Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spartan (not the Val Kilmer movie!!)

Really haven't paid much attention to the other teams, save the 'steel cage grudge match' that was the Villanova-Pitt game. Have watched State as much as I could, and what I have seen has been what I have seen all season from the Spartans.

Testing myself, I got a ticket to the Carolina - State game and man, the Heels 'were who we thought they were'. Mind you, the Spartans were down a player, and some of the key guys now, weren't matured into the players that they are now. Getting ran like they did, I knew that nationally, people had to wonder what the big to-do was about the Spartans.


Several Big Ten teams got national wins, some tough quality road wins, State included (hello, we beat Texas and we beat Kansas ... TWICE!!). Michigan found a way to win a couple of big games, so did the Buckeyes. And it wouldn't have been a basketball season if Wisconsin (hey, it's a party state!!) didn't frustrate someone.

We play good basketball up here. I would not be surprised to see that since the UCLA oliarchy, that the Big Ten has produce more finalists, if not winners of the basketball title.

There was a game I remember where Indiana, led by Steve Alford, RAN with the supposedly superior Running Rebels of UNLV. I remember laughing at someone, because I wasn't at home and was claiming 'Big Ten rights' by sticking with the Hoosiers.

When it comes to playing basketball, there is a 'stick to it-ness', that separates the Big Ten squads from others around the country. Sparty's run has been one of the clearest examples of what I mean.

What did Coach Izzo say ..?

"Players play, tough players play tough." Between Mike Singletary's press conference and some of what I read folks say nationally about State, you know how State is going to come at you. Like another team with 'conceptual continuity' (which is a Mark-ism that will appear more and more in these scribblings), the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers, the guys for State play more for the name on the front, than on the back.

Travis Walton's game for real has come out of nowhere. He was always a shut down defender, hence his Big Ten defensive player of the year award. Who knew he was going to score like he has in the tournament, as well as play lock down defense?

I heard that he, along with another one of Sparty's seniors, Goran Suton, that they didn't want to be the ones that broke the streak. And that streak is, you go to State, you get your degree (I think the grad rate for men's bball is around 88%, if not, I am sure it is high) in four years, and you will get your shot to win a national championship. Period.

If someone could make that kind of promise to you, that you will get a real shot at the brass ring, what would that mean to you? What would you do for a chance at your goal, your bliss?


"Victory is the reward ... pain is the sacrifice." -tag for the TV movie, "The Junction Boys".

One of the things that I can offer into a relationship, is that I will be all in. My health is soo much better out of the stress that was my 'so-called engagement', that I can feel comfortable saying that I pushed myself beyond measured tolerance, trying to make things work.

Which was cool, because I wanted to find out if I had the kind of heart that I would tell someone that I have. That was a nagging doubt that I had to get rid of. MDG, Pecan Sandie, Tee Jay, were all willing to go that extra mile, and when they went and the finish line got moved again, they were willing to keep on running.

Cutting to the chase, I was the one that stopped running. Even in admitting that, the choices made with My Delta Girl and Pecan Sandie were still the best available options, even in hindsight. Which is why I got stuck at Tee Jay.

If you aren't willing to give up what you hold dear, then I think that there has been a serious breakdown in the 'conceptual continuity' of a relationship. And in State's run back home, you can see the strength of maintaining the standards that you believe will let you achieve with what you have.

State plays tough, but the toughness is different from the toughness of the last national title team, 'The Flintstones', led by Mateen Cleaves (DYK that Tom Izzo loved his star player so much, that he named his FIRST BORN son Stephen Mateen??) and even the two other national semifinalist teams were different from one another ...

... save the concept. We are Michigan State, and we KNOW we are tougher than you. Can't say it enough, because as much as a part of their victory is due to all the good stuff, part of that good stuff, takes the air of their opposition, Big Boy. No air in that at all.

Takes a lot to be willing to fight against all odds, to really be one of the '300' (Frank Miller may be an asshat {can you believe that I SAID THAT!!}, but 'Sin City' and '300' were good pop films!). If you are coached by Tom Izzo, you had better be prepared to stand against the Persians at the 'Hot Gates', cause that is what it takes to play in East Lansing. I think the football program will again return to the Perles era of 'the flat out toughest team in the Big Ten', but that is fall talk.

State has done what I wanted them to do, which is finish there season at home. Now it is left up to them and their destiny. And I don't think that anyone could ask for anything more.


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Like the all in reference, could also use Texas Hold-Em as the analogy.

Beth said...

We'll be cheering for the Big 10.

My Dad and I were just talking the other day about back in the 90's when Ball State made it to the Sweet Sixteen, and played UNLV. They almost beat 'em...seriously. UNLV went on to win the championship that year, but it was a great chance for Ball State to get on the national stage.

Hugs, Beth

Wes said...

I can remember the UNLV games and those years. There was and still is much talent in the game. I try to follow sports, but mainly the sports networks. I don't need to between you and Beth, I get pretty caught up. I also wanted to respond to your other entry as well. I too have respected and admired people who can forgive or handle a death likee that. The way they have!


Tawnya said...

I a m not all that into college ball, but I am definitely rooting for State. Since this is where I live now, I an supporting the home town teams ( maybe except for the Lions). Woo Hoo, kick butt MSU!!!!