WE Team

msuMSU was in the Final Four this year and I was pretty happy about it.  I went there for my undergrad degree and got my teaching certificate through there.  I met my wife there and plotted most of Tiny Life while attending English classes at Michigan State.  It was the best time of my life.  So I understand a bit why I might feel an emotional connection to the basketball team.  It’s not a big leap to go from “MSU = happy” to “Any good for MSU makes me happy.”

What I don’t get is why people who’ve never been to State – or better yet, have never been to East Lansing – are so enthralled with the fate of the team that they scream at the TV and dress up and paint themselves.  What I really don’t understand is the pronoun “we” associated with it.

“We’re going to the Final Four!”  “We beat Louisville!”  “We’re going to riot if we lose again!”  Ok, I get that one.  If you are attending the college, you probably will riot.

What’s better is the University of Michigan vs. Michigan State University rivalry.  I have kids in my class constantly saying, “We’re gonna kick your butt!”  “Uh-uh, you’re goin’ down!” 

Neither of these kids have ever seen either campus; none of their parents had ever attended either college (one attended Mott College, which is really close to U of M – Flint), yet somehow they form a virtual relationship so close with a team of ever-rotating players that they can use the word “we” to define themselves and the college that they will never get into.

I think the best example is my family.  None of them have ever gone to college; as a matter of fact, very few of them graduated high school.  A few years ago, I went to my aunt’s house (I don’t remember why.  I never go there now.  It’s a scary place with the drugs and cardboard windows) and I was wearing my $8 MSU jacket.  My cousin said, “You got a lotta nerve wearing that in here!” 

uofmThe thing that went through my mind was, “Oh, geez.  Sorry.  I forgot that my alma mater and your alma mater are rivals.” 

But I didn’t.  I said something stupid about the color green vs. the color blue – partly because I didn’t want to be rude in someone else’s house, partly because I’m not sure he would’ve understood.  He is, after all, the one that believes everyone should have a working canon, “Y’know, just in case-a.”


6 Responses

  1. Go BLUE!

  2. GO Green!!!:)

  3. You mean like Carolina Blue?

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