Sorry about the long break y'all. However, work was done in this blog's brief silence -- I have 63 of the finest to wear the Green and White ready to rumble in the 2011 favorite Spartan Athlete bracket! One note before we proceed any further:
I know I said coaches were fair game, but I changed my mind because one, I don't think athletes to coaches is a fair comparison, and two, I was afraid Izzo would crush everyone and make this a non-contest. So there.
Nevertheless, 63 spots are taken, which means one spot is left. Since I couldn't decide, I figure I'd leave it up to you, fair readers, to decide who should get the last spot. Here are the four athletes I have in mind, in alphabetical order:
Alan Anderson: I think intrpdtrvr made the best case for Anderson in an e-mail he sent me today, so I'll let him take it:
Derrick Mason: Not only was he one of Michigan State's best receivers, he was probably MSU's best returner as well. Along with Bill Simpson he holds the MSU record for punt return touchdowns (2!), and is second to DeAndra Cobb in kick return touchdowns (3 to Cobb's 4). He's still playing in the NFL, which is something of a small miracle to me considering he ended his college career in 1996.
Drew Miller: Had the fortune/misfortune to go pro the year before the NCAA title in 2007. He's currently a Red Wing, which will make some of you vote for him automatically, and make others of you automatically scroll down for the last candidate.
Domata Peko: For the hair, mostly. But also because he stripped Chad Henne in the 2005 Michigan game (in an alternate universe MSU has a decent kicker and wins this game) and ran 80 yards or so for the touchdown. Did I mention the hair? Peko currently plays for the Cincinnati Bengals.
I'm not sure he belongs in a top 64 favorite Spartans list but I've always found him to be one of the most underrated. Night in and night out, that guy was the most productive player and leader on a Final Four team, played out of position basically his whole career, was described by Izzo as having one of the best first steps he's ever coached, and yet most people don't even put him on the bench of the All Izzo-Era team. A pet peeve of mine.
So what say ye? Who gets the final spot?