Sports

Stateside
3:49 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

March Madness has begun!

The University of Michigan basketball team plays Bryant, December, 2010
Cseeman Flickr

March Madness here!

For many of us, it's like Christmas in March. Sixty-eight teams vying to make it to that Final Four.

For others, it's time to say goodbye to the sports fans in your house, and prepare for three weeks of non-stop college hoops on the TV.

Maybe while you're reading a book or watching another TV in another room.

When it comes to March Madness, most people talk brackets.

The odds of picking a perfect bracket in the annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament are one in 9.2 quintillion (that's 18 zeros).

That's  according to calculations by Jeff Bergen who's a mathematics professor at DePaul University.

Michigan and Michigan State both play today at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

They've both spent most of the season in the Top 10.

Michigan in the #1 spot for a while. Michigan State in the Top 5 for a while.

The Big Ten Championship tournament last weekend was disappointing for both.

But what makes March Madness different from the World Series? Or the run to the Super Bowl? Or the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs?

Today we talked March Madness with our sports commentator John U Bacon.

He'll gave us the scoop on how the Big Ten teams will fare in the tournament, and who from the Michigan and Michigan State teams will make it to the NBA.

To hear the full report, click the link above.

Sports
7:37 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Maps show U-M sweeping up MSU in Facebook madness

Credit Facebook

March Madness tips off for Michigan and Michigan State on Thursday at the Palace of Auburn Hills, but for fans of the two schools, the madness has already started online. 

Earlier this week, Facebook unveiled a set of maps showing the most-liked college basketball team in every county across the United States. The map is based on more than 1 million Facebook likes.  

And while U-M and MSU were pretty evenly matched on the court this year — the teams split two meetings during the regular season — Wolverine fans are delivering a butt-kicking on Facebook. 

Only seven counties in the whole state support the Spartans over the Wolverines, according to a map comparing the two schools directly. Nationally, wide swatches of the country are painted maize, showing support for Michigan, with only a few patches of green. 

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Sports
11:20 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Detroit just can't support a bid for the 2024 Olympics, says Mayor Bing

It's not too likely that Olympic rings will be hanging in Detroit (the Olympic rings in London).
John Curnow Flickr

Detroit was one of 35 cities to receive a letter from the U.S. Olympic Committee asking for a bid on the 2024 Olympics.

ABC News reported the letters were sent "to gauge the interest of cities that may have the ability to host an event with the scope and scale of the Olympic Games."

Maybe they haven't been reading the headlines about Detroit lately.

Mayor Bing politely declined their invitation this morning.

Here's his statement:

“While we appreciate the opportunity and recognize that we have successfully hosted many major sporting events, including the NCAA Final Four; MLB All-Star Game; NFL Super Bowl; two World Series; and nine NHL Stanley Cup finals, this decision is not an easy one. With our rich history of hosting major events and Detroit’s prime location on an international border, we recognize that this makes Detroit an appealing candidate to potentially host the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics.

"However, the bid calls for a $10 million upfront bid process payment and adding more than a $3 billion operating budget commitment -- not including cost associated with venue construction and other infrastructure cost.

"Unfortunately, due to the timing and uncertainty of Detroit’s long-term financial stability, we must respectfully decline to participate.”

Some supporters aren't giving up. On the "Detroit 2024 Summer Olympic Games Support" Facebook page, this was posted: 

Pay no attention to what Mayor Dave Bing said about Detroit not bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. We all agree that he won't be Mayor of Detroit next year. Financial issues or not the Detroit Olympic Movement will keep moving.
Sports
1:00 am
Fri March 1, 2013

A tip for amateur athletes: The pros are way better than you think

The Vipers were Detroit's IHL hockey team
www.bestsportsphotos.com

A lot of amateur athletes think they’re not that far from the people who play their sports for a living. 

Well, when Michigan Radio Sports commentator John U. Bacon tried out for Detroit’s minor league hockey team, he found out that just isn’t so – and he found out the hard way.

A few years ago – okay, a bunch of years ago – I bit on a bet I never should have touched. 

I was writing for the Detroit News, and a top minor league hockey team called the Detroit Vipers played at the Palace. 

So, I got to thinking: just how big is the gap, really, between the pros, and beer league players like me?

Good question. And even better if I didn’t try to answer it.  But, being the hard-hitting investigative journalist that I am, I had to go down to the Palace, and find out.

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Stateside
6:57 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

The astounding success of Southeast Michigan skaters

Liz Chastney davis-white.ice-dance.com/

In less than two weeks on March 10th, the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships will begin in London, Ontario.

