Yeah, it’s only Tuesday and the “Hype” is starting to get old already. Wish we could fast-forward to Saturday at 3:30 p.m. and just play the damn game!
Michigan-Michigan State is one of those rivalries that has become heated and hated like never before. MSU fans don’t hold back – they HATE Michigan, they have for multiple decades, and they don’t hesitate communicating it. I think Michigan fans are starting to HATE MSU just as much, but the difference is they opt to play the “smug card” and often pretend they are only remotely aware of what’s going on in East Lansing, even though the Spartans have “owned” this rivalry beginning in 2008. Mark Dantonio poked a stick at Michigan in 2007 with post-game sour grapes – starting with a pissin’ match he embarked with Mike Hart. But it worked for him. He’s backed it up with recent domination, though, causing the Wolverine backers to do the slow burn.
But this year is incredibly unique – there is sooooooo much at stake, starting with the mere fact that the winner of this game is a legitimate College Football Playoff “Final Four” contender. I kid you not. To the Victor goes the spoils. And to the Loser “fan base”? PURE HELL. Your counterparts are going to make life miserable for ya, you can count on that. Get ready! Just part of the deal.
I am going to make a quick prediction – you will hear a noise level in The Big House on Saturday – like you have never/ever heard before. That Michigan fan base smugness is going to explode into rabidness. Especially if the Wolverines have success early in the game. The Michigan fans are “going to attack it with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind” – to steal the declaration from Jack Harbaugh – who raised his two sons John and Jim and daughter Joani under that creed. The Michigan football team Game Week approach is “working not worrying,” according to their head coach, as they prepare for the annual 63-mile war. And by approximately 7 p.m. Saturday we will find out if that proves good enough to be the winning formula.
Beta Homecoming — Harbaugh effect made its mark
Speaking of the University Michigan…And speaking of “college days”…I am going to “speak” about an awesome weekend I just had in Ann Arbor with some of my Beta Theta Pi fraternity brothers – some of which I have not seen since the day I graduated from the University of Michigan over 35 years ago. It’s like we literally picked right up where we left off seamlessly — that’s why college days are some of the best years of your life. The same one- liners, the same crude jokes, the same crazy behavior stories told over and over and over. What a day in Ann Arbor Saturday — from the Beta Theta Pi fellowship at 604 South State Street to brother Doug Graham’s incredible tailgate in the Victor’s Lot to the 38-0 Homecoming romp for the Wolverines to hanging at the Old Town Tavern on West Liberty late Saturday night. We had guys flying in from Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Dallas, Nashville, Philadelphia, Connecticut, and even from as far as Johannesburg, South Africa….ah, “The Harbaugh Effect”…Till next year — Oct. 22 Homecoming, Illinois game! Go Beta !!…Go Blue !!
(Follow Tom Crawford on Twitter @BlueBellyTom and come visit him during his Friday remote broadcasts with Jack Ebling at The Blue Gill Grill in Haslett 3-6 p.m.)