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Brandon Graham in 2008.
MGOBlog

In Sunday’s Super Bowl, most fans figured the New England Patriots would beat the Philadelphia Eagles, led by the heroics of quarterback Tom Brady, who had already won a record five Super Bowls. 

But in the waning minutes, with Brady poised to lead another game-winning drive, a lesser-known Philadelphia player named Brandon Graham broke through the line, trying to get to Brady before he threw the ball.

Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia was indicted 22 years ago by a Texas grand jury.
Tony Brown / Michigan Radio

New Lions head coach Matt Patricia made his official debut in Detroit Wednesday, saying he’ll “work tirelessly to build a team that everyone around here can be proud of.”

Patricia, 43, comes to the Lions from the New England Patriots, where he was the defensive coordinator. He’s already made some other key coaching changes at the Lions, mostly on the defensive end.

But Patricia said his staff is still a “work in progress,” much like the team itself. He seemed to tamp down any expectations of the Lions winning championships right away.

Michigan skier paves road to Olympic podium with wax

Feb 6, 2018
DAVID CASSLEMAN / Interlochen Public Radio

Eli Brown spent years training for the Winter Olympics, and now he’s finally going. But Brown isn’t competing as an athlete. Instead, he’s making sure the U.S. cross-country ski team has the fastest skis possible.


The Detroit Lions home field, Ford Field
meesh / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

The Detroit Lions announced today that Matt Patricia will be the team's next head coach.

Patricia was with the New England Patriots for the past 14 seasons, and was the defensive coordinator for the past five.

Despite the Patriots allowing 41 points in last night's Super Bowl loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Patricia won three Super Bowls during his time in New England.

The Lions, who have never been to a Super Bowl, haven’t won a playoff game since 1991 and haven’t won a championship since 1957.

Tony Webster / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

With Super Bowl LII officially in the books, former Michigan quarterback Tom Brady is still at just five Super Bowl wins. 

John U. Bacon, Michigan Radio’s sports commentator, joined Stateside today to discuss the big game and the week’s other news.

Bill Beekman
Michigan State University

Michigan State University Interim President John Engler appointed Bill Beekman as interim athletic director Monday afternoon.

Beekman’s appointment comes amid ongoing investigations into the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

Most recently, Beekman served as acting president of MSU before former Michigan governor John Engler was named interim president on Friday, February 2. He’s served as vice president and secretary of the Board of Trustees since 2008. He’s also previously served as executive director of the MSU Alumni Association.

Men posing with large fish
DNR

Michigan’s shortest hunting or fishing season begins, and likely ends, Saturday morning.

Starting when the clock strikes 8am, more than 300 ice fishermen will take part in this weekend’s Black Lake sturgeon season. 

The prehistoric fish can grow to up to eight feet in length.  

Lake sturgeon are listed as a state threatened species.  After being over-fished for more than a century, the lake sturgeon population has been rebounding slowly. 

Starting in 1997, the annual Black Lake season has been part of the state’s sturgeon management plan. 

Spartan Stadium
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

The NCAA has opened an investigation into Michigan State University's role in the Larry Nassar scandal.

This comes as the number of accusers is up to 265. 

At the same time, ESPN reports allegations of a pattern of mishandled sexual assault cases involving Spartan football and basketball players  – allegations that football coach Mark Dantonio and basketball coach Tom Izzo are still struggling to clearly address.

NBA player dribbling a basketball up the court
Verse Photography / Flickr: 20131118 ClippersvGrizzles31

The Detroit Pistons have a new star on their roster. The Pistons and Los Angeles Clippers have completed a trade that will bring five-time NBA All-Star Blake Griffin and two other players to Detroit.

The Pistons will send forward Tobias Harris, guard Avery Bradley and center Boban Marjanovic to the Clippers along with two future draft picks. Harris had been the Pistons' leading scorer this season, averaging 18.1 points per game.

Also joining the Pistons from L.A. are center Willie Reed and forward Brice Johnson.

Mark Dantonio at a podium
Cheyna Roth / MPRN

 

An ESPN report over the weekend reveals a long-time pattern of denial, lack of action, and allegations of incidents involving Spartan football and basketball players.

MSU Athletic Director Mark Hollis steps down

Jan 26, 2018

Michigan State University Athletic Director Mark Hollis has stepped down in the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

The "Sparty" statue on the MSU campus
Betsy Weber / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

I’ve been wondering aloud for more than a year why the Larry Nassar case was not getting national attention. Well, it finally did, and it wasn’t pretty.

Dr. Nassar pled guilty to sexually assaulting ten girls and young women. But his victims numbered more than 100, many of them athletes at Michigan State University.

Let’s be clear: Michigan State is not merely a good school. It is a world-class research university. Everyone I know who went there loved it.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Michigan is filled with winter enthusiasts, including people who ice fish.

Despite being a winter enthusiast himself, Stateside host Lester Graham has never sat out on the ice to catch fish. Evidently, he’s not alone.

Larry Nassar in court with his attorneys, Shannon Smith and Matthew Newburg.
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

USA Gymnastics’ top board members have resigned. Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon is being pressured to resign. And there are calls for reviews and investigations into how a sports doctor could sexually abuse girls and women for so long, while no one was aware or willing to speak up.

How could these adults and these institutions fail so many children?

larry nassar in court
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

 

While the sentencing hearing of Larry Nassar continues, the top leadership of the board of directors at USA Gymnastics resigned today. The chair, vice chair, and treasurer are all out.  

And there are more demands for the resignation of Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon. While the MSU Board of Trustees last Friday again stated support for Simon, one trustee, Mitch Lyons, has broken with the rest of the board. He says Simon has lost the confidence of the public.

John U. Bacon, Michigan Radio sports commentator, joined Stateside to discuss some of the issues facing the university.

