Heart Of A Spartan Preview


About The Publisher

Sport Community Publishing and it's partners have published several books, posters and magazines throughout the years including the Greater Lansing Sport Magazine since 2008 and a book about the Michigan State Hockey Program: Awe Inspiring: The Storied History of Spartan Hockey. (1997)

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Spartan Excerpts

Javon Ringer on finally beating Michigan

"To finally beat them at their place made us all so happy. It all taught me how to deal with adversity and negative people. I just wish I could go there again now."

Mark Dantonio didn't jump for joy

"Instead, he recalled a leap of faith. It was an August day when he told his Michigan State football players, "We WILL BE Big Ten Champions." Three months later, after Saturday's school-record 11th win, he can change "will be" to "are". It said as much – and much, much more – on the sweet-looking hats that Dantonio, a devoted staff and 69 devout believers in uniform wore after a 28- 22 win at Penn State. Nothing can ever take that away – not the cynics who searched for lingering traces of "Same Old Spartans" DNA and not the BCS or its independent selection committees. The only similarity was the scary way Game 12 ended. But this time, MSU made the plays. It ran the ball when it wanted to run. It even recovered an onside kick. And it finished the job at Beaver Stadium, a house of horrors for MSU that went from awful to half-full in three-and-a-half quarters. The Spartans hadn't won in Sad Valley since Duffy Daugherty got the best of rip Engle, 23-0 in 1965 – 10 helmet changes ago. They'd lost eight straight times in State College, starting in 1994 and continuing in every year with a Congressional election. It had been longer than that – 20 years, to be exact – since MSU had won a Big Ten football title. Only Indiana and Minnesota had seen longer droughts. But they don't elect or anoint the league's best. They add up the victories. And the Spartans will match resumes with Wisconsin, Ohio State or any other one-loss team."

A Nice Ring To It

"It was cute at first, then downright comical – three young kids doing pigskin pirouettes on the playground. Finally, one helmet-less player added his own play-by-play: "Le'Veon Bell . . . spins . . . and he's in!" the boy broadcast to an audience of two. "Touchdown, Michigan State!" So what if the youngster weighed barely a third of his hero's 238 pounds? Bell wasn't always the biggest, baddest running back in the Big Ten, either. But heading into his junior year, there's a good chance he will be. Bell can pick a hole like a locksmith, splat defenders like bugs on a windshield and deliver a stiff-arm like a George Foreman jab. He can block. He can catch. And if you catch him smiling, it's never a shock – unless he's carrying the football. From two-star recruit to too strong, Bell has been one of the best surprises of Mark Dantonio's first five seasons as head coach of the Spartans. If he does what he can, it won't be a shock if more baby boys in the Midwest are named Le'Veon than ever before."

Kirk Cousins Has Seen It All, Given His All

"He could have been an Iowa Hawkeye. Growing up outside Chicago with black-and-gold bloodlines, cheering for his do-it-all hero, that was Kirk Cousins' dream. Or he could have played in Spartan Stadium and quarterbacked a Mid-American Conference visitor. After being slow-played by the former Michigan State coaching staff, that seemed like a logical plan. But he who hesitates is . . . still available. Better late than never, Kirk Cousins finally got a scholarship offer from new head coach Mark Dantonio in January 2007. And it's tough to say who got the better of that deal, a perfect blend of fate and faith. This much we can say: MSU has never had a better leader under center or a better representative for the school, the conference and college football."