It’s About Passion! Mike Henne sounds off with his first Spartan Nation article

Hondo S. Carpenter

It’s About Passion

By Michael Henne

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When I was first approached by Hondo to do some writing for Spartan Nation, I immediately gave him a resounding “yes.” I look at this as an opportunity to write for the great Spartan Nation. I graduated from MSU in 1995. As I have found myself in different places throughout the country, one thing has remained consistent – my ties and my love for the green and white.Â
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I have been preaching the MSU gospel since I was a sixth grader. I knew at an early age because of my love for agriculture that I would go to Michigan State. Myself, my older brother and one of my younger sisters have degrees from the College of Agriculture at MSU. Our family truly represents the heart and soul of the Spartan diehard.Â
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Throughout the years, MSU has conquered the Big Ten landscape in basketball and attempted to climb the ladder in football. The memories are endless and yet I find myself reliving them everyday. I remember Antoine Jobert guaranteeing victory for the Wolverine faithful, only to watch a slow short guy from Indiana named Scott Skiles light them up for 40 points. I remember how good it felt to walk down the hall in Junior High right after Lorenzo White ran all over Michigan. I remember the glorious feeling as I watched Smitty deliver a Big Ten title to Breslin. I remember leaving the room so that nobody would see me cry when Mateen hoisted the trophy over his head on a gimpy leg.
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These are memories we all live and share with every passing day. My girlfriend (she’s a semester from her PhD in psychology) will tell you my love for Michigan State is a diagnosable condition. She’s a Maryland grad and knows the MSU roster better than Maryland’s, even after seven years in College Park. The point in my sharing all of this with you is that I have come to understand that there are many of us throughout the Spartan Nation who are better people as a result of the MSU community. I talk to my father and brother daily. We don’t need an excuse to call – it’s recruiting season, don’t you know.
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So a changing of the guard has occurred. We really have a chance this time to do the right thing by our new coach. Dantonio appears to have the knowledge and the spirit necessary to revive the sleepy green giant. Hondo has been pointing out all of Coach Dantonio’s early recruiting victories. I’d like to point to the fact that he has been more than impressive at embracing the spirit of the MSU community and our great Spartan Nation.   It is our responsibility to live up to our end of the bargain and support Coach “D” and his staff through this rebuilding process.
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The Spartan Nation would love to get our share of victories over the boys in Ann Arbor. There is not an MSU fan alive who would love to stifle the “Wal-Mart Wolverine” fans more than myself, and I don’t even live in the state. I do read the Detroit papers and want to throw up after reading one pathetic column after another about our beloved MSU. The truth hurts, Spartan fans. We have not shored up the loose ends in the past and we cannot afford to fail with Mark Dantonio and Company. We have given the media, every bit of rubbish needed to smear MSU over the years. It is time to demand better. I am challenging everyone who calls himself or herself a Spartan, to pick up the green torch and carry it with pride. Passion is the key ingredient to everything we do in life. It is the reason I get up in the morning. It is the reason why I’ll drive 10 hours from D.C. in the middle of the night to tailgate the next morning with my Spartan family. It is the reason why Jud thumped his head. It is the reason why 80,000 of us stood in Spartan Stadium in a torrential downpour during the ND collapse. It is the reason why Mateen came back to the court during the Florida game. It is the reason that Plaxico threw David Terrell to the ground play after play in the 1999 Michigan game. It is the reason why Tom Izzo called an ally-oop to MoPete during the timeout of the Iowa State game. It is the reason Mark Dantonio was hired. It is all about passion. Do your part.Â
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