That  means the eyes of the world will be on a couple of University of Michigan students who have been hailed as one of the greatest American teams in the history of ice dancing.

Five-time national champions, silver medalists in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, 2011 world champions and four-time Grand Prix Final champions.

It’s no exaggeration to say these individuals helped to make Southeast Michigan the ice-dance capital of America.

Today we spoke with Meryl Davis and Charlie White who shared the secret to the astounding success of Southeast Michigan skaters.

To hear the full story click the audio link above.

There are two ways you can podcast "Stateside with Cynthia Canty"

Sports
11:19 am
Fri February 22, 2013

The one that DIDN’T get away is a world record

Joseph Seeberger with his world record Great Lakes muskellunge
Courtesy: Michigan Department of Natural Resources

In a press release today, Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources says Joseph Seeberger has both a state record and now a world record-sized Great Lakes muskellunge.

The International Committee of the Modern Day Muskellunge World Record Program (MDMWRP) recognized Seeberger’s catch as the biggest ever.  MDMWRP is a committee of muskellunge scientists, industry leaders, anglers and outdoor media personalities that formed in 2006.

Prior to Seeberger's submission, there had not been a MDMWRP world-record entry verified.

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Sports
1:00 am
Fri February 22, 2013

An unqualified success: The story of Eddie Kahn

Eddie Kahn was a captain of the Michigan Hockey Team
U-M Bentley Historical Library

In the Michigan hockey program’s 90-year history, some 600 players have scored more than 10,000 total goals.  But the man who scored the team’s very first goal 90 years ago, might still be the most impressive one of the bunch. 

This is the story of Eddie Kahn.

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Sports
8:53 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Michigan legislator wants state department to rescind Indian mascot complaint

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan's House Education committee chairwoman is calling on a state department to rescind its complaint over the use of American Indian mascots in schools.

Alto Republican Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons released a statement Monday criticizing the Michigan Department of Civil Rights for taking its complaint to the federal level.

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Sports
12:38 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Michigan lawmakers look to regulate amateur Mixed Martial Arts fights

Mixed Martial Arts is growing in popularity in Michigan
Cosensmma.com

A Michigan state house committee meeting this week is expected to draw dozens of Mixed Martial Arts fighters.

State Representative Harvey Santana says there are amateur Mixed Martial Arts events being staged in Michigan every weekend. And he says the way many bouts are staged puts fighters at serious risk.

Santana recalls recently watching an overmatched MMA fighter lose badly.

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Sports
1:00 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Super Bowl XLVII: A 20-to-1 ratio of ads to action

A view of jumbotron advertisements inside Mercedez-Benz Superdome before the Superbowl XLVII
Madding Crowd Flikr

Super Bowl XLVII provided us with thrills, spills and record electric bills – plus a football game somewhere in there. 

Congratulations! 

You not only survived that annual orgy of conspicuous consumption called the Super Bowl, you also survived the two weeks of endless stories without news that lead up to the big day. 

And when the big game arrives, what is our reward?  On the one day we actually look forward to watching TV ads, they were so bland and boring and just plain bad, we had no choice but to turn our attention to the actual football game.

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Sports
2:00 pm
Sun January 27, 2013

Michigan sports officials try to understand new federal rule opening the door to disabled athletes

Blind cross country runner Bobby Steele and a guide
Mlive.com

Michigan high school sports officials are trying to figure out how to implement a new federal rule that opens sports programs to students with disabilities.

More than 300,000 students take part in high school sports in Michigan.   

A small number are disabled.

But the number of disabled students playing high school sports will likely increase.

That's because the federal government has decreed that handicapped students must be given a fair shot to make traditional sports teams, or schools must create new programs for them.

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Sports
1:00 am
Fri January 25, 2013

'Bo's sons' face off in Super Bowl next Sunday

Former Michigan quarterback Jim Harbaugh will face off against his brother in the upcoming Super Bowl.
Bentley Historical Library University of Michigan

John U. Bacon discusses the relationship between Bo Schembechler and the Harbaugh brothers.

With Ann Arbor’s own Harbaugh brothers about to square off in the Super Bowl, you’ll probably start to hear lots of stories from the folks who met them along the way. 

Well, count me in.

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Sports
12:29 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

From Auto Show to Hockey: Time-lapse at Joe Louis Arena

Getting ready for hockey at the Joe Louis Arena.
screen grab Detroit News video

The Detroit News posted a cool video this morning of the transformation of Joe Louis Arena.

