I have literally subconsciously been programmed to bleed green. My first experience in Spartan Stadium was strapped to my dads chest before I could even make a conscious thought. The dent at the top of my head was probably from pops using my mushy skull as a coaster at the games. I was like 6 months old when I first got to cheer on Michigan State football, and I've been a diehard ever since.
This season has been, putting it lightly, unexpected. Mel Tucker is the damn truth. Kenneth Walker is unironically the best player I've seen wear green. My first born son will bear the name Cassius Kenneth, no jokes. The sleeping giant in East Lansing has just awoken. This is only the beginning. A NY6 bowl in Mel's second season reminds me a lot of Coach D's immediate success. The only thing missing?
Our star running back in the bowl game.
I honestly don't blame Kenneth Walker for opting out. He's making a business decision. Running backs have such a short shelf life in the NFL, he needs to go and get his bag ASAP. Running backs are so much more likely to get injured than Quarterbacks, which is why I'm surprised Kenny Pickett is sitting out for Pitt. That team won't see success like this season very often. This was his opportunity to put a stamp in Pitt history. But just like Walker, I get it. These guys are about to get PAID.
This MSU vs Pitt game will still draw my undivided attention and knee-jerk reactions from play one. But the Kenny Bowl just won't be the same without its two stars.
How can we solve this? How can it be more mutually beneficial for players and programs to have the stars in the game?
First of all, playoff needs expanding. I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir on that, not a single soul wants it to stay at four teams. 8-12 team playoff, and the stars will be playing in those games.
But another pretty obvious option, is to use these new NIL rules to allow players to get payed for playing in the game. We're not talking about fringe draft players here getting paid, were talking your Kenneth Walkers and Kenny Picketts. This bowl game is sponsored by Chick Fila. I'm sure the dudes running the show for these big games want the players to play just as much as fans. GET CREATIVE AND PAY THE GUYS TO PLAY. Get these two stars in a commercial in the Gulag vs some cows. IDK, use your damn credentials and find a way to get these guys a 6 figure check to play. There's no business incentive for them to risk injury and that has to change. It's better for literally everyone.
Current Picks for the Weekend
Bengals/Ravens Under 45
Merry Christmas to all you savages