When did the Spring Game become such a big deal?
Until recently (I don't know exactly when--the last three or four years? The point at which BTN, etc. began televising the darn things) the annual intra-squad scrimmage that concluded spring football practice was exactly that: a scrimmage. A fairly low-key scrimmage that was open to the public, but with little promotion or expectations attached.
But like everything in college sports, it has now been given an importance that it doesn't deserve. Now, we have some local sports writers declaring that the attendance to this game is some sort of referendum on the program. We have the head coach imploring fans to come to the game and setting a goal of 50,000. Somehow, the number of people who show up to this game will have some profound affect on everything from recruiting to MSU's national perception.
I realize that the football program has reached heights not seen since the mid-1960s, and fans should be interested in celebrating the program and checking out how the team looks. For what it's worth, I plan on attending this year's spring game--it'll be the second consecutive spring game I have attended. The only previous spring game I had been to was in 1988, after MSU's 1987 Rose Bowl season.
I don't think it's fair that the number of people who show up for a spring football scrimmage should used as a barometer of program interest and passion. Tell the legions of fans who traveled to the Rose Bowl and the Cotton Bowl that Spartan Nation is indifferent to the football program.
I'm just getting tired of our fandom being constantly questioned. I've had it with some media folks writing and saying that we just aren't doing enough to prove our loyalty.
But, I have heeded Mark Dantonio's call and will be at Spartan Stadium on Saturday regardless of the weather. Nobody should question my loyalty to the football program. I hope that 50,000 people DO attend the spring game so that certain members of the media will get off our backs--at least temporarily.
I think I know Spartan Nation well enough to not question its fandom based on the number of butts in the seats at Spartan Stadium on April 25.