×

Sports columns

Niemi: Without fans, games lose their pageantry

Fans are irreplaceable at sporting events. There’s no way around it. Fans breathe life into the pageantry and tradition behind our favorite teams across all sports. Without fans at this year’s games and events because of COVID-19 restrictions, it certainly gives interesting insight as to ...

Peterson: An idea that really backfired

It was just an idea at first. But as it came to fruition, it turned out to be a really BAD idea. After finishing our first season in the C.C. Slow-Pitch Softball League with a winning record, the Karvakko’s Market team was looking for something more to do that fall. We couldn’t find ...

Peterson: Merv was one of a kind on or off the field

It was the first game that I ever played with the late Merv Klemett. I had just become eligible to play for the Portage Lake Oldtimers baseball team, and Merv was the manager of the squad. Before my first game, I asked him how to approach things against the Wolverine Oldtimers. Whether to ...

Peterson: Silence in sports is deafening

The professional sports franchises have all tried various methods to combat the lack of crowd noise during this current dark period we’re all going through. The National Hockey League has taken the course of sounding fog horns (loudly) after a goal. In the National Basketball League and ...

Peterson: MHSAA acted in haste

The words — and brickbats — have been flying ever since the decision was made by the Michigan High Athletic Association last month. The action effectively ended the high school football season — at least until next spring. At first, I sort of went along with the MHSAA action. But now ...

Peterson: Tigers put pressure on young prospects

There’s nothing wrong with banking on young players to bolster the fortunes of a professional sports team. But the Detroit Tigers may be putting too much pressure on their prospects. If you go strictly by the commentary of Detroit TV color men Jack Morris and Dan Petry, the pitching duo ...

Football in spring in the U.P.?

When the Michigan High School Athletic Association made its recent decision to scrap the high school football season, it was met with opposition from several quarters. A number of parents of players have opposed it and are even threatening lawsuits to have it changed. I don’t quite go ...

Is BIG 10 closure a rush to judgement?

Now that it’s official as far as the Big 10 football season is concerned, one has to wonder just how far this rush to judgement will go. When the Big 10 announced this week that it was scrapping the season because of COVID-19, it opened up a variety of options for those conferences who are ...

Peterson: NCAA could be another casualty

For an organization that has been under fire in many quarters over the past decade or so, the NCAA could well be another casualty of the current mess we find ourselves in today. The COVID-19 disaster has already closed the athletic schedules of some smaller leagues (the Michigan ...

Tournament planning days over

Just the other day, I heard a voice boom out in my direction from across the street in Houghton. It was a familiar voice — but one I hadn’t heard for many years. The voice was that of a former softball opponent, going all the way back to the 1970s. “What we need right now is another ...

Peterson: Can it be there is a glimmer?

Somewhere in all the darkness that has been 2020, there has to be a glimmer of light. No, I’m not unrealistic enough to believe a vaccine will be miraculously discovered to combat COVID-19 in the next few weeks. But it would be nice to hope that sports — in some form — can be restored ...

Peterson: Chip Hilton once lived in Crystal Falls

In these troubled times we find ourselves in today, there’s a tendency to look in the past as far as sports goes. There’s no baseball to watch on television ... or even on the radio. And there’s no guarantee there will even be a shortened 60-game MLB season. Football would have been a ...

Peterson: Political posturing just wrong

The kind of political posturing we’re seeing in this country when it comes to sports is uneven — and unnerving. The controversy over the nicknames of some sports teams is the one attracting the most attention around the country. Take the Washington Redskins, if you will. The Redskins ...

Peterson: The real danger to pro sports

There is no question the present conditions we’re operating under in this country are going to have long-term effects. The effects to the professional sports world could be even more long-lasting. The tenuous situation in major league baseball is one of the more visible ones. MLB owners ...

Peterson: Music the sound of our times

Just the other day, I was listening to the radio (Sirius variety) when a song came on that put me on time passages of the mind. The song, “Monday, Monday” by the Mamas and Papas, was popular in the winter of 1966. Now, 1966 was a time when you could actually understand the words. ...

Peterson: Pandemic aside, the game goes on

They may be a pandemic going on in this country. And record unemployment and racial strife rages on. But still the game goes on. That game — and there aren’t many going nowadays — is the 50 and Over Softball League. Now, the league may be the only operating one of any kind locally at ...

Peterson: The things you won’t see in 2020

In this — whacky and never seen before — world we’re living in, there are going to be things you are not going to see in 2020. It’s bad enough that that high school and college tournament seasons in hockey and basketball were washed away. I especially feel for all the seniors who ...

Peterson: The sound of a real fastball

The game of baseball has unique sounds of its own. There is the solid crack of a fastball hitting the bat right in the sweet spot. That sound is known to anyone who has ever played the game and it is usually an indication that a batter will soon be circling the bases. And there’s the ...

Peterson: Bad Boys really were that good

In the long-running and just concluded “The Last Dance,” the exploits of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls dynasty of the 1990s were well-documented by ESPN. Yes, Jordan is the finest basketball player ever produced by the National Basketball Association. His skills and game preparation ...

Peterson: NFL rolls the dice on return

The National Football League is rolling the dice on its planned return to play. COVID-19 has changed the way we live in every respect. And how the sports world is going to proceed is very much in question. The NFL does have an advantage in that it can see how major league baseball, hockey ...