It has been a while since any of us have updated the site with fresh content. With the Lions not in the Super Bowl, the Red Wings struggling, baseball in a dead period, the Pistons losing far too often and 14 feet of snow falling in a few weeks, the motivation has been lacking.
However, one thing has happened recently to snap the slump. Michigan vs. Michigan State. But, not basketball. Not even recruiting. Not really even football. This is about hate and the venom spewed between two fanbases about people they don’t know and situations they don’t fully understand.
Last week a Junior at Cass Tech High School in Detroit got into some major trouble by getting into an altercation with a security guard. This would not be too noteworthy if the student hadn’t been the Quarterback of the football team, a highly regarded one at that, that had verbally committed to attend Michigan State in the fall of 2015 over many other schools including Alabama, Notre Dame and even U of M.
This immediately became the talk of local college sports, with many UM fans speaking about how MSU recruits thugs and how awful this reflects on the MSU program. This, despite the fact that Mr. Campbell is a 16 year old high school student that has not enrolled at MSU, has not been on an official visit to MSU and has not, outside of a summer camp, even spoken to Head Coach Mark Dantonio (NCAA rules prohibit contact outside of camps until the senior season).
This incident did not look good for MSU, but, Campbell is not a student at the University yet, much like many others that have been accepted to a college and are still in high school, he has no official affiliation other that of a verbal commitment, which is non-binding. Campbell has quite a bit to work out and it is yet to be seen if he makes it to East Lansing, or any NCAA Division 1 school for that matter, but the things that were said on Twitter and message boards about this situation that these people don’t know anything about was over the top.
This Tweet from MGoBlog sums up what UM fans should have been thinking:
Just because Campbell, as a 16 year old, said “I want to go to Michigan State” shouldn’t make him target #1 for UM fans to try to rain on the Rose Bowl victory parade. He’s young and made a very bad decision, of which not all the information is available and has yet to have the situation resolved.
Before you go thinking this is about Michigan hate towards Michigan State alone, it is not. This also goes the other way.
It was reported by the Michigan Dailythat former Kicker Brendan Gibbons had been permanently separated form the University for Sexual Misconduct. 4 years after the incident took place. On the surface, this appeared very bad, much like the Campbell incident, MSU fans went running to Twitter, Facebook and message boards to blast U of M for covering up a rape.
Not once did they think that in order for there to be a rape, there has to be a victim, one that I’m sure went through a great deal of suffering 4 years ago and will now have it drudged back up again and crafty internet sleuths trying to get her name. But, immediately MSU fans were yelling about this costing Hoke his job. David Brandon should be put on jail for this cover up. The program should suffer the same fate, or worse, as what Penn State suffered for the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
Unfortunately, when these things come out, the idiots come yelling and those are the ones that will represent your school and fanbase. Brendan Gibbons may very well have done what he was accused of doing and the University eventually punished him for. However, Brady Hoke was the Head Coach at San Diego State University at the time of the incident. David Brandon was still slinging pizzas for Dominos. And by no means (and I’m not trying to belittle what happened at all) was Gibbons accused crime even in the same breath as what Sandusky had done for years, so a similar punishment seems absurd.
This situation in Ann Arbor is unfortunate, but ultimately, it was not the fault of the Head Football Coach. When it occurred he was not in charge. He became the coach after the situation had allegedly been resolved and closed. It was recently re-opened and Gibbons was expelled, at the end of his tenure as a football player, which looks terrible, but not the coaches decision.
In the story, the only thing that seems it could have a lasting affect would be the awful Taylor Lewan quote to the victim. As Lewan prepares for the NFL draft and a future in the NFL, he is going to have to answer, 30 times, once to each team, why he would say such an awful thing to another person. Because of this quote and rumors of some off the field bar fights, it may hurt his draft position, but ultimately, if he can block at an NFL level, he will have a job there.
Both of these stories are terrible and a reflection of where society is and where they place athletes in it. They are championed as Heroes, Saviors, Role Models and Celebrities. They have flaws and issues like all do and when one makes a bad decision, it can reflect poorly on many, but the fans of MSU and U of M should spend a lot less time waiting and watching for an incident at the other school and more time basking in the glory of their own schools successes.
These fans should also try to think about the entire situation and who else is involved before immediately trying to yell about how terrible the other is for what it did. A 16 year old could have had a future as an NFL star but may not any more. An 18 year old Freshman girl was sexually assaulted and the first thought of both fan bases is to laugh and point the finger at the other.
Both fanbases looked awful during the past week and it wasn’t because of what happened to cause them to defend their own school but, instead it was from the yelling they did themselves towards the other. Root for your school. Root for the other school to lose games on the field if you chose. Don’t look for or root for these awful situations and be happy when it happens, you end up looking worse than most involved and are the bad reflection put on your school.