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I have been watching sports since 1975. The loss Saturday was the most crushing, heart-ripping, debilitating loss I suffered as a fan in all my sport watching years, regardless of the teams I have rooted for. And #2 is not even close. It is if this loss was the equivalent of someone running the 100 meters in 7 seconds flat, with Usain Bolt #2.
36 hours later, as I drove up US 23, I had some time to reflect on this team, and all of a sudden, I wanted to roll down the window and yell out a big thank you to Keith Nichol. I know one can express similar sentiments to a number of different Spartans. And for the seniors, while they are part of something special, given MSU's record during their 4 years, I know that missing out on Rose Bowl trips in consectutive seasons under two different but equally maddening scenarios must gnaw at them a hundred and five times more than it gnaws at me.
That being said, as a Elite 11 recruit who initially spurned MSU with the coaching change and going instead to Oklahoma, it must have been a humbling feeling to leave OU given the success Sam Bradford had. No doubt some thought of you as a quitter or a diva. Such sentiments came from the RCMB itself. You came back to MSU and I suspect in your mind, you figured that you were a lock to become the starting QB. Maybe I am wrong. But that is my take.
With the dual QBs of 2009, it must have become apparent to you at some point that for your last two seasons, you looked to be destined to be a backup. As a highly heralded quarterback recruit out of Lowell High School and the dreams of glory you must have had, this was a second humbling experience for you. It is very easy for me to imagine that many others might have said, "Screw it." Such people could have tranferred again seeking that place where their ego could be served. Others may have remained on the team, but become a cancer on the roster, feeling shafted over their misfortune.
Instead, when the team needed help in the Alamo Bowl against Texas Tech, you stepped up to become a receiver. No one will ever confuse you with Andre Rison or Charles Rogers, but in your last two years, you demonstrated character and traits that helped the team, and hopefully inspired others to think of the team over themselves.
Your strength and determination to get that ball across the goal line on the Hail Mary play against Wisconsin, and that on-the-spot lateral to BJ Cunningham in the conference championship game are two plays I will always remember. Your strength and will gave us a magical win in October. Someone suggested that that picture should be blown up into a mural and plastered on the walls of the Spartan weight room with the caption, "EVERY INCH MATTERS". I hope that does happen. It would not only inspire those to work and train harder, but also honor the special contributions you made to this program. Your heads up play on that lateral also signifies that "Whatever It Takes" attitude. Instead of trying to push your way into the end zone, you gave up the ball and created a huge momentum changing play. Nice assist.
I don't know if there is any football games left for you to play after the Outback Bowl. Maybe you get a shot at the NFL Combine. Maybe the CFL. Who knows. Regardless of what you will do after the bowl game and after you graduate, I am not going to wish you luck. That is because I don't think you are going to need it.
Thank you, Mr. Nichol.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Sports Mechanic 3 years ago
Going get a lot of upvotes and it desevres it. Keith has been great and if effort and team first attitude is termendous. I iwsh him the best in future I think he could have a chance as a Special teams player or a back up saftey at the next level.
Good post +1
Don't post poop!
Keith Nichol is one of my favorite players on this squad.
He has a great attitude, and he has had a major role in several amazing games this season. I was screaming his name several times during the game on Saturday night!
Funny how one individual can almost define "team" just by example.
Thank you and wish you well Keith Nichol.
I really think Keith didn't get enough love heading into the Senior Day game against IU. Don't get me wrong, Cousins, Robinson and Foreman deserve all the accolades, but it seemed as though Nichol was lost in the shuffle. Maybe it was the fact that he was a transfer, but I agree with everything you said. Great Spartan. Plus, his hail Mary catch and flip to BJ are probably 2 of the best plays against Wisconsin we've had in our history.
Not only will Keith go down in history with both of those plays on the football field, he will also remain a legend here in tRCMB right along side of Kleevon Tornberg. Thank you, Mr. Nickles.
I read the news today, oh boy .. ..
About a lucky man who made the grade
Well written post and I agree with the sentiment wholeheartedly. My younger brother was good friends with Keith when they were in high school, and it was great to have him back at MSU. Although we were a little disappointed when he lost the quarterback spot. I thought many times how tough it must have been for him to get beat out at Oklahoma and then MSU, but he handled it with astounding maturity. Since then, his dedication to the program and attitude have been impressive to watch.
Also, the Hail Mary and the flip to BJ were two of the coolest MSU football plays in my recent memory.
Way to represent the community and university, Keith!
