A quick edition of eBay Watch featuring this excellent postgame photo taken by the Freep in the moments after Michigan’s 17-3 win over Michigan State. The photog captured a great shot the aftermath of the game within the game, the battle between Spartan behemoth Tony Mandarich and Wolverine All-American Mark Messner.
From my August 2009 interview, this game was perhaps the favorite of Messner’s and he talked about their battle:
Is there a particular game that you look back on with great memories?
Messner: The Michigan State game my senior year is one that sticks out, because there was so much hype about Mandarich. There was talk about ‘the game within the game’, with Lombardi and Outland trophy candidates going at it and all that. He was such a physical specimen and I vowed that I would not let myself get embarrassed by someone who could overwhelm me physically. I could not let that person get me because if I did, the media coverage would be all over it.
He did get me once and that’s when I realized that there was something strange going on with this man, because no man should ever do that. It was my junior year. We were watching film getting ready for Michigan State and I was like, “Look at this thing! He’s destroying people.” In that game I got out of position and he got underneath me. He picked me up off my feet and ran with me for fifteen yards with my feet just dangling. He threw me like a rag doll into the Michigan State bench.
No matter what, there was no way I was going to let that happen again. And I never did. In my senior year I would not let that guy catch me. Bo used to say he’d never seen somebody out-run, out-think, out-maneuver someone when they shouldn’t have. It was purely motivated out of not getting embarrassed [laughs].
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Here’s Messner earlier this season before the Michigan State game with his sons (I wish they all suited up for that one):