DomingoYu.com

Sports talk

Posted November 7, 2007 2:07 am (about 4396 days ago)

While I don't write about them much, sports have played a huge role in my life. For those who watch college football, you already know that Michigan beat Michigan State this past week, which brought some joy into my life. When I was picking a college I chose U of M over MSU because of their football team. I know; that’s a stupid reason. But coming out of high school I was pretty clueless. At any rate, I was embarrassed by Michigan’s two losses earlier this year. However, I’m just about equally embarrassed by U of M running back Mike Hart’s comments after this last game since he apparently never doubted the outcome.

For those who watch college football, you already know that Michigan beat Michigan State this past week, which brought some joy into my life. When I was picking a college I chose U of M over MSU because of their football team. I know; that’s a stupid reason. But coming out of high school I was pretty clueless. At any rate, I was embarrassed by Michigan’s two losses earlier this year. However, I’m just about equally embarrassed by U of M running back Mike Hart’s comments after this last game since he apparently never doubted the outcome.

“Sometimes it's just like when you're playing your little brother in basketball," Hart said. "You let him get a lead and let him get excited, but then you take it back from him.”


Could he come off as any more arrogant? His rationale is that MSU sees itself as being in Michigan’s shadow (granted, they have lost the last four games in the rivalry), but that’s a weak excuse for the classless comments. Except for U of M, I tend to go for the underdog. Still, out in Cali I’m proud to say that I went to Michigan. Schools like USC and Cal Berkeley get most of the love, even though there are a lot of Big 10 grads out here. However, when I’m back in the state of Michigan I shy away from telling people that I went to U of M. It has a reputation for being elitist and arrogant. I can’t argue against that. The only reason that I root for them is that I went to school there. Who doesn’t want to be identified with a winner? Yet, Hart’s mouth reminds me of why so many people despise schools like U of M and it took me back to when I was an undergrad there. By my sophomore year I pretty much quit watching their games. I was cool with a couple of players, but as I got to meet more of them so many were such prima donnas that I got turned off to the whole thing. It’s hard to root for a team when you’re hoping that various players make themselves look like asses. It took me a few years away from U of M until I could start watching games again.

Yeah, I know football is a hyper masculine sport. The best way to get someone like Mike Hart to shut up is to beat him. But seriously, does one have to be classless to excel? Take your win and keep it moving. In terms of pros, I don’t remember guys like Walter Payton or Barry Sanders shooting off at the mouth and no one questions their impact or talent. I was glad that Tony Dungy finally won a Super Bowl because it showed that you could be a good guy and still win (although Dungy might have some major skeletons that I’m not aware of). Hart lost a fan in me. I was hoping he might win the Heisman Trophy but now I just think that he needs to be humbled. Michigan is on a roll but considering its start at the season and pretty dismal record against Ohio State and bowl games in Hart’s era (zero wins!), if he still has enough ego to be that arrogant with that track record, I don’t know what it’ll take. I don’t know. Maybe he’s apologized. Maybe there’s background info that I’m not aware of. Maybe he's always been like this. Until I hear otherwise, he joins the ranks of other loudmouths I root against or have no interest in watching. Does he care what someone like me thinks? No. But it’s a shame that he doesn’t realize that his comments reflect upon the entire school. I know that MSU's coach has been talking smack all year and that Hart isn't the only one to run his mouth. I'm only singling out Hart because he's attending my alma mater.

Still, it would be nice to see him, and others, rise above the name-calling.
Hopefully he’ll mellow out with time and let his play do the talking. It seems to be working for Randy Moss and Terrell Owens.

Check out this article on Hart's background that humanizes him a bit more.

Comments

1. Mike Palmer said at December 19, 2007 6:29 am:

I have to say that the blame for the level of showboating and trash-talking in American sports can't be levelled at the athletes themselves. Many fans relish that kind of talk before, during and after a game. I am a guilty party as well. However, I have to say, from an outside perspective, it is truly the ugliest part of sport in America and only serves to demonize Americans when they play overseas. Anyway, I think it is very difficult to make players like Mike Hart change, without change in the culture.

2. dawn-elissa said at January 25, 2008 3:33 am:

i really liked this blog, Dan! i think you are teaching a basic lesson in human decency. i have to admit that the Florida v. UM game hurt my feelings, but i still get the lesson you are teaching:-) Can I add that my father re-dressed my son out of his brand new gator jumpsuit & put him into Michigan colors while I was engrossed in the game, and then he and my mom sang UM's silly fight song throughout the game? Wait-- It's gets better. They went to OSU for grad school! when I was born, we lived in BUCKEYE Village!!! Haters... They normally are only pro-OSU, but they deliberately rooted for Big Ten to hate on the SEC!

3. Daniel said at January 28, 2008 1:42 pm:

Dawn, That's OK, it's tough being from U of M. They like to think of themselves as an elite program, and I think this Florida game helped, but with the exception of that game, until they beat someone of worth outside of the Big 10 I think they tend to consistently be overrated. They ride off past laurels. Of course I want them to do well, but it is what it is. Yeah, winningest program in college football history. Beat USC or OSU! I went for OSU in the title game. In general, I favor the South, but I figured one way for U of M to get some respect was for OSU, who beat them, to be the champions. Of course LSU proved why they're on top! I honestly haven't been following college ball as closely the past few years, so maybe I'm off, but at the end of the day, the scoreboard is what matters. I have to acknowledge that my view is shaped by high expectations. If U of M doesn't finish in the top 5 every year it's a disappointment! Talk about spoiled...

4. Daniel said at January 28, 2008 1:53 pm:

Mike, apologies for the delayed response. I agree though. The problem is way bigger than Mike Hart. Our whole society is based on this hyper masculinity. If it's not on the football field, it's the size of our car, TV, etc. This stuff has been talked about to death, but it never changes. Billions spent on sports, yet most people can't afford to even go to college...The way players get penalized for changing schools, yet coaches can quit mid-season and be rewarded with a multi-million dollar contract the following season. I don't excuse the players, but it's understandable considering what they're surrounding by, even as young as elementary school. I have to admit that I get caught up in the hype too. Take the gym for example. If I was only worried about health, I'd spend more time on cardio than 1/2 the time I spend hitting the weights. I'm not some enormously buff guy, but I'm not trying to be a skinny dude either.

Add your own comments