Sports columns

Hockey season in swing

With the playing of the annual Black and Gold game Saturday night, and the start of the NHL season taking place last Wednesday, hockey season is in swing. At the NHL level, we have already been treated to some crazy, high-scoring affairs, starting with Washington’s 7-0 blanking of Boston ...

Golf’s crazy week, and the curse

While watching some of the Ryder Cup matches over the weekend, I had to wonder whatever happened to the once-gentile sport of golf. The spectators at the matches in Paris, France (not Texas), appeared like they came straight of the set of the movie, “Happy Gilmore.” The unruly crowd ...

End of an era

When I first heard, via Twitter, that the New York Mets were going to activate third baseman David Wright for the final series of the season, my first thought was, “finally!” Wright has been a staple in the Mets’ roster for the last 14 years. He was named captain of the team in 2013, ...

Old Yon was right on question

The late Yon Paananen was a bit of a sports legend in the four-county area. The Alston native played either baseball or softball in eight different decades - starting in the early 1930s with the Pelkie town team. A man of a few words, Paananen usually had little to say about anything. But ...

Harbaugh has to produce in 2018

For a football coach who was literally given the keys to the palace, Michigan's Jim Harbaugh will be under the gun to produce big this fall. Signed to a lucrative contract four years ago, the U of M alumnus has come up short in a couple of departments. One, he has yet to win a Big 10 title. ...

The B1G 10 is facing major issue

The lessons learned in the past apparently didn't stick with some B1G 10 coaches and athletic directors. The conference, which I liked better when it had just ten teams, is facing problems bigger than wins and losses. One only has to look at the scandals at Ohio State and Maryland this ...

Silverdome deserved better fate

In the rush that seemingly all professional franchises are in nowadays to build new stadiums and arenas, you have to wonder what the reasoning behind it all really is. Certainly, the almighty dollar is a big part of it. Here in Michigan, we've seen the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons ...

Relegation round for baseball

Yesterday was Aug. 1. As I sat down in the morning to set up the agate of our sports section (the deep statistics section on page 2B), something caught my eye: the Baltimore Orioles were 32-75 on the season after a loss to the New York Yankees. The Orioles are last place in the American League ...

Tigers did more than win in ‘68

There is little doubt that 1968 is remembered in this country as a watershed year. There were so many earth-shaking events fifty years ago, it's hard to put them in order. You had the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy to begin with. The loss of those two charismatic ...

Tiger’s best days are behind him

In recent months as his career has begun to slowly go upward, there has been something called the “Tiger Watch” on social media. Tiger is, of course, golfer Tiger Woods. Now, I don't pretend to know a great deal about golf. It's a sport I have dabbled (mostly dabbed) in for more than 40 ...

Mets curse in full effect?

As you may remember, I am a New York Mets fan. Given that I was born an hour and a half up the Taconic Parkway from the city in Poughkeepsie, this should not be a shocking thing. I admit that I am also a Detroit Tigers fan, although not to the same extent. I have been to several games at ...

Can football season be nearing?

It doesn't seem possible, but football season will soon be here. Didn't the Philadelphia Eagles just take down the mighty New England Patriots a couple of months ago in the Super Bowl? You know for sure that footballs will soon be filling the air when National Football League teams begin ...

The value of a farm system

Organizers of the past realized the importance of having young players ready to take over for veterans. People like the late Merv Klemett, Rick Miller and Leo Durocher were especially aware of that factor. Klemett had great success in the Twilight League by having a few youngsters prepared ...

Five bells for James signing

Back in the old days of newspapers, there used to be a bell system from the Associated Press that would signify when a major event in the world was taking place. Two or three bells on the teletype machine would be for events like crowning of a king or something like that. Four bells could ...

Klingbeil was always positive

It was just one play among many in a long athletic career for Chuck Klingbeil. The late Houghton High athlete, who passed away earlier this week, was playing for the Miami Dolphins in a 1991 game against the Green Bay Packers. Packers quarterback Don Majkowski faded back into his own end ...

World Cup has little to offer

It's an argument (call it a discussion) that I've had more than a few times. But I'll reiterate again: The FIFA World Cup, now going on in Russia, has very little to offer the sports fans in this country. Oh, I'm well aware that soccer, by a large margin, is the most popular sport in the ...

Gardenhire was the right hire

The one thing I don't mind doing is eating some crow about a statement I've made. And it's a lot more palatable when that statement is about a Detroit sports team, namely the Tigers. A few weeks ago, I predicted a 100-loss season for the young and inexperienced Tigers. I can safely say ...

Sports and politics a bad mix

The latest flap over the national anthem is a classic example of what happens when you mix sports and politics. The National Football League, which has been embroiled in this mess ever since San Francisco's Colin Kapernick refused to stand at attention for the anthem two years ago, decided to ...

Growing up back in ’50s, ’60s

Growing up in the somewhat innocent 1950s and 1960s was ideal for any kid. And in the Copper Country, it was even more carefree. For one thing, we didn't have all the distractions of today (mobile telephones, Wikis and Gameboys). There was always some kind of fishing available. The ...

What a year for hockey

It’s been awhile. When I accepted a promotion with the Daily Mining Gazette from sports writer to assistant editor, I fully planned on keeping my weekly column alive with my thoughts on the local sports scene. Yeah, that didn’t happen as planned. I also thought I wasn’t going to do ...