In the wake of another Syracuse tourney disaster it got me to thinking about whether or not I’ve expected too much from my Spartans and more specifically, Tom Izzo.

While programs like Syracuse, UCONN, UNC, Kansas and UCLA are either not playing or weren’t even invited to dance, the Spartans are once again on the cusp of a Final Four.

A program like Syracuse and more specifically a coach like Jimmy B. is king of overrated and the underprepared. Boeheim is a notoriously prickly individual with a penchant for not coaching in critical spots and having teams turn on him for lack of belief, he is also a guy who picks his nose in plain sight of the camera but I digress. Jimmy also likes to fly on the shady side of the airplane in my opinion…read between the lines people.

Meanwhile, Izzo, for all his faults is classy, well spoken, highly respected by all and is NEVER unprepared for a clash. Everyone has their hand in the cookie jar to some extent but Izzo is a saint compared to his contemporaries like Calipari, Huggins and Boeheim who enjoy shall we say, murkier waters? Izzo graduates players, produces quality young men, and wins. Hell let’s face it, for all the complaining I do about the big ten tournaments bomb outs and 7-year drought MSU had from 2002-2008…the guy wins.

So why complain? Why try to knock the program down? Why not just give in and be a slappy? I’ll be honest, it’s partly my nature as a cynic and partly because that ever elusive 2nd national title Izzo is chasing. There is just a deep ingrained belief, write or wrong, that a coach needs that second title to truly become “bronzed”…I know I’m difficult. Izzo himself has lamented not having that title so I don’t think I’m crazy. That 2nd title under the same regime just seems to resonate. It makes everything seem better. For a guy who gets paid to communicate I’m failing miserably. Because I want it! How about that? Tough to please? No question. Crazy? No.

In the end we all should take a moment and truly appreciate Tom. I’m as guilty as anyone. I need to do a better job. Be less cynical and more understanding. I need to look back at what the end of the Jud era was like as I was entering my prime years of psycho fan hood. Mmmmm Garavaglia and Quentin Brooks…tasty. I want it all and I want it all of the time. Nights like last night jolt me back to reality. Instead of being “stuck” with a Jimmy Booger, a Huggy Bear, or another one of these ESPN charactures that they refuse to expose…Cough…Calipari…cough, I have a genuine man who does things the right way and more often than not…gets it done.

Now go win 5 straight conference titles…NOW!!!!!

  1. Charles Prill says:


    I couldn’t agree with you more. When is the last time you seen Izzo on ESPN for any negative action or comment that put MSU in a bad light. Granted there are some bad losses, but does and will always be a man of great class. The only other guy I can compare Izzo to is Coach K at Duke. That pains me to do because I am 100% not a fan of Duke, but you cant deny what Coach K has done over time.

  2. dave says:

    Tom Izzo is Michigan State’s Bo. (God it pains me to give U of M credit for anything). but you look at their careers and with the exception of Bo winning a national championship they both won and from the looks of, it won honestly.

  3. Mike Kole says:

    Mike, I heard the monologue on Friday, and thought it was some of your best radio thus far. You have matured, from a passionate fan to a realist …

    We still like & expect your critiques when warranted, But, I’m not sure if anyone has pointed this out to you, what was key in what you said, you sounded just like a mature Michigan Football fan. One that is happy with a 9 or 10 win season, with a Jan 1 bowl game, and maybe every so often have a shot at a National Title.

    Fans that respected Lloyed Carr, as you now respect Tom Izzo, and appreciate the fact that they had always been ranked in the top 10 – that means something. This is where consistency in a program wins over an “ends justifies the means mentality” just for the sake a having a National championship. Respect in the program and its history, will outweigh a ring now and again with nothing in between.

    Congratulations, and welcome to maturity!

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