Prior to the kickoff of this year's Rose Bowl, between the Stanford Cardinal (no 's,' please, we're pretentious) and the Michigan State Spartans, the audience stood and both teams took the field to listen reverently to the National Anthem. As is customary, hats were removed and held over chests. The players removed their helmets. I couldn't help but notice the MSU mascot, Sparty (!); he basically looked like this:
You see? He DID NOT remove his helmet! Now, you might excuse this by pointing out that, as a Spartan, Sparty maintains his citizenship in a Greek city-state, and thus owes no allegiance to the United States or its traditions. But this is just plain rude! A more acceptable explanation is that the helmet is permanently affixed to the rest of the mascot costume, and thus cannot easily be removed independent of the head. Of course, then, the appropriate thing to do would simply be to remove the entire head. Unless. . . IT'S NOT A COSTUME AT ALL!
My point? Michigan State University is populated by unknown numbers of heavily muscled, felt-skinned warrior mutants! I pick them to win by 5 1/2.