Jon “THE MISSILE” Misch bears his heart after the MSU vs. UAB game but more importantly, shows his character!

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Jon “THE MISSILE” Misch bears his heart after the MSU vs. UAB game but more importantly, shows his character!

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I admit it and I am not embarrassed to do so; I like Jon “THE MISSILE” Misch. I will admit that having been a proud member of the Spartan Nation my entire life I can tell you that I love to see a person that comes to MSU and that being a part of the Spartan Nation is bigger to them than themselves. THE MISSILE showed Saturday why the love he has gotten from the fans and the Spartan Nation was earned and not given, even thou he is still young.

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I asked him after the game about his emotion of playing in his first real game and leading in tackles. He said, “I was so excited. I was like thank you God. If I got injured and never played again I made it. I stood on that field and played for MSU. I am just so proud to be a part of this team, and to get to play for Coach Dantonio. I’ve got (wraps arms around himself and shivers) cold chills going up and down my body right now.” How about the monstrous hit on the guy when you just drilled him? “That was really special. In the way we do things that is what we want, you just have to hit someone and if you’re going to do it than do it right.”

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Being from Michigan you get the rivalry and all of attention that Dantonio gives it now. I asked THE MISSILE, “What was it like when you heard about the UM loss?” “I was in the shower and everyone was watching TV and I just came out and couldn’t believe it. I mean today just couldn’t be a more perfect day to be a Spartan.”

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We talked about Coach Narduzzi putting Sir D in to get some reps when UAB went to some sets that they hadn’t practiced? “Sir D did a great job. I understand that it is just my place to play and I support whatever choice they make when it comes to who plays. Whatever makes MSU better, I love it man.”

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Now all of that is nice and certainly shows his love of the Spartan Nation and his devotion to the school, but the next part is what singles him out as such a great kid. He is like your kid brother that you can’t help but root for him.

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When the game was over a kid was screaming at him as he was leaving. THE MISSILE didn’t hear him so I walked over and asked him what he thought about Jon. The youngster from down state told me, “I love him. He is so good. I am not very big either but he is great. He is my favorite player.” To which his mother added, “Since about the second quarter he has been asking me to get his jersey for him.”

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His jersey may not be at all the souvenir stands…yet, but the Spartan Nation is seeing that once again a young person can come here and earn the love, but more importantly the respect of the Spartan Nation by leaving it all on the field.

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When I told THE MISSILE about the kid and his comments his emotion went on overload. Tears filled his eyes as he dropped his head and mumbled, “My family means more to me than football or anything. You should see my nieces and nephews. I love them so much and I always play with them and try to be a great example to them as a person. (Crying) My whole life I wanted to be the person that kids could look up to. Coach talks about coaching and playing here is such an honor, and I just wish I could meet that kid and hug him. That is just really special man. I am overwhelmed. To think that a kid could come here and watch a game and think that I was his hero is more special to me than anything else. I just can’t ever let him down. I have to get better and do more.”Â

THE MISSILE apologized to me for crying when he learned about the boy. I told him he had no reason to. The tears this day should have belonged to the UAB player that he sawed in half with a viscious hit you would have expected from a monster, not a young man moved to his own tears by a new fan.

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With that, he wiped his eyes and headed to the gate where the Spartan Nation was standing with Sharpie in hands to have their new warrior sign every piece of merchandise they could find. You didn’t see jerseys; those will come soon enough as the free market economy cries for the jersey of their new hero. What you did see is a great young man who loves the Spartan Nation and is appreciating every moment of it.

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Jon “THE MISSILE” Misch led the Spartans in tackles against UAB, but I would bet everything I own that if you asked Jon he was most proud that a youngster from down state that saw him as his new favorite gladiator.

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THE MISSILE may only be as big as Joe Greene’s ankle, but for those of you that are as old as me when he walked away, had that kid been around I know it would have been a moment like his famous commercial with a here kid toss of his jersey. Mark Dantonio and Pat Narduzzi don’t have to worry about Misch; his fear of letting down that kid will turn in his stomach. That is a good thing, but don’t let him know how many more have taken a liking to the pride of Waterford, Michigan, otherwise he may not ever sleep.

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Coach Mannie, after the team sang the fight song, summed it up best when he came across the field and yelled at THE MISSILE, “Why don’t you have a protein shake in your hand?”

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He’ll find one Coach, just as soon as he wipes away his tears.