Tag Archives: Michigan State football

HYPE HYPE HYPE HYPE: Musical Edition

Is it Saturday yet? Goodness I am ready to play this game.

Because we are going to keep this blog a place of positive thoughts this week, we are choosing to ignore the game last night since the basketball team did too.

Ahem.

Every good event has a theme song. There’s no possible way to do anything correctly without the right song to accompany whatever the activity is.

Today’s post features what has become the theme song of Michigan State’s football season this year. You know it, you love it: Rich Homie Quan’s “Type of Way.” I have been known to listen to it 4-5 times in a row while I perform my morning shower dance parties. Trust me, it’s better than coffee. If Mark Dantonio can get down to it, then so can you. Today I spotted a new version of this song on Twitter that filled me with a joy I have never known. It’s not rapped by Rich Homie Quan, rather an individual named Blaze1 and it is amazing. Please take a listen: sendspace.com/pro/dl/fzxuau 

(If you don’t want to download it, a bit more about the song is featured here)

See? If that doesn’t help your hype for the week, I don’t know what will.

In addition to embracing Type of Way, the Michigan State football staff has taken to social media to drum up their own hype leading up to the Big Ten Title Game this weekend. It’s been wildly publicized that if MSU makes it to the Rose Bowl, it will be their first trip to Pasadena since 1988. Today, the MSU Football Equipment account tweeted out a picture of the Rose Bowl jerseys from MSU’s win in 1988. I love them.

Shoulder logos are incredible.

Shoulder logos are incredible.

Our final hype tool of the day is the video MSU athletics released in November that highlights some of the gear that the Spartans have worn throughout the season. I’m not sure what the Spartans will be wearing on Saturday, but this video makes me want to suit up and tackle 13 people. I think that’s my theme this week – I really want to get out there and tackle someone. I think I missed my calling.

We’re almost there everyone. Almost game time. Let’s play Type of Way/Spartan Version of Type of Way as many times as we can before game time. I’ve always been of the opinion that life would be better if it were a musical, and this week is no exception.

GO GREEN!

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Filed under Big Ten, Big Ten Title Game, College Football, Football, Hype, MSU, P4RB, Posted by Sara, Rose Bowl?

Adjusting Expectations

It’s October 2. The Michigan State Spartans are 3-2, 0-1 in the Big Ten. After a much hyped preseason, it’s time to adjust expectations.

Having expectations for a Michigan State team is a honor typically bestowed on the Spartan men’s basketball team. It’s not uncommon to see MSU ranked in the top 10 in the preseason with lofty goals and pressure. What is uncommon is seeing anyone pay attention to Michigan State football. As a Spartan fan, you grow accustomed to defending your team at every turn, justifying why you support a school that gives you more heart attacks than smiles (I think most fans will agree with me there).

You all know the story. When Sarah and I were in school, the Spartans were in the thick of John L. Smith. You rarely went to a game expecting to win. No lead was safe. I think I said a million times that even if MSU had a 50 point lead, I would never be certain of victory.  Finishing at the bottom of the Big Ten was common.  Getting trounced by Michigan was a yearly occurrence. It wasn’t fun being a Spartan football fan, but that’s what I was. And so we carried on.

And then something fun started happening.

Enter Mark Dantonio.  I remember when he was introduced at a basketball game.  He sat there behind the MSU bench in a leather jacket, forcing a smile but looking generally surly…a face we’ve all come to know and love. But it felt different from that moment. It felt like a turning point.

Our fearless leader.

Enter winning seasons. And even when there weren’t winning seasons (ugh, 2009), MSU was beating Michigan. MSU was relevant in most big games. There were fantastic trick plays and exciting/dramatic finishes and an improbable bowl win over Georgia. Sure, there were some bad losses and some heartbreak, but I wasn’t scared every time the Spartans took the field.  There were ALMOST Rose Bowls (ughhhhh almost…so much heartbreak), and the Spartans were even mentioned on ESPN! It was and is really fun to be a Spartan.

Of course, entering this year there were the rumblings of the best team in the Big Ten. I heard a couple mentions of a national title, no matter how absurd that seemed.  The defense is being touted nationally. The Rose Bowl was mentioned as certain.  I’m always wary of any hype surrounding my teams, just because that’s how I am, but I was especially nervous with all of the changes in front of the 2012 team. But, alas, I found myself being sucked into it.

