By: Evan Jankens
It wasn’t exactly 10 years ago but on November 3, 2007 I covered my first Michigan vs. Michigan State game at Spartan Stadium. As a lifelong Michigan State fan I thought it would have been an unbelievable experience, but it wound up being the worst.
Michigan State held a 24-14 lead in the third quarter after Jehuu Caulcrick ran it in from the 1 yard line for a TD. Everything went sideways after that.
Michigan State still held a 24-21 lead late into the fourth quarter and then it happened. Chad Henne through a 31-yard TD pass to Mario Manningham for the 28-24 win.
I was so upset and couldn’t believe what I saw.
After the game, it was time for the press conferences and at the time at Michigan State the interview rooms were in two separate trailers behind Spartan Stadium. I couldn’t stomach sitting in the Michigan room so I just went and put my recorder in there and sat in the Michigan State room.
When I walked out of the MSU interview room, I saw Mike Hart walking to the bus and I couldn’t believe he and the Wolverines beat the team I grew up to love after the Spartans held what I thought at the time was a nice lead.
I found out right after that about the rant Hart went on and it’s something will that stick with Spartans and Wolverines forever.
“I was just laughing. I thought it was funny. (The Spartans) got excited, it’s good. Sometimes you get your little brother excited when you’re playing basketball and let him get the lead. Then you just come back and take it back.”
Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio that following Monday didn’t hold back when talking about Hart. ““I find a lot of the things they do amusing. They need to check themselves sometimes. Let’s just remember, pride comes before the fall. … They want to mock us, I’m telling them, it’s not over. They want to print that crap all over their locker room, it’s not over and it’ll never be over here. It’s just starting. … I’m very proud of our football team, and I’m very proud of the way our football team handled themselves after the game as well. You don’t have to disrespect people. If they want to make a mockery of it, so be it. Their time will come.”
Their time did come. Since the words “little brother” were said by Mike Hart Michigan has gone onto lose 7 of the last 9 ballgames and won four straight before Michigan won 12-10 in 2012.
If a Michigan fan really wants to get under the skin of their Spartan friends then just say, “what’s up little brother.”