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Wednesday, October 15, 2014


The Detroit Free Press scored a major coup two years ago when they hired (or promoted) Joe Rexrode to cover Michigan State University football and men's basketball. As we all know, Rexrode is consistently outstanding. He is no "shill" for the university, and he claims to "not care" who wins or loses. He creates a great product on a regular basis.

Many times his work is used as "evidence" that the Detroit Free Press has changed its ways, and no longer is a defender - - - and yes, "shill" - - - for the University of Michigan. No doubt Rexrode does a superlative job.

But today's media climate is headline-driven, with headlines sometimes the only information people digest or remember from any given story. So when the headline on the Purdue game report last Sunday said, "Spartans Don't Impress", it warranted a closer look.

The MSU Football team had just won its 11th consecutive league game, and a 10th by double-digit margins. It never trailed on the scoreboard, and racked up over 500 yards of offense, including 100+ each for Langford and Lippett. That kinda' sorta' seems a little impressive.

The folks who write headlines for the Detroit Blue Wall will have to explain. Wasn't that headline much more appropriate for the Michigan football team? After all, UM struggled down to the last minute, getting a favorable flag at the end before winning. In other words, the Wolverines victory was certainly not "impressive".

What about the rest of the league? How "impressive" were these wins:

  • Minnesota by 7 over Northwestern - The Gophers trailed before winning
  • Wisconsin by 10 over Illinois - The Badgers trailed before winning
  • Michigan by 5 over Penn State - The Wolverines trailed before winning

And what about the rest of the National Top Ten? How impressive were all of these wins:

  • Notre Dame by 7 over North Carolina - The Irish trailed before winning
  • Alabama by 1 over Arkansas - The Tide trailed before winning
  • Baylor by 3 over TCU - The Bears gave up 58 points in the game
  • Arizona was upset by an unranked team

Turns out that an "ugly win" by a good team
at this point in the season is not that unusual.

Many people thought MSU would cover the 20-point spread against Purdue, and some of us were hoping for a monumental blowout. Okay, it didn't quite happen that way, although the Spartans held a first-half lead of 18 points, and a second-half lead of 21 points, and again, never trailed. You'd have to be a little bit impressed, wouldn't you?

There are still folks working behind the scenes in the Detroit Media to advance the image of the University of Michigan while diminishing the image of Michigan State University. Let's hope they clean up their act.

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