John U. Bacon

College basketball is so corrupt, the FBI itself felt it had to investigate it, busting a bunch of coaches this past fall. But that’s not the case here in Michigan, where two of the sport’s greatest leaders happen to work. It’s also home to one of the game’s most underrated rivalries.

Entering Saturday’s game between Michigan and Michigan State, the Spartans had just snapped their 14-game winning streak -- and lost their number-one ranking with it -- by losing to Ohio State. But they were still ranked fourth, with the best three forwards Tom Izzo has ever had in his 23 years coaching Michigan State, and that’s saying a lot.

mark6mauno / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

 

Some hate the snow, others love it, but there is no arguing that snow has been the mother of invention for many a Michigander. Case in point: Snurfing.

 

Detroit Red Wings vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Carrie Lu / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

 

 

We’ve had some listeners reach out on twitter to put in a request: talk some hockey!

We aim to please, and the timing is perfect — it’s the mid-season mark.

 

John U. Bacon, Michigan Radio sports commentator, joined Stateside to give us an update on all things hockey, with a side of basketball and football.

New Lexus Velodrome
Courtesy of Dale Hughes

 

Take one impossible dream, and add an angel donor with deep pockets.

What do you get? An impossible dream that comes true – in this case, a new indoor velodrome that's just opened up in Detroit's Midtown area.

It makes Detroit one of only three U.S. cities to have a specially-designed facility for indoor bicycle racing, and its designer believes this velodrome could put Detroit racers in future Olympics.

 

 

Charles Woodson, 1997
Bentley Historical Library

Heisman Trophy winner and former Michigan cornerback and safety Charles Woodson was named to the 2018 College Football Hall of fame class Monday morning. He marks the 34th Michigan player or coach to be inducted.

Woodson helped Michigan football to its 1997 national championship and in addition to the coveted Heisman Trophy, earned first-team All-American Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. He recorded 18 interceptions in his three years at Michigan. He is currently the only primarily defensive player to win the Heisman award.

Bo Schembechler talks to Jim Harbaugh during a 1985 game against Notre Dame.
Bentley Historical Library

This year, for the first time, the Big Ten failed to place a team in the four-team College Football Playoff. But the league redeemed itself by winning its first seven bowl games – an amazing run. The Big Ten was just one win away from an unprecedented 8-0 bowl record: Michigan versus South Carolina in the Outback Bowl.

Jim Caldwell
A Healthier Michigan / Flickr - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCl0

 

 

John U. Bacon, Michigan Radio sports commentator, joined Stateside today to bring us our first sports update of the new year.

 

Listen above for the full conversation, or catch highlights below.

 

On Caldwell's firing

 

“I've been calling for it for a while. Very likable guy by all accounts. The players love the man. The Ford family, not a small thing of course in this case, loves the guy," Bacon said, "He's a genuinely decent guy, however he did not succeed at the Indianapolis Colts, he did not succeed at his previous stop coaching for Wake Forest in the college ranks, and he failed at Detroit with a fair amount of talent Detroit now has."

Lions fire coach Jim Caldwell after missing playoffs

Jan 1, 2018
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Detroit Lions have fired coach Jim Caldwell.

Detroit made the move Monday, dismissing a coach who received a multiyear contract extension before the season.

The Lions ended their season with a 35-11 win over to Green Bay. They went 9-7, their third winning record in four years.

Detroit met relatively modest expectations this season, but raised hopes by starting with a 3-1 record before fading.

John U. Bacon

Time to look back on 2017 – but we’ll spare you the serious stuff and stick to sports.

Even in sports, alas, Michiganders waded through a lot of bad news, starting with the passing of Mike Ilitch. He and his wife Marion opened their first Little Caesar’s Pizza Treat in Garden City, Michigan, in 1959. Twenty years later they had built an empire big enough to support a kid’s hockey league that produced NHL players.

By 1982, they bought the long-dormant Detroit Red Wings, drafted a kid named Steve Yzerman, and started a two-decade dynasty that won four Stanley Cups.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Starting next month, Flint’s first city-organized youth basketball league in 15 years will tip off.

Sean Croudy, the city’s director of community recreation, says the program will fill a void in after-school programs for 8- to 17-year-olds. Croudy adds it’s not just about playing basketball.

“Teamwork, build self-esteem,” says Croudy. “A lot of learning opportunities.”

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says promoting sports is also an important part of helping Flint kids exposed to high lead levels in the city’s tap water.

Keith Allison / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

To sum up the year in sports, Michigan Radio’s sports commentator John U. Bacon said this: “If you like mediocrity, I mean really like it, Motown is the place for you.”

He sat down with Stateside host Cynthia Canty to explain.

Ford Field
Brook Ward / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

This is the day Detroit makes its pitch for one of two Major League Soccer franchises.

The Motor City bid is led by Dan Gilbert, Tom Gores, and Martha Firestone Ford, who know a thing or two about owning pro sports teams with the Cavaliers, Pistons, and Lions, respectively. And they're proposing Ford Field as the site for the new MLS team.

How strong is Detroit's bid?

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Pontiac Silverdome will go out with a bang tomorrow as explosives begin the demolition of the former home of the Detroit Lions.

During its four decades of existence, the Silverdome was the home of Detroit Lions and the Detroit Pistons. The stadium played host to the Super Bowl, Wrestlemania, mega rock concerts and Pope John Paul II.

MGoBlog / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

John U. Bacon, Michigan Radio’s sports commentator, joined Stateside today for a roundup of the week’s sports news.

Mike Lantry kicks a field goal against Ohio State in 1973.
Bentley Historical Library

During every University of Michigan football game for the past few years, they’ve honored a veteran, some going back to World War II. But even by those standards, Saturday’s was special.

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