Dear Spartan Fans,
I just want to say that I love you all. If I could trade in my fandom of a team for any other college, without any backlash or repercussions, I would still wear green and white every single day. I remember the day that I moved to Grand Ledge from Chicago and the first kid I hung out with in the playground next to our townhouse complex asked me “You have to choose. Are you Michigan or Michigan State?” I grew up in the middle of a city, I had no clue, but I went home and slept on it and picked Michigan State. Even though I had to deal with UM winning a National Championship just a few years later, I never flip flopped. I had my squad and I was riding that train.
I have overwhelmingly been proud to sport the Block S everywhere I go in life. The last two years I have lived in Michigan, Alabama, Texas, California, and most recently Seattle. The alum bars I go to are welcoming, the people on the street shout “Go Green!” and even the fans of other teams I run into are nothing but pleasant. No one has been a jerk and they all talk about how great Dantonio and Izzo are, they talk about how our fans are decent people and they wish us luck.
That being said, I have been reading a lot of articles and tweets and whatnot online and I can say that this past week I have been seriously pissed off with a lot of Spartan “fans”. The amount of stuff that has been tweeted to Tyler O’Connor in the last 5 days has been disgusting. The things that have been said online to the team in general have been just uncharacteristic of the Spartan way. You have high hopes for the team, we all do. That doesn’t mean that when they players you cheer for play bad, you have to turn on them. That is just wrong.
We have had a great run in the last few years, I wrote a piece about it a few weeks ago. Right now we have been living in the golden age of MSU athletics. Putting together winning seasons in both football and basketball. Ranked in polls across the country. Recruits are coming here in greater numbers than they ever have and we as fans have gotten a taste of the good life. I get that we like that feeling and don’t want to let it go, but things were not always this rose-colored. Don’t forget that not that long ago, things were rough in Spartan Stadium. We are not far enough removed from the days of Bobby Williams and John L to be asking this way.
Pete Rossman just launched a new blog a few weeks ago and in his first post he wrote about how MSU fans are taking themselves too seriously. I was talking with my buddy Ben and he told me to remind people that we didn’t always have it this good. Hell, Jemele Hill talked about the dark days and how big bowl games were after and 7-5 season and and they were not even coming CLOSE to a national championship. The fact of the matter is that as MSU fans we have enjoyed this run, because we knew what we had before. While we have gained some credibility in the nation for our football, we have lost something along the way. That is the ability to lose we dignity. When you lose to Indiana and send death threats to Tyler O’Connor, that is not the way one Spartan should talk to another. You know who else got death threats? The kid from Michigan that fumbled the punt last year. Was that cool? No. So don’t do it. These are 19-22 year old kids, if you are a 30 year old telling someone to drink bleach, you are not a fan and I wish you would just keep your damn mouth shut.
We are all Spartans. I don’t care if you grew up in a family of grads or if you just grew up down the street. Look at our history and know there have been some dark days before and those can come back in a heart beat with an string of injuries or coaching changes. Do not take this time for granted. While we all want to believe Dantonio will bring the best time in history, let’s not actively try to bring the worst of it by being assholes to our own players.