Traverse City Record-Eagle

Sports Columnists

December 10, 2013

Dennis Chase: Gordon sensed win by swagger

When Jeremy Langford busted a 26-yard touchdown run with 2:16 remaining Saturday night, effectively sealing the Big Ten Conference football championship for Michigan State, former Spartan Eric Gordon celebrated by sending his boss an email.

He asked if he could have time off over the holidays to go to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.

After a quick affirmative response, Gordon was booking his flight.

“Thank God I booked my flight right then because when I looked at the prices (Monday) they went up about $300 a ticket,” he said.

Mark Brammer, another former Spartan, was at work in Buffalo on Monday — with Pasadena on his mind.

“I thought about going,” he said. “I’ve been sitting here all day thinking about my business, things we’ve got to get done before year’s end, and I don’t see it in the cards right now.”

Brammer, an All-State player in Traverse City under Jim Ooley in the 1970s, has never been to a Rose Bowl. That despite the fact Brammer was the starting tight end on Michigan’s State’s 1978 team that won the Big Ten. The Spartans were on probation then and could not accept the bid.

“It’s one thing to know that going into the season so you can take it in stride,” he said. “But then when you actually win the Big Ten, and to know you could have gone, that was tough.”

Gordon, an All-State performer at Traverse City West, played on three bowl teams at Michigan State, but not in the Rose Bowl, the oldest bowl game in college football.

So, now as a fan living in Royal Oak, he wasn’t about to miss this opportunity. In fact, some of his former teammates — his best friends — will be joining him.

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