The Old Brass Spittoon - Missing Items, Answers Might Be In The Thing

The Old Brass Spittoon - Missing Items, Answers Might Be In The Thing

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The Old Brass Spittoon - Missing Items, Answers Might Be In The Thing

Michigan State travels to Bloomington this Saturday night for the Big Ten opener against the 3-0 Indiana Hoosiers. The rivalry prize for the winner of this annual game is, of course, the very underrated Old Brass Spittoon. I wonder – are some of the things I’ve been missing for many years inside of the Spittoon?

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In the winter of 1991, my mom entered a raffle at the bank where she worked.

The raffle was for something that served some sort of purpose that was good.

The prize for the winner of the raffle was a mountain bike.

My mom won the raffle.

I didn’t have a car and I walked everywhere as I made my way around campus as a sophomore at Michigan State.

I loved the walks – I wore a Walkman and listened to cassette tapes of the bands that were in my vast portfolio at the time.  R.E.M., The Replacements, Uncle Tupelo, Smashing Pumpkins, Toad The Wet Sprocket, The Connells – and East Lansing’s The Hannibals.

When my mom won that mountain bike, her immediate instinct was to give it to me so I could have a “better” way to get around at school.

A week or so after the bike was delivered to her house, she drove it to East Lansing and I was like a whole new person.

The initial thought I had was that life was going to become so much easier and I’d be whizzing around at warp speed, making things far more efficient for myself.

The snow was the first obstacle for me and the bike.

New snow, melted snow, lumps of snow, puddles of icy water, icy ice – all of these winter elements presented the bike-riding with hurdles I hadn’t really considered.

Then – about ten days after having the bike – I exited a building where I had just finished some class that had a long lasting impact on my intellectual search for clarity as well as my search for spiritual growth and I went to where I had locked up my bike only to discover that it was gone.

The front tire was there – with the lock (yes, a very poor approach to locking the bike) – but the rest of bike was gone.

I was a bit miffed.

I stood there for a moment or two and after the initial shock and disappointment wore off, my inner ethos made a quick transition and I was sort of happy to be able to return to the original form of transportation across the campus – walking.

But, to this day, I wonder – whatever happened to the bike, who swiped it, and where did it go?

And that brings me, after that far-too-verbose intro, to my point:

Is my bike in the Old Brass Spittoon?

In the spring of 1992, my baseball mitt was swiped from my room by a bandit – is my baseball mitt in the Old Brass Spittoon?

I once lost a belt – my only belt, by the way – and I had to use a rope as a belt for the remainder of that school year (I think it was the school year of 1989/1990).

Is that belt in the Old Brass Spittoon?

My buddy Schneeberger once searched high and low for his misplaced abacus (he was a Business Major) – is Schneeberger’s abacus in the Old Brass Spittoon?

On the Sunday “morning” following Michigan State’s 1990 victory over #1 UMAA, I awoke after a night that was spent aggressively and enthusiastically with many friends who were as enthusiastic as I was in the collective festive approach to celebrating the win and I wondered if I’d be able to locate my misplaced dignity.

Is my dignity still inside the Old Brass Spittoon?

I once wrote a ten-page paper for an English class the night before the paper was due – and my angel of a girlfriend at the time typed up the paper well into the wee hours of the morning when the paper was due.

I got a ride to the class that morning from my lass but I made the mistake of leaving the car window open – it was winter and the morning was snowy, wet, and windy and at least 67% of my paper ended up flying out of the window and was immediately lost among the snow, snowy puddles, and muck along East Grand River Ave.

Are the remnants of that paper in the Old Brass Spittoon right now?

What about Todd Schultz’s decision making and arm strength and various quarterbacking abilities – are those things in the Old Brass Spittoon?

How about Jon Garavaglia’s potential – is that in the Old Brass Spittoon?

Of all of the football players who have continued (and will continue) to be included in all of the various narratives related to Jalen Watts-Jackson’s never-to-be-forgotten game-winning touchdown after the UMAA punter had trouble with the snap, the one player who continues to get off completely scot-free in terms of any accountability for the Spartans being able to literally destroy UMAA’s entire front interior is UMAA super boy Jake Butt.  Jake Butt did absolutely nothing on the play, served as a doorman who allows everyone with a pulse right into the bar, and contributed mightily to the way the Michigan State defense caused the UMAA punter to take his eyes off the ball and have trouble with the snap and allow the play to happen.

Is Jake Butt’s manhood in the Old Brass Spittoon?

The closing of the Bagel Fragel still causes sadness for me.

Is the Bagel Fragel in the Old Brass Spittoon?

Is this place still in operation???

If it is not, is it in the Old Brass Spittoon?

With nothing but respect to four-year scholarship starting punter for Michigan State from 1992 to 1995, Chris Salani, is Chris Salani’s ability to punt the football in the Old Brass Spittoon?  (Salani’s averages for each season are: 1992, 33 yards; 1993, 35.4 yards; 1994, 38.8 yards; 1995, 37 yards – all good for a four-year average of 36 yards per punt).

The play call that would have been nice to sprinkle into what ended up being four straight handoffs to Blake Ezor that each went for either one or zero yards when Michigan State had 1st and goal from the three-yard line against UMAA in 1989 – is that missing play call in the Old Brass Spittoon?

The eyesight, brains, and logic that escaped all officials in the New Orleans Superdome that allowed Georgia Tech killer Kenny Anderson’s after-the-buzzer shot in the 1990 NCAA Regional Semifinal count and force overtime rather than being simply disallowed since the shot came after the buzzer – is the combination of the officials’ lost eyesight, brains, and logic from that mess in the Old Brass Spittoon?

While we’re at it, is the soul and integrity of the thief who served as the clock operator in Kansas City’s Kemper Arena who, for reasons that remain a complete mystery to this day, thought it would make sense to let the clock sit still for about an hour as Michigan State was in the process of defeating Kansas in the 1986 NCAA Regional Semifinal in the Old Brass Spittoon?

Is the logic, pragmatism, class, and self-awareness of the Michigan State Board of Trustees at the very bottom of the Old Brass Spittoon?

What about my athletic ability that seemed to start to begin to disappear in phases from the age of 12 and continues to disappear as I continue to age?  Is that in the Old Brass Spittoon?

Is the 2018 Michigan State Spartans’ offensive identity, defensive toughness, and overall ability to defeat opponents with strength, power, skill, strategy, discipline, and focus in the Old Brass Spittoon?

I think all of those things might be right there in the Spittoon – and I think the Spartans have been pouring the tobacco residue and remnants all over their faces and bodies all week long in order to fill themselves with the elements that will allow this team to re-boot its season and get to the business of beating teams one game at a time……

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