A devout Michigan State fan refused to undergo heart surgery this past Thursday, deferring the procedure until after Saturday's game against longtime rival Michigan. Major Hester wanted to be able to watch the game on a television in Ann Arbor, and was willing to risk anything, even his life, to do so.
The 69-year-old said he put off the surgery until the following week because he didn’t want to risk anything going wrong on the operating table that would prevent him from watching the game. Hester said his doctor asked him twice if he really wanted to put off the surgery, and his reply both times was, "I'm watching the game."
Major Hester wasn’t the only Spartans’ fan watching the game from a distance. The Spartans’ own head football coach, Mark Dantonio, watched the game from a press box. Dantonio suffered a heart attack on September 19, after the Michigan State overtime win against Notre Dame.
The Spartans went into Saturday’s game ranked 17th, while the Wolverines were ranked 18th. It was the first time since 1999 that the two teams met undefeated, both 5-0. Fortunately for Hester and Dantonio, Michigan State pulled off a 34-17 win over Michigan, and ended their 1,071 day losing streak against the Wolverines. The Spartans are now 6-0 for the first time since 1999.