Michigan State Basketball Team Feels the Pain of their Spartan Dawgs: Michigan State Football

Steve Williford

 In case you missed it, the Michigan State University men’s basketball team played Nebraska Omaha on Sunday in East Lansing. Originally I intended to write a game recap but it quickly became apparent that there was not much to talk about as MSU crushed the Mavericks from Nebraska Omaha 110-79. The game can be summed up by picturing someone within the MSU athletic department walking over to someone in the Nebraska Omaha athletic department and saying, “How much do we write that check for? Oh yeah, I remember, here you go and thanks for coming.”

               Before tipoff it quickly became evident that the most important topic to discuss was the football game that took place the night before. I’m not going to remind anyone of the score but I say it was against Wisconsin. As I walked to the Breslin a group of students in front of me were discussing the game. When I got to the media room the majority of conversation was centered on Michigan State’s and Wisconsin’s epic battle in the Big Ten Championship game.

               What sealed the deal for me is when I walked into the court area. It was a thin crowd and at a point during the game I wondered if I was at a MSU basketball game or a sleep study. It was at this point I realized the real story was football not basketball. This got me to wondering how the players and coaches from MSU felt about what had happened the night before. It is one thing for us fans to post on messages boards or talk about it at work but it is entirely different coming from the basketball players and staff who have friends on the team and understand what it is like to play high level college athletics.

               When speaking about the game it was easy to see that coach Izzo felt the same pain that many of us in Spartan Nation felt, “ Opportunities like that you hate to see them slip away because you never know when they are going to come back.” Even though Izzo was disappointed he still was very proud of the football team, “If you are a Spartan fan or alum you should be awfully proud of the way that team played, conducted themselves and went after em.”

               When speaking to the players, what came across is the love and support they have for the football team, especially Isiah Lewis. I asked Derrick Nix where he watched it and his thoughts about the game: “We watched it in the hotel. It was a good game up until that last play. It was a bad play by Isiah Lewis but I still respect him and I still love him. He is one of my favorite players.”

               Draymond Green voiced how proud he was of the football team when he was asked if the basketball game meant a little extra after the disappointment from the football game the night before: “It wasn’t a disappointment in the fact that our football team didn’t play, just had a few bad breaks. At the end of the day those guys got out there and gave us everything they could give us.”

Day Day also demonstrated his love for Isiah when speaking about the roughing the kicker call, “No game is lost on one play, no matter how you look at it. Nobody complained about all the plays he did make. So don’t complain about the one he didn’t make.”

               I was also able to catch up with Travis Trice to capture his thoughts on the game, “That was rough but I think our team did a good job. They kept fighting all the way even when they were down. Kirk was like a doctor out there dissecting the defense.” Like the rest of the players Trice expressed some words of advice for Lewis, “One thing I want to tell Isiah is to just keep his head up. We didn’t lose the game because that play.”

               We did not learn much about the basketball team Sunday on the court. What we did learn is that they are proud of the football team and will support them win or lose. It may not help ease the pain and disappointment in relation to the outcome of the football game but it does give us another reason to be proud of Michigan State athletics.

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