11 July 2011

The Curse of Mike Hart?

The curse of the Bambino plagued the Boston Redsox for a miserable 86 years, the curse of the Billy Goat continues to haunt the Chicago Cubs for 66 years and counting, and now there is a potential new curse to add to the record books--the curse of Mike Hart.

Mike Hart's 2004 arrival to the prized Big House and the winning-est program in NCAA football history looked like a promising one. And, his four years at the university symbolized by a stocky, short, and furiously ugly animal that my 16 pound, over-weight chihuahua could put up a fight with, was indeed a great one. Sure, his four years we're marked by a 4-0 record against the in-state rival Michigan State Spartans; however, what occurred at the end of his career left a legacy that Michigan fans have reason to worry over--the "little brother" comment.

Since that left his mouth in a joking, yet serious, manner after defeating the Spartans for the fourth time in his collegiate career, things seem to be different in Ann Arbor. For the third year in a row, the Spartans have forcefully, and arguably easily, put a pounding on their "big brother" marking the first time in 43 years in which the Spartans defeated the Wolverines for three straight years. Michigan lost it's hall-of-fame head coach of 12 years and went on to hire RichRod who turned the program for the worse with a 3-9 record in 2008. Then, in 2010, Michigan fires RichRod and hires the next savior in Brady Hoke with an impressive and proven record of 47-50 at Ball State and San Diego State combined. With the way things are looking since that famous and illustrious comment, fans in Ann Arbor may not be able to "hail to the victors" for years to come.

However, the many crazed and die-hard Michigan fans I know so well always can turn to their go-to-line--"we're the winning-est program in NCAA football history". They'll come out of trash-talking hibernation in the fall bursting with pride for their football squad and will continue running their mouths no matter how bad MSU crushed them the previous year. They'll act like a five-year old on Christmas day when they realize their team led by a man still learning to tie his own shoes is undefeated heading into the Big-Ten season. Then, when they roll into Spartan Nation, all hopes, dreams, and aspirations for another unforgettable season like they had years ago is shot down and their Heisman front-runner Denard Robinson's reputation is shattered quicker than you can say "little brother".

As a Spartan fan, I would personally like to thank Mike Hart for his special contributions to the in-state football rivalry and the humor you provide to our fans. Not only did you provide some spice to the rivalry, you are the curse that ended Michigan's reign in college football. In addition, you marked a long period of possession of the Paul Bunyan trophy in East Lansing. As coach Dantonio stated in reference to the comment: "They want to mock us all they want, I'm telling them it's not over, it will never be over. It's just starting here". Is this the beginning of a curse in Ann Arbor or is it just an unfortunate case of a lack of talent not being able to back up Mike Hart's big mouth?


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