The Megaphone Trophy is awarded to the winner of the Michigan State - Notre Dame game. The rivalry contains arguably one of the greatest (and most controversial) games ever played in college football. In 1966, the two met each other with the National Championship on the line as both teams had perfect seasons - MSU at 9 and 0 ranked #2 and ND at 8 and 0 ranked #1. During the last series of the game, Notre Dame opted out of going for the end zone, resulting in a 10-10 tie and both schools eventually being named national champions. The rivalry has remained intact ever since.
The in-state rivalry game between Michigan state and Michigan is one of the best to go to regarding tailgating. Because of the schools’ proximity, tons of students and fans from each school attend the game, making it one of the liveliest (and potentially rowdiest) game of the year. The winner is also awarded the Paul Bunyan-Governor of Michigan Trophy putting extra bragging rights on the line.
Michigan State and Penn State play each year for the Land Grant Trophy. The rivalry took a brief hiatus from 2011-2013, but was rekindled in the 2014 season and makes for a great game to watch as it is one of the bigger matchups in the Big Ten East.
No matter what kind of tailgate you’re looking for you’ll find it at Michigan State, which offers a wide variety of tailgate options. Michigan State University allows tailgating on campus in all public parking areas, including the consumption of alcohol for those over 21. They also offer a family-friendly, alcohol-free tailgating zone at Munn Field for those with families or who want a calmer tailgating experience. Whether you’re looking to let loose and party hard or if you’re taking your kids to their first Spartans football game there is a place for you to enjoy the pregame festivities at State.
One of the more unique aspects of tailgating at Michigan State is the fact that Spartans fans have their own brand of beer pong known as Spartan Beer Pong. Rather than just throwing the balls through the air and trying to sink them in the cup like regulation beer pong, you have to use actual ping pong rules. The table is set up with the ping pong net on it, and you have to use your hands as paddles to bounce it off the table before sinking it in a cup otherwise, it doesn’t count. The defensive team cannot hit the ball until it passes the cups otherwise a cup is deducted for interference. You’ll love this variation of beer pong, which is sure to get you into the Spartans spirit.
MSU operates on a 7/9/1 rule for tailgating/parking on game days. If the game starts at noon, the tailgating lots open at 7 am; if the game starts at 3:30 or any late afternoon time, the lots open at 9 am; for a night game (7 pm or later), the lots are open at 1 pm. Regardless of what time the game is, there is ample opportunity to tailgate with other Spartan fans.
At Gate D you can find the full roster of all the Spartan players to play on Big Ten winning teams. The tribute offers a great way for fans young and old to pay respect to greats of the past and to reminisce about great moments in Spartan football history.
Spartan Beer Pong is a bit different from traditional beer pong, in Spartan Beer Pong the table is set up with the ping pong net on it, and you have to use your hands as paddles to bounce it off the table before sinking it in a cup otherwise it doesn’t count. The defensive team cannot hit the ball until it passes the cups otherwise a cup is deducted for interference. Look for a game of Spartan Beer Pong if you’re looking to have a great time at an MSU football game.
The statue located on the corner of Kalamazoo and Chestnut is a part of one of the largest Spartan pre-game traditions. Before every game the football team and band walk past the statue and touch its foot for good luck. Help bring the Spartans good luck by touching the statue’s foot yourself before cheering on the Spartans to victory.
Approximately two hours before kickoff the band performs a show at Adams Field. Each section of the band arrives separately and practices in different parts of the field while fans gather around to listen and take pictures. After the concert, the band takes a parade block formation to march across the river.
After the band’s performance in Adams Field, they gather into their parade block formation while the percussion sections start playing “The Series” as they march across the river. Once across, Sparty joins in with the band and leads the fans down Red Cedar Road to the stadium as fans line the street to show their support. The football team joins the walk from the Kellogg Center and make sure to pass the Spartan Statue where each member of the team to rub its feet for good luck and leaves pennies to bring home an MSU victory. To truly get into the game day spirit and show off your Sparty pride make sure to check out the Spartan Walk.
Tennis CourtsThe tennis courts just south of the stadium is where the majority of students go, and tends to be the rowdiest area for tailgating. Passes for parking in this lot are sold by the Student Government, so get one from them if you’re a student looking to party with the wildest fans out there.
Munn FieldMunn Field is a designated NO alcohol zone and is more of a family friendly environment for tailgating. It is the only alcohol-free zone on campus, so if you’re with the family, this will probably be the best place for you
Adams FieldThe Michigan State University Marching Band puts on a show for fans one and a half to two hours before game time. Fans gather at Adams Field with their friends, families, and even their dogs for a picnic-esque style of tailgating. Each section of the band arrives separately and practices in different parts of the field while fans gather around to listen and take pictures. After the concert, the band takes their formation of a parade block to march across the river.
