Arnold Palmer was not the greatest golfer, just the most important

Arnold Palmer was born on the cusp of the Great Depression in Western Pennsylvania. His father, Deke, had been the greenskeeper at Latrobe Country Club, advancing to club pro when Arnold was four. A club pro has to listen to every member of the country club like they’re the most important person in the world. […]

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Less Money, Fewer Students and More Schools

Now that the teachers and students are back in school, I can’t resist turning my attention to school sports, one of my favorite subjects. I am a proud 1982 graduate of the Ann Arbor Public Schools. I can still remember the name of every teacher I ever had. Almost all were very good, and I […]

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Running to Death with the Michigan Football Team

A few years ago I had the chance to work out with the Michigan football team, for a six solid weeks. I lifted more weights than I any writer should, followed by an ungodly number of sit-ups, pushups and pull-downs. Just fifteen minutes into my first work out, I was sweating like a pig and […]

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The Big Ten Has Closed the Coaching Gap

The Big Ten was the first major college conferences, created in 1895. For decades it was the best in football, and, lest we forget, research and academics. And you Ivy League snobs can hold your horses: your league didn’t start until 1954 – a surprising fact that can win you bar bets. Through 1970, Big […]

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The Search for Harbaugh Started With a Boat Ride

Today, Jim Harbaugh’s return to Ann Arbor looks like a no-brainer, the most obvious of football marriages. But it didn’t seem that way two years ago, when the odds were very long, indeed. Michigan football coach Brady Hoke seemed poised for a solid season. With eight or nine wins, Hoke’s job would be safe, athletic […]

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What Made Gordie Howe “Mr. Hockey”

Dear Loyal Readers, As you can imagine, with the passing of Muhammad Ali and Gordie Howe, just about all sports writers have been working to give both the obituaries they deserve. Here are mine for Mr. Hockey himself, Gordie Howe. My interview on Michigan Radio’s Stateside program: http://www.npr.org/2016/06/15/482123503/mr-hockey-gordie-howe-to-be-remembered-at-detroit-funeral And here is my commentary on National […]

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