Sports

Sports news

Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions
Mike Morbeck / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

As spring approaches here in Michigan, we near one of the most exciting times of year for a sports fan in the Great Lakes state.

Right now, the Red Wings and Pistons are heading down the stretch of the regular season, fighting for playoff spots, while the Lions are making big offseason moves. On the hardwood, the NCAA tournament is just around the corner as Michigan State and Michigan are hoping to be a part of “March Madness” next month. Not to mention pitchers and catchers have reported for spring training as the Tigers get ready for another season.

Keyworth Stadium, the future home of Detroit City FC
Jon DeBoer/DCFC

Eighty years ago, Franklin Delano Roosevelt paid a visit to the city of Hamtramck, an enclave within the city of Detroit. There, the 32nd president cut the ribbon on a new sports stadium, one of the many construction projects being carried out across the country to help the United States dig out of the Great Depression.

Eight decades later, the Detroit City Football Club (DCFC), a minor league soccer team with one of the biggest followings in the country, is looking to turn Keyworth Stadium into its new home.

The Wolverines taking the field in 2009. They enter this season with 90-to-1 odds at the championship, but fans hope Harbaugh can turn them around.
flickr use Anthony Gattine / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

  ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan hired UConn's Warde Manuel as its new athletic director on Friday, bringing back a well-regarded alumnus who once played football for the Wolverines — just like its coach, Jim Harbaugh.

The 47-year-old Manuel, who had been Connecticut's athletic director since 2012, was given a five-year deal by Michigan. The salary was not immediately disclosed.

Jim Harbaugh pleads his case. Michigan's head coach first arrived in Ann Arbor as a kid in 1973.
MGoBlog / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Former Michigan quarterback Tom Brady’s team, the New England Patriots, were knocked out of the playoffs last week. But his unlikely friendship with a 43-year old Ann Arbor dishwasher is still going strong. Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon heard this story a year ago, and it’s only gotten better since.

University of Michigan football game
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan may have a new athletic director.

According to reports from The Detroit Free Press, ESPN, and a former Boston Globe sportswriter, UM plans to hire University of Connecticut Athletic Director Warde Manuel to serve as the athletic department’s next leader.

nfl football on field
Flickr user Parker Anderson / Flickr

This week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the Rams would be allowed to move from St. Louis back to Los Angeles. I realize you might not care, but you should, because we’re the ones paying for it – again. 

Stack of newspapers.
user Jon S / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Last week, MLive.com laid off 29 more employees.

On Monday, Alabama beat Clemson for college football’s national title.

These might seem unrelated to you, but not to me. I see a pattern here – and a warning for college football, if it’s smart enough to listen.

Stunned Michigan fans, the "Windmilling Kicker" from MSU, and the Green Bay Hail Mary. It was quite a year in football for Michigan.
Screen shots from ABC, ESPN, and the NFL Network.

2015 was a pretty good year for college football fans in the state – especially for fans of its two Big Ten schools.

 

The Michigan Wolverines finished their 2014 season in horrible shape, on and off the field.

After the students held a campus rally, hoping to get athletic director Dave Brandon fired, a popular website, MGoBlog, did the job for them. When MGoBlog published Brandon’s insulting emails to fans, including, “Quit drinking and go to bed,” Brandon had to resign.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Warmer than usual temperatures are taking a toll on Michigan’s ski slopes.

Most resorts have less than half their runs operating with only thin layers of man-made snow. With temperatures expected to rise as Christmas approaches, many resorts may struggle to make more snow. 

Mickey MacWilliams is with the Michigan Snow Sports Industry Association. She admits it’s hard to motivate people to think about hitting the slopes when it doesn’t feel like winter.

Kempf

Eighteen-year-old Ellis Kempf is captain of his wrestling team, the Royal Oak Ravens.

He wrestles in the 152-pound weight class.

Kempf is also completely deaf without his cochlear implants, which he can't wear during matches. 

Most of the time, it's not an issue. Kempf has a sign language interpreter who signs his coach's instructions during matches.

