Kevin Thomas chimes in as a guest author again with: WHERE IS THAT REBUILDING JOB NOW?

GuestAuthor

I get a kick out of some people who say I am not supportive of the Spartans for the

alleged ‘rebuilding job’ they apparently have to do and my take about “No Excuses”. Huh? The victory the Spartans just “took” enhances and proves my point that this team can win this year. They demolished and dominated a very good Indiana team that is going to win a lot of games this year.

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Let me say this, I may not be the biggest Spartan fan, but I congratulate the three fans that are in front of me. I live MSU sports, especially football and basketball. I can remember sitting next to my radio and listening to USC blow out MSU in 1972 and I listened to every painful second. I can remember getting in a near fistfight as immature teenager over my defense of the Spartans. I remember the Spartan probation years and while everyone was out partying, I would be watching tape-delayed broadcasts of the Spartans with Jim Adams every week.

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As an adult, I have often sent congratulatory e-mails or ‘hang tough’ emails to the Coaches when many or most were criticizing them. Legendary football Coach John Madden once said when everyone is down on your team, that’s when you need to pat them on the back and tell them to hang in there, and by contrast when everyone is patting them on the back

that is when you need to remind them to stay focused and keep their eye on the task ahead.

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I spent fourteen years in Florida, eight years in Gainesville watching the legendary Steve Spurrier. Actually got to talk to him a few times and his motto was “NO EXCUSES”, and I wish I could show you the hand written notes from former Spartan Coaches like Nick Saban and from former Perles recruiting Coordinator Gary Van Dam and others I have received when I would find out information about some stud Florida recruit that would end up at MSU before these recruiting services came along or before they would find out about them. Don’t tell me I don’t care about the Spartans.

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Here is what I am saying, who are the REAL SPARTANS? The ones that say that we have to stack recruiting classes together and that this team is no good and needs years to rebuild?

If that is your definition, that means you QUIT on THIS team, you QUIT on THIS defense and YOU quit on guys who are out there busting their butts TODAY. How would you feel if you were on this team and some so-called Spartan fan said, ”Well, you aren’t going to win this year, but you can lay down the foundation for the future.” Can you imagine some fan saying that to one of Spurrier’s players if he was around? He would hang them by their left onion. Some of you must be hoping to catch some elusive dangling carrot that eventually will be some sugary tasting sweet carrot cake. You have to be kidding me, who knows where we will all be in four years when we aren’t even promised tomorrow? That’s why I said what happened against Northwestern was inexcusable. I merely put out if you bust your tail and say NO EXCUSES, and then things will turn for the better in East Lansing. It also conveys the message—YOU ARE A GOOD FOOTBALL TEAM, BUT YOU JUST DIDN’T SHOW UP LAST WEEK. That is much better and easier to handle than---Ah give it up... JLS didn’t recruit well on the defensive side of the ball, and there was no discipline last year, and my favorite laughable excuse—guys were not conditioned last year, (even though Ken Mannie was the strength and conditioning LAST YEAR). Are you saying that Mannie didn’t have guys in shape for the four years of the Smith regime? How ridiculous is that? How about we give credit to Chris Smeland and that terrible scheme that gave up a ratio of 32 touchdown passes to just 8 interceptions in the secondary, the worse in the nation. Are you saying Northwestern has more talent than Notre Dame? Gee, why did everyone pick MSU to clobber Northwestern by outrageous scores like 42-17 or whatever-I saw them on EVERY message board. But after that loss, suddenly we needed to stack recruiting classes? Look we may not have the depth of a lot of teams—but we have some darn good players who can compete with anyone and can beat ANYBODY if they show up and play four quarters, and if you don’t believe that, then perhaps you are not a Spartan, and don’t talk to me about being ‘realistic’.

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When you say a coach needs time to get his own guys, he needs time to stack recruiting classes, that the sun got in your eyes, and all these other lame, mediocre excuses, you immediately say---we are going to lose, and if we win we are lucky. MSU was not lucky today they totally dominated Indiana. Why? Because they were more focused and they have TALENT.

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I got an e-mail that said that it was “media speak” when the Spartans DC Narduzzi said that the players weren’t “Mentally” or “Physically” ready to play last week. But, I might also add that the coaches questioned the ‘effort’, and even Coach Dantonio said the sidelines weren’t ‘juiced’ last week. It is much easier and more positive to say you lost because you weren’t ready than to say you don’t have secondary help that is not on this campus yet.

Plus, it is up to the coaching staff to make an effort and make sure that 18-21 year olds are mentally and physically ready, that they respect ALL opponents, and are “juiced” for lack of a better term.  This e-mail also asked, “Aren’t players and coaches allowed to learn on the job anymore?” Not to be Socrates, but would you hire a lawyer who didn’t go to law school and was ‘somewhat’ prepared to go into battle? I don’t want my plumber or taxman to make mistakes to my detriment while “on the job”. But, yes, they are allowed to learn on the job, it’s called, “PRACTICE.”

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Shoot, this team is close to being 6-0—which means there is talent here. So if you want to make excuses already for next week, go ahead. I won’t, I think MSU can beat Ohio State.

I am not saying they will, but some of you are already looking down the schedule to see where we can pick up a six victory to be bowl eligible. Does that make you a real Spartan? I prefer looking at one game at a time.

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Did I say the honeymoon was over last week? Yep, I sure did because it is. You can slice in anyway you want, MSU was not ready to go defensively last week. As Lou Holtz said, when you lose games you shouldn’t lose—everyone has to be accountable, but that is what the Spartans did tonight, they redeemed themselves. It is one thing to show up and fight hard and lose, and totally another thing not to show up or be ready, but Coach Dantonio will get every shot to turn this program around so it is up to him to make the most of it.

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Did I point out the coaches messed up last week? Yep, I sure did. Do you know why? Because it is the TRUTH and I don’t have to kiss up to the coaches to get access for quotes and protect my ‘subscribing and paying’ readership…and I think you know the services I am talking about. As long as my name is attached to anything---I will give you the TRUTH.

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With that said, the Spartan players, coaches, fans totally redeemed themselves with a huge victory over Indiana and hopefully we can win many more games THIS YEAR.

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Peace and Go Spartans!

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