I want to say something here about the burgeoning practice of planting a flag at the center of a college football opponent’s field after a victory. Have you noticed that this nonsense is generally perpetrated by perennially second-rate teams that get lucky and beat a good team that performed uncharacteristically poorly? Planting the flag is a classless, “in yo’ face” maneuver that, I suppose, provides instant gratification for a group of live-for-the-moment losers who will go on to lose the next week. Grab the glory while you can, idiots, because it will be short-lived.
It happened in the Illinois — Michigan State game. Perennial loser Illinois, who hadn’t won a Big Ten game in two years, finally won one, and it was on Michigan State’s home field. At the end of the game, a scuffle ensued as the classless Illini rushed to the center of the field to “plant the flag.” The Spartans should have just ignored this ridiculous gesture of pseudo-superiority, but they, too lowered themselves to the sewer level of sportsmanship by abandoning discipline and “defending their turf.”
Contrast that hooliganism with Michigan’s recapturing of the Little Brown Jug in Minnesota. The Gophers had won the Jug last year when they acted like kids in a candy store, running over to the Michigan sideline to grab the jug, planting the flag and making complete assholes out of themselves. This year, Michigan won. At the game’s conclusion, the Wolverine seniors and captains marched arm-in-arm over to the Minnesota sideline and calmly retrieved the symbolic jug. It was a classy act, which had been discussed and decided upon before the game.
I don’t know who started the obnoxious flag planting stuff, but it has no business marring what used to be friendly competition. There are schools where respect and class are integral parts of the program, Penn State and Michigan being two such institutions. While there will always be rogue students who deviate from the general classiness of these great schools, I hope I never see the day when such behavior is regarded as acceptable at Penn State.
Ironic that Michigan State started the whole flag planting thing last year at Notre Dame. Minnesota followed it up causing the Big Ten to ban it quick. I’m surprised Illinois did it. I’m sure they will be punished by the league somehow.
The Nittany Turkey says
I hope you’re right, Mike. Instead of jerking off with ridiculous issues such as sanctioning Chief Illiniwek, the Big Ten should be dealing with real problems such as this form of institutionalized unsportsmanlike conduct.
Personally I don’t feel sorry for Michigan State one bit. They, like their coach, have no class. They planted their flag in South Bend last year. Then after imploding against Notre Dame two weeks ago a few players stood at mid field to protect the Spartan “S” against a similar flag plant by the Irish. Only the Irish, who are a classy team, walked over to the corner of the endzone to sing their alma mater with their fans. The Spartan players looked ridiculous and pathetic. Then this week when Illinois, who hasn’t won a big ten game in two years, planted their flag the Spartans get all upset and start a fight.
So let’s recap. It’s fun for the Spartans to plant their flag on opposing teams. But try to do it to them and they will fight you. That is a team with no class. They deserve whatever they get. I hope we pound them this year.
The Nittany Turkey says
I’ve got to wonder whether this flag planting thing is an outgrowth of the Florida State Seminoles’ spear planting ceremony, in which “Chief Osceola” mounts his Apaloosa (not carnally), charges out to the center of the field, and plants a flaming spear in the ground. This is done before the game, not after, but it is sometimes done on a neutral field, such as at bowl games. Although this does differ from flag planting after a victory, I’d rather credit Florida State for the invention of all this obnoxious crap and related indignities. It’s been going on a long time at FSU—to ascribe it to Moo U. would be to imply that they’re capable of original thinking at East Lansing.