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Sports columns

Arnie made Masters special

It was of those things I could never could figure out. Why did the annual Masters Golf Tournament hold such a fascination for me? It wasn’t because I had any particular interest in the sport. While I did my share of hacking around local courses, I never developed any golf skills to speak ...

One word keeps coming to mind

Full disclosure from the outset: I did not sit and watch the NHL’s reveal of “Hockeyville USA.” I fully admit that I was enjoying a quiet Sunday of trying to find a goaltender for my hockey rental in the evening and playing a computer game about taming dinosaurs. When my phone buzzed, I ...

Believe it: Tigers are that bad

It’s way too early to make any predictions in the major league baseball season. But this is one I’ll post one right now. The Detroit Tigers are going to have a very rough year. The only reason the Tigers won’t lose 100 games is because they play in baseball’s weakest division, the ...

A walk down memory lane

When I first heard that the Calumet Colosseum was up for Kraft Hockeyville again this year, my first thought was a very simple one: They wouldn’t award this thing to another U.P. rink so soon after Marquette’s Lakeview Arena, would they? In fact, I admit that I did not put a lot of effort ...

MSU or UM potential NCAA champs

With that annual sports phenomena of March Madness here, the prospects of a national championship in NCAA basketball coming to Michigan are good. I firmly believe that either Michigan State or the University of Michigan can walk away with a title in the next couple of weeks. I’m aware ...

Public versus Private

I was walking around the Michigan Tech campus Saturday doing the same thing almost everyone else I saw around campus doing: playing Pokemon Go. There is very little that convinces average Michigan Tech students to leave the safety of their dorm rooms, but apparently Pokemon Go does a pretty ...

No question: Mountaineers were robbed

There is no question about it: The Iron Mountain High boys basketball team was robbed of a state championship last Saturday at Breslin Center in East Lansing. The Michigan High School Athletic Association can sugar-coat it all it wants, but this was a pure case of highway robbery. The ...

Confessions from a last-place tournament team

“Know anybody over 30 who would be interested in playing this weekend in old timers?” was the question that hit my phone via text message on Monday afternoon while I was in the office. “Ambo is a few short apparently,” was the message that followed. Those two texts were from a ...

Toughness is mental and physical

One often hears about a sports team being physically tough. But that’s a term, while overused, that also pertains to being mentally tough. A good example of that came during the Michigan-Michigan State basketball game this past weekend. The Spartans, missing two starters in Josh ...

Biggest mistake ever made by MHSAA

With the high school basketball districts and regionals currently going on, I often think back to when this was truly the sporting event of the year in the Upper Peninsula. It was an iconic event because the tournaments were usually held in bigger venues. The practice of scheduling the ...

Two sides to March Madness

It’s a time of the year when special things can happen. But March Madness has two sides to it — hence you get the “Beware the Ides of March” concept. Oh, there is the special side when an underdog team rises up and knocks off the heavily favored opponent. Take the 1969 district ...

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 ...