He talks about the rivalry between MSU and UM, and good for him, he didn't play the tired "it's not really a rivalry to us, to be honest" card. Bill asks about the odds that this year's MSU game is at night, and Chris immediately responds back that there's no way the university would do that. That there's no way they'd ever do that. That it's reserved for bigger, ND-, OSU-type games. His seconds-old admission that a legitimate rivalry exists with MSU seems to be ringing hollow. But then he goes into why. There would be violence in Ann Arbor if this game were played there at night. He went on about the high level of emotion, the crowd, the type of crowd (he never specified), how it just wouldn't be safe. He said that kind of thing wouldn't happen if the two teams played each other at night in East Lansing, that those same volatile elements wouldn't be there. And, in this biased listener's ears, it sounded like he implied that if there was violence that it would be tolerated at our place. He referenced how the wine-and-cheese UM crowd would never allow violence to break out in such a way. He stopped short of saying that the MSU crowd and administration would allow it, but that forgone conclusion just silently hung there. This type of thing is never really an issue with Notre Dame or Ohio State, since those rivalries are much more respectful. Similarly, he indicated that tensions would ultimately be touched off by the fact that so many people want to attend UM games who can't. Again, the unstated but obvious (to me, anyway) follow-up comment was that anyone can get in to MSU games (not true for the UM game, but I'll concede this to most others), and that that somehow would make our environment less violent.
So I'm listening to The Huge Show on my way home from work earlier this week, as I often do, and Bill has Chris Balas from Rivals talking about UM football. A bit of a homer but rarely annoying, I typically tune him out and wait for something that interests me. Except this time he actually said something, and sort of dwelt on it, that made me listen.
The whole respect difference is debatable, so much so that I'm not willing to argue that, regardless of whether I agree. I just drove home completely confused by his comments about the violence and how it would most certainly happen between us at night in AA but not in EL and how it would be fueled by attendance issues and the type of crowd. Seriously, what am I missing here? He wasn't snotty or snarky about it, just very matter-of-fact. He was insistent, though, which makes me think I'm missing something obvious here.