Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Fair Weather, Fair Play

Finally, temperatures are in the 60s here in Ann Arbor. Crocuses blooming, tulips emerging, but the newscaster from the local Fox channel said it best: “Spring is officially here. There was a riot at Michigan State University.”

Those crazy, violent Spartans. Police in full riot gear fired tear gas, concussion grenades and arrested about 50 people including a couple dozen Spartan students early Sunday morning when “Cedar Fest”, an MSU spring-time ritual of drinking and debauchery, was resurrected in a big way.

My son Scott, a student there, was not involved but he e-mailed me about it. Scott sees the violence from the other side now as he supervises a maintenance crew at one of the dormitories. A week ago, when Memphis was mightily trouncing Michigan State in the NCAA basketball tournament, the call came over the radio that someone had just tossed a chair through the eighth story study lounge window. (Hea, if you’re a Spartan, you’ve got to learn to handle heartbreak.)

Now as a prominent Michigan Wolverine booster, I hear deriding comments from my Spartan counterparts often, even here in Ann Arbor, a place described by an observer recently as “the pocket of sanity in the Midwest”. I usually take it all in stride. For example, my supervisor, a misguided MSU booster who sits in the cubicle across from me, pinned a raft of newspaper clippings to the outside wall of his cubicle last October. These clippings all report on the same unfortunate one-in-a-million loss my beloved Wolverines suffered to a Division 2 school on the gridiron last fall.

Even though it’s now ancient history, the clippings remain, taunting me every time I get up and walk by. But I don’t touch them. It’s my supervisor’s cube, his tackboard, his property, his space.

But when the Detroit News front page banner headline screamed about MSU’s riot--ha!--now was my chance at a little tit for tat. After my boss left for the day, I prominently pinned up the article on my tackboard which faces him. Heh, heh.

So when I came in the next day, I expected some comment from the boss man. Instead I was in for a shock. My article was gone . . . replaced by an Ann Arbor News article about the “Hash Bash,” an innocent little pot-smoking gathering at the U of Michigan that coincidentally also took place this past weekend.

FOUL!! FOWELLLL!!! He can’t ravage my personal space like that, can he? I have a right to free expression at my work, right? This violates my Constitutional rights. I watch Judge Judy; I think I’m on pretty firm legal ground here. “You can’t do that,” as Judge Judy often says in her TV court.

I think I’ll sue. Not sure whether to just take him to small claims court or since it’s a Constitutional issue to go straight to the U.S. Supreme Court. Maybe I’ll just take him before Judge Judy since her rulings appear to be final regardless of the court or jurisdiction.

Lousy Spartans. They never play fair.


Blogger jan said...

Sounds like it's time to engage the enemy on the terms he has posited. Endless rolls of blue and gold crepe paper adorning all parts of his cubicle, desk drawers, etc.

In the words of defense lawyers everywhere, "He started it."

3:54 PM  
Blogger Carine said...

I agree w/ Jan! My bil's a lawyer-need help?
Anyway, it's my turn to leave for vacation Dave-hope Spring continues and the Spartans learn some manners for you!

8:45 AM  
Blogger Lynilu said...

LOL! those "battles" between rival school fans can go on and on, and what fun ... well, until it becomes physical! I'm a KU grad and my son an MU alumni, so we have had some marvelous my-team's-better-than-yours fests at times!

BTW, rock chock, Jayhawks!!

Jus' sayin'!!

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like the rivalry between UT an Texas A&M. :o)

2:35 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Dave, how long do you plan on working at that job?

Speaking of UT and Texas A&M, my daughter went to UT ten years ago and she will be transfering to Texas A & M in the spring of 09. Talk about rivals, this is going to be interesting.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Forgot to say, "Hi" Daves dad and the Enforcer.....Long time no see!

8:13 PM  
Blogger Babette said...

You're a riot, Dave. I was hoping against hope that you missed this debacle. No such luck.

I lived in Cedar Village in '76. My idea of a party then (and now) involved chamber music and hors d'oeuvres. Don't judge all SPARTANS by a stupid few.

Your boss has a keen (rhymes with GREEN) sense of humor, to be sure.

11:08 PM  
Blogger Kacey said...

