Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, May 14, 2007
I went to Michigan Tech, so the whole University of Michigan vs. Michigan State rivalry is a bit lost on me. I mean, when you live in Michigan you can’t help to be aware of blue versus green, but I don’t feel it, ya know? Michigan Tech is a smaller school and the only sport we play against U of M and State is hockey, but we’re not even in the same conference. There is the annual holiday tournament played at Joe Louis in Detroit where Tech plays those two plus another school that gets rotated in. We nearly always get spanked and spanked bad. So there’s some resentment, but nothing stronger than that.
The closest thing we had was with Northern Michigan University. Northern is a public college in the UP, Marquette, which is 99 miles from Houghton (Tech). Northern was/is kind of a general college college — basic degrees, nothing that it’s particularly known for. Tech was/is a smarty pants engineering school. Animosity was pretty low level, but I did my best to agitate. When I was cartoonist for the school newspaper, I drew a comic where an engineering student at Tech was attempting to interface a Tech student directly with a computer. Unfortunately, the experiment went wrong and the student lost most of his brain function. The instructor was horrified, “Is he all right?” The engineering student wasn’t bothered, “Oh he’s fine — he transferringto Northern.”