And now, here we are. The intention of this blog is not to be gloom and doom and OH NO THE SEASON IS LOST. I don’t think that’s true at all. But I do think that the expectations need to be adjusted a bit. There is plenty of room for growth, and each week (for the most part), we are seeing improvements. While there have been some setbacks – Fowler’s struggles with catching, Travis Jackson’s terrible leg breaking injury, some lapses on big plays on defense, Dan Conroy’s mystery kicking issues – there are many things to look at in the positive light. One of the things we do have going for us is the fact that the Big Ten seems to be experiencing a bit of a down year. I believe there are still plenty of chances for MSU to improve and perhaps even come out on top. But for me, I’m going to think back on the years not so long ago where winning 6 games was uncertain…and winning 11? That wasn’t even in the realm of possibilities. And then, I’m just going to make myself enjoy the rest of the season and hope the Spartans continue to improve and perhaps things will turn out just fine. And if they don’t? Well, maybe it’s a good time to remember that winning seasons aren’t guaranteed and perhaps this team needs more support than we anticipated at the beginning.

There’s plenty of football left and here’s to hoping MSU goes into Bloomington on Saturday and brings home the Old Brass Spittoon. One game at a time.

Go Green!

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Filed under Big Ten, College Football, Football, MSU, Posted by Sara

I Know Why MSU Lost: The Notre Dame Story

Well, that was a disaster.  3 points? Let me just tell you, that was not what I saw happening when I thought out various scenarios for MSU v. Notre Dame. I saw many things…but three points and a miserable offensive offensive showing were not even on my radar.

Much has been made about why Michigan State lost that game. Andrew Maxwell, dismal receivers, missing offensive line, etc, etc, etc. But, let me be the first to say that none of those things are the reason why MSU came up far short. The reason, my friends, is me.

Let me explain. I am a relatively superstitious sports fan. For example, last year when the Tigers were working their way through the playoffs, I developed a rather…odd…routine. During one game, the Tigers were losing. I was antsy and couldn’t sit still any longer. I decided to blow dry my hair during the fourth inning, making it virtually impossible for me to see the game. When I completed this task, the Tigers were winning and went on to win the game.  For the remainder of the playoffs, I blow dried my hair during the fourth inning. It worked…well, until it didn’t. But, you get my point.

When I was preparing for the game on Saturday, I got dressed in my best Spartan gear and headed to East Lansing to crash my little brother’s tailgate. [Quick shout-out to the boys on Evergreen – Steven (our #1 fan!), Fink, Tom, and Michael. Thanks for the fun!] I had picked an MSU shirt that I hadn’t worn in awhile, innocently enough. After a gorgeously perfect afternoon filled with grilled meats, corn hole, flip cup domination, and strolls through campus, it was finally time for the game. And that’s when it all came crashing down.

Side note: that game was the first one that my little brother and his friends had ever seen end in a loss at Spartan Stadium. CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE? That’s like a fairy land to me. Astonishing at what this program has become.

I spent Sunday and Monday thinking about what had gone wrong. There were the glaring reasons that every sports writer was talking about, but I thought there had to be something more. That’s when I saw the pictures. Me, enjoying the day in East Lansing. There was something wrong, however. The shirt. Why hadn’t I worn that shirt in a long time?

And then it hit me. That was the shirt that I wore to the Big Ten title game last year. It had been banished to the back of my closet because of the terrible loss it had been a part of. All of the bad mojo had been brought to East Lansing and ultimately cursed the team.

Whoops. Sorry guys.

So my friends, please do not blame Maxwell, or the O Line, or anyone else that you have blamed throughout the week. The fault is mine. But understand this: I will never curse the team with that shirt again. I hope you can accept my apologies, Spartan Nation, and know that I will put more thought when preparing my outfits for game watches from now on.

Final Note: While I firmly believe I played a role in the loss, I honestly just couldn’t write a post analyzing that game. There was nothing I could say that was different from what everyone else thought. Sarah thinks her blog cursed the team, so she couldn’t do it. Just blame the shirt.

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Filed under Big Ten, College Football, Football, MSU, Posted by Sara

Out of the Darkness: The Big Ten Championship

Sarah used that phrase when talking about my reflections of the MSU football teams through the years and I thought it would be most appropriate for this post.

I have gone over what I was going to say about a million times since the end of the game on Saturday. I didn’t want to write something when I was angry; I wanted to be able to sort out my feelings first. Needless to say, it was an emotional roller coaster of the worst kind.

I had the opportunity to attend the Big Ten Championship game on Saturday and it was a ridiculously incredible experience. I must say, Indianapolis put on an incredible show. The city was clean, easy to navigate, and filled with Big Ten fans from every team (yep, we saw all of them…even Minnesota! Dedicated.). I arrived super early (about 11.30 ish) for the 8.17 game. We wanted to do everything and have the opportunity to soak it all in. The first mission? Find Dan Patrick and the Dannettes. I listen to the Dan Patrick show every day. It’s on air from 9am-12pm and it’s the best sports talk show on the radio. They were all going to be there with the Heisman trophy and as people I admire, I was looking forward to meeting them.

