Michigan State Spartans – a week after hitting a disgraceful low – continue to play Illinois
CHAMPAGNE — Michigan State played without eight suspended players in Saturday’s 23-15 win over Illinois at Memorial Stadium. Suspended why? For beating two Michigan players last weekend in the Big House tunnel in Ann Arbor after the Spartans were eliminated by the Wolverines. Legal action is underway.
The world of sport remains outraged.
My question: why is anyone even surprised?
Hatred of “the other” is the American way in 2022. Opposition is expressed in vitriol and violence.
You see it in sports. Alabama’s Jermaine Burton hit a Tennessee fan during a storm on the field a few weeks ago. Michigan basketball coach Juwan Howard brought in Wisconsin assistant Joe Krabbenhoft last season. A Michigan fan dashed from the stands to grab the bald head of Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker as he walked into the tunnel last Saturday.
Ohio State coach Ryan Day and Rutgers coach Greg Schiano had to be separated on the field during a game in October. Months earlier, Alabama’s Nick Saban and Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher publicly tore each other apart – crossing every imaginary rhetorical line – in what has become college football’s offseason history, but this wasn’t even in the same ballpark as how political opponents in the United States talk to each other at all hours of the day.
Referees in youth sports suffer so much abuse that they quit by the thousands. Parents of young sportsmen – idiots, many of them – brawl at games when they’re not busy screaming (or worse) scratching.
Rival fraternities battle it out in the stands at college games. Drunken fools fight each other in the stands at NFL games, with no thought of hurting each other. High school and college kids fight for the cameras – ”World star! ” – as the models hold up their phones.
There are relentless gunfire in our cities and mass shootings everywhere. God bless America.
Election officials don’t feel safe because they are.
The son of a former president tweets jokes about an assault that left House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s 82-year-old husband with a fractured skull and other injuries.
We are more “us against them” than ever. We demonize others for their race, their religion, their sexuality, their politics, their team. We don’t just disagree, we hate.
We want our athletes to know better, do better, be better, but why would anyone think that’s what’s going to happen? Athletes are supposed to sort things out on the field? Oh good? The leaders of our country do not accept the results of the elections. The announcements of political attacks are preposterous. Debates are like matches in a steel cage.
On January 6, 2021, chaos was unleashed in the halls of the House of Representatives. We’re supposed to be surprised this happened in the tunnels of the Big House?
In sloppy football time at Evanston, Northwestern passed No. 2 Ohio State, owned the ball for 36:26 to the Buckeyes’ 23:34, didn’t commit a turnover, didn’t is not injured with penalties – in a word, the ideal scenario – and still lost 21-7. Impressive effort though. Something the Wildcats could build on, perhaps? . . .
White Sox manager Pedro Grifol picked up the lunch tab on Friday for unsuspecting customers queuing at the Vienna Beef Factory Store in Bridgeport. There’s no truth to the rumor that Sox fans are already grumbling about the Miami native’s strategies involving sporting chilies and giardiniera. . . .
A photo of Illinois basketball coach Brad Underwood painted by transfer Matthew Mayer, who won a national championship under Scott Drew at Baylor: “Coach Drew is a really upbeat, happy guy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Coach Underwood happy a day in his life. No, I’m just playing. Coach Underwood, he’s great, but he screams a lot more.
It’s an acquired taste. . . .
ESPN Films recently wrapped production on a documentary about Candace Parker, promising an “intimate portrait” of the Sky star shot over the past year. She deserves it. Women’s sports too. . . .
I saw new Bears wide receiver Chase Claypool dominate Notre Dame’s Blue-Gold spring game in 2018. During a practice around that time, then-coach Brian Kelly caught the Claypool 6 -4 and said to him, “You have all the tools. You just have to use them and put them together.’ Claypool was immersing himself in the Julio Jones video at the time, and every Irish defensive back was talking about him.
Either way, consider me excited for what he could do here. . . .
The Sun-Times’ six official Dolphins-Bears pickers take visitors to Soldier Field on Sunday. As I did – correctly – in the season opener against the 49ers, I’m swimming against the tide. Bears, 23-21.
That you must see
Ravens at Saints (7:15 p.m. Monday, ESPN): The Ravens’ 24th-ranked defense can use a guy like newcomer Roquan Smith, who is making his debut at middle linebacker. That’s assuming he can beat Ray Lewis.
“Say hello, Willie Mays! (8:00 p.m. Tuesday, HBO): A documentary examines the life and career of the man Reggie Jackson calls “the most spectacular baseball player who ever played”. Far be it from us to disagree with Mr. October, even in November.
”Hard Knocks In Season: The Arizona Cardinals” (9 p.m. Wednesday, HBO): What is that? The cardinals are in last place? We’re sure the dozens of cameras rummaging around at all hours of the day have nothing to do with it.
Only because you asked
From James, via e-mail: “That Grifol choice – huh? A bench coach in an ever-losing team who was fired? Never played the game but are a good communicator? Sounds like “meh” to me, like the Sox are “meh”. ”
You are right to be skeptical about Grifol. He hasn’t been successful and doesn’t bring the shine of a winner to town from Kansas City. But it’s unfair to attribute the Royals’ defeat to their bench coach, and it’s almost irrelevant that he didn’t reach the major leagues as a player. Rob Thomson, manager of the Phillies in the World Series, did not. Brian Snitker of the Braves, Buck Showalter of the Mets and Oliver Marmol of the Cardinals — the playoff skippers this season — didn’t. A long list of winners – including Joe Maddon, Jim Leyland, Jack McKeon, Jim Frey and Earl Weaver – did not. This was not the case of Terry Bevington! OK, never mind that last one.
The last five
Highest ranked Tennessee: What kind of idiot would choose the Vols to win in Georgia? I mean, besides me.
Yuli Gurriel: Man, you gotta feel for the Astros first baseman. What could be worse than having to stop five games in the World Series because of an injury? Come to think of it, that’s probably a lot better than anything the Cubs and Sox players are doing.
IMG Academy: Did you hear the high school football superpower snagged 96 points — in the first half — at West Toronto Prep? Any self-respecting bogus academic institution would have scored 100.
Hangover : The defending champion Warriors are 3-7. Get together, guys.
Illinois: Heavily favored Illini couldn’t fend for himself in an embarrassing effort against Michigan State. Who do they think they are, all the teams in Illinois before this one?