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Friday, October 23, 2015


What is Karma?
A person's actions deciding their fate in the future. Cause and effect. A fate that ultimately balances success and failure.

UM's Karmic Debt
Even prior to the founding of the State Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, the UM arrogance was in full force. When the Michigan Legislature moved UM (then Catholepistemiad, a Jesuit college) to Ann Arbor in the year Michigan became a state, the Legislature gave UM a charter that included agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, mechanics, and a host of other educational programs that would benefit the people of Michigan. UM ignored those common pursuits and, instead, robed itself in an arrogant, elitist attitude that it would be the "Harvard of the West." The reneging of the charter led to the founding of what is now Michigan State University. UM endeavored to keep MSU from being founded.

Ever since its founding in 1855, MSU has suffered the arrogance and nefarious actions by UM, including attempts to steal its Land Grant money, its forestry program, its engineering program, and repeated moves to keep MSU out of the B1G Ten Conference.

There is a lot more, but that will be an article for another day. This is about football.

Flashback to November 3, 2007, East Lansing. It's Coach Dantonio's first game versus UM. It's midway through the 4th period. Michigan State had rallied from a 0-14 halftime deficit to take a 24-14 lead. Chad Henne went down with a twisted ankle. Ryan Mallet came in, botched the snap which bounced once right into the hands of Mike Hart who eeked out an 18 yard 1st down.

Michigan came back to win 28-24. A lucky bounce put the ball into a Wolverine's hands. It could have gone differently, but it counts all the same.

On national TV, post game, Mark Hart (the beneficiary of the bounce) inferred that Michigan had just been playing with the Spartans like an older sibling might do.
“I thought it was funny. They got excited. It’s good. Sometimes you get your little brother excited when you’re playing basketball and you let him get the lead. Then you come back and take it from him.”
Watch Hart's shifty eyes. He knew at the time it was wrong, classless, unsportsmanlike, and arrogant.
  • The school, the athletic department and the coaching staff all did and said nothing about it.
  • Current and former players, some in the NFL, use it frequently with glee.
  • The media embraced it.
  • Going into the 2013 UM-MSU game, ABC announced the upcoming program as "Michigan versus Little Brother Michigan State."
  • The expression popped up during the B1G Ten Championship game and again in the Rose Bowl by the commentators.
For 2911 days and counting, Spartans have daily suffered the Mike Hart Insult.

UM's Karmic Payback
  • Coaching carousel.
  • Lloyd Carr was ushered out.
  • Rich Rodriguez was brought in and brought NCAA sanctions down on Michigan.
  • Brady Hoke led the Ann Arbor squad to ever lower levels of success each year.
  • During the first 6 years, UM scoring has dropped, reaching a 46 year low of 6 points in 2013.
  • Lots of individual, team, and program records set -- all negative. -48 yards rushing is a UM school record.
2007: Coach Dantonio's response to Mike Hart's insult:
"It's not over. It'll never be over here. It's just starting."

Flash forward to October 17, 2015, Ann Arbor. It's Coach Harbaugh's first game versus MSU. There are 10 seconds on the clock. The score is 23-21. Michigan ball, 4th and 2 at the MSU 47. The punter fumbles the snap, gets it back and is hit. Jalen Watts-Jackson snags the airborne ball and rumbles 38 yards in for the score.

MSU came back to win 27-23. A lucky hit put the ball into a Spartan's hands. It could have gone differently, but it counts all the same. Jim Harbaugh, the "Messiah of Michigan Football," became the 7th UM coach (67 years) to lose his first game against MSU. Coach Dantonio went to 7-2 versus UM.
"There was something that week he had read several Michigan State players say — he can’t specifically recall what it was — but it stuck in his head."

2007 Michigan comeback win 28-24.

"Sometimes you get your little brother excited when you're playing basketball and you let him get the lead. Then you come back and take it from him."

2015 Michigan State comeback win 27-23.

"Sometimes you get your little brother excited when you're playing basketball and you let him get the lead. Then you come back and take it from him."
After the game, I copied a post written by a UM fan, "East Arbor," on the M-Live message boards (10/21/15).
"This is the Mike Hart curse at work. You would think that after years of annual bluster, unfounded arrogance, planting spikes, and repeated losses stretching over the better part of a decade, that the program and fan base would reflect on how foolish these sophomoric pregame antics are perceived by the prevailing opponent. But that's not likely to change - perhaps the theory is to keep it up and by the law of averages, at some point there will be a victory for the Champs of the World, at which point a decade's worth of blueballs bravado can finally be spurted into Sparty's face. But by that time, it will be nothing more than an aberration rather than some sort of kingly proclamation of elite status."

There are a few Wolverines that get it. Maybe when a tens of thousands get it Karma will get back in balance. Until then...

It's just starting.

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  1. Outstanding, 76, I'm totally with you on this one! Made a few formatting changes, hope they are okay with you. Remember our Hero from last Saturday is Jalen WATTS-Jackson.

    1. I figured the general reader would be confused by karmic, which is why it was karma debt, etc.

    2. Yes, me too, I get it, 76. That's why I sort of "split the difference" and left the headline "as is". I figured you knew the word "Karmic" but felt we should have it correct in the body of the article, even though we left it in the headline.


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