This post was edited by PlasticKarma 3 years ago
Who sees all beings in his own self, and his own self in all beings, loses all fear."
nichol is seriously awesome. What a great guy all around.
I'm also excited that he retweeted me.
AWESOME. I agree 100%
If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day.
Right on, OP. A great Spartan with a great attitude and great work ethic. He will be missed.
I was going to write a thank you post to Keith, and you beat me to it. I'm glad you did, because I couldn't have said it better myself.
Keith, your unselfish attitude and play will never be forgotten. You are 100% a first class Spartan, and what you brought to this program needs to be recognized. Perhaps they could rename the award for the player who gives up the most of himself for the good of the team and the annual "Nichol" award.
THANK YOU SOO MUCH!
Nice post. Word. His dedication and sacrifice for the program is exemplary. Great Spartan.
Droppedbyadime said... (original post)Nice post. Word. His dedication and sacrifice for the program is exemplary. Great Spartan.
Droppedbyadime said... (original post)
Nice post. Word. His dedication and sacrifice for the program is exemplary. Great Spartan.
The more and more I think about guys on this team like Keith, Kirk, Joel, etc, the less I care about the game. These men are true spartans and they will surely represent us well far into the future. Not just great players, these are great people who will go on to do great things. The foundation that the MSU athletic department is building with Coach D, Hollis, Izzo, and LAKS is strong, sustainable, and will continue to produce successful teams and successful people far into the future. That means much more than one (albeit HUGE) game.
Hide yo quarterbackz, hide yo kidz, the MSU defense is here
Honestly, I was getting choked up at various points in the game Saturday, watching Nichol play. It wasn't just the lateral (which combined with BJ's amazing dive into the end zone made that an absolutely astounding play). It was watching other plays where he was downfield absolutely kicking ass on his blocks.
It's not just the embodiment of a true Spartan (although it's also that). It's the sign of a really good person. When you come up thinking that you'd get to be the star (how could he not? It's human nature), but then things don't end up shaking out that way, lesser men would become bitter, or would slack off, or would withdraw from the team, play out the string, and move on. But instead, there's Number 7, running down the field giving up his body for little recognition, helping the team along.
It's really an inspiring thing to me. There are a lot of really good guys on this team, and great Spartans. Keith deserves to be remembered as one of the greatest TEAM members.
+1 to the OP. My sentiments exactly. I have been watching Keith play football since he was 15 and he has always been a class act and a great role model. I am sure that he will be successful in what ever he pursues in his life and I wish him the best. Thank you Mr. Nichol.
Connect with me now on Facebook http://on.fb.me/hVHAS2 for more motivational video's and quotes. Please visit http://www.sportmental.co.uk for advice on performance, motivational coaching and for a free eBook. Thanks for viewing!
It is SOOOOO incredible that he was able to make the switch and contribute the way he did. Rocket has cemented his place in Spartan lore forever. When my kids are older, and we are reminicing about the old days, that will be a play and a name that will come up.
Every program needs a Nichol. WHAT A GREAT SPARTAN!
One more game, still some time to make us smile.
Another great Spartan. I look forward to his honorary captain game someday.
He'll go down in spartan history with that hail Mary
RCMB Premium Poster
I am still shocked we didn't see more end around, Nichol throwing the ball kind of plays. The little wildcat we've run so far has been effective. It's all been Bell and Martin at this point. Nichol on the jet sweep and double reversing to Martin or throwing it or keeping it himself might be hard to defend. The biggest problem I guess would be that he's not fast enough to have to worry about containing him on an end around as a LB would do a sufficient job and allow the DBs to stay away from the bait.
I think everybody was expecting a few more pass attempts by Nichol from the day it was announced he was making the transition to WR.
Sports Mechanic said... (original post)FWIW, I think it would be pretty cool if they named an award after them. Basically to the player who either A) made the largest personal sacrifice for the greater good of the team or B) Switched positions and thrived.
Sports Mechanic said... (original post)
FWIW, I think it would be pretty cool if they named an award after them. Basically to the player who either A) made the largest personal sacrifice for the greater good of the team or B) Switched positions and thrived.
I like this alot. I'm in for the switched positons and thrived award. The Nichol Award. Has a nice ring.
Nichol just retweeted this pic of an interception he made in high school.
Thank you, Denicos.
I hate you for bumping this thread. Thinking about that game is like THE GAME. I was winning for like 2 months.
gotta admit. Its a pretty sweet picture. Whats Keith up to these days?
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