Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The greatest live sporting event I have ever attended

It's 12:20 AM, Wednesday morning and I am still sky high after the Spartans' incredible 75-52 beat down of the Michigan Wolverines.

Where do I even start?

I don't go to a lot of MSU basketball games. I am not a season ticket holder. If I'm lucky, I make it to about three or four home games per year. Most of the games I attend are of the Texas Southern, Boise State non-conference variety. If I make it to a conference game, the opponent is usually a rank-and-file conference foe like Penn State or Minnesota. I rarely go to any games that have any great significance. That changed this evening.

Before tonight's game, the most lively I had ever seen Breslin in person was the Michigan game in 2007 (the only other Michigan basketball game I have ever attended) and Wisconsin in 2011. (By the way, both of those games were MSU wins).

Those games didn't ever come close to this game (and, of course, I know that most of that has to do with the sheer magnitude of this year's game against Michigan). The electricity in Breslin Center was absolutely off the charts from the second we stepped into the arena until the final horn. As I wrote on Facebook, I have never been more proud to be a Spartan than I was, and am, tonight.

This was a statement game for MSU. A resounding declaration of who is still king of basketball in the State of Michigan. You want to bet that Tom Izzo and the Spartans were tired of all the attention Michigan has received all season?  All the accolades bestowed upon the Maize and Blue? You bet they were, and they thoroughly thrashed the Wolverines.

What never fails to impress me is the family atmosphere at MSU, So many former players returned for this game: I saw Austin Thornton, Anthony Ianni, Mateen Cleaves, Tim Bograkos. It's amazing to see the love that the Lansing community expresses for MSU and the Spartans, and that Izzo's former players ALWAYS return to campus to support the program.

This was, easily, the greatest live sporting event I have attended in my life. Probably the only others that come remotely close are the 1997 football game against Penn State (49-14 MSU win), the 2011 Wisconsin basketball game (MSU win in overtime), and a 1997 Detroit Lions win over Indianapolis in which Barry Sanders rushed for over 200 yards. (It was the only time I saw Barry Sanders play football in a live setting, and it was one of his greatest single game performances. I feel privileged to have witnessed it).

I also feel privileged to have had the opportunity to attend this game. I owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to my brother-in-law Michael for thinking of me.

Phew, my brain is now fried. I don't know how coherent this post is, but I had to get it down while it was still fresh in my mind.

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