Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Spartan season tickets are here!

Woop woop!  MSU 2015-16 National Championship football team season tickets have arrived!  Less than two weeks 'til the season's opening tilt at Western....

Sunday, August 09, 2015

RIP to the legendary Frank Gifford

RIP to the best of Monday Night Football (from left):
 Dandy Don Meredith, Howard Cosell, and now Frank Gifford

Frank Gifford died.  People, young people just won't get it.  He may have been the greatest two-way player in football history.  He won the NFL MVP for the New York Giants in 1956 playing running back, wide receiver, and defensive back.

In 1960, he was clotheslined - knocked into orbit  - by Chuck Bednarick in one of the greatest hits to date in NFL history.  The dude was a GREAT broadcaster.  I mean, great.  He was honest, open, and compassionate; and he LOVED hanging with Dandy Don Meredith (one of the greatest Cowboys of all-time) on Monday Night Football.  I grew up with Gifford on TV in the 70s.  He was a legend.

I read a book by him many years ago:  The Whole Ten Yards.  It was pretty good, an entertaining and... um, frank, conversation about his life and meeting Kathie Lee.

You need to watch some of the old clips of him playing - he was elusive and deliberate in his actions.  Really, truly remarkable.  This is a tough loss.

2015 Michigan State Football Hype Video

LOVE IT - the ES is jacked.  R u?

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Week 1 odds - Big Green favored by 19 at WMU: shameless, tickets, hype, and mononucleosis

The ES is getting jacked up for the FB season. Fall preseason camp is underway!  Looks like tix to the Oregon game are impossible below $160.  Thank GOD I have a pair.

Week one, MGM Grand in Vegas lists the Big Green are favored by 19 at WMU.  You going to the game?  The ES will be there! Let's 'gate`- let me know.   Odds from Vegas:

Utah is favored by 5 at home over Michigan.  LOL.  
TCU is favored by 14 at Minnesota.
Illinois is favored by 16 at home over Ball State
Penn State is favored by 7 at Temple
Stanford is favored by 12-1/2 at Northwestern
Nebraska is favored by 6 at home over BYU
Alabama is favored by 10-1/2 at home over Wisconsin
Marshall is favored by 7 at home over Purdue
Ohio State is favored by 11 at Virginia Tech

Rutgers vs Norfolk St
Iowa vs Illinois St
Maryland vs Richmond
Indiana vs Southern Illinois

I love the new hype video for the Spartans - an amazing amount of shots of the Rose Bowl, the Cotton Bowl... but moreover, dominated by our kicking the crap out of Michigan the last 7 years.  Certainly, the priority of smashing scUM, and the stupid hype over Harbaugh in Ann Arbor, have festered the Spartan braintrust to create this focus in the video.  It's lovely.  You should watch it, and see scUM's Devin Gardner get planted time, and time, and time, and time again into the ground.

Disgusting, unfortunately for Hicks.  
What IS a bummer is Darian Hicks, who has mono.  He might be out a month, but otherwise, we are healthy!  About mono: the ES had mono the day he was inducted into ADP at Michigan State in 1987 ("mono" is part of my official fraternity nickname), and the ES had it the week after when he attended the Spartans' defeat of Indiana to advance to the Rose Bowl.  It sucked.  But, I played :), albeit on a different stage - Hicks can too????  Be well, first - thankfully it's a month before Oregon.  Hicks was burned repeatedly against Ohio State and against Baylor - but hopefully, we can plug those holes.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Coaches rank BIG GREEN #6 preseason

So, the coaches' poll came out today, with only a few interesting blips for Spartan fans.  First off, we're ranked #6 - it has to be our highest pre-season ranking since 1966 - two years before the ES was shot out of his mommy's cannon.

The Ducks, the national runners-up, are ranked a spot ahead of Michigan State.  They are our season-opener, and we'll be ready.  Should be a fun game - the best non-conference game in the country for the preseason.  It's an 8 pm, ABC, prime-time game.  Weather should be great.  Can't wait.  A win, and we bump up a spot.

