Many of you are from Michigan and need no introduction at all to the rivalry that is Michigan and Michigan State--or Michigan State and Michigan, depending on your allegiance. Personally, I have no allegiance to either of these Big-10 teams (although, I do have overwhelming hatred for Ohio State, that wins me points right?) so this is just more of a chance for me to (hopefully) watch an awesome game in an incredible environment. If you haven't seen this post from Kris over at Snipe Snipe, Dangle Dangle, go check it out, it's full of awesome as she talks about her experience skating on the ice at the Big House.
The Big Chill at the Big House is going to be absolutely incredible, I have no doubts in my mind. Taking one of the most venerable venues in all of college football and adapting it for a hockey game between two intense rivals? Yes, please.When was the last time you saw a hockey game with 100,00+ fans cheering the two teams on? Answer: never.
We reached out to our good friends Chris Hollis from The Production Line and Tyler from The Triple Deke in anticipation of this game. Many of you familiar with them know their allegiances but for those that don't, Hollis backs the Blue while Tyler goes Green. We asked them a few questions about the game (and allowed them to talk smack about each other's school) so take the jump for the responses.
(We'll also have a game thread up for this at about 1:30 p.m. today)
1. Are you going to the game?
Tyler: It's all but certain that I'm not, unless some strange and possibly illegal circumstances take place between now and Saturday. And honestly I'm okay with that. From my experience at Michigan stadium you aren't allowed to stand up and cheer anyway. Does it make me a terrible fan that I'm not breaking my neck to get tickets to this game? Well, yes. Yes it does. Hollis is flying in from Seattle to watch this game. I live a half hour away. So I'm a local, I went to Michigan State and my favorite sport is hockey ..... now that I think about it, not only am I a terrible fan, but I may be a terrible human being.
Hollis: Yes, I will be at the Big House on Saturday.
2. If you are going, are you going to strip down and paint yourself in your school's glorious colors?
Tyler: I wouldn't. I don't understand how people do that without dying. And I doubt Hollis would, unless Michigan changes their colors to "Full body beard".
Hollis: Unfortunately, the cold weather will force me to keep my clothes on. I'll leave the shirtless body painting to Tyler.
3. What does a game this big do for each school?
Tyler: Well I'm sort of hoping that we pull off the upset and like 15 really good players that we're trying to recruit go, "Oh hey, that looked cool" and decide to come to East Lansing. That's how I like to pretend all recruiting works.
Hollis: It showcases Michigan hockey greatness and reminds folks that State used to be relevant in college hockey. Plus, it gives both fan bases another opportunity to tailgate and drink alot.
4a. Hollis, what do you hate the most about Michigan State?
Hollis: Mark Dantonio and his entire lack of a personality.
4b. Tyler, what do you hate the most about Michigan?
Tyler: I have to pick one? You're an asshole. The thing I hate the very most about UM is that their history of success in all sports has bred a moronic, bottom feeding subculture of white trash bandwagoners who didn't make it through high school, let alone go to Michigan, who still summon the gall to shit talk about Michigan State folk. And then the moment that UM starts to fall off, they retreat back to their shanties and act like they're not bothered by any of it.
5. What's the one aspect you're looking forward to the most about the game? (ie crowd volume, playing outside, an overall experience etc.)
Hollis: It's hockey in the largest football stadium in America. If you can't find something to get excited about, you must be from Ohio.
Tyler: The buildup has been so huge that I'm looking forward to the game itself. I'm looking forward to Michigan State hopefully shocking the Wolverines in their building and hearing the UM fans fall from a dull whisper to an even duller whisper.
6. How does this compare to the Winter Classic at Wrigley for you?
Hollis: I think this is way better. These two teams kicked off the outdoor hockey rush in America, and are taking it to another level now. Also, most folks forget that the original Cold War ended in a 3-3 tie, so there is unfinished business for both teams.
Tyler: I call myself a Wings fan before I call myself a male, so I have to say that the Winter Classic was a bigger deal. National TV, New Year's Day, getting to stomp the Blackhawks in Chicago, that was all too awesome. I look forward to the NHL bringing the Winter Classic to Michigan someday in the future. To pin a guess as to when that will be: January 1, 2050 at Michigan Stadium against the Hamilton Coyotes.
7. Favorite rivalry moment? (Anything, not just hockey)
Hollis: Braylonfest. 2004
8. Do you guys have anything on the line on this?
Hollis: No, but I'm open to ideas.
Tyler: I'm still waiting for Hollis to come through on Disch's wager idea from the MSU/UM football game. I can't remember if it was officially agreed to by Hollis himself, but it was a doozy. The loser was supposed to film themselves singing an embarrassing 80s tune and post it on their website. If State pulls the sweep this weekend then I think Hollis should do the song while also buying my a plate of coneys at Lafayette in Detroit.
9. Who's gonna win? (the question in which I show I have no knowledge of either team)
Hollis: Ha ha ha. Oh, you're serious? Michigan. 4-2.
Tyler: Hockey fans in the state of Michigan, of course! /ducks/ Michigan should win because they have the better team. But our teams are growing accustomed to winning in the friendly atmosphere at the Big House the last few years and that momentum will carry over on Saturday to the tune of a 2-1 (OT) Spartan victory.
10. Any more smack to talk?
Hollis: Don't let the recent UM sports slide fool you: Sparty is still little brother. Now excuse me while I hide, since the MSU football team is probably on the way to try and beat me up like they do to random women and engineers once a year.
Smoke green. Snort white. Can't read. Can't write.
Tyler: I think I've embarrassed myself enough here. Game on.
Again, we'd like to thank Tyler and Chris for taking time out of their schedules to answer. Thanks again to Kris from Snipe Snipe, Dangle Dangle for being awesome enough to share the picture with us and her great post on skating at the Big House. Whether you're cheering "Go Blue" or "Go Green, Go White", I'm sure it'll be an enjoyable viewing experience.