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Michigan State: Little Brother Forever

Get out your tinfoil hats, because everyone actually is out to get Michigan State this time

A smug weasel contemplates which Heisman Trophy winner he can treat like shit next
Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Here we are, the final day of our summer-long B1G 2016 series. All 14 teams, yes even Rutgers, got a week to themselves; a week where we talk about your team and heap praise upon them and talk about the future. It was only appropriate that we saved our defending champs, the Michigan State Spartans, for last. Well not so fast, Sparty. I shouldn’t have to be the one to tell you this, but we all hate you.

Seriously, ALL OF US. We hate Mark Dantonio for his smug Bill Belichick routine. We hate how your student section embarrasses the entire league by league by leaving halfway through the games to catch the fourth quarter at a bar. We hate how Connor Cook treated Archie Griffin, football’s only 2-time Heisman Trophy winner, like he was just another minion brought into the universe for the sole purpose of serving Connor Cook.

But for the sake of continuity, let me start this rant with the same words that all rants about Michigan State seem to start with: Little Brother.

Little Brother has become more than a petty insult lobbed at the Spartans by Mike Hart, it has become their entire rallying cry. Watch a Michigan-MSU game, and you’ll hear the words “little brother” spoken no less than 192 times. And why not? It’s a good subplot for the game. It perfectly encapsulates Sparty’s fake underdog persona while providing yet more evidence of how pompous and self-satisfied Michigan fans are as they sit way up on their high horse and fantasize about doing weird stuff with Jim Harbaugh. “URGH THOSE SMUG DANDIES CALLED US LITTLE BROTHER! LET’S GO BEAT RICH-ROD AND BRADY HOKE A BUNCH OF TIMES AND ACT LIKE THAT’S AN ACCOMPLISHMENT”

I mean hey, whatever works, right? The only problem is the whole Little Brother thing comes from a basic misunderstanding of what words are, which I guess is something we should have expected from Michigan State grads. For those unaware of Little Brother’s origins; after coming from behind to beat Michigan State in 2007 Wolverine runningback Mike Hart jumped in front of a microphone and boldly declared Sparty to forever and always be Michigan’s little brother, to which MSU responded by winning 7 times over the next 8 match-ups. Except that isn’t how it went down. The original quote in response to a question about whether or not Mike Hart thought a comeback was possible:

“I was just laughing. I thought it was funny. They got excited. It’s good. Sometimes you get your little brother excited when you’re playing basketball and you let him get the lead. Then you come back and take it from him.”

Hart wasn’t taking a shot across the bow of Michigan State as a football program. He was commenting, while still caught up in the heat of the moment, about a single game. He was trying to put his feelings about almost losing a game he should have easily won into some sort of context, and playing basketball against somebody smaller and younger than him was the first thing that came to mind. Was it a little smug? Yes, but I think being Michigan’s all-time leading rusher and beating your third biggest rival (I said it) all four years you were there earns you that right.

So to recap:

  1. Mike Hart said a rather forgettable quote about an entertaining game
  2. One Michigan State fan took it out of context (I’m not going to explain what “context” means to all of East Lansing so you’ll just have to pass around the town dictionary) and the rest of you mouth breathing goons decided to cry about it rather than actually read something for yourself
  3. Mark Dantonio got all butthurt about it in a press conference
  4. Michigan State beat Michigan a bunch of times and decided it was in response to a perceived insult instead of the fact that Michigan got pretty bad at football for a while.

Here’s the irony of it all: Michigan State’s response to being fake-called Little Brother was to immediately start acting like the real little brother. I mean seriously, I have yet to meet a Michigan State fan that talks more about their own team than they do the Wolverines. It’s not enough to win the conference title; you have to talk more about how you won the conference title instead of Michigan. And don’t forget your tinfoil hats, because not only did you win the conference title instead of Michigan, but you did it in spite of the vast conspiracy to make sure that Michigan always wins it. Head on over to the Red Cedar Message Board and see what I’m talking about. Approximately 97% of the threads are about Michigan, and they use clever little insults like scUM, and DickRod. Hilarious!

So you’ve now done the impossible, Spartans: you’ve made us hate somebody more than we hate Michigan. Wolverines are pretty easy to hate as a group: They’re smug, they used to win a lot and never stop reminding everyone, their coach acts like a coked-up bad guy from a 90’s movie and he hunts children down at laser tag like he’s the Predator, and they pack 110,000 people into the Big House and yet it remains almost impossibly quiet during games. A lifetime of Wolverine self-righteousness is nothing compared to 5 minutes of your illiterate howling about “disrespect”.

You are never going to be better than second fiddle in your own state. You are never going to join the ranks of Ohio State, Notre Dame and yes even Michigan as members of college football’s elite. Your world is forever consumed by your weird obsession with your in-state rival that doesn’t give half a shit about you when compared to their actual rivals Ohio State and Notre Dame. You once gave an honorary degree to one of the worst dictators in the world. Your fans are a bunch of backwards hat-wearing bros who couldn’t get into Michigan. Enjoy the ride while it lasts, you blubbering jabronis, because Jim Harbaugh is here to spare us from any more of your crybaby underdog act. Tony Mandarich is the biggest NFL flop of all time, Michigan will always get more glory and attention from a 5-7 season than you will after a 12-2 season, and the movie 300 is a steaming pile of lowbrow garbage much like your university.