The Ford Motor Company unveiled their new trucks in the arena on January 15.

On January 17, the place was ready for Red Wings hockey. Here's how the transition happened.

From David Guralnick of the Detroit News:

Sports
1:00 am
Fri January 18, 2013

The new year in sports: A good man is hard to find

Taylor Lewan's (right) return to college football is one of the few positive stories to come from the new year.
flickr

With the college football season finally behind us, I wanted to write a simple college football roundup, ending in a sweet little story about a very good guy.

But every time I tried, some bad news got in the way.

The first obstacle was Lance Armstrong.  In case you missed it – though I can’t imagine how – it turns out the man who came back from cancer to win a record seven Tours de France and write two best-selling books about his inspirational story, is a fraud. 

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Sports
3:06 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Veto may deal serious blow to Michigan's horse racing industry

The marquee at the entrance to Sports Creek raceway in Swartz Creek(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan’s horse racing industry may be on the brink of collapse.   

Governor Snyder used a pocket veto to kill a bill that would have expanded betting options at Michigan’s four horse racing tracks.   The governor was concerned the bill was unconstitutional. 

Brett Boyd is the president of the Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association.   He says the governor’s veto is a serious blow to Michigan’s ailing horse racing industry.

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Sports
1:00 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Hockey: The greatest sport, run by the dumbest people

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman
Sheldon Boyd YouTube

I’ve played hockey my entire life, so I’m biased. But when you combine ice skating, stick handling, passing, shooting and yes, body-checking, in one game, you’ve got it all.

Until they start playing lacrosse in the water or golf on skis, hockey will remain the hardest sport to play, and the most impressive to see played well.

There’s nothing like it. 

So, for Detroit Red Wings fans, the NHL lockout was a nightmare.

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Sports
9:51 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Detroit Red Wings will return to the ice this season, NHL lockout ends

National Hockey League logo
NHL

NEW YORK (AP) - The NHL and the players' association have announced a tentative labor agreement that will save the hockey season.

A marathon negotiating session that lasted more than 16 hours and stretched from early Saturday afternoon until Sunday morning produced a deal that will ultimately end the lockout that has reached its 113th day.

The 10-year deal still must be ratified by a majority of the league's 30 owners and the union's membership of approximately 740 players.

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Sports
12:08 am
Mon December 24, 2012

The future of Michigan's horse racing industry may rest with the governor

Michigan's horse racing tracks are urging the governor to sign HB 5546
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

There are several bills passed by the Michigan legislature that are still sitting on the governor’s desk. One of them may hold the fate of Michigan’s horse racing industry.

By one estimate, Michigan’s horse racing industry has lost half its jobs in the past few years. The four tracks operating in Michigan are fighting a losing battle against two dozen casinos, multi-state lotteries and online gaming.

To help, the legislature passed a bill to expand wagering options and gives extra incentives to track owners and horse breeders to invest in Michigan.

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Sports
1:12 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Sports in 2012: The best, the worst, and the just plain silly

In 2007, Joe Paterno runs out with his team. In early 2012, Paterno, 85, died with his legacy in tatters.
Ben Stanfield Wikipedia

2012 was a remarkable year in many ways, and the sports world was no exception.

Just a few hours into the New Year, Michigan State and Michigan both won bowl games in overtime, and both finished with eleven wins.  A good start.

Not all the news was happy, of course.  We said goodbye to some legends.  Budd Lynch, who lost his right arm in World War II, announced Red Wing games for six decades, right up to his death this fall, at 95. Another Bud, VanDeWege, ran Moe’s Sports Shops in downtown Ann Arbor for 46 years, turning thousands of Michigan fans into friends. He passed away at 83. 

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Sports
11:39 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Big money pushing kids out of the Big House

Michigan Stadium
user AndrewHorne Wikimedia

John U. Bacon remembers the days of two dollar tickets at the Big House.

A 'seat license' is a fee fans pay just to reserve the right to buy the tickets.

They call it a donation, even though every single one of us apparently decided to donate the exact same amount, or lose our tickets. But that allows us to call it a tax deduction.

It's hard to call that honest, or cheap.

In fairness, Michigan was the last of the top 20 programs to adopt a seat license program, in 2005.

It started gradually, and left endzone fans alone.

But this week, Michigan pushed the seat license for the best tickets up to $600, and even people in the endzone will have to cough up $150 per ticket, just for the right to buy them.

In the past decade, the total cost of my two tickets on the ten-yard line has more than tripled, to over $1,700, which makes you wonder just how we got here.

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