Sports columns

Explaining those empty seats in Detroit

The late Skip Caray probably summed it up best when he was doing an Atlanta Braves-Miami Marlins game a few years ago. Caray, noted for his wry humor, observed at a game where there were probably 1,500 people in attendance, "There's a lot of people disguised as empty seats here today." Such ...

MSU position not a good one

It's a well-known fact many universities are — or have in the past — facing the same kind of charges being leveled against Michigan State University. That's not to defend MSU in the latest scandal involving sexual impropriety of some of its athletes over the past decade or so. But what ...

E-TC, Dollar Bay prove good ball exists in the CC

Today's column is the first piece of previews for Wednesday's matchup at Michigan Tech between No. 1 Ewen-Trout Creek and No. 1 Dollar Bay. Tuesday will include previews from each team, and Wednesday will feature the opinions of area coaches about how they think the game will play out. - - ...

It’s about system with the Patriots

Seeing that Tom Brady may keep playing until he's 50, the future for the rest of the NFL would appear to be dim. The rest of the league sure doesn't seem to have a clue how to handle the New England Patriots or the ageless quarterback, who's 40 years young. The thing about the Patriots and ...

Witt’s dominance hard to go unnoticed

I don’t like getting caught up on hyperbolic statements, but after enough thought, I’ve come to this conclusion: Ewen-Trout Creek’s Jake Witt is the second-best boys high school player I’ve seen in the U.P.  My top five would go like this: 1. Jason Whitens, North Central 2. Jake ...

No question: Copper Country is a sports mecca

If there was ever any doubt, this past couple of weeks once again proved the Copper Country is a sports mecca. While our area is the only one in the Upper Peninsula with a Division II (Michigan Tech) and Division III (Finlandia) university located in it, there are also ten high schools that ...

Weekend of football shows a lot

It has annually been one of the most action-filled weekends for football fans everywhere. But this past weekend had enough plot lines and suspense for the most zealous of pigskin followers. I'm not necessarily talking about the College Football Playoff. Just about every sports fan knows ...

A lengthy wish list in Motown

If such a thing as New Year wish lists existed, Detroit professional sports would rank high on the totem pole. Right now, there are so many things wrong in Motown sports that it would require a full-page ad in the daily newspapers. Take the Detroit Tigers for example. General manager Al ...

Senioritis can hit any team

The Chassell girls basketball team learned about it in their very first game of the season. The Dollar Bay boys team has seen it lurking twice already in the young season. What I'm talking about is senioritis: a malady that has struck many athletic teams. It usually comes about when a ...

Trammell and Morris overdue for the hall of fame

It was a long time ago when I first had the chance to see Alan Trammell and Jack Morris in person. The Detroit Tigers were playing the Cleveland Indians on a late September evening at old Tiger Stadium, which was one of the great ballparks in the major leagues. Trammell and Morris were just ...

Local basketball seasons are back in full swing

And we’re back.  Just like last year, I’ll have a weekly column where I’ll discuss the local high school basketball scene. I’ll also include my rankings of the top five teams — boys and girls — in our area at the time.  Before we get started, am I going to use this space to ...

Caldwell’s coaching is laughable

Even as the follies of Detroit Lions history goes, the blunder by coach Jim Caldwell on Sunday in Baltimore has to go down as one of the top bloopers of all time. His team, which trailed 20-0 at one time, had just rallied to come within 27-20 against the Ravens late in the third ...

Big 10 football takes a hit this season

It was a conference that was once respected nationwide in football. But as they say, that was a long time ago on a planet far, far away. The B1G (Big 10 to most of us) is a far cry from the league it was this season. Oh, I'm not forgetting Wisconsin. The Badgers put together a nice ...

There has to be something in the water in Crystal Falls

As long as I can remember, the name Crystal Falls has struck terror in the hearts of Upper Peninsula sports teams. And I'm not just talking about the rich football heritage down in Iron County. Crystal Falls added another feather to its cap by capturing the eight-player football state ...

There is girls basketball talent in the area

Finlandia University first-year women's basketball coach John “Mo” Motherwell knows there is high school talent in the Copper Country. If he had any doubts, last Friday night's Mid Michigan Community College and Finlandia meeting was good proof. The top four scorers in the contest, Kelsie ...

Years later, the ghosts of Detroit’s past still linger

When the Detroit Lions throttled the Green Bay Packers on Monday night, a familiar name of the team's past came up. By not having to punt in Monday's game, the Lions achieved something that hadn't been accomplished since Thanksgiving of 1971. They repeated a feat on that long-ago day by not ...

Green Bay-Detroit rivalry has lost its zest over the years

It was once one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports. No, I'm not talking about the Washington Redskins-Dallas Cowboys game, which has become the darling of current television pundits. The one I'm referring to is the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers. You have to be at least in ...

Harbaugh era in jeopardy?

He was a brought into one of the more enviable college football coaching jobs in the country. But the Jim Harbaugh era at the University of Michigan just might be in peril. After absorbing a 42-13 thrashing at Penn State this past weekend, the Wolverines' chances to win at least a share of ...

One play changes NFC North

All of a sudden, the NFC North Division of the NFL is up for grabs. That came about when Green Bay Packers All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down with a probable season-ending injury Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. That's how important Rodgers — and his uncanny ability to make ...

Tradition comes back to HCHS

One of the toughest things in any sport is rebuilding a tradition. Now, tradition is one of those things that can't be borrowed or stolen. It can only be achieved through hard work and by winning. Hancock High football coach Ted Holmstrom is currently achieving just that with a co-op ...