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Stateside: A growing Big Ten

Nov 19, 2012

The Big Ten Conference will soon include 14 teams.

Michigan Radio's John U. Bacon addressed the conference's decision to bring Maryland and Rutgers into its competitive network.

“On the Michigan chat boards, it is 98% apocalyptic disgust. It should be noted, that is in great contrast to Nebraska joining last year. They are not against expansion, per se,” said Bacon.

The potential financial gains are of great interest to the conference, said Bacon.

“The whole reason why they are doing that is the Big Ten Network’s footprint. This can add up to around $200 million dollars. I can think of no other reason why they would do it,” said Bacon.

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

The Terrapins are coming to the Big Ten.

ESPN.com reported it first:

The University of Maryland's Board of Regents on Monday voted unanimously to accept an invitation to join the Big Ten Conference and leave the Atlantic Coast Conference, sources told ESPN on Monday.

The board unanimously approved the move to the Big Ten, a regent told ESPN. An afternoon announcement in College Park, Md., is expected.

Penske Racing

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) - Brad Keselowski has won his first NASCAR championship.

The 28-year-old Detroit native clinched the Sprint Cup title Sunday when fellow title contender Jimmie Johnson pulled out of the season finale because of a parts failure. The championship is the first for longtime NASCAR owner Roger Penske and gives outgoing car manufacturer Dodge the sweetest of parting gifts.

All Keselowski had to do was stay out of trouble over the final 60 miles, which essentially turned out to be 40 victory laps around Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Penske Racing

Tomorrow, a man from Rochester Hills has a chance to do something no one from the state of Michigan has ever done.

28 year old Brad Keselowski is the son, nephew and brother of race car drivers.

But he’ll have the bragging rights at the Thanksgiving dinner table this year, if he becomes the first Michigander to win stock car racing’s biggest prize: the Sprint Cup title.

Keselowski currently leads in the NASCAR points standings going into the season’s final race at Homestead, Florida. He only has to place 15th or better to take the NASCAR crown.

West Point Public Affairs / flickr

On Veterans Day, we generally honor our Veterans.

It’s a good idea, for lots of reasons: they served our country, often in unpleasant places, and in great danger, to keep the worst of the world away from our homeland. 

My grandfather was a New York dentist who volunteered at age 39 to hop on a ship in the Pacific during World War II. 

My dad graduated from medical school, then enlisted in the U.S. Army, which sent him and his new bride to Fulda, Germany, to guard the border.     

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Some Michigan hunters are just learning today that they won’t be able to bag as many deer this year as they have in the past.

Firearms deer season begins tomorrow.  The day before the start of firearms deer season is usually the busiest day at retailers who sell hunting licenses.

z.duffy / flickr

Whether your candidates won or lost this week, we can all rejoice that it’s finally over. 

Or, we think it is.  We can’t be sure anymore, can we? 

All this made me ponder the relative craziness of politics versus sports. I got to thinking: Which is sillier?  Playing politics, or playing sports? 

As silly as sports are – and I seem to devote half my commentaries to that very subject – after watching the 2012 campaigns, I can tell you, it’s not even close: Playing politics is sillier, in a landslide.

Stateside: Hike, bike and kayak the Great Lakes

Nov 8, 2012
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Midwest residents may have three new ways to enjoy the Great Lakes.

At a conference in Saugatuck this week, Western Michigan University geography professor Dave Lemberg will discuss plans for a 1,600 mile route along Lake Michigan.

Lemberg spoke with Cyndy about the details of the route.

University of Michigan

The National Hockey League Winter Classic that was supposed to be held at Michigan Stadium on January First has been canceled.

Jeremy Bronson / Creative Commons

The ongoing lockout of the National Hockey League could cause the cancelation of the Winter Classic in Ann Arbor. The outdoor game is supposed to be at the University of Michigan Big House on New Year’s Day. The week-long Hockeytown Winter Festival in Detroit would be canceled with it.

That would be a bummer for the Red Wings’ affiliated team the Grand Rapids Griffins, which is supposed to play at the festival.

“It’s a sad time for hockey right now,” said Bob Kaser, VP of Community Relations for the Griffins (among other job titles).

He says some fans have traveled to Grand Rapids to get their hockey fix during the lockout. Fox Sports Detroit broadcast a Griffins game last week. But Kaser’s not really thrilled about the circumstances.

Leyland signs one-year contract with Tigers

Oct 30, 2012
Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
Detroit Tigers

Jim Leyland will stay on as Tigers’ manager for at least one more year.

Leyland signed a one-year contract while all of his coaching staff have been invited back for next season, the Tigers announced.

“Detroit is a tremendous baseball town, and I couldn’t dream of a better place to manage,” Leyland said in a statement released Tuesday morning.

Stateside: A team's resilient owners and fans

Oct 29, 2012
Flickr

As a collective groan of disappointment issued last night from Detroit, Tiger fans were left to focus on the positive moments of the past seasons. They still have a lot to be happy about.

