“Just about everybody was male and everybody seemed to be drinking beer in tall white foam cups. Farrell’s smells like beer, has a hardwood floor, and neon Budweiser signs and an American flag in the windows.”
-Lynne Miller, New York Daily News writer
This morning, after dropping Taylor off at an American Girl Doll get together, I ventured over to the campus of Michigan State University to take in the men’s basketball open gym. Former and current players along with recruits play a couple of hours of pick up basketball (for those who don’t know, I worked on the coaching staff at MSU from 1999-2001)
When it was over, I met up with guys like Mateen Cleaves, Steve Smith and the likes. I left and made my way to a very good breakfast joint about a mile away.
Today was a big day for Michigan State Spartan fans here in East Lansing – it was a home game vs Notre Dame.
As I walked through campus, everywhere you looked, people were tailgating.
Beer, loud music, crazy looking games and food were the norm.
Spartan fans showed their school spirit sporting their favorite t-shirts and hats. Some even paint their mugs.
It’s safe to say, College football is big-time in this town.
The thought of college football and the fans brought me back to the days of growing up on 9th avenue; we didn’t have a college football team to root for.
Think about that – we had the Jets and Giants from the NFL, that was it. (Shut up, I know we had Farrell’s and McBears, kicking ass, but that was SUNDAYS!)
For the lucky college grads from the neighborhood, they had Iona, Fordham and St. John’s. Shoot, we even had Columbia. (To all you S.F.C. Terrier graduates, you didn’t have a team)
Hofstra has made strides over the years, but back in the day, I don’t ever recall seeing them on the map!
Rutgers? Nah, I can’t count them…
As a kid, I often filled out football tickets (or sheets) down in Timboo’s and tried to pick four college teams to cover the spread – I only hit the ticket a couple of times. I’d pick teams like Utah, Syracuse, Nebraska and USC. We’d watch the game, check the scroll at the bottom of the screen and even call Sports Phone every 20 minutes; remember King Wally?
(Sorry, Syracuse doesn’t count as a favorite team to root for, they were located too far up North)
I did adopt the University of Oklahoma though. I loved Barry Switzer and his wishbone offense. Those guys were the real deal.
Their quarterbacks were speed demons. Their running backs, well let’s just say they were human gazelles.
Back in the day I was able to watch them maybe twice or three times per year on television. Today, If I were still a Sooner fan, I’d probably get all their games on the Dish and I’d be able to follow them via the Internet.
School spirit is special – I graduated from Central Michigan University in 2003 and my interest has grown for their program – my my lovable Chips! They have a really good QB this year.
As I see little kids tossing around the pigskin in East Lansing, rocking Spartan jersey’s, it would’ve been cool to own a college jersey and feel like a big time college football player, rooting for a team in my hometown.