Mike Hart's 'little brother' comment still lingers in Michigan-Michigan State rivalry
EAST LANSING -- Almost three years have passed since Michigan running back Mike Hart made his now-famous “little brother” comment about Michigan State’s place in the rivalry in November 2007.
Does it still have the same impact?
“For me, it’s in the past,” Michigan State linebacker Eric Gordon said Tuesday. “There’s been way more stuff that’s gone on since then. I’m sure it will get brought up this week. It will be motivating.”
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio didn’t refer specifically to Hart’s comment Tuesday, but he’s been talking about building state-wide respect for the Spartans since the day he took the job in 2005.
“We’re not going to bow down,” linebacker Greg Jones said Tuesday.
Following Michigan’s come-from-behind 28-24 win in East Lansing in 2007, Hart said, “sometimes it’s just like when you’re playing your little brother in basketball. You let him get a lead and let him get excited, but then you take it back from him.”
Dantonio was peeved about the comment.
“I won’t comment on that, you know,” he said at the time, before continuing. “I guess I can’t help myself. It’s not over. I’m going to be a coach here for a long time. It’s just starting.” The Spartans have won the past two years, beating Michigan 35-21 in Ann Arbor in 2008, and beating the Wolverines in overtime last year, 26-20, in East Lansing.
Pete Bigelow can be reached at (734) 623-2556 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PeterCBigelow.