Michigan St. coach used “Waterboy” to inspire his football team

Adam Sandler as The Waterboy's Bobby Boucher

When the Michigan State Spartans football team faced the Ohio State Buckeyes last Saturday in Columbus, coach Mark Dantonio knew that winning in such a hostile atmosphere would require the full nine yards in motivational methods. So he did what every good coach does the night before the big game — he showed his players a movie.

And boy, there are so many good football films out there: Remember The Titans, Rudy, We Are Marshall, even Varsity Blues. But Dantonio broke out the equivalent of a reverse: Adam Sandler’s Waterboy. That’s right, the movie about the mentally challenged, water-loving southern kid named Bobby Boucher.

Dantonio took it pretty far, he even quoted Henry Winkler’s charachter, Coach Klein, during his halftime speech, as he told his men: “Visualize and attack.”

“It was a great movie for our guys they had fun with it,” Coach Dantonio said in the press conference after the game.

Boy did they: The Spartans beat Ohio State 10-7, Michigan State’s first victory over the Buckeyes since 1999.

Next week the Spartans are hosting the Michigan Wolverines for an all-state showdown. Since football requires outsmarting your opponent, I would suggest watching Billy Madison before the game.

Michigan State player shows what he earned from The Waterboy last week in Columbus

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