Spartan Nation Should Learn from the Past as They Look to Tomorrow

Hondo S. Carpenter

Spartan Nation Should Learn from the Past as They Look to Tomorrow


No doubt that people are already packing their tailgate gear for the first game against Montana State. Excitement for the 2009 football campaign is at a feverish pitch and even though players don’t report for 10 days, people are ready.


I love the excitement that has returned to the Spartan Nation. It is absolutely fantastic to see the shirts, the hats, and most of all the discussion of MSU athletics everywhere you go. This season the Spartan Nation is blessed to have two great QBs in the mix for the starting job, and that brings me to today’s article.


No doubt exists in my mind that whoever the starting QB is, with two great QBs both will play. I also have no doubt that with either QB; one will undoubtedly throw an interception, fumble a ball, or make a mistake. I can also tell you that knowing both of these young men, that neither will intentionally do it and both want desperately to win.


During former QB Brian Hoyer’s career, his girlfriend got screamed at from the stands while sitting with Brian’s family when Brian would make a mistake. Knowing her, I can’t imagine some idiot doing that to such a sweet young lady. There was no care that Brian’s mother (another sweetheart and in the interest of full disclosure a friend) had to endure it.


Let the debates rage over who should get the job. Let the fires flow as people clamor and cheer. I in NO WAY want to see that change. What bothered me, however, was that in the Hoyer’s situation no one stopped the idiots. No one around them grabbed a security guard or told those people to sit down.


I was in awe two years ago watching the Wisconsin fans cheer the Spartans as they walked off the field. I feel that MSU has the best fans in the world, and sadly it is a SMALL minority that act like fools, but they leave the impressions.


The Cousins and Nichol family are good people. They are from Michigan, they are Spartan fans, and they are one of our own. Both have great sons that work hard on the field and in the classroom. Both of them have raised fine young men that they should be proud of. Both of their sons will make mistakes that even I will critique from this computer. That is fine. That is what they signed up for.


Both of those families, and more importantly, both of those kids can handle that. They also deserve that in those discussions, it stays about on the field issues and not ignorant personal attacks. 


As a friend of Brian Hoyer I can tell you that interceptions remained a long time in his memory. I recently ate dinner with him and I can assure you that even then HE brought them up. I can also tell you that those who questioned his sexuality based upon those mistakes are fools and that also they were wrong.


I can tell you that as we head into camp Keith Nichol and Kirk Cousins are ready for a fight. They are ready for a battle. Kirk is ahead of Keith, but neither is ready to concede. I can also tell you that when one is on the field the other will be his biggest cheerleader.


I can also tell you that debate and critique all you want, but both of them had a great example of what being a great person is in the example Brian Hoyer set. Some can’t go back and take back comments made at Spartan Stadium about Brian Hoyer that his family heard. They can’t go back and take back anonymous comments posted on a message board, but they can do this. They can treat Keith and Kirk like Brian should have been.


I long for MSU to return to national prominence like the past. I think we have the tools to do it. I also think that being part of a nationally prominent program takes a lot more than just on the field. The fans have responsibility also. Who cares if the Nichol or Cousins family can hear? Recruits can. Others can.


As we anxiously march towards another year of the greatest game on earth, let’s inspect and dissect all we want. Let’s also not become arrogant and haughty like some other programs we accuse of that and let’s police ourselves. Criticism is fine. These young men get free educations that your dollars pay for. They also are young men, not pro’s and they deserve your respect. Not just the QBs, all of them do.

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