Early this Monday, the website TheGame730AM put out a satirical ‘open letter’ signed as Michigan State University’s head coach Mark Dantonio and watched as the state slowly erupted. It’s the perfect way to get people hyped for the big Michigan vs. Michigan State game this weekend.
Mark Dantonio is known to be a coach who’s very, very sheltered when it comes to the media. I mean for Christ’s sakes, the man wouldn’t answer a single Oregon question all summer because he was preparing for Western Michigan in week one.
To Whom It May Concern:
Thank you for your help. I appreciate you voting my team down three spots in the latest AP poll. I appreciate you being complicit in the Michigan Myth, that they’ve “returned”–whatever that means. I appreciate your being part and parcel to Harbaugh mania, which borders on unethical for journalists and dives head-first into full-fledged fandom. I appreciate you spending much of your time with me asking about Harbaugh and Michigan. I appreciate you getting my name wrong on national TV.
I appreciate you overlooking the fact that only one of the two teams playing this weekend in Ann Arbor has won 32 of its past 35 games. I appreciate your negligence of our 29 wins since the start of 2013 (only Florida State and Alabama have more). I appreciate you glossing over the fact that only one of the two starting quarterbacks is 29-3 as a starter and the wins leader among all active college football signal callers.
And I certainly appreciate your hand in helping my team to be an underdog this Saturday at Michigan. Honestly, I do.
It’s no secret what we’ve built here at Michigan State has been predicated on a chip-on-the-shoulder mentality. Admittedly, that’s a little harder to sell to players after back-to-back Top 5 finishes and a lofty preseason ranking.
But thanks to your help, I have about 100 guys just as hungry as ever to drop Michigan.
There’s nothing we’d like more than to answer your questions about our program’s validity and the perception that our national prominence isn’t tenable while Michigan has a competent coaching staff.
Thanks for all the support.
The letter went viral almost immediately and was shared all over Facebook in East Lansing by students and alum. I’m assuming it made its way all the way to Ann Arbor because later Monday afternoon, a second satirical article from MaizenBrew was released and falsely signed by Harbaugh.
To Mark and the rest of MSU Nation:
I have nothing but great respect for what the Spartans have been able to accomplish since you arrived in East Lansing. You are, without question, the big kid on the block right now in our great state and a worthy opponent for us on Saturday afternoon.
I am sorry that you feel slighted by the media. They have a way of twisting words and feeding storylines. Trust me, I am fully aware. I have no interest in giving those merit. The “hype,” whatever that is, I’m not sure, surrounding my football team that has been created comes from the work we put in during the week that manifests itself on the field on Saturday’s, not hyperbole from those outside of Schembechler Hall.
If you choose to play the disrespect card, that is fine. It has worked out well for your Spartans over the years. Just know this: I’m not interested in talking about the past.When you compare one team to the next, someone gets diminished. I’m not worried about this week over any other and I certainly will not be preparing my team any differently.
Regardless of what you do, what you say or how you prepare, my team will be ready to play on Saturday and is looking forward to good, healthy competition in a game that is a great showcase of the sport we both love in the state of Michigan.
The Wolverines will not be looking to make any grand statement on Saturday. We aren’t trying to “close the gap” in our excellent rivalry. We aren’t trying to diminish anything your program has done and will continue to do.
We aren’t looking ahead to anything. We have much work to do and just keep trying to get better every time we step out there.
We will, however, be ready to play and look forward to the great challenge that lies ahead of us. I look forward to a clean week of preparation and hosting the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday afternoon.
I spoke about it in my opening press conference. We don’t do rebuilds here. Michigan is greatness, and we have a lot of work to still do, but we plan on taking our state back on Saturday. That’s not disrespect. That’s the goal of competition. We want to win. We prepare to win. And we plan to win. Anything less is unacceptable.
Yours Truly in Football,
There’ll be endless debates as to who’s favored here, but the one thing for sure is that this game is going to be a more entertaining matchup than it’s been in a long, long time.