Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hail to the Walmart Wolverines

Everyone looks sexy in maize & blue
If you're unfamiliar with a Walmart Wolverine, look no further than this Tumblr & Urban Dictionary entry. This term is often used to degrade my alma mater, mostly by fans of the Michigan State Spartans, though it's pretty safe to assume that some fans of THE Ohio State University probably also use it but not quite to the same degree. It's probably because THE Ohio State University doesn't have a little brother syndrome. There's no need to resort to petty name calling between two great, successful programs.

As I was saying, I often see our in-state rivals making fun of the University of Michigan because of these Walmart Wolverines. If you were completely oblivious about the collegiate sporting scene and stumbled upon some of the vitriol directed at Michigan, you'd probably walk away thinking it was heresy to root for a school that you didn't attend. You'd also probably think it was shameful for the school to have these specific types of fans, many of whom have rather questionable fashion choices and are probably close to developing type 2 diabetes, rooting for it.

I'm not immersed in Spartan culture, so I can't really speak to the origins of the Walmart Wolverine. What I do know is that every autumn my News Feed gets clogged with derogatory references to Walmart Wolverines, particularly around the time of the annual in-state match-up, if we suffer a loss, or if we get invited to a better bowl game (see 2012 Sugar Bowl). Example: "At least we don't have trashy Walmart Wolverines!" [insert link to Walmart Wolverines Tumblr or post picture of Walmart Wolverine taken from Walmart Wolverines Tumblr]

I personally don't understand why people would think we're hurt by being associated with these fans. They put on the maize & blue before buying their ultra-discounted milk, back-to-school supplies, and firearms because they want to look sexy & successful. Nothing trashy about that. I cannot see anything wrong with wanting to be associated with something iconic (see Exhibit A) and awesome (see Exhibit B).

Exhibit A

Exhibit B 

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