The San Francisco Giants concluded their sweep of the Tigers last night in a 4-3 victory. Regardless of their team's defeat, many Tigers fans expressed their gratitude for a great season.

Denise Ilitch, daughter of Detroit Tiger’s owner, Mike Ilitch, spoke with Cyndy about the team’s impressive year.

The Detroit News has this obituary of Hall of Fame boxing trainer Emanuel Steward.

Emanuel Steward, famed Detroit boxing trainer, dies at 68

Oct 25, 2012
Boxingfutures.com

DETROIT (AP) - Emanuel Steward, the owner of the legendary Kronk Gym and one of boxing's greatest trainers, has died. He was 68.

Victoria Kirton, Steward's executive assistant, says Steward died Thursday in a Chicago hospital. She did not disclose the cause of death.

The International Boxing Hall of Famer made his name training

The Spirit of Detroit is ready for Game 1 of the World Series.
Matt Helms / Twitter

This photo was tweeted out by Matt Helms, City Hall reporter for the Detroit Free Press.

Helms writes in today's Detroit Free Press that Mayor Bing has been trash talking with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.

The two have made a wager, writes Helms, "the losing mayor has to visit the other team’s city to participate in a day of service for youth and youth programs."

Women’s place in sports is an important one, claim Andy Markovits and Emily Albertson, co-authors of “Sportista: Female Fandom in the United States.

Markovits, a Sociology professor at the University of Michigan, and Albertson, a U of M law student, coined the term “Sportista.”

According to Markovits, a “Sportista is a female who loves sports and is knowledgeable about them.”

Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
Detroit Tigers

The odds makers are picking the Detroit Tigers, but the San Francisco Giants are a loose bunch.

They fought off three elimination games on their way to the World Series... twice.

Here's one statistic NPR's Tom Goldman pointed out this morning:

"Three times in the past in World Series when a team that's swept its way into the Series, like Detroit did, played a team that went the full seven games, like the Giants did, the team that went seven won every time."

user: Michael Knight /flickr

Last week, the Ann Arbor Pioneer high school football team went across town to play long-time rival Ann Arbor Huron.  It wasn’t the players’ performance during the game that made news, however, but the coaches’ behavior afterward.  And the news wasn’t good.

Ann Arbor Pioneer came into the annual rivalry with Ann Arbor Huron, sporting a solid 4-3 record and a good chance to make the playoffs.  Huron hadn’t won a game all year, and was simply playing out the season.  The only stakes were bragging rights – and even those weren’t much in question.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Max Scherzer capped a stupendous stretch for Detroit's starting rotation, and the Tigers advanced to the World Series for the second time in seven years by beating the New York Yankees 8-1 Thursday for a four-game sweep of the AL championship series.

Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta hit two-run homers in a four-run fourth inning against CC Sabathia, who was unable to prevent the Yankees from getting swept in a postseason series for the first time in 32 years.

Why don't they play baseball in the rain?
Beyer Weckerle / wikipedia

Last night's rain delay of Game 4 of the ALCS reminded me of one of my all-time-favorite George Carlin bits....

...the differences between football and baseball.

"Football is played in any kind of weather... rain, sleet, snow, hail, mud. Can't read the numbers on the field, can't read the yard markers, can't read the players numbers... the struggle will continue.

In baseball, if it rains, we don't come out to play!"

So why can't baseball be played in the rain?

I found the rules that outline how a game is called (by the home team manager during the regular season, and by the league in a championship series).

But not why it's called.

This explanation seemed to explain it well enough.

Rain affects the game of baseball differently because "it's a game of precision":

As a result, heavy rain makes the ball extremely hard to grip. This actually harms the team on defense dramatically more than the team on offense. If a pitcher is unable to grip the ball, he will throw erratically and will have to significantly slow his pitches. As a result, the batting team will be at a great advantage as it is not significantly harder to swing a bat or run on a dirt track in the rain.

When it's raining, the advantage goes to the offense.

Runs could be scored in bunches while the defense struggles to get three outs. Once an inning does end, the rain might let up, and the opposing team would no longer have the same advantage.

That makes sense to me. Although it does seem like it would be hard to slog through the mud to get on base.

How does this explanation sit with you? Are there any other explanations that you know of?

detroit.tigers.mlb.com via getty

DETROIT (AP) — Willie Horton Day is being celebrated in Michigan for the eighth consecutive year.
 
The Tigers great is being honored Thursday, as he has since former Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed House Bill 5200 into law in 2006 that permanently decrees Oct. 18 "Willie Horton Day."
 
It coincides with the seven-time All-Star's birthday.
 
Horton was a Tiger for 14 seasons, including their 1968 World Series-winning team.
 
Horton's No. 23 is retired by the Tigers, and a statue of his likeness stands at Comerica Park.
 
He's a special assistant to team president and general manager Dave Dombrowski.

Budd Lynch began his career with the Red Wings at Detroit's Olympia Arena.
Library of Congress / wikimedia commons

His parents named him Frank Joseph James Lynch—but everybody knew him as Budd. 

