Duel columns: The State News and The Michigan Daily compete in Ann Arbor

Okay, let’s just be honest to start things off: last year was a disaster.

We came into that rainy night with the belief that the game would be different.

It was not.

Daniel Dash’s all-encompassing presence—physically and figuratively—was an easy game plan for all of you. Luckily it won’t be that easy this year. The Daily actually needs to come up with something more creative than tossing it to your towering recipient.

Unless, of course, you found a new one out of the junk to top up your embarrassingly large unpaid staff.

As an out-of-state student, I never really understood much about the Michigan State-Michigan rivalry until I came to MSU. I was obviously aware of the root of the hatred, but never realized it reached as far as the student newspapers.

But now, in my sixth semester at The State News, I get it. The State News is far superior to the Michigan Daily, for all the slander and slander you love to throw at us for thinking you’re that cool. Oh wait, you don’t even have a journalism school that teaches you what those two words mean.

There are so many veins to open here, but I’ll start with one of the most important: Pacemakers.

How many does The Daily have? Do I even need all my fingers to count?

Sure, you might have a much larger staff covering every corner of your grotesque campus and bringing four times as many people to Friday’s game, but The State News brings quality. This is reflected by outside organizations like the Associated Collegiate Press, not even by us.

Now, as you bang your heads on your expensive table you probably billed your expensive Amex, at least remember to be impartial in your reporting.

I’m looking at you, football reporter. Those were some cute buffs you wore! Did your mom or dad pay for it? Or were they fake? They look like the kids who have peaked in high school.

I’m sure some of the players thought your looks were great and will give you the best possible quotes you can get. Perhaps the “walking mismatch” and anti-Semite Donovan Edwards will help you.

Screenshot 26.10.2022 at 13.00-29.00

Here’s something we can both identify with: turmoil among the leaders of our school.

Santa Ono has just taken over as Michigan’s president, while MSU has begun searching for its new president. Though it’s been less than a month, it looks like Michigan found the right choice for president. Good for you. His Twitter selfies are adorable! Will he release one with The State News on Friday night?

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Michigan State’s presidential drama is just as embarrassing as Michigan’s. If you’re going to report on what’s going on here, at least have the decency to write your own story instead of regurgitating other publications. But hey, we appreciate the extra clicks!

While reviewing this article, I also decided to stroll through your news section to see what’s going on in Ann Arbor. After much yawning, I discovered a hysterical trend: every other article is about a random person talking about a random topic.

How about focusing on some breaking news that people care about? Yes, that hyperlinks to Raising Cane’s, which just opened its first Michigan location in East Lansing, deliberately choosing it over Ann Arbor.

We were wiped out last year, that means zero this year. It’s a clean slate. And if a celebration is warranted after The State News’ Friday night win, it’s accompanied by Raising Canes Chicken Fingers in one hand and our Pacemakers in another just because we can.

We come for you.

Nicholas Stoll, Co-Managing Sports Editor, The Michigan Daily

It just seems unfair.

The game, this column, the comparison of our releases – it’s cruel.

It all hit me after last year’s game. When we poured champagne in the end zone, I should have been thrilled. After two years and most of a pandemic, we finally got to thrash The State News back in our annual touch football game.

Instead, I was conflicted.

When The State News babysitters berated us like immature children for us to leave the field, their lewd role models, athletic inadequacy, mediocre campus, and subpar writing skills immediately came to the fore. How could I be lucky to beat that?

But as I sat down to write this, combing through The State News ads – sorry, I mean the website – and their authors’ old tweets, I reminded myself that there’s absolutely no reason to feel bad if being at The Daily and beating State News. And as I scrolled through past dueling columns, I remembered something else:

You’ve had as many original ideas as you have victories since the Bush administration.

We’re so sick of all your clichés and we already know what you’re about to say. You’ll probably start out with those ACP pacemakers and awards you love touting. How are the nominations going this year? Let’s check. We have seven, five individual and two full journals, and you have two in total? I doubt you’ll pick up that part though.

Then you’ll probably mention how great our staff is, although your alumni probably will embarrass itself talk about it first. Let’s stop pretending we have to protect journalism. Maybe you have to be picky when your acceptance rate is four times Michigan’s, but by handpicking your writers and editors you’re at least trying to do a better job.

Seriously, how do you let any of this through?

“As a head coach, Tucker likes having two separate penalties in two categories: ‘stupid, stupid’ penalties and those that are simply the result of an aggressive team.”

Apparently editing “two” was a lot for you.

Speaking of numbers: four. That’s the amount of lazy ledes in the only four volleyball stories you’ve written since the start of the season. Our staff have written 13 volleyball articles since the beginning of October. But hey, you’re now covering some of Michigan State field hockey’s “home games” — something you haven’t been very good at in the past. Just a heads up, if you ever need help with a story let “every rabble” at The Daily know; We’re always happy to help, and we would certainly do a better job.

Next you’re going to say we’re not getting paid. We do it. But while I’m sure your paychecks come with a 401(k) and dentures, maybe try to save some of that money to actually get your work done. I didn’t notice a date line out Seattle when the Michigan State soccer team played Washington. Don’t worry, we have some from when the Michigan softball team was there.

While we’re on the subject of the Spartans soccer team, I feel so sorry for you. I know you’re big fans, and such a bad team must be hard for writers to cover with so little money objectivity as your own.

I guess your beloved J-School forgot to mention not cheering for the teams you cover. Too bad the state of Michigan only awards journalism degrees like candy.

And yes, our main focus is to critique your sports content. We can’t help ourselves. We know what good sports writing looks like, and we just want to help you find out. But you already know your sports stories are weak. That’s probably the reason for your sports twitter account has not tweeted since May 3rd.

But if you’re interested in targeting our non-sports content, don’t hesitate. The Daily has done an incredible job covering the Robert Anderson protests, a presidential sacking and investigations into university housing problems, to name a few. Perhaps you’ll be grateful we don’t bring up your magic trick stories. To be fair, you might need one or two to win Friday night.

Speaking of which, it wouldn’t be a dueling squad without ending with the main event: the annual massacre that we call a touch football game. Don’t worry, the field is reserved and the forecast does not include snow. But given the recent results, you might not even want to enter the field.

Did you know that no current staffer at The State News has ever scored a single point at The Daily? In fact, as of 2019, we’ve had more touchdowns than you’ve had first downs. The years of marginal gains really seem to be paying off.

But that’s not the most embarrassing statistic to contend with. The last time The State News won was in 2004 and when we play there will be people on your editorial staff who weren’t alive when you last beat The Daily. After 18 years, our winning streak has become a generation.

So this year, when we’re inevitably going to be popping champagne again — and there’s no one to throw us off our own field — I’ll try to enjoy it more. I just hope you can come to terms with what we both already know:

You will always be The State News, and we will always be one step ahead.


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