Mark Dantonio adds an angry gator to Michigan State’s bowl prep, and only one person gets bit

Matt Hinton

Michigan State is scheduled to play Georgia next Monday in the Outback Bowl, not the Gator, but that didn't stop coach Mark Dantonio from turning to a little reptilian inspiration during Thursday's practice. According to MSU beat writer Joe Rexrode of the East Lansing Journal, Dantonio ended the session by having a professional alligator trainer — dressed out in pads as a Spartan player — chase down a loose gator on the field.

Only Dantonio and a pair of staffers were in on the prank, which was apparently inspired by a Muhammad Ali poem penned before his 1974 "Rumble in the Jungle" against George Foreman:

Last night I had a dream,
When I got to Africa, I had one hell of a rumble.
I had to beat Tarzan's behind first,
For claiming to be King of the Jungle.
For this fight, I've wrestled with alligators,
I've tussled with a whale.
I done handcuffed lightning
And thrown thunder in jail.
You know I'm bad: Just last week, I murdered a rock,
Injured a stone, Hospitalized a brick.
I'm so mean, I make medicine sick. …

Oh, and the trainer may have been bitten in the leg. Don't worry, folks: As long as the gator wasn't from Australia, he's going to be alright.

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Photo via @MSU_Football.
Matt Hinton is on Facebook and Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.