Sports columns

Still crazy (sort of) after all these years

Just the other day I was talking to Gogebic Community College men’s basketball coach Dennis Mackey after a game versus Finlandia University.  Mackey, the former Ewen-Trout Creek High product, said he recalled me covering a Panthers game back in the day. “You’ve been doing this for ...

Super Bowl turns into super bore for most Sunday

There were times Sunday when I thought I was watching a rerun of the last World Cup of Soccer. That’s how lacking in real suspense the Super Bowl between New England and the L.A. Rams was. Now, the World Cup 2016 championship game managed to put me to sleep not once, but twice. That was a ...

Inept NFL messes up again

One can only guess what sort of blunder the National Football League will come up with next. By adopting rules, many with out any logical explanation, the league is ruining a sport that was once at the top of all professional sports. It was bad enough when the league couldn't decide what ...

New schedule affects more than stories

At the time of writing this column this week, we are 14 days into our new printing schedule. In the past, we printed at around 11 a.m., which meant that you the reader received your finished product around 5 p.m. once delivered. Now, we print at about 1 a.m., which means you the reader can get ...

There was only one Mr. Norm

The Copper Country lost an original sports figure recently with the passing of Norm Koski. Koski, better known to his many fans as Mr. Norm, covered sports on the radio for the better part of six decades. The Calumet native came on to the local sports broadcasting scene almost by ...

Even good coaches must rebuild

The late Ed Helakoski is still regarded as one of the very best basketball coaches the Upper Peninsula has ever produced. But I can recall a comment the former Chassell High School legend once made after being asked by a reporter what his secret was to winning (three state titles and a ...

Long term contracts don’t work

One would think that owners of professional sports franchises would learn that handing out long-term contracts to players seldom works out. Take the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Tigers as good examples of money thrown away. The Vikings, with hopes of getting to the Super Bowl they missed ...

Resolutions needed in Detroit

With a new year approaching, it's time for everyone to come up with resolutions for 2019. The same is true in Detroit, where all four of the city's pro franchises are more or less muddling around. Red Wings: The Red Wings, tabbed by most experts  to be in the basement this season, are ...

Why all the fuss about playoffs?

Whenever you pick up a newspaper or listen to a sports report, all the talk is about playoffs. It is the college football playoffs or the National Football League playoffs that dominate the headlines. But when you really think about it, why all the fuss about making the playoffs? Take the ...

Tigers GM presiding over disaster

Even in the worst days of Jim Campbell, the front office bungling going on in with the Detroit Tigers was not this bad. Al Avila, the man who helped the Boston Red Sox land J.D. Martinez for its success this past season, is currently the general manager of the Tigers. I use the term general ...

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 ...