"If you feel sorry for yourself, you're gonna be chasing bad times..."

"If you feel sorry for yourself, you're gonna be chasing bad times..."

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"If you feel sorry for yourself, you're gonna be chasing bad times..."

Mark Dantonio addressed the media today and spoke about the 16-13 loss to Arizona State Saturday night in Tempe. He also spoke about how the team still has all of its goals ahead of it – and that feeling sorry for yourself doesn’t do anybody any good.

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In the early stages of the 2013 season for the Michigan State Spartans, the coaching staff was unable to find the right approach in dealing what was a pretty legitimate quarterback controversy.

Andrew Maxwell had served as the Spartans main quarterback and leader throughout what wound up being a frustrating 7-6 season in 2012.

As the 2013 season approached, there was a fair amount of debate about whether Maxwell was, indeed, the guy to continue to lead the team or whether younger up-and-comers Tyler O’Connor or Connor Cook might be more capable of becoming the flashpoint leader for a team that appeared to have a ton of potential but lacked a certain magic.

While most Spartan fans and pundits tend to forget, Michigan State started out that 2013 season in underwhelming fashion.

A 26-13 opening game win over Western Michigan wasn’t overly impressive.

The Spartans followed that up with another unimpressive 21-6 victory over South Florida.

A 55-17 win over Youngstown State wasn’t any reason for a parade since the win was over Youngstown State.

Unranked and with a 3-0 record, the 2013 Spartans went to South Bend to play a very beatable 22nd ranked Fighting Irish team in the fourth game of the season.

The game was ugly.

Most fans who remember that game immediately point to the 76 pass interference calls that were made against Michigan State that day.

Fans and experts tend to forget that Michigan State missed a makable field goal early in the game, never got much going on offense, and probably didn’t deserve to win the game whether there were 76 or 43 pass interference penalties called against the No Fly Zone.

Sensing the mood was bleak in the aftermath of the 17-13 loss that day to Notre Dame, Mark Dantonio said calmly yet assertively, “We lost a game. We didn’t lose our way.”

Of course, Michigan State didn’t lose another game that season, won the Big Ten Championship, defeated Stanford in the Rose Bowl, and the Spartans finished the season #3 in the nation.

Today, in East Lansing during his weekly press conference, Mark Dantonio found himself in a similar situation after a disappointing 16-13 loss to Arizona State that came after a less-than-impressive 38-31 opening game win over Utah State.

Whether you think Mark Dantonio is a great coach or a grumpy guy or someone who might have bad breath, it’s pretty undeniable that he has a knack for delivering authentic messages that tend to come at the right times.

Today, while addressing all of the areas of concern that his football team faces, he said, “If you feel sorry for yourself, you’re gonna be chasing bad times…”

Forget the 2018 Michigan State football season, I’m considering having that written out in calligraphy and laminated so I can frame it and put it up on the wall of my son’s bedroom.

Or maybe it might even go on the wall in the family dining room.

Michigan State is 1-1 and it feels like the Spartans are 0-5.

The offense – the line, in particular – can’t find the next gear in short yardage situations and its inability to hammer away and pound it into the endzone probably cost the Spartans the game on Saturday night.

And, perhaps with a healthy bit of credibility, the experts are saying that the inability to pound away in short yardage situations, goal-to-go situations, and all other situations might end up turning this so very promising season into a disappointment.

But isn’t it fair to suggest that it feels like this football program has been here before?

While Dantonio’s quote from today – “If you feel sorry for yourself, you’re gonna be chasing bad times…” – perhaps has been said by a person or two before today with a word or two placed in different spots and hasn’t found it’s way onto a Michigan State t-shirt just yet, doesn’t it send, basically, the same message to the coaches, players, and fans of this program right now that others like it have in the past?

And haven’t the messages that he’s delivered in the past had the tendency to be on point, rally the team he leads, and become quotes that do, indeed, end up on t-shirts and banners that fans bring to ball games that the Spartans end up winning in grand fashion?

Yes, there are problems with the offensive line.

Yes, there are problems with the running game, in general.

Yes, the defense – particularly the secondary – has been too soft and has allowed too many yards through the air.

But in watching and listening to Dantonio today, it sure did feel a lot like press conferences where he’s been in this situation before.

Michigan State is sort of fortunate to remain in the Top 25 this week (the Spartans are 25th in the AP and 24th in the Coaches Polls) – but the fact that the team is in both polls at all might suggest that others out there might be thinking along the lines that we’re thinking –

Wouldn’t it be sort of silly to turn out the lights on Mark Dantonio and Michigan State?

Isn’t it reasonable to think that this week’s bye week combined with the next few weeks of somewhat under-the-radar matchups might give this team the time to put its head down and grind it out?

Perhaps we’ve all been here before.

Perhaps Dantonio knows that he has his team right where he wants it to be.

And perhaps this all means that things might be even worse for Big Ten opponents and rivals than we thought they’d be a few weeks ago.

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