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Roundtable: A refresher on why we hate the Michigan State Spartans

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The MnB staff opens the conversation of just why the heck we do hate those Spartans.

Michigan v Michigan State Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Being that it is rivalry week for Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans fans, there has to be at least a little bit of trash talk or letting the other side know why you do not like them very much.

Members of the Maize n Brew staff assembled to share why they feel disdain for the Spartans ahead of Saturday’s game in Ann Arbor:

Anthony Broome

“Full disclosure, I very nearly went to Michigan State and liked my visit there quite a bit, actually. At the time, I was pursuing a career in radio (lol) and Michigan did not offer what I was looking for there (also, yeah...grades). I would wind up going to community college and then transferring to Central Michigan. MSU never even really bothered me until the age of social media. And I’m glad I sort of grew up in an era where Mark Dantonio had them as an elite program in the Big Ten because back in the days of being a more traditional fan, it helped me respect them as a rival. There are a lot of older Michigan fans who still try and claim superiority and that they are not relevant, but that simply isn’t the case and anyone who tells you otherwise is living a lie.

“This one matters because it is about taking care of business at home. Michigan has failed to reach some of its bigger goals like winning the Big Ten and being a national title contender, but you cannot lose this game. You must not lose this game. Not when you have a neighbor across the street who has a Spartan flag hanging on his home, or a girlfriend who is an MSU alum, or a co-worker that will let you have it anytime his squad beats yours. I went to Catholic school for my first 10 years of education and we, of course, had to wear uniforms. Every once in awhile we would get a jean day, where you bring $1 into school and could wear whatever you want. Sometimes there was a theme, and MSU-Michigan was often times one of them each year, so you would get to see which of your classmates fell on each side of the rivalry. It made it fun because the rivalry was woven into the fabric of the community.

“This one sticks more than the Ohio State rivalry because this is the one you have to hear about almost every day for a whole year. That’s not to say it’s better or more storied, but it hurts more to lose this one, it feels like. At the very least, it’s far more annoying to those this one. I hate the fans that deride Michigan people for “living in the past” but reciting “minus-48” as if it did not happen six years ago. I hate the “pride comes before the fall” reset that we always get from them, which is especially hilarious given how things are playing out now. I hate that no matter what their own team accomplishes, Spartan fans will first think of and mention Michigan. Heck, they even had the score of the Michigan game on their Cotton Bowl rings in 2014, which was a win over a 5-7 team, mind you. They want so badly to be paid attention to, but then get triggered when they have to take any of the grief back. I suppose that’s a rivalry, but few fanbases take and react to the low-hanging fruit quite like Spartan Nation does.”

Dan Plocher

“I live in a divided household. My mom grew up as a Michigan State fan and my Dad was a Michigan fan. My dad asked my mom out in a unique way. He knew she was from East Lansing and was a State fan back in high school, so he said the loser of the 1984 game would pay for the first date. The Wolverines lost to Michigan State 19-7, and my Dad bought my mom dinner for the first time in what would end up being almost 30 years of marriage to this point. So in a strange way I owe my existence to this rivalry.

“But along with my mom came her crazy family who are THOSE Michigan State fans. They are the type of Spartan fans that will post a picture on Facebook of Mark Dantonio smiling without a caption almost every time that Michigan football loses, particularly in the big games. Then they will never let me or my father hear the end of how much better Michigan State is in football or basketball anytime that we all get together, especially in years that the Spartans win. They will make outlandish comments to rile us up and constantly bring up that Michigan hasn’t made the College Football Playoff yet while State obviously has. My uncle will text me at the end of every Michigan vs. Michigan State football game either to boast or to “congratulate” me by letting me know that we won’t be beating Ohio State again this year. Dealing with these types of fans on a regular basis (we live about 10 minutes from each other) takes the cake in why I hate the Michigan State Spartans.”

Andrew Bailey

“Michigan State is the Toby of The Office; Newman of Seinfeld; Devin Banks of 30 Rock; Jeremy Jamm of Parks & Rec. They exist to antagonize and while they have their moments of justification, in the end, good always conquers evil.”

Jay Winkler

“I hate Michigan State because those fans hate Michigan more than they like their own team. For Michigan State fans, Michigan having a bad season is enough, MSU being good is just a bonus. Spartan fandom’s biggest victory celebration so far this season was when Michigan didn’t do very well in the third quarter against Illinois.”

Kevin Bunkley

“Their misplaced and fervent worship of Greek warriors who lost their most famous battle; The tendency to relish in the misfortunes of the Michigan program while overlooking their own; An obsession with burning perfectly good furniture as some kind of retaliation for big-game ineptitude or embarrassing collapse/loss, it’s all the same to them; The repeated #disrespekt narrative that is unclear as to whether they just can’t spell or they have an inferiority complex even the greatest psychological minds in the world can’t solve; It’s difficult to inhabit the same state as this school, because they make it too easy to dislike them, but on those years when they manage to beat Michigan, enjoy hearing about it for the following ten seasons even if they don’t win again. We know it’s their Super Bowl, they know it, and they lean in hard on their worst qualities. Qualities like home-field clock management that still haunts me 18 years later, or that damn punt return that is slowly fading into irrelevance as their program self-destructs week after week. All of this amounts to the most Spartan thing of all: No one can ever look at Michigan State without thinking “Sparty, No!”

David Noe

“I grew up in southeast Michigan, so this rivalry was always an annual event of bragging rights for the next year with friends. We always agreed on one thing and that was to hate Ohio State, but this rivalry would divide families and friendships. I’ve attended many games over the years, including one in East Lansing with my girlfriend who was a Spartan fan. That was the moment of defeat in their house was when I first started my hatred for the green and white. The bragging and trash talk continues during basketball season and it’s been such an entertaining rivalry over the years with many exciting endings.”

Why do YOU hate Michigan State? Sound off in the comments below.

(Editor’s note: Please keep it somewhat clean.)