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Friday, October 10, 2014


Imagine you're Rip Van Winkle, and you just woke up. That means you went to sleep 20 years ago, when things were much different in Spartan country. Consider for a moment how everything has changed for the better.

Here was the situation in 1994:

  • The George Perles Era was crumbling towards a messy ending with a lousy season that got worse when student grades were reviewed. Michigan State had defeated Michigan five times in the previous two decades.
  • The so-called "Fab Five" at UM was still considered a great chapter in their history, and MSU had won three men's basketball conference titles, along with one Final Four, in the previous two decades. The career of Jud Heathcote was winding down with an annual priority of trying to beat Michigan by any margin whenever possible.
  • The Spartan Women's Basketball program had moved into the Breslin Center, but had never won a conference title or qualified for the NCAA tournament. True, they beat down the UM women with regularity, but that was all we had going for us in women's hoops.

Remember all that stuff? That's the way it was. Now take a look at what Rip Van Winkle would see if he woke up today:

  • MSU Football is ranked in the National Top Ten as defending conference champs, and has defeated UM eight times in the last two decades. The Wolverines are skidding towards their worst season in 50 years, and their previously committed recruits are booking trips to various other schools across the country. The Spartans have won the league championship twice in the past four seasons, while UM hasn't touched the top in a full decade.
  • MSU Men's Basketball is looking to "rebuild" with an upper-division conference finish, after making the Big Dance for the 17th consecutive season. The Spartans have six conference championships and seven Final Fours in the previous 20 years.
  • MSU Women's Basketball is a defending conference champion, and riding a streak of seven years making the NCAA tournament. The latest Michigan women's basketball coach openly speaks of Michigan State as the "model" of what she would like her program to one day become. Perhaps in part because the Spartans have defeated the Wolverines 23 of the last 25 games.
  • Combine the men's and women's MSU Basketball programs, and you have the top hoops tandem in the B1G Conference, not just in 2014, but for the last seven years as well.

Would the green-and-white Rip Van Winkle think
that he woke up, or would he think
that he was still dreaming?

Let's not worry about when people decide to show up and/or leave the stadium on game-day, and let's try to avoid ruining another great season with misguided apprehension over our inclusion into a bogus "playoff" scheme. We should take time to smell the flowers along this pretty path, be they roses or not.

Aren't Spartans everywhere
"living the dream" right now
with MSU sports?

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