There are no other teams on our schedule (look at top right of the ES site) that are ranked until we hit Ohio State in the c-c-c-cold, second to last game of the season.  Nebraska has 27 preseason votes, and both Maryland and Michigan have 1 vote each.  Da ES sees a trip to the Corn as having potential, but the Spartans have tamed the Corn (remember the frigid 27-22 win last year with a valiant but short comeback by the Corn?) the past two years and the distances between the programs this year are far greater.  Maryland is irrelevant, and Harbone's Roadkill have been irrelevant for the better part of the past decade.

Shall the ES take a trip out to Columbus... methinks maybe, but the Buckeye faithful are mean and terrible fans.  I think I'll boycott the Ohio State game; would love to come to Columbus, but not to be treated like a piece of shit.

The season finale, hosting Penn State - well, the Spartans have owned this series the past several meetings and should do so again... especially with a stake in the national playoff on the line after its victory over the Buckeyes.  Many are predicting the Nittany Lions (20 nods in the poll) at 3rd in the division behind OSU and MSU - but far below those two.  Thoughts?

Here's the complete coaches poll:

USA Today Coaches Poll
1Ohio State (62)14-11598
2TCU (1)12-11487
3Alabama (1)12-21452
6Michigan State11-21230
8Florida State13-11057
11Notre Dame8-5883
15Ole Miss9-4668
16Arizona State10-3577
17Georgia Tech11-3573
24Boise State12-2190
Dropped from rankings: Mississippi State 12, Kansas State 18, Utah 20, Marshall 22, Louisville 24 
Others receiving votes: Mississippi State 164, Texas A&M 149, Oklahoma State 89, Virginia Tech 70, Utah 40, Kansas State 37, Nebraska 27, Louisville 27, Minnesota 25, Penn State 20, South Carolina 18, Miami (FL) 16, Texas 8, Illinois 7, Duke 6, Air Force 5, Louisiana Tech 5, Marshall 4, Utah State 4, West Virginia 3, NC State 3, BYU 3, North Carolina 2, Florida 2, Georgia Southern 2, UCF 1, Cincinnati 1, Kentucky 1, Maryland 1, Michigan 1, Washington 1

Thursday, July 30, 2015


So, Connor Cook, AJ Troup, and Tyler Hoover (Indy Colts) walk into the Peanut Barrel last week.  Joe, the owner repeats to them what I have beaten into Joe all year:  "Hi guys, THIS IS IT!"  Cook agreed, said they are focused on winning it all.  And, the three of them are huge human beings.  :)

This leads into the article in the Freep today, with this pretty quote by Cook:

"When you're in this position, you just have to hold people accountable," said Cook, who will have a strong argument over Cousins as the best MSU quarterback under Dantonio with a successful senior season. "There's a time to joke around and be funny, and there's a time to be serious. For me going into my last year, I think I need to be more assertive. More serious as in being a better leader, more vocal, I'm trying to take it up a notch. It's just me going into my last year and not having any regrets."

All I gots to say is... THIS IS IT.  Look at the roster, across the board.  The only two weaknesses are:  RB (my dead grandma can run behind this OL and get 5 yards), and DB (lots of playing time, lots of experience... hopefully the DL can put on the pressure).  Add gun-wielding stud Delton Williams back into RB for a second-chance, and now you have a true STUD at RB (re: Le'Veon Bell, Jehuu Caulcrick - big, shifty, and strong).   The schedule is fairly weak, except for Oregon (home) and Ohio State (road).  The OSU v MSU matchup is likely to be the playoff contender.  So, we gotta figure out how to win vs #1 OSU in Columbus.  We did it before with a shittier team under $aban, we can do it now with a better team.

A win over Ohio State in Columbus, and Urban Meyer will have another fake heart-attack.  Go GREEN.

Look for some new changes from the ES this year.  Video podcasts with a reporter, live GoPro tailgate footage, etc.  I bought the equipment, now its time to ramp it up  Go GREEN!


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Spring Game 2015: A 9-3 Shootout: Learning Lessons

OK, it was only a Spring Game.  We're playing ourselves... but, let's break down a bit what the ES witnessed at Michigan State's 2015 Spring Game:  the ES made it for the second half, then watched the first half a few times on the BTN the last few days.  No, there was NOT 48,000 as announced... maybe 38,000?  Anyhow...

