Counter Arguments For Some Of The Current Narratives

Counter Arguments For Some Of The Current Narratives

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Counter Arguments For Some Of The Current Narratives

What are some of the somewhat random thoughts SpartansWire has on some of the somewhat random thoughts that Michigan State fans seem to have after a somewhat frustrating 1-1 start to the 2018 season?

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We’re two weeks into the 2018 season and Michigan State, in case you hadn’t heard, hasn’t really seemed to find its rhythm.

The Spartans are, in case you hadn’t heard, 1-1 after an unimpressive and nerve-racking 38-31 win in the opener against Utah State and a disappointing 16-13 loss to Arizona State in Tempe.

Fans are flummoxed.

And for anyone wondering what that means – both literally and satirically – it means that fans are so upset that they’re asking lots of questions.

Questions like

  • Why isn’t Melting Moments  the ice cream of choice at Spartan Stadium anymore?
  • Why is Dave Warner allowed to continue to have a locker anywhere in East Lansing along with the locker he has at the Fowlerville YMCA?
  • Why can’t Zeke The Wonder Dog suit up and be a part of the secondary that’s surrendered 300+ yards in the first two games?
  • Why isn’t Mike Tressel Pat Narduzzi.

Lots of questions.

Of course, the questions would be different if one or two plays had gone differently in Tempe.

If, say, Michigan State had beaten Arizona State 20-13 on a dramatic final drive led by Brian Lewerke, people might still be vexing over what would be termed as “areas for improvement” rather than “reasons to eliminate the football program.”

As it is, the flummoxed nature of the Proletariat exists.

What do we think of the various narratives that have caused Spartans to worry that Michigan State may not win another game this season?

NARRATIVE: Dave Warner has been the offensive coordinator for too long due to Mark Dantonio’s stubborn loyalty and Dantonio needs to find a superstar to start running the offense.

SPARTANSWIRE’S THOUGHTS: If you’re willing to forfeit the 2013 Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl victory, the 2014 program record-setting offense and incredible Cotton Bowl victory, the 2015 Big Ten Championship and College Football Playoff appearance, the dramatic turnaround of 2017 that featured the 10-win season and Holiday Bowl win, and dominance over Michigan State’s rivals, you can complain about Dave Warner’s play selection against Arizona State.

Also, if you’re willing to say – out loud – that Michigan State’s most successful coach in generations (and soon to become literally the most successful coach in the history of the program) is wrong about his confidence in Dave Warner, you can complain about the play selection against Arizona State.

Finding areas to critique is perfectly fine – there are plenty.  I’d suspect that Dave Warner would be the first to acknowledge that.

But, Michigan State is the program that it is today due to a philosophy that has worked in ways that make it the envy of probably 90% of the college football programs in America.

Dave Warner is a major part of the philosophy, a major part of the execution of the philosophy, and, perhaps most importantly, he’s a major part of the cultivation of and the daily leadership of the culture that has led the program to becoming what it’s become.

If any stock brokers or real estate guys or software salesmen or expert media guys have the specific answers to some of the short yardage struggles and/or the inability on the part of the offense to hammer the ball in while in the red zone based on their professional experience, the main phone number to Michigan State University is 517 355 1855.

Call that number and ask for Mark Dantonio’s office.

The switchboard will put you through – and when Dantonio answers the telephone, just simply tell him what he should do.

NARRATIVE: Harlan Barnett is missed and Mike Tressel isn’t the guy to take over as defensive coordinator.  Mark Dantonio is too loyal – and with Tressel, the loyalty gets personal due to the relationship with Jim Tressel.

SPARTANSWIRE’S THOUGHTS: If you’re one of the experts who is suggesting that Mike Tressel isn’t the right guy to take over for the departed Harlan Barnett, my initial (albeit cynical) perspective is that you might be a guy who said, a handful of years ago, “Harlan Barnett and Mike Tressel will not be able to fill Pat Narduzzi’s shoes – Dantonio needs to go out and hire Bill Belichick as his defensive coordinator.”

You also probably are a guy who is only vaguely aware of the fact that Tressel has been a member of Dantonio’s staff since Dantonio’s first year as a head coach at the University of Cincinnati.

