Posted November 7, 2007 2:07 am (about 4484 days ago)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.