I went to Ann Arbor Huron High School, considered by all objective sources to be the greatest high school in the history of the universe. And one of the things that made it so great was an intramural softball league.
Maybe your clearly inferior high school had one, too. But the IM softball league at Huron was created and run entirely by students – the burnouts, no less. That meant the adults, perhaps wisely, wanted nothing to do with it.
So the burn-outs got the park permits – God bless ‘em -- and every clique had a team, with names like the Junior Junkies, the Extra Burly Studs, and – yes – the ‘Nads. If you pause to think of their cheer, you’ll get the joke.
The University of Michigan is elevating the men’s and women’s lacrosse clubs to varsity status. Dave Brandon is the Athletic Director at U of M. He says the announcement Wednesday is “the worst kept secret in America.”
Brandon says lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the nation. Michigan high school programs have grown from 50 to 180 in the past ten years.
Police in San Juan, Puerto Rico, said in a statement he was found dead Wednesday on the bedroom floor of his oceanfront apartment. Police and Traylor's team, the Vaqueros de Bayamon, said he had been missing for a few days and apparently died from a heart attack.
The Vaqueros said Traylor was rehabbing a heel injury and had not been playing. They suspended their game Wednesday night because of his death.
Traylor played for the University of Michigan from 1995 to 1998. Prior to that he played for Murray-Wright High School in Detroit.
He was selected by the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the 1998 NBA Draft and traded to the Milwaukee Bucks. He went on to play for seven years in the NBA for 4 teams (Milwaukee, Cleveland, Charlotte, and New Orleans). After his NBA career, Traylor played for teams in Turkey and Italy before playing in Puerto Rico.
Sometimes the real world is so overwhelming it sneaks into sports. One of those times occurred after 9/11, when the crowd at Yankee Stadium sang “God Bless America.”
I’m not very religious, but it sounded right to me.
It seemed appropriate that that signature moment, when we needed to be together, occurred in our country’s most hallowed arena, the nation’s front porch.
We are probably the most sports-soaked culture in the world. We’re the ones who pay for the Olympics, after all – and I believe our code of conduct when we’re competing often represents our values at their best.
People like to say sports teaches us how to be aggressive.
But you can learn that through alley fighting. Any jerk with no regard for others can be aggressive. Prisons are filled with them. 9/11 was conceived by them.
The sophomore point guard had declared for the draft but could have returned to the Wolverines if he'd withdrawn by May 8. Instead, he'll forgo his remaining eligibility, meaning Michigan will have to replace one of its most important players as it tries to build on last season's impressive finish.
"There have been long discussions with my family, friends and my Michigan coaches," Morris said. "In the end I decided to go with my heart. Playing professional basketball has always been a dream for me. I feel this is the right time for me to pursue that goal. It will be hard to leave the University of Michigan. However, I truly believe the basketball program is moving in a very positive direction."
On Tuesday, the Michigan football family lost another beloved son, Jim Mandich, who died of cancer at age 62.
Regular readers of this space know I’ve had to write a few elegies already this year, and I’m not sure if we can bear another one right now.
I’m not sure Mandich would want any more, either, beyond his funeral.
As he told Angelique Chengalis of The Detroit News last fall, after he was diagnosed with cancer, “I said to myself, ‘No whining, no complaining, no bitching. You've lived a damned good life. You've got lot to be thankful for.’”
Jim Mandich was the captain of Bo Schembechler's 1969 squad that shocked Ohio State. He went on to star on the Miami Dolphins 1972 team that went undefeated. Mandich died last night after a long battle with bile duct cancer. He was 62.
U of M Director of Athletics Dave Brandon says Mandich was a Michigan Man "in every way."
"“Captain Jim Mandich led a team that changed Michigan football for decades to follow...He was a legendary player and an even better person. He will be missed."
The following is from U of M's press release announcing Mandich's death.
The NCAA sent Ohio State University's president a letter citing the "notice of allegations" against the school's football program.
In the letter to Ohio State, NCAA officials say, "Your institution should understand that all of the alleged violations set forth in the document attached to this letter are considered to be potential major violations of NCAA legislation, unless designated as secondary."
Amateur mixed martial arts fights may soon be regulated by the state. A bill introduced to the Michigan House would require both promoters and fighters to be licensed by the state. The bill would also create a commission to enforce the rules and investigate complaints.
Michigan State tight end Brian Linthicum was sentenced Tuesday to one year of probation in connection with a March 10 arrest in Aspen, Colo., according to Pitkin County Court records.
Linthicum, who will be a senior and possible starter in the fall, accepted a plea deal without appearing in court, knocking misdemeanor third-degree assault and eluding-police charges down to misdemeanor harassment.
He must take an anger-management class (at least eight hours), perform 40 hours of community service and pay $100, plus court costs. According to a court clerk, other conditions are that he cannot be arrested nor drink excessive amounts of alcohol. A review hearing for which Linthicum must be present is set for Oct. 11.
Max Bullough, a Michigan State linebacker, was also charged in the incident. His hearing is set for Tuesday.
The Associated Press reports a Los Angeles financier is the new owner of the NBA's Detroit Pistons.
Billionaire investor Tom Gores has agreed to buy the Detroit Pistons and other properties. The tentative deal announced Friday must be approved by the NBA. It includes the team, The Palace of Auburn Hills and DTE Energy Music Theatre. Gores is buying the properties from Karen Davidson, who became the owner after her husband, Bill, died in March 2009. Gores is the chairman and CEO of Platinum Equity.
If you’re not a Michigan football fan, you probably haven’t heard of Vada Murray, but you might have seen his picture.
It’s one of the iconic images of Michigan football, along with Tom Harmon standing in his mud-soaked, torn-apart jersey, Ol’ 98, and Desmond Howard diving to catch a touchdown against Notre Dame -- two Heisman Trophy winners, winning big games.
But the photo I’m talking about depicts Vada Murray and Tripp Welborne soaring skyward to block a field goal.
They were a kicker’s nightmare, but even when they got a hand on the ball, it simply denied their opponent three points -- not the kind of thing that wins you a Heisman Trophy or an NFL contract.
They don’t even keep records of blocked kicks.
But, over two decades later, something about that photo still resonates, perhaps because it captures their effort, their intensity, their passion – all of it spent just to give their teammates a slightly better chance for success.
The state’s Natural Resources Commission holds a discussion today on deer baiting. The commission is set to decide in June whether to lift the baiting ban in the Lower Peninsula. Wildlife biologists say feeding deer causes them to congregate unnaturally, and that it helps spread disease.
But Don Inman – a retired conservation officer – thinks some baiting is okay. He says large feed piles are a problem, but a small amount of bait is not.
"From my experience and all of my friends too who have hunted in this area and hunted when baiting was legal, we seldom saw more than four deer. We put out a coffee can and spread it around. "
The state banned deer baiting in the Lower Peninsula in 2008 after a deer in Kent County tested positive for chronic wasting disease.
Scoreboards at the University of Michigan’s premier sports venues are getting a major upgrade. The U of M Athletic Department announced today that it has signed a deal to replace the aging scoreboards at Michigan Stadium, Crisler Arena and Yost Ice Arena with state of the art LED displays.
In a written statement, UM Athletic Director David Brandon says the department is excited.
“Our goal is to set a new, higher standard for our fan’s viewing experience and the game day atmosphere we create in our venues. These boards will be an important first step in achieving that goal.”
Demolition of the old video boards at the Big House began in March. New, larger LED video screens will be installed in both end zones by this August.
The total cost of the project is expected to be less than $20 million dollars.