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Community Advocacy Organization

My Two Cents: The Brawl at the Big House

As a lifelong Spartan, let me first say I am becoming increasingly disturbed by new revelations supported by video of the "Brawl at the Big House" Saturday night between players from Michigan and Michigan State.

What I’m seeing is vicious and COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE behavior.

And I must concede, it ‘could have been’ criminal!

Here’s what long-time Detroit Sports Columnist Bob Wojnowski writes today in a very thought-provoking opinion piece in the Detroit News:

“It’s not about the tunnel. It’s not about taunting and trash-talking. It’s not even necessarily about the rivalry, although Michigan-Michigan State has reached peak toxicity levels. It’s about cowardice. And misguided, misdirected hate.”

I believe ‘Wojo’ is mostly right here. That stuff in the tunnel had nothing to do with the Michigan/MSU rivalry. NOTHING. Where I beg to differ is on the possible motivation for that ‘explosion’ we saw Saturday night in the tunnel.

Rather than “cowardice” I saw “calculation.” This wasn’t about heartbreak or frustration over a football defeat. It looked like a personal vendetta.

Why would those Spartan players "go off" as they did at just those two Michigan players? And why did it appear that the maize & blue guys approached the MSU players? Why were the "Michigan men' not among their victorious teammates?

The behavior of the Spartan players CAN NOT be excused. Let’s be clear about that.

Expulsion from the team and from the university should be among the things now seriously considered.

And, as I now must admit, criminal charges could be warranted.

Again….I’m wondering about the actual motivation for the attack.

Ultimately, such violent behavior can’t go unpunished. It was inexcusable!

But why did it happen? Why just those TWO Michigan players? Why just that handful of Michigan State players? Are there ‘aggravating factors’ that should at least be considered?

This was not a free-for-all ruckus like the “Malice at the Palace” between the Pistons and Pacers back in the fall of 2004. Again, Saturday night’s tunnel incident appeared more to me like calculation rather than spontaneity.

Hopefully, further investigation into this incident will shed more light. It would be good to have all the facts.

(*This commentary represents the opinion of the writer, only. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Chronicle News)

Graphic by The Chronicle News

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