It has been eight years since the infamous phrase of “Little Brother” was uttered by Michigan RB Mike Hart. Since then, Hart has been extremely active in the football community. After three years playing for the Indianapolis Colts, he has had roles as offensive quality control coach and running backs coach at Eastern Michigan and is now the running backs coach for the Western Michigan Broncos.
In the wake of one of the most anticipated games in rivalry history, Hart made several comments about the rivalry to the Detroit News.
“You don’t understand what it means until you play in the Michigan State game the first time,’ Hart said. ‘My first game was one of the greatest in the series, down 17 with seven minutes, half the stadium left. It was one of those games that set me up for my career at Michigan from the standpoint you never quit.
It’s something I’ll never forget in my life, especially as a coach. There’s always a chance to win and you play with that mentality every game until the clock shows no time left.
We always had great games with Michigan State,’ Hart said. ‘They fought, we fought. It didn’t matter what the records were. The game was going to be a game until the end.”
There was also a lot of respect that Hart gave to Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio. Hart stated that putting Michigan State’s success solely upon his comment discredited what Dantonio has done.
“Anyone who says that stuff … to me that’s disrespectful to what Mark Dantonio has done with that program. He’s a great coach. They’re a dominant program, a national program.’
At the end of the day, Mark Dantonio was going to get that program where it is now in the national spotlight. I respect what he’s done. They have the most disciplined defenses consistently year after year. He’s a special coach.”
Finally, Hart commented on the phrase that has lived in infamy throughout this rivalry. There was a sense of remorse to his comments.
“I shouldn’t have said it, but I was 21. That’s where it came from. I went with it. At the end of the day, I was a fireball at that age and I said things before thinking. You don’t do that.”
That press conference Hart is referring to can be found below.