First came the football beat-down of Michigan in November 2013. Then the B1G Conference Championship over Ohio STATE in December 2013. Then the Rose Bowl victory over Stanford last month. Those things were apparent to even casual sports fans.
But there are many other signs that the "greening of Michigan" continues.
Readers of the Detroit Free Press voted the MSU Fight Song as the best sports tune in the State, right at the end of November to kick off the Holiday Season.
Miss America attended the Super Bowl and was asked about her alma mater, the University of Michigan, but declined comment, apparently out of a sense of embarrassment.
Only last Wednesday, a high school football player spurned a scholarship offer from Grand Valley State University to be a walk-on at Michigan State instead.
The next day, the National Football League announced invitations for the so-called "NFL Combine", and the list included three players from UM and FOUR FROM MSU.
Then on Friday, President Barack Obama visited MSU for some political event and made a point to hang out with Mark Dantonio and Tom Izzo, apparently to talk about the Rose Bowl and March Madness.
None of these things were likely to have happened in the 70's, 80's, and 90's. The tide started turning for real with the men's basketball National Championship in 2000, with the stage finally reset by the hiring of Mark Dantonio in 2007.
Things are different now than they were before. These changes were not accidental, coincidental, or circumstantial. They come as a result of organized and cohesive efforts by hundreds of staff and students at Michigan State who were determined to see such progress happen.
We should all be taking note of the new landscape and asking ourselves how we want to be in the new world that has grown up all around us. Do we want to be "Spartans", for all of the things that stands for? If so, we have a great counter-example in Ann Arbor. It's time we grow up to be who we are, rather than trying to be "like them".
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