Apparently, my favorite football team plays dirty. Would you allow me a brief moment to wring my hands in distress? Here's what New York Magazine political writer and Michigan fanboy wrote from his fainting couch the other day:
Thuggery is a foundational element of the program culture of Michigan State football. I'm not sure whether it derives from the team's being named after an ancient culture associated with primitive militarism, the school's almost pathological inferiority complex, or the legacy of its iconic 1987 Rose Bowl squad that was built upon systematic steroid use.
You see, despite the reasonably close attention I pay to the Michigan State football program, I was unaware that "thuggery" was its "foundational element." (Leave aside the question of how a foundational element could be the "legacy" of something that happened in 1987.) I always assumed that element was inadequate quarterback play, but then again, I did go to an agricultural school. Still, it's good to know the foundational element of Michigan's program remains an entitled, wholly unearned arrogance.
I should confess my bias here: I'm a Michigan State grad, a huge Spartan fan, and I think Jonathan Chait is kind of a dick. When I last encountered his Wolverines-based sports musings, he was defending a coach who was in the process of getting his beloved team sent to the principal's office, the same coach whom Michigan fans would later run out town for being a loser.