But during state matches sanctioned by the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA), Kempf's  interpreter was prohibited from moving around the wrestling circle to maintain eye contact with him.

Don Harrison/flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The largest ski jump structure in the world is located, not in Bavaria, not in Switzerland, not even Scandinavia.

It's Ironwood's Copper Peak in the Upper Peninsula. At 469 feet, ski jumpers soar through the air at 65 miles per hour.

Copper Peak was built in 1970. The last ski flying competition happened there in 1994.

But, plans are afoot to renovate the ski jump for a September 2017 contest.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s a push to make hunting in Michigan quieter.

Michigan is one of four states where it’s legal for a gun owner to own a silencer, but illegal to hunt with one. 

Knox Williams is with the American Suppressor Association, an industry trade group. Williams is one of several industry reps who spoke to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission last week. He says Michigan hunters would suffer less hearing loss if they were allowed to use silencers.

John U. Bacon
John U. Bacon

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon joins us to talk about the Spartans' ninth Big Ten Championship and the upcoming bowl season.

Spartans take Big Ten 

The Spartans emerged victorious on Saturday, winning their ninth Big Ten Championship and giving Iowa its first loss of the season.

The Hawkeyes stayed on top until MSU pulled out a nine-minute, 22-play, 82-yard scoring drive to secure the winning touchdown.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

INDIANAPOLIS - L.J. Scott kept lunging forward, stretching the ball over the goal line for a touchdown with 27 seconds and No. 5 Michigan State all but locked up a spot in the College Football Playoff, edging No. 4 Iowa 16-13 Saturday in the Big Ten championship game.

Connor Cook led the Spartans (12-1) on a 22-play drive that set up Scott's 1-yard run. A half-dozen Iowa defenders tried to stop Scott, but he wouldn't be denied.

Iowa (12-1) lost for the first time this season - and just barely.

rock478 / morgueFile

A deaf high school wrestler is suing the Michigan High School Athletic Association for the right to have a sign language interpreter alongside the mat during tournaments.

Ellis Kempf, 18, is the wrestling squad captain at Royal Oak High School. He’s been deaf since the age of two due to meningitis, and can’t wear his hearing aids during matches. Kempf used a sign language interpreter alongside the mat until the Michigan High School Athletic Association said that’s not allowed.

Michigan State football
User: spartanjoe / Flickr

Michigan Radio’s sports commentator  John U. Bacon and Stateside Host Cynthia Canty break down last weekend's Big Ten Football action.

Ann Arbor and East Lansing were the scenes of some BIG butt-kickings over the weekend: Michigan State served up a 55-16 shellacking to the Nittany Lions—setting up the Spartans to face the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Championship in Indianapolis next weekend, and Ohio State came to the Big House and embarrassed Michigan, 42-13.

Plus, Bacon gives predictions on the Big Ten Championship and the college football playoffs. 

Go Blue / The University of Michigan

Maybe do some lunges today, or jog around the block or something.

Just get the blood flowing a little, in between Thanksgiving's feasting and Saturday's football marathon of snacking and sitting and watching Michigan and Michigan State wrap up the regular season with  big, emotional, must-watch games. 

Picture from the Michigan-Ohio State game in 2013.
MGoBlog / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

  

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon joins us for this week's sports roundup.

Big Ten in College Football Playoff rankings

Big Ten teams are dominating the College Football Playoff rankings with four teams holding positions in the top ten.

Both Michigan State and U of M rose in the rankings this week, State from ninth to fifth and UM from 12th to 10th, while Ohio State fell from third to eighth place.

Bacon says the most surprising move was Iowa's rise to third.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Fans will notice enhanced security at this week’s U of M - Ohio State football game.  

There will be a lot on the line on the field at the Big House when the Wolverines and the Buckeyes face off on Saturday.

The lines to get in will be big too.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The struggling Detroit Lions have shaken up the front office.

Lions president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew were fired on Thursday.

