September 30, 2006

Well, This May Bode Well for Next Week

I DON'T THINK ANYONE expected the Fighting Illini to walk into East Lansing and actually beat Michigan State at football this afternoon. After all, we're talking about Illinois, a team which had lost 24 of its last 25 games in the Big Ten Conference. As a perennial football doormat, the Illini were a 26-point underdog going into the game against the Spartans, which weren't all that highly-regarded either. Yet Illinois somehow managed to defeat Michigan State with a last-second field goal today, winning the game 23-20.

Good Lord. I still can't believe Michigan State blew it again. You'd think they'd have done better after blowing it against Notre Dame last week. And while it may bode well for next week, when MSU is due to play the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, I have to admit the loss somewhat alarms me -- because this is exactly the type of thing which can cause an unwary team to let down its guard. As such, I urge Michigan's football team to stay keyed up about the game and utterly destroy the Spartans when they play in Ann Arbor.

I'm serious. Give them absolutely no quarter. Trample them underfoot.

But I digress. Moving on --

According to news reports, the Michigan State and Illinois football squads briefly sparred after the game, when the Fighting Illini tried to plant their school flag on Michigan State's football field. I was extremely disappointed that Illinois would do such a thing.

I mean, planting a flag on someone's field is a classless and gauche act. In this case, it was also undeserved: the way they play, Illinois has no business planting its flag on anyone's turf. Besides, smart football doesn't involve ticking people off, particularly when folks are naturally inclined to root for one's team.

That said, Illinois couldn't have tried it against a nicer group of people. Recall that under similar circumstances, MSU's squad planted the Michigan State flag at Notre Dame last year, an act for which they were roundly condemned. So while I don't think Illinois ought have tried to plant their flag, I can't condemn them TOO much for what I'm entirely sure was an unplanned outpouring of emotion.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at September 30, 2006 05:43 PM | TrackBack
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