Sports Briefs: Going Green with Michigan State

(Sponsored by 3 Spoons Yogurt)

Chris: Putting a plastic bottle in a trash bin, only to turn and come face to chest with Sgt. Moses Hightower as he contemplates removing the plastic bottle from the trash, inserting it halfway into my ear canal and then dumping me head-first into a recycling bin, is not a scenario I want to experience. “You best go green,” could be a compelling argument, should the former Michigan State defensive end want to create a more eco-friendly campus and aid Coach Dantonio and Coach Izzo in recruiting.

Joe: The Michigan State Spartans uniforms and logo are unique in sports. They are uniquely identifiable among college sports. I like the bold earth green tone and simple “S” design.

Brad: Love the green, everything. Let’s just hope the helmets are made as green as they look . . . got to save the planet, one helmet at a time. 

Chris: I first started learning the benefits of reusing when I was in college and was given the option of paying $90 for a thin, paperback textbook, classified as "used," considering that its pages were either coming loose from the spine, written on (either by an infant, someone using their off-hand or an intelligent primate) or were adorned with unidentifiable and not pleasantly aromatic stains. I jumped at the chance to purchase said textbook, since a new copy of that textbook equaled a month's salary for Coach Dantonio.

Joe: I look for the Michigan State Spartans to have another great season and finish in the top 10 nationally. Coach Mark Dantonio is a great coach and has the Spartans playing at a very high level. The team and coach will play for conference honors again this year, but will finish behind a more talented Ohio State program. The Michigan State Spartans will once again be green with envy at the Buckeyes’ success.

Brad: I think Michigan State’s football team will have a little bit of a drop off, due to the loss of several players to the draft and graduation. However, with their history they will have no problem bouncing back in no time. Especially with the help of their head coach, Mark Dantonio. I think he has the ability to make a great team and will take them far in the coming years.

Chris: The MSU Surplus Store and Recycling Center seems to be a hotspot on campus, a place for students to drop off their recyclables, as well as shop for donated and gently-used items. For instance, many coaches in the Big Ten have, coincidentally, been spotted browsing in the same location where MSU coaches would have taken their playbooks for recycling.

Joe: Michigan State basketball is flying high after a great run in the NCAA Tournament. The Spartans will make another great run for a natty next year and finish in the Elite Eight, making another green splash. Coach Tom Izzo has been consistently making the Spartans a contender and getting more out of his club than most prognosticators believe they are capable of producing. He is establishing himself as one of the premier coaches in college basketball.

Brad: Michigan State’s basketball program, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated college teams in the nation. Even after making it to the Final Four, they continue to be looked at as nothing more than an average team. I think they are going to come back next season, at the very least, with a back-to-back Final Four appearance. Tom Izzo is an exceptional coach who understands how to manage talented college athletes and help them perform at the highest level. Don’t believe me? Look at Travis Trice.

Chris: Considering that Spartans originated in the 900s BC, they did not enjoy luxuries like indoor heating and air conditioning, cable television or pants. However, this certainly helped save the Spartans thousands of dollars each year on their respective electric bills and should serve as inspiration to Michigan State students to adjust the thermostats in their dorm rooms and to wear more clothes around campus than their mascot, Sparty, does.

Joe: College stadiums and coliseums host enormous crowds each year; however, they are only used 7-8 times a year for football and about twice that much for basketball. These crowds consume millions of containers of food and beverages, generating a lot of business for suppliers. Providing smart "green" containers is good for everyone.

Brad: Maybe put some turf or grow some grass on their basketball court, maybe indulge in some grasketball . . . instead of basketball.

Chris: The Spartans also saved money by eating only locally-grown and organic food. I won't get into a debate as to whether it was because there was a Whole Foods on every corner or the only food available was what one could grow or kill. Unfortunately, not all of the food the Spartans ate was fair-trade, as there is probably not a goat alive who would consider it a fair deal to give up his life in order to be the main course at dinner.

Brad: Being green is pretty easy; it starts with two simple steps. One, recycling; it’s a bit difficult to get the hang of, but once you start, you can’t go back, just ask us Oregonians - once a recycler, always a recycler. And No. 2, bike; don’t drive. I know that’s tough for some of you college students, but take in that fresh air, instead of that air-freshener!

Joe: Students could make a significant contribution to making campuses "more green" by walking and riding bikes or skateboards to class instead of short car commutes. This would alleviate the need for more parking lots and exhaust pollution. More green spaces would be used by students for recreation and outdoor study locations, but could double as areas for beer parties and panty raids.

Try on a new pair of Sports Briefs with the Gab Four every Friday. Find out more about Joe, Chris, Brad and Ralphie, and read their solo columns on their individual pages.

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