The college football scene in the state of Michigan has always had a unique dynamic of disproportion. The University of Michigan has a firm grasp on 90% of Metro Detroit’s media coverage, “Walmart” (i.e., non-alumni) fans, and national prestige. Michigan State naturally resents Ann Arbor because of this, particularly when the jort-wearing, tooth-missing, GED-sporting Walmart crowd chirps in. In sum, the rivalry for the Paul Bunyan Trophy is a hot mess of arrogance, insecurity, dismissiveness and debauchery.
For years, Michigan fans have always looked at the Spartans as an afterthought, unworthy of its attention. Think the Mets compared to Yankees-Red Sox. It certainly would never have lowered itself to fly planes over Sparty’s stadium during the days of Bo and Lloyd. Guess a 1-4 record against “little brother” over the past five years will do that to a program.
University of Michigan athletics paid thousands of dollars for a skywriter to etch “Go Blue” in the skies over East Lansing before Michigan State kicked off against Youngstown State on Saturday.
Michigan athletic department spokesperson Dave Ablauf acknowledged his department paid for Saturday’s skywriting but said no specific locations were targeted.
“We hired the skywriters to canvas southeast Michigan with slogans and numbers prior to our game last Saturday,” he said in a statement. “There were no locations targeted.”
Asbury-Oliver, who has been skywriting with her husband for 33 years, said it was the fourth time Michigan athletics has hired her business, but it was the first time U-M asked her to skywrite over East Lansing.
MSU Alumni Association Executive Director Scott Westerman channeled Spartan fans’ indignation, challenging them Saturday night to put money to a better use than goading a rival by donating it toward ovarian cancer awareness.
Westerman, who is a private pilot, estimated the cost of Saturday’s skywriting at $3,000. He asked his fellow MSU alumni to match that amount in donations for ovarian cancer, a disease his wife, Colleen, has battled twice. He also challenged his counterparts at the U-M Alumni Association to equal what Michigan State raises.
Instead of dropping massive coin to send a 30-second “go to hell” message to the people of E.L., U of M A.D. Dave Brandon should’ve put that money to more productive use. You know, like towards a defense that, while all this sky lampoonery was going down, had to make a goal line stand as time expired to avoid getting upset by Akron (AKRON!!!!). Now, I know that the Zips are nowhere near as mighty as Appalachian State, but lock up your priorities, Ann Arbor.
Meanwhile, class act response by the Green and White here by matching the Maize and Blue’s three grand and donating it to cancer research. Until the two in-state rivals square off in November, Spartan students can be rest assured that no matter what happens this upcoming Saturday against longtime rival Notre Dame (one rivalry with a Michigan school that the Irish chose to protect, ahem), at least their non-cancer-loving school won’t be having this happen.