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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I Agree With Spartan Bob

Recently, I read on MGoBlog about an MSU site called Spartan Bob. For those of you not familiar with the this infamous name in U-M football history, "Spartan Bob" was the time keeper at Spartan Stadium during the M/MSU game in 2001 when the clock miraculously (and erroneously) stopped with :01 left in the game, leaving Michigan State time to run more play and beat #6 Michigan.

But I digress.

This blog with the great name (at least if you bleed Green and White) had an article slamming Michigan because Michigan wouldn't play any night games in the new ABC Saturday Night Football line up this fall, doesn't have advertising, blah, blah, blah and whatever else Sparty bitches about this time of year.

However, he did bring up a point I agree with 100%. In his post, SB had a link to a Michigan Daily article from last fall in which Michigan's Athletic Director wrote an email to approximately 2,000 students in the south endzone instructing them to remain seated most of the game!

“We are asking you to respect the other Wolverine fans by not standing for the entire game,” said Martin. "Students standing for long periods of time are subject to removal.”

Apparently, this was sent right before the 2005 Notre Dame game because, during the Northern Illinois game the previous weekend, "there were confrontations between the Michigan students and the fans who were sitting directly behind them" according to U-M Associate AD, Marty Bodnar.

In his post, Spartan Bob ripped into Michigan for that one - and rightfully so. What bullshit! Can you even imagine students in Columbus or Knoxville or Auburn or PICK ONE getting that sort of email from the AD?! No wonder the Big (Quiet) House sounds like the grad library the week before finals and provides the lamest "home field" advantage in all of college football!

As I said in my October 2005 post, "Put the damn keys away!", Michigan fans need to do more, much more, to make the Big House the intimidating venue it should be for opposing teams. Because like it or not, right now it's just embarrassing. And I for one hope folks like the person behind the Spartan Bob blog continue to call Michigan fans out until that changes.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yea Michigan Fans suck!!! go buckeyes!!!

Anonymous said...

I think we should spend a little more time trying to put an intimidating TEAM on the FIELD, rather than trying to put "intimidating" FANS in the stands.

If we have an intimidating team (and a worthy opponent, I might add*) the fans will take care of themselves.

(*Worthy opponent does not - or should not - include WMU, CMU, EMU, Ball State, Vanderbilt)

The King said...

If you don't have the physical strength and mental fortitude to stand up for three straight hours to cheer for the Wolverines in the grandest venue in North America, then GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY STADIUM.

Yost said...

Couldn't agree more, King.

Go watch it on TV if cheering is too much for you.

Anonymous said...

It isn't the fans that need called out.

Anonymous said...

And could you please not yell as much and hold all aplause until the end of the game?

Yost said...

LOL, Anon. It's very distracting to the players.

Yost said...

PS As for folks saying if the team is good, the fans will cheer -- uh, we haven't had a losing season since the SIXTIES! We won a national title in '97. We went to back-to-back Rose Bowls a couple years ago. Just when is this cheering going to start?

And as bad as 2005 was, going into the OSU game, we were 7-3 and had an outside chance of grabbing a share of the Big 10 title yet the crowd, except for a handful of moments, was lame.

Obviously the team needs to play better. Fans can't control that. But we can make the Big (Quiet) House a much better home field advantage than it is now.

Mike said...

I remember that UM/MSU game well — one of the most bizarre finishes I've ever seen.

But it's funny how that extra-long final second against Michigan State was completely unfair, and yet UM dismissed Penn State fans as paranoid whiners when it came to those extra two seconds that Lloyd Carr requested from the hometown refs last fall — and I was at that game in person.

Big double standard, if you ask me.

Yost said...

Mike,

"Hometown refs"? Uh, who do you think refs Big 10 games - School employees? But "Spartan Bob" was an MSU employee.

Benny Friedman said...

Not to mention, Mike, TV replays showed the extra second Sparty got in '01 was unjustified, while the extra two seconds Lloyd got last year was the correct call.

