On Wednesday, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio made light of the idea his team relishes the role of the underdog, often referencing how it plays with a chip on its shoulder.
"Everybody keeps saying we have a chip on our shoulder all the time," Dantonio said. "Maybe it's because I don't smile up here often enough. The chip on our shoulder is relative to us, how we play, how we respond. Has nothing to do with who we are playing against, because we have a great deal of respect for everybody we play against."
All of that is true, but Dantonio sure does get a lot of help in creating the largest chip in the history of sports.
The latest example was the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated. It features a photo of quarterback Connor Cook that accompanies a story written by Michael Rosenberg. The headline reads, "The Case for Michigan State."
It's the smaller headline below that is a doozy, saying, "How Mike Dantonio Rebuilt The Spartans."
It's hardly the first time Dantonio's name has been butchered. The most notable was during a trip to ESPN late last summer when hosts called him Mike and his name was spelled wrong on the screen. On top of that, ESPN showed footage of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh as Dantonio spoke.
Dantonio has brushed most of it off publicly, but it's a pretty safe bet it will come up the next couple of weeks as No. 3 Michigan State prepares to play No. 2 Alabama in the Cotton Bowl.
Sports Illustrated apologized for the error:
"On one of the covers of Sports Illustrated’s special newsstand-only College Football Playoff Preview issue — there are regional editions for each of the four teams — Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio was misidentified. The Spartans-themed issues are being reprinted and will be available on newsstands shortly. Sports Illustrated apologizes to Mark Dantonio, Michigan State and its fans for the error."