Team owner Martha Firestone Ford announced the moves and did not take questions from reporters.

John U. Bacon
John U. Bacon

Michigan Radio’s sports commentator John U. Bacon joins us again for this week’s sports roundup.

The Detroit Lions prepare to take on the Minnesota Vikings.
The Detroit Lions

The Lions have won only one game this year, and in their most recent game, Matt Stafford suffered 13 hits, seven sacks, and the Lions went from a 17-6 lead over Minnesota to a 28-19 loss.

Bacon says to the Ford family's credit, they've stayed out of the way as the team struggles.

"They're pretty much everything you want in owners except an inability to hire the right coach," he says.


Jalen Watts-Jackson is mobbed by his teammates after scoring the winning touchdown at the Big House. He says the injury occurred when he was tackled by Michigan's Jake Butt.
screengrab / YouTube

Two updates to "The Game" that ended in dramatic fashion in Ann Arbor Saturday night:

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh visited President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House today. Harbaugh was there for a "higher-education awareness event" according to David Shepardson of the Detroit News.

Fans react to the end of the Michigan-Michigan State game on October 17, 2015.
screen grab / ESPN


Last Friday, I said Saturday’s game would be the "Mother of all Michigan-Michigan State games."

 

Clearly, I had no idea. For the first time in years, the rivalry was billed as a heavyweight prize fight – and it delivered.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Jalen Watts-Jackson grabbed a flubbed punt and lumbered 38 yards into the end zone for a touchdown on the final play of the game, giving No. 7 Michigan State a shocking 27-23 win over No. 12 Michigan in one of college football's most unlikely endings.

  With the Wolverines ahead 23-21 and 10 seconds left, Michigan punter Blake O'Neill bobbled a low snap, and spun around to try and make the kick. But he was hit, the ball popped free and Watts-Jackson caught it, broke a few tackles in the final yards and made it into the end zone.

MSU football players.
User: Michigan State Spartans / facebook

The state Supreme Court says Michigan State University does not have to release the names of 301 student-athletes listed as suspects in police reports while a freedom of information case is on appeal.

The ESPN network wants the names as part of an investigation into whether colleges treat student-athletes suspected of crimes differently than other students.

MSU was facing a court-ordered deadline of today to release the names.

The Paul Bunyan trophy is up for grabs this weekend. Will it stay at MSU?
user megstersdad / Wikimedia Commons - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Well, it is finally upon us. The Mother of all Michigan-Michigan State games.

And it’s about time.

This rivalry has too often been dismissed as a regional affair, not a national showpiece. That’s partly because the two teams are almost never ranked at the same time.

When one is up, the other’s done.

Lately, it’s been all Michigan State. The Spartans have beaten Michigan six of the last seven, often embarrassing the Wolverines in the process.

The Paul Bunyan trophy is up for grabs this weekend. Will it stay at MSU?
user megstersdad / Wikimedia Commons - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

So, there’s some game happening this weekend.

No. 7 Michigan State is facing No. 12 Michigan, and Michigan is favored to win this game.

“For the first time in many, many years, the nation will be watching this game,” says Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon.

Bacon says no one saw this type of game coming earlier this year, when Michigan wasn’t expected to do much.

Football Roundup

Oct 9, 2015
A football field.
user: Michael Knight / Flickr

On Monday night, the Detroit Lions – the NFL’s lovable losers – found a spectacular new way to break their fans’ hearts.

Wide receiver Calvin Johnson, the team’s best player, was just about to cross the goal line with a go-ahead touchdown when he let a Seattle defender knock the ball out of his hand, and into the endzone.

Michigan Footgolf Club

A combination of soccer and golf, the new sport of footgolf is gaining popularity across the nation.

According to the American FootGolf League, there are more than 250 footgolf courses across the United States, with 25 courses right here in Michigan.

“I’ve been playing soccer my whole life, and I also enjoy golf so it was just a perfect fit,” says Jon Aron, president and founder of the Michigan FootGolf Club.

Pages