Spartan Stadium is packed in and it’s a sea of green. The sun fades away, and darkness engulfs the sky. Bright lights cast a glow across the field, giving Michigan State’s home field an ambiance like none other.
I’ve been lucky enough to experience some of the grandest sports venues in the country. Death Valley at LSU, Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium, Tar Heel mania at the Dean Smith Center, Fenway Park, the Carrier Dome for an Elite Eight Game. These are just a few. However – the atmosphere at Spartan Stadium is electric, and for any sports enthusiast, goosebumps are to be expected when witnessing a game on a crisp autumn night in East Lansing.
This past Saturday was the first time I witnessed a Michigan State football game amongst the crowd. Usually I am analyzing from the press box. Nonetheless – I still studied every down, and each play from the stands. It was a force of habit. On the flip side, it was extremely difficult not to get caught up in the hype.
The roar of the crowd and the chanting of ‘Go Green, Go White’ seemed to rock the stadium off the foundation. For any college football enthusiast – such as myself – it is a perfect night to watch a game and take it all in.
After each touchdown Gerard Butler’s King Leonidas voice from the movie ‘300’ rings in the air. “Spartans, what is your profession?” The crowd howls back in fearsome bellows. It is a intimidating environment -for any opponent. Even I thought to myself– if I played against Michigan State, in front of this crowd, I would be distressed.
With the Big Ten East title on the line, the crowd is antsy. Every drop pass, and every failed third-down conversion causes each fan to be on the edge of his or her seat. With a victory, Michigan State clinches the Big Ten East crown and would move on to Indianapolis to face the Iowa Hawkeyes.
With halftime adjustments, the MSU pulled away from Penn State and before anyone could blink, Michigan State had a stranglehold on the game, and the Spartan faithful were planning their trips to Indianapolis.
Since the Nebraska loss, Mark Dantonio has said time and time again, they still control their own destiny. Each week came a new opportunity for Michigan State to reach higher and step closer towards their end goal. This Saturday, there is one final step to climb in order to reach the final four.