Students, band keep Sparty Watch alive
Spartans have a lot of love for their mascot — so much that they’re willing to brave cold, October evenings and the threat of encroaching Wolverines to make sure Sparty stays green.
As No. 17 Spartans travel to Ann Arbor and The Big House to take on their rival, the No. 18 Michigan Wolverines, some MSU students hold the traditional Sparty Watch.
Each year during the week of the Michigan game, members of the Spartan Marching Band, and the co-ed fraternity Kappa Kappa Psi and the Tau Beta Sigma sorority, camp out to protect the iconic statue from vandalism.
Communicative sciences and disorders senior and fourth-year marching band member Amelia Germain takes Sparty Watch seriously.
“When it comes to Michigan week, my mind is set to support the team so they win the game,” Germain said.
“We’re there to protect our mascot. I love being there to support the team throughout the week and keep up the
spirits of the football team and fans and everybody around MSU.”
She said it’s a good time and a critical part of Michigan week on campus, and people are welcome to come out and support the cause. Every night at midnight this week, the Spartan band gathers around the statue to sing MSU Shadows, Germain said.
“(Tuesday) night, the coaches came by and brought us pizzas,” she said. “Every year they come by and say, ‘Hey,’ and thank us for our support. It’s awesome to know we have support of the coaching staff and team. It makes how much work we put into our performances worth it.”
The Sparty statue was covered in yellow and blue paint during the 2002 men’s basketball season. It also was vandalized twice in 1998, according to State News records.
Music performance freshman Cwen Homa said she knew some Wolverines who would be glad to add some maize and blue to the statue.
“I know a couple of crazy people who would do anything to harm that statue, so (Sparty Watch is) a good thing,” Homa said.
No-preference freshman Carly Meshew said although she personally wouldn’t stay out there to protect it, she supports the cause.
“It’s horrible they (vandalized it) in the first place,” Meshew said.
“We’re classy Spartans, we would never do that to their statue.”
However, not all MSU students are as excited for the game. Homa said although she is not a big football fan, she traditionally has rooted for MSU’s longtime, in-state rival.
“I’ve actually come here being a Wolverine fan,” Homa said. “Being a musician, I feel like I have to go with the team that has the better fight song. Sorry.”
Still, other students are gearing up for the first undefeated matchup between the teams since 1999.
Prenursing freshman Chris Lentini said the game is all about pride.
“Well obviously it’s one of the biggest rivalries around in-state,” Lentini said.
“It’s bragging rights for the entire state of Michigan. I have friends at Michigan who are giving me stuff like, ‘Oh Michigan’s going to win,’ and I’m like, ‘No way, MSU is going to win.’ Hopefully we win.”