Can I get a Witness?

Hondo S. Carpenter

Can I get a Witness?

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In case you’re not aware MSU basketball is miles ahead of even where Izzo thought it would be at this time. “I guess you could say that were farther along at this point then maybe I thought we’d be,” was Izzo’s response earlier this week.

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That said, I have to wonder how much the Spartan Nation actually notices. Izzo is not a good coach; he is a great coach, and his success has spoiled the Spartan Nation. I wonder how many of you actually take the time to recognize the greatness they see. Can I get a witness?

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This years’ “soft” schedule is still so far beyond anything that, lets say, UM or Syracuse does, but we still say it is soft. Just because we aren’t playing UNC, Duke, and Jesus and his traveling band of all stars from St. Peters Basilica, the let down from previous schedules make this year seem easy. Can I get a witness?

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King Izzo promised a “back to Izzo kind of ball” and the masses screamed hallelujah and amen and he did it. We were told that this squad would rebuild and learn to play like the past and here we are in December and they have. Can I get a witness?

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Still no recruiting scandals… as others still cheat. He signs a top five class with no extra benefits, other than a promise to give young men a chance to become great under his tutelage. No MSU class that he recruited has ever left without having been to a Final Four. Can I get a witness?

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Selfless fundraising, and late night trips trying to get us a football coach, with not so much as a complaint. Spending hours each month signing countless pieces of meaningless memorabilia, (except to the owner), that he does not get paid for, and never once a complaint. Can I get a witness?

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Taking late night trips after games to sit in a gym in nowhereville that may have a ninth grader he might offer MSU to three years from now and signing autographs for the crowd. Making a kid hit the books when he could let it slide, because he promised a parent that their kid would not only graduate, but also, actually learn. All of that without benefit of a ESPN special telling the world just how special he is. Can I get a witness?

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He has a team that has no stars yet, it is loaded with kids that came to MSU for one reason: to play for him! However his ego doesn’t keep him from spending the private time that he never talks about yet, all his players’ brag about that says I really care for you. Taking phone calls on his cell, office, and home that most celebrity coaches would never even think of, and never being told thanks for just giving his time. Helping out old players that maybe under performed or were not stars and making them feel like Magic Johnson when they come around. Never brushing off a kid or a charity. Never getting drunk or high and embarrassing the University. Not using every off-season to blackmail more money from the program even though the NBA and TV drools over him. Can I get a witness?

He calls people on the phone who write misguided editorials in the paper because, God forbid, someone might have an ill thought, when many people would see the 99 that love him and ignore the 1 that does not. Call me a butt kisser … I don’t care! Call me a slappy for Izzo… I have been called worse! All I know is, that, I don’t think Izzo will be here forever. I hope that each of us takes an extra second to watch what I believe is his best coaching job ever. I hope we all relax and remind ourselves how blessed we are to see this. You call me a slappy… I say I am appreciative. Can I get a witness?

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I saw Jordan play. I watched Magic in Jenison. I got to see Barry Sanders and Stevie Y. One day, a long time from now… old, and, hopefully thinner (LOL)… I want to talk to my grand kids about this man and his career and tell them how incredibly fortunate I was to not only know him but to have watched him work. Hopefully when I do, all of you members of the Spartan Nation from around the world will yell out when I ask for a witness: Amen!

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UM can have Bo. We have Izzo and I, for one, don’t feel like waiting until he passes to say what I feel. He knows the respect I have for him. I just wish this man knew how much of yours he has.

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