Friday, March 29, 2013

MSU vs. Duke, my ill will towards Michigan, and the 1927 MSC yearbook

It's 8:00 and I'm on the computer drinking a glass of wine, trying to decide if I want to watch the Michigan/Kansas game currently playing.

If you haven't already deduced from this blog and my previous posts, I want Michigan to lose. If Michigan loses to Kansas, I can watch the MSU/Duke game with at least the relief of knowing the Wolverines will not advance further in the tournament than the Spartans. Is that petty of me? Perhaps. But it's also indicative of the Michigan/MSU rivalry and my antipathy towards the University of Michigan. I just can't bear the thought of Michigan playing on in the tournament while the Spartans go home.


I've been going back and forth about the Duke game. It will be tough, and should be a close game either way. This is not a unique analysis, but MSU must cut down on the turnovers because Duke will take advantage of that. Duke rarely makes many mistakes and will not beat themselves. The Spartans can't make the game easier for the Blue Devils by making too many unforced errors.

The Spartans also must play smarter in the late stages of the game. Mental errors late in the second half against Indiana (at Breslin), Michigan (at Crisler), and Ohio State (in the Big Ten tournament) cost MSU the chance to win those games. They can't afford to do the same against Duke.

As Jack Ebling pointed out this week on his afternoon radio show, officiating will also play a big role in this game. If the officials let the players play, then MSU should be fine. But if physical play is punished, then the Spartans could be in trouble. It scares me to think of Derrick Nix picking up a couple fouls in the first few minutes of the game.

Did I mention I'd really like the Spartans to beat the heck out of Duke tonight. As if there was any doubt, I thought perhaps I should make it official.


Checking the ESPN web site, I see Kansas has a six point lead over Michigan at halftime. Rock chalk Jayhawk! Keep it up, fellas!


In non-sports--but still MSU-related--news: Today, I bought the 1927 Michigan State College yearbook     (ironically named The Wolverine). I had originally found it way back in September at a used book sale at my place of employment (a library) and have had it on hold ever since. The price was $40, and though that doesn't sound like much, I'm one who constantly frets about spending too much money on non-essential items. Finally, the guilt over keeping this item on hold for so long got the best of me, and I decided to purchase it. (As it turned out, the book sale manager--probably relieved that I was finally buying the book, knocked off another $10 from the price).

I'm happy I finally purchased this yearbook. It's quite a fascinating window into collegiate culture at the still-remote and provincial MSC in the 1920s. The genders were highly segregated, with the scientific and agricultural clubs strictly male and the women relegated to the human ecology club and other more "feminine" organizations.

1927 also saw the construction of a few MSU and East Lansing landmarks. Kedzie Hall (what is now North Kedzie) neared completion, and the People's Church on Grand River Avenue had been finished the previous year. The Wolverine also proudly trumpets of the soon-to-be-built Demonstration Hall.

I hope that once the MSU sports season is over I will take some time to write a more detailed blog post about this historical curio.

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