Spartans Stadium Guide
Spartan Stadium is the home of the Michigan State Spartans football team. It’s the sixth largest stadium in the Big Ten and 23rd largest in the country. The stadium is built to accommodate 75,000 fans but on more than one occasion, has seen upwards of 80,000 fans – a far cry from the 14,000 the stadium held when it opened in the 1923.
You’ll know right where you are the minute the Spartans take the field accompanied by their intro video that features scenes from the film 300. The atmosphere from that point on is one of the best in the Big Ten as Spartan fans love to show off the love and pride they have for MSU. The fans at Michigan State are great and if you want to feel the buzz from the crowd then sitting in the upper deck right above the student section is the place to be. No matter where you sit though you’ll have an excellent view of the action on the field and be able to experience the infectious energy the crowd provides.
Traditions are a big part of any Big Ten game day, and Michigan State is no exception. The Spartans pride themselves on tradition and a deep love for college football. With traditions such as Zeke the Wonder Dog and battle cries from the movie 300, it’s hard not to enjoy yourself at an MSU game, regardless of who they’re playing. While MSU hasn’t been able to duplicate their period of domination (seven national championships between 1951 and 1966), the spirit of the Spartans remains fully intact, and their pride is undeniable.
Spartan Stadium offers a little bit different items in their concessions, as well as the traditional offerings. Near the student section, you’ll find local favorite Sparty’s Pizza for a more traditional food item. One of the more notable, and unique, places inside the stadium is the Turkey Man Stand, offering items such as large smoked turkey drumsticks, turkey ribs, turkey sausage, turkey wings, basically anything and everything you can make out of turkey.
In 2007, clips from the movie 300 were added to the Spartans opening video sequence. Also, if the opponent is in a third down situation, a clip of Spartan King Leonidas is shown shouting “Spartans! What is your profession?” to which the crowd responds with “Ha-Ooh! Ha-Ooh! Ha-Ooh!” while thrusting their fists in the air as if they were holding spears. These video clips get the crowd pumped and ready to cheer on their Spartans, so join in the cheers when you see these clips.
At halftime of every Spartans game, Zeke entertains the crowd by showing off his frisbee catching abilities. The tradition dates back to 1977, however following the original Zeke’s retirement the tradition went on hiatus until 2001 when it was resurrected. Don’t leave your seat at halftime or you may risk missing out on this fantastic Michigan State game day tradition.
One of the signatures of the Michigan State marching band’s in-game performance is the spinning S. While performing the school’s fight song the band forms a block S and rotates 360 degrees. Don’t miss this piece of Michigan State game day tradition if you want to get the full Spartan football experience.
On the banks of the Red Cedar
There’s a school that’s known to all
Its specialty is winning
And those Spartans play good ball
Spartan Teams are never beaten
All through the game they’ll fight
Fight for the only colors
Green and White
Go right through for MSU
Watch the points keep growing
Spartan Teams are bound to win,
they’re fighting with a vim
Rah! Rah! Rah!
See their team is weakening
We’re going to win this game!
Fight! Fight! Rah, Team, Fight!
Victory for MSU!
MSU Shadow (Alma Mater)
MSU, we love thy shadows When twilight silence falls, Flushing deep and softly paling O’er ivy covered halls; Beneath the pines we’ll gather To give our faith so true, Sing our love for Alma Mater And thy praises MSU. When from these scenes we wander And twilight shadows fade, Our memory still will linger Where light and shadows played; In the evening oft we’ll gather And pledge our faith anew, Sing our love for Alma Mater And thy praises MSU.
This AC/DC hit is played as the Spartans storm the field led by Sparty, to the thunderous screams of fans.
I was caught
In the middle of a railroad track (thunder)
I looked round
And I knew there was no turning back (thunder)
My mind raced
And I thought what could I do (thunder)
And I knew
There was no help, no help from you (thunder)
Sound of the drums
Beating in my heart
The thunder of guns
Tore me apart
Rode down the highway
Broke the limit, we hit the town
Went through to Texas, yeah Texas, and we had some fun
We met some girls
Some dancers who gave a good time
Broke all the rules
Played all the fools
Yeah yeah they, they, they blew our minds
And I was shaking at the knees
Could I come again please
Yeah them ladies were too kind
I was shaking at the knees
Could I come again please
Thunderstruck, Thunderstruck, Thunderstruck, Thunderstruck
It’s alright, we’re doin’ fine
It’s alright, we’re doin’ fine, fine, fine
Thunderstruck, yeah, yeah, yeah
Thunderstruck, baby, baby
Thunderstruck, you’ve been Thunderstruck
You’ve been Thunderstruck