Sports columns

McLouth Steel and UM basketball

Watching this year's University of Michigan basketball team brings back a lot of memories for me. The year was 1965 and I was working downstate at McLouth Steel in Trenton, just a rock's throw from the murky Detroit River. It was a great time to be a sports fan in Detroit. The Tigers were a ...

Two coaches on a very hot seat

It is hard to predict for sure, but I would say that University of Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh and Green Bay Packers mentor Mike McCarthy are sitting on hot seats today. Now, the two skippers aren't necessarily in as much peril as they were just a week ago. But the events of ...

Making memories: High school hockey filled with chances for enjoyment

With the Copper Island Classic last weekend, the high school hockey season has begun. As a former Houghton Gremlins forward, these are the days I live for each season. I played two seasons for the Gremlins during my four years in the school, and I would not trade the experiences I have for ...

Thanksgiving diminished by NFL greed

There was once a time when Thanksgiving football was looked forward to with great relish. But that was in a more enlightened era when dollars were not the one and only thing. I am old enough to fondly remember that time. Deer hunters, coming in from the camps, could look forward to two ...

Two local athletes earn props

Playing on a winning team can be an enjoyable experience at nearly every level. But how about those talented athletes who spend most of their careers on the losing side of the equation? Dillion Hueckstaedt and Haley Makela of Finlandia University are two athletes who earned their spurs the ...

It’s time: Lions and Stafford need to part

It's a well-known fact that statistics are good for reading and talking about. But I think late Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi hit it right on the head. “Statistics are meaningless.” Lombardi once said. “The only statistic that means anything are wins …. and ...

St. Francis is a football factory

The first time I saw the Traverse City St. Francis High School football program in action came twenty years ago. TC St. Francis was playing L'Anse in a pre-regional game at the Superior Dome in Marquette. That was in a more enlightened time when the MHSSA was trying to cut down on traveling ...

Brewers rebuilding right way

If there is a major league baseball franchise out there looking for a way to rebuild without spending the equivalent of the national debt, it would be advised to follow the way the Milwaukee Brewers are doing it. Now, the Brewers are not like the money-rich New York Yankees, Los Angeles ...

Rivalries becoming hard to find

There was a time when rivalries were easy to find in the Upper Peninsula. Wherever you found a school of any size, you could find a nearby rival school without any trouble. Mass City had a rival a few miles away in Rockland. J.A. Doelle and Chassell, separated by nine miles, were fierce ...

Tech freshman look good

While their season-opening weekend was not a very successful one as the No. 19 Michigan Tech Huskies hockey team lost both matchups with the No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, there were some positives that they could take out of the weekend. The first was the play of senior goaltender Devin Kero ...

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 ...