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Sports columns

Peterson: Has a team ever had a bad draft?

It always amuses me to hear the comments from National Football League teams after the annual college football draft. I don’t think I can ever recall a team saying they had a bad draft. Most of the time, the main theme you hear is how the club “knocked it out of the park,” or “we ...

Peterson: How will Lions, Packers draft?

The Detroit Lions have a long, and not very storied history, in the NFL draft. Despite finishing in the lower regions of the standings of the time, the Lions have constantly made picks that have made people scratch their heads. Without going into detail, you only have to look at the 2016 ...

Peterson: Recalling a special year

It’s hard to believe that 40 years have gone by since the spring of 1981. I was watching some of the St. Cloud State-Massachusetts NCAA hockey championship game over the weekend when it struck me how fast the years have flown by since. In April of 1981, I was just returning from ...

Peterson: Why baseball offers little thrill

All the signs are there. The snow banks have all but melted away. I just saw a robin the other day. The Masters golf tournament, a sure sign of spring, is this week. And even the famous “peepers” of WLUC-TV weatherman Karl Bohnak made their appearance just this week. So why don’t I ...

Peterson: A rare kind of player

He, or she, is the kind of player you seldom see on the basketball court. I’ve only seen a handful of them since I started watching the sport a very long time ago. They have that uncanny sense of where to be or where not to be. Karl Rautiola of Chassell is that kind of player. This ...

Peterson: Big Ten hoops absorbs beating

All season long, college basketball observers have been wondering if the BIG 10 was really as good as it appeared on paper. The recent NCAA tournament provided an answer, if an incomplete one. No, the conference wasn’t that great. Strong, but not the juggernaut many pundits had it pegged ...

Peterson: What it takes to be elite

I’ve seen many high school athletes who could be considered to be either great, very good or just plain good. But to be classified as elite is to reach the upper plateau of sports. Now, I know the word elite is one of the most overused nowadays — especially in the world of professional ...

Peterson: Even COVID can’t dim ‘Madness’

In the wacky and wild year that COVID 19 has imposed on all of us, it seemed that “March Madness” was also in peril. But that wild and crazy time is still in effect. Sure, the players are still required to wear masks on the basketball floor, at least for the prep cagers. And they ...

Peterson: MTU now dominates NMU

It was one of the more memorable sports events I can remember from my younger days. In the winter of 1964, the Michigan Tech men’s basketball team (there were no girls sports then) upset Northern Michigan University at Sherman Gym. What made the 85-82 win so special was that it came ...

Peterson: There’s only one Kevin Luke

I’ve dealt with countless coaches in my some five decades on the sports scene. The majority of them have been courteous and cooperative, willing to go the extra mile to ensure their team gets the right coverage. I’m talking about people like late Ontonagon football coach Bob ...

Peterson: Today’s Tigers lineup a mystery

There was a time when I could readily tell you the starting lineup of the Detroit Tigers. Take the 1968 World Series champs: Don Wert at third; Ray Oyler at shortstop; Dick McAuliffe at second; and Norm Cash at first base; Al Kaline, Mickey Stanley and Jim Northrup in the outfield; and Bill ...

Peterson: A new game — QB search

There’s a new game going on in the National Football League these days: It’s called Quarterback Search and it’s hot in practically every league city. It’s not that quarterbacks haven’t always commanded their share of attention. Names like Johnny Unitas, Bart Starr, Joe Namath and ...

Peterson: Rambling in a very rambling year

Since it’s been such a rambling year in every respect, I figured I would ramble through the sports of the past week. First off, how about that North Central High School 8-man football team? The Jets — the most successful sports small school in the Upper Peninsula — continued to ...

‘Bama coach should be in NFL

A wise man once told me that if you want to know what the future is going to be, simply study the past. In the case of college football and it’s national championship series, that old saying holds true. Alabama has dominated the history of the big game. In fact, ‘Bama has won six ...

Niemi: Capitol rush an attack on democracy

I’ve never been more ashamed to be an American citizen than Wednesday. Seeing the images of President Donald Trump supporters breach the U.S. Capitol, interrupting the democratic process as Congress was in session, immediately made me think of the service members who have fought and died ...

Peterson: Bowl season gets a little muddied

The college football bowl season got underway the last couple of weeks with only a glitch or two. One of the messups came in the Tulsa — Mississippi State game when both teams mixed it up in as good a brawl as you’re going to see in football. This took place at, of all places, the Armed ...

Peterson: Packers ready to win it all

Perhaps it was just the competition. Or playing in the frozen confines of friendly Lambeau Field. But it’s apparent — after an impressive win over the over-rated Tennessee Titans on Sunday — that the Green Bay Packers have what it takes to get to the Super Bowl this season. I’m not ...

Peterson: Changes that need to get done

There are any number of things that will require fixing in 2021. I know that much will depend on the status of COVID-19 — and what variations of the disease are coming down the road. One of the many things that need fixing is the status of high school sports in Michigan. I believe that ...

Peterson: ‘Snake pits’ that never lived up to name

Anyone who has ever played sports will remember one place that stood out from all the others. In the old days, such places were simply called “snake pits.” They could range from basketball courts that had their own idiosyncrasies, to hockey arenas that were just plain cold to opposing ...

Peterson: Not hard to see U.P., Packers tie

After watching a show on NMU-TV the other night about the early days of the Green Bay Packers, I began to understand how close Upper Peninsula fans are to the Pack. After all, the Packers of the early 1920 used to play semi-pro teams in the U.P. back in those days. In fact, they probably ...