Brad said...

Hey, could you guys quiet down?? I'm trying to read this blog in peace.

Yost said...

LOL, Brad.

Jeremy said...

It's cool that JoePa got 0:02 put back on the clock earlier in the game, though. That one was fine.

Spartan Bob said...

So, let me see if I've got this straight: Sometimes timekeepers -- under even the neutral employ of the Big Ten -- do not always keep time as the coaches and/or referees would prefer.

Coaches have the option of suggesting that there is a time mishap, and referees have the option of agreeing and telling the timekeeper to change the clock.

We have seen this happen from time to time. In fact, the clock at the Big House has been known to shut off entirely toward the end of games when the opposing team is driving for a winning score (just ask Minnesota's backup QB from last season).

In the Penn State game, Lloyd persuaded a referee to overrule the timekeeper. In the "Spartan Bob" game, he did not. In both cases, the option existed and a change certainly would have been made if requested. Neutral Big Ten officials controlling the decision in both cases.

So, either:

1. Lloyd failed to make his case
2. There was no case to make
3. The neutral officials did the wrong thing

In case of #3, even a robotic clock with atomic precision would not have solved the "problem."

I appreciate the clearing of my good name. :)

Papa Steve said...

Spartan B,

Hardly comparable. A direct employee of MSU giving what is verifiably an intentional advantage to their own school by hanging the clock and changing the outcome of the game is worlds apart from an impartial referee granting UM the time that it was verifiably deserved, in exactly the same manner he applied that rule to PSU earlier in the same game.

As for the clock malfunction in the Minnesota game...where is the advantage gained by this supposed infraction? How was UM favored by that again? Timekeeping duties were passed to an impartial Big10 referee. If anything, it was a disadvantage in not having a clear indication for the defense as to exactly how much time was left and how to best play defense accordingly.

Papa Steve said...

Is that true about the letter to the student section!?

Thats BS!!

UM alum/fans are a disgrace when it comes to supporting their team. They could learn a lot from Iowa fans.

One down year amongst so many excellent ones and they are grousing like they never win anything.

To any sit-down fans that read this blog...you are a beeyatch. Get off your FAT ASS and cheer or give your tickets up to someone that will.. You are NOT WANTED and there are a zillion fans that will take your seats and make a difference.

Good fans cheer harder when their team is down. They don't squat like a spoiled child until they have some reason to get up.

Be part of the cure, not the problem.

Mike said...

I certainly don't expect to change anyone's opinion on here, but I'll say this: if Paterno was the one who has asked for :02 during the last minute -- and yes, the time remaining does matter -- he wouldn't have gotten it.

You can call PSU fans paranoid until you're blue (and maize) in the face, but far too many close calls have gone Michigan's way when PSU plays them in Ann Arbor. If the shoe was on the other foot, you guys would scream bloody murder.

Can't wait for the primetime PSU/UM clash this October -- the first one in State College in five years. Should be a great game.

Spartan Bob said...

Papa Steve:

First: Yes, absolutely true about the student section orders. It was published in one of the Detroit papers the morning of the Notre Dame game and the subject of much amusement at tailgates in Sparty Land the same day.

As to the clock: Leaving aside the subjective "intentional" and "verifiable" statements, I'm wondering how not seeing the game clock for several minutes(which itself could have lost a precious extra second during the confusion) could possibly not be an disadvantage for the offense. I've seen far too many games where coaches -- who can plainly see a clock and think about what they need to do -- nonetheless perform mystifying feats of time mismanagement.

Compound that with it being the end of the game, a game winning drive, and a very green backup QB...

C'mon. It's a hassle in slowed down everyday life if you're on a time deadline yet must keep asking somebody else what time it is because (for whatever reason) you can't glace up and see for yourself.

Jacking all that stress into the end of a tight football game is a situation where there is no comparison.