You also probably are a guy who doesn’t think a whole lot about the culture thing that I referenced above when addressing the Dave Warner situation.

You might also be a guy who doesn’t stop to think about how “culture” was, without any question whatsoever, the very first thing that Mark Dantonio had to fix when he became Michigan State’s head coach.

Guys like Dave Warner and Mike Tressel have done far more than anyone outside of the program will ever realize to fix, cultivate, and continue to strengthen Michigan State’s culture.

As vital as it is to have the horses, Spartan fans only need to look at the 2016 season if they’re poo-pooing the significance of the issues related to “culture” within this football program.

Tressel knows what he’s doing – the reason we know that is because Mark Dantonio put him in the position of defensive coordinator.

Before we all determine that Tressel should be traded to Purdue for cash and players to be named later, how about we let Tressel be the defensive coordinator for more than eight quarters of football?

NARRATIVE: Brian Lewerke has thrown some costly interceptions and he seems to be regressing. He’s supposed to be a Heisman candidate and he’s not supposed to be making the sorts of mistakes he made as a sophomore.

SPARTANSWIRE’S THOUGHTS: Brian Lewerke has made two throws that he would love to have back, particularly the throw he made into the endzone against Arizona State that was intercepted.

Last season, as we’ve said here at SpartansWire, Lewerke had a tough night against Notre Dame.

Lewreke showed – with tangible evidence in the form of actual play on the football field during games – that he learned from those mistakes and he wound up leading Michigan State to a 10-3 record, a victory over UMAA, a victory over Penn State, and a victory over Washington State in the Holiday Bowl.

If you’re one of the folks who is suggesting that Brian Lewerke is regressing or struggling or not making good enough milk shakes for the fans at halftime, I’d suspect that you might not have really noticed just how much he learned from the mistakes he made last season and how vital he was in the Spartans’ ten wins.

If you’re one of the folks who thinks he should already have the Heisman Trophy in his bedroom, I’d suspect that you might not have all of your faculties about you.

If you’re one of the folks who want to see Brian Lewerke be the Brian Lewerke that all of us want him to be throughout the course of the full season since we all know that he’s probably the most important ingredient to what can still be a Big Ten Championship season, then I’m one of those folks, too.

I bet he’s one of those folks.

But before we start to say that Brian Lewerke is Damon Dowdell (we love you, Damon – look him up, Millennials), let’s let Lewerke play another game or two or ten.

I’ll enter into a wager with anyone that Brian Lewerke will end up being an All Big Ten quarterback when all is said and done and I’ll offer that the stakes be a week’s worth of crab rangoon from Harrison Roadhouse to be paid for by the person who comes up on the short end of the wager.

NARRATIVE: Michigan State lost to Arizona State because it was so hot.

SPARTANSWIRE’S THOUGHTS: Sorry, folks – I don’t care who you are, how much experience you’ve had covering Michigan State sports, how many scientific weather studies you’ve conducted since Saturday, and how handsome you are – if you’re even slightly alluding to the heat when analyzing how and why Arizona State defeated Michigan State, I’d like to sell you a really awesome plot of land in Poland.

I’ve touched on this already this week but it warrants more attention.

Last season, Michigan State beat UMAA 14-10 and the second half of the game was played in a monsoon.

UMAAers have used the monsoon as an excuse for the way the game went.

Correctly, Spartans have said to the UMAAers, “Sorry, guys – State won the game and it doesn’t matter whether the sun was shining, the hail was pelting, the dew point was off kilter, the winds were unsafe, or the humidity was cause for extreme perspiration – final score, Michigan State 14, UMAA 10.  That’s the deal.”

Unfortunately for Michigan State, the final score of Saturday night’s game at Arizona State was what it was and the heat wasn’t and never will be a reasonable thing for Spartan apologists to point to as any sort of “excuse” for Arizona State’s 16-13 victory.

And my guess is that the person who would be the first to agree with this would be Mark Dantonio.

NARRATIVE: Michigan State stinks and isn’t going to be able to win a lot of games this season.

SPARTANSWIRE’S THOUGHTS: To the folks who are running with this narrative, please just go back to bed.

 

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