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Taking their grudge outside/Paul Peterson

June 20, 2012
By Paul Peterson - For the Gazette , The Daily Mining Gazette

Former Michigan Tech men's basketball coach and Horner Flooring sales representative Bill Gappy once told me that the strangest place he ever saw a basketball court installed was on a remote South Sea island.

"The humidity was so thick there that we had to put up canvas walls and a roof to keep the floor from being unplayable," Gappy recalled. "But darned if the people didn't start playing basketball and having a good time. They even hosted a tournament there in a few months."

Just last year, we saw the North Carolina and Michigan State basketball teams play on a naval aircraft carrier in San Diego. Aside from the "debris" that came from a passing seagull, the game went off with barely a hitch.

My suggestion - arising out of a slow summer day in sports - is to have the Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech men's basketball teams play a game on a Great Lakes freighter on Lake Superior this coming season.

Farfetched? Perhaps, but isn't the Michigan Tech hockey team playing the Great Lakes Invitational at Comerica Park in Detroit this December?

I don't know know about you but the relatively new concept of playing sports on totally different playing surfaces is one that usually leaves me cold. No pun intended. That's why a hoops matchup between NMU and Tech on a freighter isn't totally out of the question.

You could have a few hundred seats installed on the main deck of the ship. The location of the game could either be in Marquette Harbor ... or perhaps even on Portage Lake in Houghton.

That way there wouldn't be a home-floor advantage for either squad, although I'm sure that Huskies' skipper Kevin Luke would question the location, opting for a neutral site like Lake Michigamme.

The weather, notoriously unpredictable in late fall in the Upper Peninsula, might be sidestepped by scheduling the game in late October or early November.

But we've been fortunate to have had some pretty decent weather in recent years and just might be able to avoid some white stuff.

A name for the event could be the Great Lakes Challenge or even the Superior Hoops Showcase. You can tell that I've spent way too much time on this brainstorm.

Not that Kevin Luke or his counterpart at NMU ever resort to excuses, but consider the following outs available. A key three-point attempt was diverted off-course by a wandering goose or seagull. Or a sudden gust of wind blew a late free throw off target.

This might even develop into an annual event.

And if you believe that, I know of some very reasonably priced oceanside property in Norman, Okla.



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