OFFENSIVE QUESTION MARKS????  Let's get real.  The only reason the ES really wanted to come to the game was to see who the hell was going to run the ball for the Big Green this fall. 

Answer is either #28 Madre London, or #24 Gerald Holmes.  Both are hard runners, very similar style to former RB Nick Hill (read: straight ahead, bullish, can't read holes, trip over people) but a bit bigger - not at all like Jeremy Langford (total stud).  Each remind the ES of a more stoudt Javon Ringer, with much less speed than Jeremy Langford, LeVeon Bell, or Javon Ringer:  London is 6-1/220, Holmes is 6-0/218.  Holmes broke out from the middle of the line for a nice 50-yard run in the third quarter... and was caught from behind.   I see both backs servicing MSU throughout the year, and maybe even we'll find a third for committee work. 

The OL didn't necessarily perform great on either side; London's 70 yards (other than the 50 yarder) and Holmes' 48 yards were tough sledding against a rough DL (see below).

MSU's Tyler O'Connor vs. the White
Passing game =  Where was Damion Terry?  Too bad he didn't play with an undisclosed injury.  Otherwise, we saw dropped passes and some poor passes.  Tyler O'Conner (Green team) looked like Carol O'Connor, as if he was sunk in a lazy boy with a beer and a cigar.  Didn't play well.  At all.  Macgarett Kings didn't help, with a few timely drops right in his hands.  A pass to DE Shalique Calhoun was cute and didn't tell us anything.  Total yawner.

Connor Cook (White team) certainly looked like the leader and made some decent throws; he was pressured for much of the afternoon, took some sacks (which were whistled, he was not hit).  He has that cannon on his right arm.  But, RJ Shelton and DeAnthony Arnett both dropped a few Cook passes.

DEFENSE WINS THE DAY:  Gimme a break, it was a 9-3 shootout (as prolific as that 14-2 spring game in 2012), with the defensive lines really pushing back the offense for much of the game.  ES was very impressed at the dominating defensive interior, both on the Green side and the White side.  Whenever Cook (White) or O'Connor (Green) could get anything rolling... well, things just fizzled out quick.  

The Spartan defensive ends will be very, very good.  Shalique Calhoun (#89) and Demetrius Cooper (#98) were in the backfield constantly on the pass rush.   They should be.  And, Lawrence Thomas (#8) seems to be getting into the form we expect to be dominant run stopper on the inside. He bottled up the line all day long.   I really like Damon Knox (#93) who is also a load on the inside.  This defensive line is the deepest, and best in the Big Ten.

At LB... will it ever end?  Riley Bullough (#30) really hit the gaps well on run plays.  It was typical hard-nosed Bullough heritage that we saw in the Spring.  Ed Davis (#43) and Darien Harris (#45) also played very well on defense.

Actually, the DBs played well also.  Nick  Tompkins (#32) and Jermaine Edmondson (#39) blanketed wideouts much of the game.  So did anyone in the number 30s, like Arjen Colquhoun (#36).  Gotta give credit to Harlan Barnett.  He really has coached this backfield consistently into one of the best in the country.  These guys are physical, athletic, and they turn around to make plays instead of the face-guarding days of yore.  OK, we're playing ourselves... but there was little criticism with new faces.

SPECIAL TEAMS:  If you like punting (the ES does - he punted in HS), then the Spring Game was a treat.  Dantonio decided to put our new young punk to work, Jake Hartbarger (#25) out of Waterville, Ohio.   With all the defense... well, he punted for BOTH the Green and White, and must've kicked it 10 times in the second half.  Of those, one was a real treat, a beauty of a 55-yard spiral.  Still, lots of clunkers and he needs some work.

FGs were missed beyond 45.  But we hit two of three.  Mike Geiger didn't kick them, as he's already solidified that starting spot as an All-American.   I think it was #24 Kevin Cronin who was 2-3.  Whatever.

Bring on Western Michigan!  Sept 4 in Kalamazoo... see ya at Bell's Brewery on a Friday night, Sept. 4.  

Blocking for O'Connor?  Why bother - Incomplete it is!