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Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Seems like people took another wrong turn regarding the Michigan State Football team. The Spartans won the league championship game on Saturday night, but the only thing people were talking about right after the game was some sort of protocol gaffe that's getting pinned on Connor Cook.

The way Cook accepted his MVP award was not commendable, but it wasn't really much different from the rest of the post-game ceremony. IT WAS CLUNKY. There was a podium and a microphone, and plenty of confetti, but beyond that, the ceremony itself was a poorly managed event.

It's great to commend the losing team first, as was the case at this half-assed trophy presentation, but normally the winning team also gets commended - - - BY NAME at some point!

Jim Delany would not even say the words "Michigan State"
or "the Spartans" during the post-game ceremony.

And he's the guy in charge of the ceremony!

Delany has been accused of favoring Buckeyes and Wolverines many times in the past, but maybe he just can't stand Michigan State University. Any other explanation for why he referred to the MSU Football team as "Mark and his group"? He certainly called Iowa, "Iowa".

It appears as if there was no rehearsal of the ceremony, and probably no instructions given to any coach or player regarding the sequence of events. It seems unlikely that Connor Cook knew in advance that he was going to receive that award. After four hours of physically heavy athletic competition, and only a few minutes after an exuberant celebration culminating a year (or more) of preparation, Cook was simultaneously surprised with a major honor, and with no prior explanation of what was supposed to happen next, he did what seemed right by taking the award in his hand, and stepping forward to the front of the podium to (presumably) speak a few words.

The post-ceremony furor raises a few questions:

  • Did Cook know that was Archie Griffin sitting along the railing on the back of the podium? If not, why didn't Archie introduce himself? If so, why didn't Archie explain to Cook what was supposed to happen next?
  • Was Archie Griffin planning to say something? If so, why didn't he have the microphone in hand? If not, just how much was he supposed to do other than shake Cook's hand?
  • If Delany wanted something in particular to happen at that moment, why didn't he have a Stage Manager or explain the plan himself during one of the commercial breaks?

If the answer to all of these questions is that Delany wanted an impromptu, go-with-the-flow presentation, he definitely succeeded. My view is the classic, "Failing to plan is planning to fail", so I have no sympathy for Delany if he wants to fly-off-the-seat-of-his-pants. Odds are, when you do that, something will "go wrong" and the only person who should be held accountable is the person who is in charge of the event. And that's Jim Delany.

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