Monday, September 28, 2020

DUELING COLUMN: MSU is not a terrible place

October 26, 2016

I’ve been to Michigan State a handful of times in my life, and it’s really not a terrible place. There’s some decent food, an admittedly solid dairy store and the second-best Rick’s American Café in the state.

It wasn’t my first choice for college, but for a while, there was a chance I could have ended up there. And I probably would have been happy. That’s why I’ve always felt a little strange about the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry.

But when it comes to The State News, I have no trouble sorting out my feelings. I think I speak for your entire campus when I thank you for reducing your print publication to two days a week. The world can only handle so much mediocrity.

Last season, after Michigan State beat Ohio State in one of the most significant wins in school history, The State News’ game story led with this: “MSU defeated OSU by a score of 17-14 Saturday afternoon in Ohio Stadium on a walk-off 41-yard field goal by junior kicker Michael Geiger.” It ended like this: “Junior kicker Michael Geiger then attempted a 41-yard field goal attempt to win the game; he made it. The Spartans won. They will play Penn State next Saturday at Spartan Stadium.”

After reading stories like that, I wonder if the reason Mark Dantonio always feels disrespected is that his school doesn’t have a better newspaper.

To be fair, he hasn’t exactly earned better coverage this year. Michigan State is so bad at football this season that its inferiority complex no longer stops with Michigan. Now, the Spartans are looking up at Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan, too.

They’re so bad that NBA coach Mike D’Antoni is hoping people stop slandering his good name by insinuating that he coaches Michigan State. They’re so bad that even Connor Cook’s dad is offended. They’re so bad that the couches in East Lansing are finally coming out of hiding.

I’d actually feel a little bad making fun of the varsity team in this column if The State News’ writers didn’t seem to believe they were part of it. Last year, one of your reporters tweeted that he cried in the press box after a win.

I would have assumed they taught objectivity in journalism school. There also seems to be a misunderstanding about the concept of “news.” I know you all only print twice a week, but is there a reason you still have photos from Oct. 9 as your lead football gallery? And here I thought Michigan fans liked to live in the past.

Unfortunately for you, the past, present and future are all the same when it comes to our annual touch football game. The Daily has won 11 straight, including one game in which you wore shirts proclaiming, “We are the ones.” We’ll win again Friday, and then we’ll listen to all of your complaints about how big our staff is.

Maybe we should apologize because students here want to work for the Daily. Maybe we should play with six on the field instead of seven, just to give you a break. Maybe we should cancel the game and just use that time to teach you how to write on deadline. I don’t have all the answers here.

What I do know is that it genuinely saddens me how pedestrian The State News is. I have a lot of respect for Michigan State as a university, and there’s a chance that one day, one of my younger sisters could end up there.

I’d hate to think that, if that happens, they would find this column and think I have nothing good to say about their student newspaper. So I decided to end with a positive. I racked my brain, and I came up with all of the redeeming qualities I could think of about the State News — reasons I don’t think the paper might as well just give up.

Here’s what I came up with: I’m sure you’ll all have nice children some day.

Editor's note: This column is subject to the editing team and style guide of The Michigan Daily. The State News has published it as is.

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