After the Green and White teams were finalized Wednesday at the Clara Bell Smith auditorium, the Michigan State football team set off for more important work by giving back to the community, according to an article written by an msuspartans.com online columnist, Steve Grinczel.
From the Volunteers of American Community Kitchen in Lansing, to the Ronald McDonald House, to Sparrow Hospital, Spartan players and coaches took part in an annual rite of spring under sixth-year head coach Mark Dantonio by helping out those less fortunate than themselves.
Secondary coach Harlon Barnett said “this is all about giving back, and not taking anything for granted. Your privileged in a lot of ways. This is something we’ve always done since (Dantonio) has been a head coach.”
Like former Spartan quarterback Kirk Cousins said at the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon before the 2011-12 football season, “While many children dream of playing college football relatively few have the opportunity. To be living that dream is a privilege.”
Every child dreams of throwing the winning hail mary pass, making a half-court buzzer-beater, or hitting a walk-off home run. However, some children don’t even have the opportunity to play those sports because of a serious illness.
The Spartan football players and coaches are role models for not only the underprivileged, but for all students at the university.
A simple visit to the hospital by the Spartan football team can bring a smile to a child as quick as the blink of an eye.
By doing this, the Spartans are not only helping the less fortunate and setting a good example, but they are also becoming closer teammates in a positive way.
The Spartan football team may have bumps and bruises, long practice hours, and hard lifting days, but Barnett said that “Coach D does this in some ways to let them know they’ve got it pretty good right now.”
In my opinion, this simple act of kindness and type of team-bonding can help build the chemistry that is needed for success.