He passed away this week, at the age of 95.  No, you can’t call that a tragedy, but you can call it a loss—one thousands are feeling. 

In a week that included no Big Ten teams ranked in the top 25, the idiotic NHL lockout and, far worse, Jerry Sandusky’s sentencing, I’d rather spend my few minutes with you honoring a man who lived as long as he lived well. 

Lynch was born in Windsor, Ontario, during World War I.  

Lynch was 95. The Detroit Free Press has more.

(commons/wikipedia)

Miguel Cabrera won baseball's rare "Triple Crown" tonight after finishing up the regular season in Kansas City.

That means he led the American League in home runs (44), batting average (.330), and runs batted in (139).

It's been 45 years since the last player, Carl Yastrzemski, won the Triple Crown while in Boston.

The Associated Press reports Cabrera is the 15th player in Major League Baseball history to achieve the feat. Others on the list include Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, and Ted Williams.

Cabrera's milestone wasn't official until the Yankees pinch hit for Curtis Granderson in their game against the Boston Red Sox. Granderson had homered twice to reach 43 for the year, tied with the Rangers' Josh Hamilton and one shy of Cabrera.

Cabrera went 0 for 2 against the Royals before leaving in the fourth inning to a standing ovation. He finished the regular season with a .330 average, four points better the Angels' Mike Trout, his biggest competition for MVP. Cabrera was the runaway leader with 139 RBIs.

Congrats are pouring in to Cabrera on his achievement, who is on the short list for the MLB's MVP award (the award the Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander won last year).

Michigan vs. Notre Dame. The two teams play their final game in 2014.
Michigan Football / Facebook

Notre Dame announced this week the school is suspending its century-old rivalry with the University of Michigan after the 2014 season.

The only constant is change. 

Yeah, yeah.  We know that – and in case we didn’t, there’s always some office blowhard too eager to say it, as if it’s some profound truth.

But that’s why, the more things change, the more we appreciate things that don’t.

When Carole King sang, “Doesn’t anybody stay in one place any more?” she probably wasn’t talking about NFL franchises, but she could’ve been.

Denard Robinson avoids a rush from the Fighting Irish.
Michigan Football / Facebook

It appears that a storied college football rivalry is coming to an end. The two teams first met in 1887.

More from the Associated Press:

Notre Dame has notified Michigan it is exercising a three-year out in their contract, meaning their last scheduled game against each other will come in 2014.

A letter from Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick to Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon cancelling games in 2015-2017 was obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The AP reports the teams were scheduled to take hiatus for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

The Notre Dame football team is required to play five games against Atlantic Coast Conference teams. The school recently joined the conference, but kept its football team independent.

ESPN.com reports the two teams have taken long breaks in the past.

They've played every year since 2002 and regularly since 1978 after not meeting from 1944 to 1977 or 1910 to 1941.

Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon was handed a letter before last Saturday night's game (which Michigan lost 13-6). Brandon said he hopes to work with Notre Dame on another contract in the future:

"The ball is in their court because they've triggered the three-game notice," he said. "We'll play them next year at Michigan Stadium for the last time in a while -- it appears -- and we'll make our last scheduled trip to South Bend in 2014. There will likely be nothing on the board for five years after that. Beyond that, I don't know what will happen."

ESPN.com reports "the Wolverines have an NCAA-best .735 winning percentage in football, and the Irish (.732) are second. Michigan leads all-time series 23-16-1."

No word on Notre Dame's game contract with Michigan State University.

Denard Robinson avoids a rush from the Fighting Irish.
Michigan Football / Facebook

Last week, the University of Michigan football team beat up University of Massachusetts, 63-13.

Okay, U-Mass was pretty bad. Even lowly Indiana crushed them.

But the Wolverines did exactly what they were supposed to do, and did it very well. Many Michigan fans complained anyway.

This is not uncommon.

A few years ago, Michigan blew out 15th-ranked Notre Dame team 38-0, the first shut out over the Irish in over a century. The next day, I challenged listeners on a sports talk show to find something to complain about.

With the 2012 college football season around the corner, Ann Arbor-native Pat Stansik found a new way to express his home team fandom. Follow the link to watch the music video for his song "I Love You, Denard."

Rina Miller / Michigan Radio

Former Michigan Speaker of the House Bobby Crim launched his 10-mile road race in Flint back in 1977.

Crim wanted a world-class race in his hometown, but he also wanted to create a foundation to support mentally handicapped athletes. He accomplished that goal -- and more.

Today, the Crim Festival of Races  includes an 8K race, a 5K family walk and a Teddy Bear Trot for children.

Reunion 2012

Aug 24, 2012
user collegeyearbooks / MorgueFile.com

Lots of people look forward to high school reunions, others dread them, and still others just avoid them altogether.

My brother falls squarely into the third category. As he says, “If I was that eager to see you, I wouldn’t have waited five years.”

Now that we have Facebook, we already know who gained weight and who went bald, so what else do we really need to see? Maybe that’s why reunion attendance nationwide has dropped dramatically.

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