The post game atmosphere in the Spartan locker room was one Iâ€™d never experienced before. It wasnâ€™t the players that made it different, it was the press. The same people that picked the Spartans to finish 5-7 or 4-8 (I thought they would go 6-6 at best) were suddenly praising the team and giddy at the thought of a bowl game. They had the same â€œare we really going to a bowl game?â€ look on their faces as some of the players. Some of us are current MSU students and some of them are alumni who immediately began asking questions about how well the Spartans will travel.
I was talking to a buddy of mine who runs camera for a TV station in Detroit and he was a freshman at MSU when the team went to the Rose Bowl in â€™88. He said his biggest regret was not going to the game because he thought, â€œHey, theyâ€™ll go back again next year. Theyâ€™ll be other opportunities.â€ Well we all know that MSU hasnâ€™t been to the Rose Bowl since, hasnâ€™t won the Big-10 since â€™90 season, and havenâ€™t been to a bowl game since 2003. So my question is this: With all the complaining the fans have done since then, now that the team IS going to a bowl how many of you will go? Iâ€™ve spoken to a few students who said it doesnâ€™t matter what bowl MSU goes to, theyâ€™ll buy game tickets ASAP. But how many fans can MSU really expect? With as bad as the Michigan economy is, can we really expect fans to buy hotel rooms, airfare and multiple tickets if the team ends up in Arizona or Florida?
If the team ends up in the Motor city Bowl you can count on 30,000+ Spartan fans to be there, at the least. Ford Field would be a sea of green and white and downtown Detroit would look like one big Spartan fan convention. It may not be the most prestigious bowl but beggars canâ€™t be choosers and the location may be the best one after all. But say the team ends up in Tempe or Orlando, are that many Spartan fans going to make the trip? Will the fan base rightfully support the team theyâ€™ve been clamoring for? I hope so.
I admit that I havenâ€™t been a member of the Spartan Nation as long as most of you, so you may know something I donâ€™t. What I do know is that MSU has not been to a bowl, been eligible to go to a bowl, or sniffed a winning record since Iâ€™ve been here. Iâ€™ve heard the students and alumni complain about the direction of the program, complain about the on field product. Well now thereâ€™s a winning team in East Lansing. Thereâ€™s a coach who demands credibility and wants to win back the heart of every Spartan fan. Thereâ€™s a senior class who has been through the fire and DESERVES this 13th game. The only question that remains is will the fans appreciate what they have now, or will they wait until â€œthe next opportunity?â€Â The coach and the team have done their parts. Will you do yours? Iâ€™m anxious to see just how well MSU travels.