Gee Dave--- Have you ever seen a tee pee'd office cubical? My son had his done and put the pictures on the net. I think it would be great to drape Tee Pee all over his space and then mist it with a water bottle full of some stinky perfume. Once it gets wet---- it sticks to everything as it dries. Do something big, Dave! We will all go to Judge Judy's Court with you as character witnesses, because you are truly a character!

3:12 PM  
Blogger MSU gal said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:15 AM  
Blogger MSU gal said...

My class was the very reason they cancelled Cedar Fest 21 years ago!
Thing is, we were tame compared to these youngsters.

The last line of your post aside and ignored, no one has a right to invade your space!

Here's what I got on Monday morning: The boss comes in, peaks into in my office and dramatizes being relieved to see me with a "Whew" and fake wipe of his forehead.

Like a fool I say "Everything okay?"

He says, "Oh good you're here...I thought I was going to have to drive to East Lansing this morning to bail you out of jail."

3:17 AM  
Blogger MSU gal said...


I lived in Cedar Village too from 84 to 86. We once brought 300 pounds of sand and a kiddie pool into our apartment to host a beach party in February to celebrate my birthday.

There were no hors d'oeuvres involved but I am sure we might have had some chex mix to go with the keg.

3:27 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

JAN/KACEY--You've inspired me. There's a mini-Christmas tree on the file cabinet nearby. I think I'll decorate it maize 'n blue in the off (holiday) season.

CARINE--Thanks for the legal advice. If my retaliation gets me in trouble, I'll give a holler your way.

LYNILU--My sister-in-law lives in Lawrence, Kansas. So she too is a big Jayhawk fan.

DEB--I've heard about the big football rivalries down in Texas. I even read the book Friday Night Lights.

LUCY--The Enforcer won our family's NCAA basketball bracket challenge. Dad placed in the middle. (I came in second).

BABETTE--My supervisor didn't have such a keen sense of humor when I stopped by to offer condolences after the annual MSU/U of M football game. I've never seen him so surly.

MSU GAL--My son stayed in Cedar Village one year. Though he steered clear of the riots this past weekend I thought it was funny that my dad scanned the pictures of suspects the police were looking for after this past weekend. They were posted at My dad said my son's picture wasn't there.

8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your SUPERVISOR, the MSU booster, so it is true what they say about U of M degrees.

By the way, most arrested at Ceder fest are wannabe Spartan students from Lansing C.C. True Spartans write the book on how to party. You will find that out on April 26.

Sparty on!!!!!

8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHO EXACTLY did it?? I mean proof positive is the name of the game. Haven't a leg to stand on if you dont have proof of
whodunnit.. If your "boss" owns the company or business he has the right to "LET YOU GO " too.. TRICKY slope indeed!! : ) GOOD LUCK!

10:09 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

ANONYMOUS--Both the boss and I got our bachelor's degrees at Central Michigan University. That's a great university too. Just ask your brother.

I hear your parties don't really get started until after I leave.

CAROLDEE--True, I only have circumstantial evidence. But my supervisor is fore sure the only MSU booster in the building who would stoop to such tactics. Most of us are true maize 'n blue.

5:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa! You're in the 60's up there now? A virtual heat wave! (snicker, snicker) It was 84 here yesterday.

7:26 AM  
Blogger Betty said...

Well, I hope your heat wave is still in effect. The temperatures have nosedived where I live and we're being warned to cover the daffodils!

Anyway, I think what your supervisor did was definitely a boundary violation, and I would think that a sports fan would have more awareness of that issue! He probably thinks he's being funny.....


5:54 PM  
Blogger Spider63 said...

I have another MEESHEEGAN booster visiting my blog! She is a student there! Wolverines are everywhere!!

5:43 PM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Big Dave ~
The TAX talk (while a depressing subject in and of itself) reminded me of a guy I was on a flight with one time... he said among other things... that he was a TAX ADVISOR. But... then he also told me, he did not think he was doing his job, unless... he got his clients audited each and every year. Then he handed me his business card.
Well... I COULD NOT WAIT to get off of that plane and throw his business card DIRECTLY in the trash!
IRS Audits... are not for me! ~ jb

11:20 AM  

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