Where does the Spartans Nickname Come from in Michigan State Football? - Fan Arch

Where does the Spartans Nickname Come from in Michigan State Football?

Where does the Spartans Nickname Come from in Michigan St...

Michigan State University, located in East Lansing, is known for its athletic prowess and its football team, the Michigan State Spartans. But where does the Spartans nickname come from? The story behind the nickname dates back to 1925 when the institution changed its name to Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science. At that time, the teams were referred to as the Aggies, reflecting the school's agricultural roots. However, the school wanted to move beyond its agricultural identity and held a contest to find a new nickname.

Initially, the teams were suggested to be called the "Michigan Staters," but local sports writer George S. Alderton found the name too cumbersome. Alderton went through the contest entries and came across the name "Spartans," which he believed was more heroic and fitting for the teams. Unfortunately, he forgot to write down the name of the person who submitted the suggestion.

With the new nickname of Spartans, Michigan State quickly embraced the name, and it became the teams' official nickname. The lyrics of the fight song were also changed to reflect the new name change.

The success of the Michigan State Spartans extends beyond their nickname. The football team has had notable achievements, including being named consensus national champions in 1952 and the UPI Coaches' national champion in 1965. They have also won several Rose Bowls, including victories in 1954 and 1956.

The Michigan State Spartans participate in the NCAA's Division I and the Football Bowl Subdivision for football. They are members of the Big Ten Conference in all varsity sports. The university offers 11 varsity sports for men and 12 for women, with their mascot being a Spartan warrior named Sparty.

The origin of the Spartans nickname can be traced back to the influence of the Scofes family, who were friends with George S. Alderton, the sports writer who popularized the name. The Scofes family, who immigrated to America from Sparta, Greece, ran a restaurant in Lansing called The Coffee Cup in the 1920s. They were known for their connections with Spartan athletics and provided a hub for Spartan athletic banquets and events. The Scofes family's influence on Alderton and their connection to Sparta, Greece, likely played a role in the selection of the Spartans nickname.

The Spartans nickname for the Michigan State football team originated from a contest held by the university to find a new nickname. George S. Alderton, a local sports writer, found the name "Spartans" to be more heroic and fitting than the other suggestions. The Scofes family, who were friends with Alderton and had connections to Sparta, Greece, likely influenced the selection of the Spartans nickname. Since then, the Spartans have become a symbol of athletic excellence at Michigan State University.


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