Saturday Night Live Roasts Michigan State For Hitler Image On Spartan Stadium Scoreboard
It's been a rough few months for Michigan State.
If you had "Football coach self-destructs by sexually harassing prominent sexual assault survivor and victim advocate" on your MSU Embarrassment Bingo card, congratulations! If you had "MSU Board of Trustees goes public with its infighting in move that would make showrunners at 'The Young and the Restless' blush," that's incredible. Was "Suffering the worst loss in the 100-year history of your stadium at the hands of your arch-nemesis" on your card? If so, that's even more incredible.
But if you had "MSU AV team puts image of Hitler on Spartan Stadium Scoreboard," you ought to buy a lottery ticket.
As if State hadn't been making enough headlines for all the wrong reasons lately.
On Saturday, Oct. 22, in the pregame lead-up to State's aforementioned historically peerless 49-0 home loss to Michigan, MSU had a trivia video playing on the 5,000-square-foot video board in Spartan Stadium's south end zone. With an hour and 21 minutes left until kickoff, the trivia video, which clearly had not been thoroughly previewed by anyone at MSU, got to a question about the birthplace of one of the most accomplished racists and murderers in the history of the world.
Somehow, Michigan State put more Hitlers on the scoreboard against Michigan than points.
The sheer incredulity of this all-time gaffe is almost impressive. Think about it. With everything MSU has had go wrong lately, it somehow managed to one-up itself — AGAIN — by putting on its 114-feet-wide-by-47-feet-tall video board a photo of the undisputed GOAT of antisemites, and at the worst possible time.
Spartans Will... find new ways to cause their alumni to facepalm. (This writer included.)
Virtually everyone who holds a public-facing job at MSU issued a press release that night or early the next morning, making sure there was no doubt whatsoever that they don't support Hitler, his views, or a view of him at Spartan Stadium. MSU athletics later announced it had suspended an employee pending an internal investigation into the incident.
I don't know why a full-blown inquiry is necessary, given that MSU Twitter already got to the bottom of what happened.
To summarize: Someone in MSU athletics decided to simply play a long trivia video from YouTube on the Spartan Stadium video board to help satisfy their pregame content quota.
I don't know why that happened, but I'd be willing to guess it was something like this: An overworked, underpaid middle manager delegated the task of finding free content for pregame to an unpaid student intern, who did what virtually anyone born after 1980 does when confronted with any task — they searched for the quickest, simplest solution to their problem on YouTube.
How does that kind of thing go completely unchecked? Budget cuts to athletic departments, the best of which are already operating on razor-thin margins.
Anyway, fast-forward one week. The Hitler-scoreboard controversy had already been wiped from public consciousness thanks to no less than three new negative headlines about MSU in the intervening handful of days. But then Saturday Night Live took to the airwaves.
Hey, it could've been way worse. By Weekend Update standards, Michigan State got off easy.
But now maybe this can all finally be over. That is until a months-long investigation finds that Connor Stallions, the
chief hacker and cryptographer now-suspended recruiting analyst for Michigan football, illicitly accessed Spartan Stadium's AV servers and replaced the family-friendly pregame programming MSU had put in place with the Hitler trivia video.