Saturday, November 2, 2013

Wolverine and Spartan Fans Defined

Today, the Michigan State Spartans and Michigan Wolverines will play their annual in-state rivalry game. MSU fans think that all Wolverines are "arrogant asses" (and that's a direct quote about Wolverines from a former Spartan head coach). U-M fans think Spartans have a collective inferiority complex and that they would rather see Michigan fail than Michigan State succeed.

In "honor" of both fanbases, here are two movie scenes that capture what each side thinks of itself and its competition:

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

MSU fans think: Wow, we are really cool like Charlie Sheen, and Jennifer Grey is a Michigan student who is upset that she didn't get into an Ivy League school like her brother. Plus, we really are a lot better looking and cooler than Michigan students. No wonder Jennifer Grey/U-M students always want to hook up with us.

U-M fans think: We are Ferris Bueller. We are brilliant and charming and do not understand why MSU (Jennifer Grey) hates us so much. MSU fans spend every minute of every day worrying about us and denying the fact that they would rather be in Ann Arbor...or wait, is Charley Sheen MSU? He is in a police station after partying too hard and presumably burning a couch the night before.  Ha ha...couch burning jokes never get old.

Good Will Hunting

MSU fans think: Michigan is totally the Harvard guy. Completely arrogant and treats people who do not go to U-M as inferiors. This scene reminds me of that time in the bar when I totally shut up that Michigan student by pointing out that I got into U-M but chose MSU because it has a better Veterinary School.

U-M fans think: We are Will Hunting, and Ben Affleck is my friend from high school that went to MSU. We are just as smart as Harvard grads and love to fight for the little guy. This scene totally reminds me of that time that Northwestern student was picking on my friend from MSU for going to a public university and I shut him down by pointing out how much less my in-state tuition at U-M cost than his Northwestern tuition.

The reality

If you went to either MSU or U-M, odds are you have friends and family members who went to the other school, especially if you grew up in Michigan. Except for the days that our football, basketball and hockey teams meet on the field, court or ice, we generally get along.

The more time we spend together, the more we realize that we are not that different from each other. Yes, we still take lighthearted jabs at each other, but in the end we are brothers and sisters. Perhaps the ending of an 80s teen classic sums it up best:

It's easy to see us "in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions," but if you spend time with your enemy you will find out that each one of us is a brain, an athlete, a basketcase, a princess, and a criminal (wait, that last one only applies to Buckeyes).

Here's to a good game today. Remember, our two schools work together a lot and many of us do have family members who went to the "other school." Keep it clean and respectful.

And finally, Go Blue! Beat State!

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