OWTK Giveaways

A Sometimes Confusing Passion for Sports

Michigan State Spartans Rose Bowl Win

Sports passions are a funny business; who we love, what we take to heart, the tears shed, the colorful garb in which we cloak ourselves, and the voices lost in the grandstand.

The funny thing about my sports passion which caused me to spend thousands of dollars so that my family might be in Pasadena, CA for the first day of 2014 is that I’d watched, for free and from the comfort of my own chair (which, incidentally, is plush, wide and came standard with a seatback) maybe 45 minutes of Michigan State Spartans football that season. This was the season in which I’d given up football for football; the global version played with feet and shins and knees and heads. And yet, my blood was still, and will forever be, tinged with green and white. The magnetism was simply too strong to stay home and sink into my own comfy chair for this momentous occasion. After all, in my quarter century of passionate Spartans fandom, Michigan State had never made it to the Rose Bowl.

There wasn’t really a decision to make. I had to be there and I had to have my family there with me because experiencing life with them means experiencing it better.

Michigan State Spartans 2014 Rose Bowl

At some point during the Rose Bowl game, my oldest daughter asked why we were there if I didn’t love football anymore. She doesn’t yet have this kind of intense passion for sports so our flying 3000 miles to watch a college football game was understandably confusing. I explained, through a stream of tears now reforming at the base of my eye holes as I run these very sentences through my head, that we weren’t simply watching and cheering for the ’13-’14 Michigan State Spartans football team in the Rose Bowl but for every player and every team I’d watched and cheered and rooted for since becoming a proud auxiliary member of Spartan Nation some 2 1/2 decades prior. This was about history, tradition, my young adulthood, green and white, Sparty, Tom Izzo, Kirk Cousins, Sedrick Irvin, Le’Veon Bell, T.J. Duckett, Charles Rogers, Javon Ringer, and, above all else, this was about a passion for sports. An undying, loyal, devoted passion.

Michigan State Spartans 2014 Rose Bowl Win Field

The Stanford Cardinal weren’t and will never be a passionate sports rivalry for Michigan State. Sure, we beat them down with a ferocious defense and opportunist offense in the 100th playing of the famed Rose Bowl, and my family was there to watch, cheer, celebrate and cry throughout the 3 hour contest and victory party, but the California school is a mere footnote in the annals of our team’s history. It’s the maize and blue we Spartans love to loathe and the claret and grey we despise most ferociously.

Michigan State Smack Apparel
Smack Apparel understands undying sports passions, mine and yours. They’ve been helping loyal fans not just talk the talk but wear it since 1998. Now, with the new Smack Zone blog, you’ll discover the stories of real sports passion and rivalries, whether it’s Michigan State-Michigan, Steelers-Browns or Auburn-Alabama. And maybe, someday, Arsenal-Tottenham or FC Barcelona-Real Madrid, the passionate sports rivalry that is coming to define my mid-adulthood.

125th Rose Bowl Parade

To get you ready for football season, I’m giving away a Smack Apparel t-shirt of your choice! This “virtual gift card” is for the equivalent of the purchase price and shipping and handling for a Smack Apparel t-shirt. You win, you pick the shirt…even if, gulp, it’s a maize and blue one…and it’ll be shipped straight to you!

Take a look at all the Smack Apparel football rivalry shirts and enter for your chance to win now, but hurry, because this giveaway ends at 7pm on Friday Sept 4th when my Spartans kickoff their ’15-’16 college football season, one that will hopefully end with another big bowl game.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Finally, join me and a few other awesome dads for a Smack Apparel Twitter Party on Tuesday, September 8th from 8-9pm ET. Be sure to follow Smack Apparel on Twitter and look for the hashtag, #SmackZone. There will be prizes!! You have a chance to win one of three $25 virtual gift cards or one $100 virtual gift card to order Smack Apparel products.

I have partnered with Smack Apparel to celebrate the return of football season and the launch of the new Smack Zone blog. While I received compensation, opinions expressed are mine.

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39 Comments

  1. The Tampabay Bucs and their rivals are the Miami Dolphins

  2. angela cunningham says:

    ohio state and there rivals are michigan

  3. The Colorado Rockies and their rivals are the Mets.

  4. Shannon Baas says:

    I’m a MN Vikings fan and their biggest rivals are the Packers.

  5. Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens
    Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns
    Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals
    LOL

  6. Jennifer Scheldberg says:

    MN Vikings fan here! The Packers are our rivals.

  7. Brittney House says:

    I am a Bears fan and we have a rivalry with the Green Bay Packers.

  8. Love my Denver Broncos. Biggest rivalry: Seattle Seahawks

  9. Arlene Perkins says:

    Love my FL GATORS and FL STATE is our rival!

  10. My hubby is a Redskins fan so he can’t stand the Cowboys. Thank you!

  11. Chicago Bears fan and our rivalry are the Green Bay Packers.

  12. Our team is Southern Miss and our biggest rival is Mississippi State or LA Tech

  13. My favorite team is the New Orleans Saints and their rival is the Atlanta Falcons.

  14. beth shepherd says:

    I am a ohio state fan and our rivalry is against Michigan. Thank you

  15. Robert Kuperberg says:

    New York Mets fan here. Biggest Rival is the Atlanta Braves

  16. OSU alumna here; Michigan’s our rival.

  17. I am a Michigan fan and OSU is our rival.

  18. I am a Seattle Seahawks fan and our rival team is the 49ers

  19. Tracie Cooper says:

    Florida State is my team and the FL Gators are rivals!

  20. The Pittsburgh Steelers and their biggest rivals are the Baltimore Ravens.

  21. Megan Zuchowski says:

    I’m a huge phillies fan!

  22. University of Tennessee alumni here and our biggest rivalry is with the Florida Gators.

  23. Penn state and Ohio State is our biggest rival

  24. Ellie Wright says:

    My team is the Dallas Cowboys and I think our biggest rivals are the Philadelphia Eagles.

  25. My teams is the Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn is our biggest rival.

  26. I’m a Seahawks fan and our biggest rivalry is the 49ers.

  27. Andrea Clifton says:

    I am a Florida State Seminoles fan and our rivals are the Florida Gators.

  28. The Ravens and the rival is Steelers.

  29. Colts fan and not a Patriots fan!

  30. The Indy Colts and we really dislike the Patriots!!

  31. The Pittsburgh Steelers is my favorite and the biggest rivals are the Baltimore Ravens!!

  32. MN Vikings fan here, The Packers are our rivals

  33. Pingback: Rivalry Stories: Everyday Heroes of Smack Talk | SHOP

  34. cynthia dawson says:

    I am a Ohio State fan and Michigan is our rival.

  35. I’m a huge USMNT and our biggest rival is Mexico.

  36. lilshuga2001 says:

    SEAHAWKS BABY!!!
    Rivals- 49ers!!!!!

  37. Saints fan! Biggest rival is probably the Falcons.

  38. We love the Arkansas Razorbacks. Our biggest rival is LSU. thank you

  39. Carolina P. fan and dislike the Cowboys.

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