3 reasons my Michigan State football fandom is waning

Sep 16, 2023; East Lansing, Michigan, USA; Michigan State Spartans defensive lineman Simeon Barrow
Sep 16, 2023; East Lansing, Michigan, USA; Michigan State Spartans defensive lineman Simeon Barrow / Dale Young-USA TODAY Sports
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Social media. Conference expansion. TV deals. Greed. My Michigan State football fandom doomsday clock had ticked closer to midnight seemingly by the day.

I could list about 10 more reasons it's getting harder for me to enjoy college football.

National Signing Day doesn't mean anything anymore, as 10 minutes after a recruit "promises" to play for your school, another school offers $100 more and they jump ship. Worse yet? This is happening to players on your favorite school's current roster.

And sure, once Aug. 31 comes around, I'll put away the "old man yells at cloud" vibe and live and die with every snap, but the offseason has lost all its luster for me, and here are the three biggest reasons.

3. Transfer portal

Look, I don't completely hate the transfer portal. On paper, it's a great idea and mimics the real world where we can change jobs as we please. Whether it's for more pay, a better culture fit, or to be closer to home, a player should have a right to transfer schools.

Obviously, Michigan State has benefitted greatly from the portal, the shining example being Kenneth Walker III, but also Jonathan Smith bringing over his recruits this year. Any time there is a coaching change, it's only fair that the players who were recruited by the former coach should decide if they want to stick around or go elsewhere.

I also have no issue with a player like Rocky Lombardi who, while a hero for his actions in the 2020 game against Michigan, was not a polished, Big Ten-level quarterback, and transferred to Northern Illinois which was more his speed. I also don't blame Keon Coleman for leaving anymore. Yes, at first I felt betrayed like many of the fans, but after watching him flourish at FSU and seeing MSU's abysmal offense, he would not have nearly the stats he had in Tallahassee (11 receiving touchdowns, three fewer than the Spartans' roster combined). While I would like to see guardrails in place and make it harder for players to leave, the transfer portal has a purpose when used correctly.

However, like many adults, a job change doesn't necessarily mean more happiness. The grass isn't always greener on the other side. Too many times, it seems like people surrounding the player will either just tell them what they want to hear or won't have their best interests in mind.

I truly think kids like Hunter Rison or Jeff Pietrowski (zero sacks at Wisconsin last season) could have benefitted from staying with Michigan State. Adversity is important, especially at a young age. I understand if you've been with a program for 3-4 years with no shot of playing your senior year and you want to go somewhere where the competition isn't at such a high level, just to enjoy your last year, but sophomores complaining about playing time and having to compete for a spot is ludicrous. Just because you were the man in high school and everyone told you how great you were doesn't mean you're given a spot on the starting 11.

Despite what fans say, every single person on Michigan State's roster is talented, but it's about who is willing to do the hard work, the little things, and the ones who see adversity as an opportunity who will bring the Spartans back to a championship-caliber team.

The transfer portal gives an easy out for players who feel entitled.