Sunday, February 25, 2007

MSU Spartans and March Madness

One of the nice things about living in a big college town is the excitement generated among the students and community when the athletic teams are going well. Here in East Lansing, this week's victories by the MSU mens' basketball team over #1 ranked Wisconsin and Indiana virtually assures the Spartans a bid into "March Madness," the NCAA tournament - imho the coolest sporting event of the entire year.

It is surprising, when you stop and think about it, how much importance we place on these kinds of things (a bunch of physical freaks, frankly, running around trying to put a ball in a basket more times than the other bunch while thousands cheer and groan their every move), but we've done so throughout human history so why should we be any different, I suppose. It does give one a sense of common enterprise and community, and it's nice to see the human side of these contests - overcoming adversity, dealing with disappointment, etc., etc. (On that point, the Detroit Tigers provided one of the great sports stories of the past year, making it to the World Series only three years removed from having one of the very worst records ever in Major League Baseball).

And it's all the better when you have decent folks like MSU's Tom Izzo involved - makes it much easier to get behind a team than when you have demagogues like the one who coached in Bloomington all those years (including when I was an undergrad there more years ago now than I care to remember).

By: Michael Anthony Lawrence