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Thursday, November 26, 2015


Those were two major-league wins last week for Michigan State, with the basketball team beating Kansas and the football team defeating Ohio State. Great week for the Spartans!

Actually, it's been great for more than a week, and we were getting ready to write about all the reasons to be happy this Thanksgiving, when we found that Chris Solari of the Lansing State Journal beat us to the punch. His list may not be exactly the same as the one we would submit, but it's good enough for now. You can read his story here.

Things have gone so well in recent years of the Dantonio Era that all of us are getting challenged to see who we really are, and to act accordingly. The main premise of this web site is to fight against those who were being called "scUM", the arrogant, self-entitled, history-distorting specialists of denial who buy a UM hat and shirt and act like they have anything to do with the actual school in Ann Arbor. We call those folks "chUMps" as a verbally-softer way of pointing them out for scorn.

It should go without saying that we do not want to be "like them", to become "chUMps" by our words or actions. Also that not all Michigan fans are "chUMps".

Therefore, we review the football season thus far, and point out why Spartans should not be woofing, trash-talking, or in any way crowing about our favorite team in the face of the opposition. In short, we need to be more like Mark Dantonio, and support our own team without pissing on the heads of the other guys. (Unless they really, really, deserve it. And I know that leaves a window of opportunity open for slamming on Wolverine Nation, but still not appropriate this year.)

  1. Western Michigan:  Congrats to the Broncos for not giving up. They trailed, 34-10, but tried to make a game of it in the end, losing by 13 points. No need to woof on Western.
  2. Oregon:  Good job by the Ducks trying to make it two in a row after losing their star quarterback early to the NFL. A three-point win is anybody's game. No trash-talk called for here.
  3. Air Force:  MSU had them down and could have crushed them, but chose to play "Tressel-Ball" for the second half, and darned if the Academy didn't get back down-field a couple of times. Good for them, they never gave up.
  4. Central Michigan:  It's not one of CMU's best teams, yet they held Michigan State to only 30 points, and managed to score twice. Fire up, Chips!
  5. Purdue:  The team that gets called "Pur-don't" gave MSU a run, closing a big early deficit by any means necessary. Yes, they were within a field-goal at the end, but no, they didn't "almost win". Still, a very respectable showing by the Boilermakers, they should be congratulated.
  6. Rutgers:  The Scarlet Knights put on a "Blackout" and rode their best player into our worst weakness and took all of the fun out of the October night game. Caroo will be an NFL player, and he showed that against our injury-depleted secondary. (Still not as close a game as UM had against Minnesota and Indiana.) Tip of the hat to Rutgers.
  7. Michigan:  The Wolverines were inexplicably favored, so on paper this was an upset. However, UM had no business being in the game based on every stat except kick-return yardage. They almost won in the end, but came up one play short. Much like the 2012 game that Michigan "barely won", this was a game that Michigan State "barely won". Spartans really shouldn't be jaw-jacking too much about this one. (UNLESS A chUMp SAYS WE "DIDN'T REALLY WIN", IN WHICH CASE, OPEN ALL BARRELS AND FIRE AWAY.)
  8. Indiana:  The Hoosiers held close until the fourth quarter, making it tough on MSU all game long. Sure, we won by 26 points, but it's not like we stomped on them. Good showing by Indiana, they deserve a salute from Spartan Nation.
  9. Maryland:  One of the worst teams in the B1G denied MSU the home-field blowout that we all wanted. 24-7 is not close, but also not that far away. The Terps held their own, as much as they could, so no trash-talk is called for here.
  10. Ohio State:  Yes, I know how we snapped all of the record streaks, and nobody saw it coming, but when you win on a last-second field-goal, there is room for joy and exuberance, but no woofing at the losers, okay? OSU could have easily won in overtime if the kick had missed, let's not forget that. Great win for MSU, but not big enough to swell our heads over it.

It's been a suprisingly challenging season that is now on the verge of being very good or even great. But it's not like the Spartans have been manhandling every team on their schedule, so we should all take a daily dose of good sportsmanship and refrain from pumping ourselves up so much that we lose perspective. MSU hasn't really kicked anybody's ass this year, and even if they did, would that be cause for diminishing ourselves with poor sportsmanship?

Approach every opponent after every game
with the best attitude you can muster.

Maybe they will respond in kind.
(If not, go ahead and let them have it!)

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