Dedicated sports fans are going to love Michael Emmerich's new paperback book "100 Things That Michigan State Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" (Triumph Books, $14.95).
Focusing primarily on football and basketball, Emmerich's enthusiasm is clearly evident as he offers an amazing cornucopia of Spartan sports history.
It's presented in a smooth and entertaining manner, starting with an opening chapter on Magic Johnson and closing with insights from Duffy Daugherty.
In between, Emmerich glides through Spartan sports history, highlighting the successes of numerous coaches, stars, and heroes.
He deftly probes the past, emphasizing the winning sports teams and why they were successful, analyzing the facts, foibles, and attitudes of players and coaches.
The 336-page book features photos and is divided into 100 brief sections, varying in length, ranging from easily recognizable to somewhat obscure.
Historic, memorable events include the famous 1966 MSU-Notre Dame 10-10 "Game of the Century", earlier Rose Bowl appearances, basketball playoffs and championships.
Many football players are profiled, including Kirk Gibson, Bubba Smith, Sherman Lewis, Earl Morrall, Plaxico Burress, Brad Van Pelt, George Webster, Dan Coleman, Lorenzo White and Kirk Cousins.
Numerous basketball players receive recognition, especially Mateen Cleaves, Greg Kelser, "Jumpin'" Johnny Green, Steve Smith, Jay Vincent and Scott Skiles.
Other chapters explore team rivalries, with special focus given to games between MSU and University of Michigan as well as Ohio State University.
Details are offered on the history and careers of the college's football coaches, including Charlie Bachman, Biggie Munn, Darryl Rogers, Nick Saban, Bobby Williams, George Perles and of course Mark Dantonio.
Basketball coaches and their varying degrees of success are also showcased, with close-ups of the strategies and careers of Pete Newell, Jud Heathcote, Forddy Anderson, and Tom Izzo.
There's also a quick look at the many different awards that the MAC/MSC/MSU teams have won over the years.
Emmerich is an MSU graduate who's spent 25 years in the sports publication business; he's gathered facts from a variety of sources, utilizing numerous books, newspaper articles and the internet.
Since the Michigan State Spartan football team won the Rose Bowl and the basketball team is having a great season, Emmerich may soon have to put out a new, revised edition!
Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious Book Shop,
has reviewed Michigan books and crime novels regularly since 1987.
Find this book and other MSU books, game programs,
ticket stubs and Spartan memorabilia
at the Curious Book Shop, an independent
book shop in East Lansing, founded in 1969.
Curious Book Shop
307 East Grand River Avenue
East Lansing, Michigan
A print version of this review was published by the Lansing State Journal on Sunday, January 26, 2014.