I just read this ridiculous article on ESPN, and this seems to be a common theme in the press for the National Championship game tonight:

Final Four: Wolverines fans get on board for MSU … reluctantly – ESPN.

Give me a break. First of all, I don’t really believe that Michigan fans are cheering for Michigan State. Second, if you’re going to turn this into a team representing some sort of triumphant victory over the hard luck times of the people in the state, let’s talk about both sides. Plenty of folks have lost their jobs in North Carolina as textile mills have moved further south to Mexico. My very own hometown is barely breathing because of it. I don’t smoke, but tobacco has traditionally been the main crop in NC, and that’s not as profitable as it once was either. There are poor people everywhere, and while I realize that Michigan (and specifically Detroit) has had a rough year, it hasn’t cornered the market on bad news.

Or how about this? It’s just basketball. MSU doesn’t represent anything other than the school itself. Half of these players aren’t even from Michigan. They certainly didn’t sign up to be heroes in a downtrodden economy (and neither did the Heels). How about we just forget all of these stupid invented storylines that the media desperately wants to create, and we just watch what is sure to be a great basketball game tonight. How about we focus on the really interesting parts of this game: two future Hall of Fame coaches, two storied programs, the final game for some truly amazing players (Hansbrough, Green, Lawson, and Ellington are likely all gone next year). Let’s talk about MSU’s smothering defense and the way they slowed down Connecticut and outlasted Louisville, two very talented teams. Let’s talk about Ty Lawson’s toe. And when it’s over, let’s talk about the great performances that are sure to occur tonight.

But let’s not make this more than it is. Winning this game isn’t going to solve the probems in Michigan or North Carolina. It’s just going to sell some t-shirts and DVD’s in the long run (which is good for the economy!), and hopefully it will give me something else to hold over Duke fans. That’s all I really want.