We found the Sports Illustrated tent right away and not long after some dreams came true. Below are pictures of me with the Dannettes:

Fifth Dannette?

And my idol, Dan Patrick:

Bang biscuit.

I know that’s not really relevant to the actual game, but they were all super nice and absolutely gracious toward every single person they met. I said this on Twitter, but it’s worth repeating: it’s so awesome to meet people you admire and have them turn out to be better people than you ever could have imagine. Kudos to you Dan and Seton, Paulie, Fritzy, and McLovin. It was incredible to meet you.

Now, on to the less happy portion of this post.

Continue reading

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Filed under Big Ten, Big Ten Title Game, College Football, Football, MSU, Posted by Sara

P4RB: Michigan State Football Hype Part I

As you may or may not know, Michigan State has a HUGE football game coming up this weekend. The mighty Spartans will be facing the Badgers of Wisconsin in the inaugural Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis. To get all of our readers pumped up for the big game (8:17 PM on Fox), Sarah and I will be posting inspirational videos/pictures/etc throughout the remainder of the week.

Additionally, Sports Squared will be on the scene in Indianapolis. I (Sara G) will be ready to go Saturday morning, covering every minute. I am thinking of doing some vlogs (video blogs) on the journey as well as of the things I encounter during the day. I cannot promise it will be cinematic genius, but it will probably be funny. Actually, I can’t even promise it will be funny…but it WILL be random. That, my friends, I can promise.  I will try to check in as much as possible, so if you love it YAY! If you don’t, I apologize now but I can’t assure you they won’t happen again.

In addition to vlogging, I am making it my mission to find Dan Patrick and the Danettes. I listen to that show every single day and they are all going to be in Indy! Preeeeeeettttyyyy excited about that!

Anyway, how about this video? Let’s do this!

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Filed under Big Ten, Big Ten Title Game, College Football, Football, MSU, NCAA, Posted by Sara, Rose Bowl?, Video

Obscure Trophy Thursday: The Paul Bunyan Trophy

If there’s two things we like here in Big 10 country, it’s pork and Paul Bunyan. Take a look at the list of Big 10 rivalry trophies and tell me I’m wrong. But for us here at Sports Squared, one obscure trophy will always stand above the rest — the one we wish to reside permanently in the Spartans trophy case, and upon whose shoulders all football glory rests — The Paul Bunyan. Paul is intended to be a symbol of Michigan’s logging and lumber history — he was the greatest lumberjack of all time, after all.

Michigan State Center Jeff Stipek hoists the Paul Bunyan. A glorious site. (Photo annarbor.com)

Quick Hits:

Rivalry: Michigan State vs. the University of Michigan

Introduced: 1953, when MSU joined the Big 10

All-time record: 34-22-2, in favor of U of M

Current holder: Your Michigan State University Spartans

Status: Has been held by MSU for three years straight, rivalry ongoing as MSU and U-M are both in the new Big 10 “Legends” division.

Despite what Wolverines may tell you, the history of the Paul Bunyan is marked by long periods of dominance by both teams, For example, MSU dominated for nearly two decades from 1950-1969, going 14-4-2. Similarly, U of M holds a 18-game winning streak in the series, from 1916-1933. In more recent times, U of M defeated the Spartans six consecutive years from 2002-2007, and Michigan State is currently on a three-game winning streak. [Note: It has also been more than 1,000 days since the University of Michigan defeated MSU in football or basketball.]

The Paul Bunyan trophy is not to be confused with Paul Bunyan’s Axe, the rivalry trophy for the University of Wisconsin and the University of Minnesota.

Again, despite Wolverine claims to the contrary, the Paul Bunyan Trophy is the prize in one of the most heated rivalries in college football. It’s produced some amazing games, including the Spartans last second comeback win in East Lansing in 2001, the epic 3-overtime game in 2004 in Ann Arbor, and Michigan’s epic comeback or the Spartans horrible collapse in East Lansing in 2007 (depending on who you root for — damn you Manningham!) MSU racked up another overtime win in 2009, the second in its current 3-game win streak. This year, the Spartans managed to tackle Denard Robinson out of his shoes on the way to defeating the Wolverines at home.

In light of yesterday’s events and our 24-hours of schadenfreude at the U of M athletic program (look, we lived through John L. Smith, we get to giggle a little at the RichRod saga), it’s worth noting that U-M’s third consecutive defeat to MSU was probably no small part in RR’s eventual firing. The program also got a shout-out from athletic director Dave Brandon as a “red-letter game,” mentioned in the same breath as The Game vs. Ohio State. There may have been a time when this wasn’t a “rivalry” because U of M just expected to win, but with Paul in East Lansing, it’s clear those times are coming to an end.

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Filed under Big Ten, College Football, Football, MSU, NCAA, Obscure Trophy Tuesday, Posted by Sarah