Objection", the judge would say, "Sustained", and the ridiculous question would fade away. But not so with our soft-hearted coaches.

Izzo and Dantonio are so nice that they actually answer these dUMb questions. Rather than saying, "Hey Joey Jockstrap, that's a really stupid question", they go ahead and give an answer that makes the most sense to them, only to see bizarre articles appear within minutes on sports web sites.

These articles lead to reader posts that highlight the reality that most Michigan "fans" are illiterate dorks who have been drooling down their shirts ever since NBA player Trey Burke hit the 30-footer with four seconds left against Kansas. (Never mind that Kansas has no coach, since any real coach would have given some other chUMp player his two free throws in the same situation, clinching the game through the use of actual strategy.)

Okay, he's not actually an NBA player yet, but Burke will be later this month. When he leaves along with the former NBA player's son and the five-member senior class, John B. Lyin will be hard pressed to run practices, much less win 20 games. A much better question for Izzo would be, "Tom, you've had so many great players over the years, and some of them have left early for the are you so successful at picking up the pieces after great players leave?" Of course, that type of question isn't so juicy to the meat-hungry wolfhounds of sports media.

But that's next season, not this week. For the rest of this week, we have to witness every would-be-wolverine spamming all over themselves with derogatory comments about Tom Izzo and every Spartan player that's ever played on a team that made the Final Four. (Which means every player that Tom Izzo has ever coached for four years, plus a couple dozen more.)

Will somebody please remind the chUMps that their team finished behind MSU in the standings this year (as usual) and that the Spartans outscored them by 22 points in two games this season? Will the reporters ask Johnny B. Cryin if he will be rooting for Tom Izzo to sign those three five-star players he's recruiting for the Class of 2014? If not, why not?

Did anybody ask Brady Hoke how he enjoyed his visit to the Breslin Center this year? Will they ask him if he will be rooting for Mark Dantonio in 11 games next season?

There is an old adage in competitive sports regarding how to behave on the field; "Act like you've been there before". The Wolverine fans we call chUMps are proving to everyone this week that they most certainly have not.


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