A Complete Preview of Every Sport Ever Invented, 2014

Posted by on Jan 16, 2014 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

[To listen to the audio version, click here: Bacon_-_final_2014_predictions_with_open_for_web-1-17-2014,wav] Because my last 700-word commentary completely covered every subject in the sports world that occurred in 2013, my editor thought, “Hey, why not preview the year in sports in January?!?” Why not? Because I have no idea what’s going to happen, that’s why. Nobody does. That’s why we watch sports: We don’t know how it’s going to end. It’s also why we shouldn’t watch pregame shows: everybody is just guessing. Nonetheless,...

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Q&A on The Wolverine/The Fort today, 12-1 ET + Open Letter to Readers

Posted by on Jan 15, 2014 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

Hello Loyal Readers, Hope you all survived the break, especially those of you in the Frozen Tundra of the Great Lake States. I’ll be back this Friday with a new Bacon Blog (and really should send out one EVERY Friday, so you know I’m not dead.) And I’ll be posting recent TV appearances on here, too. But in the meantime, I’ll be hosting a live Q&A chatroom on in The Fort section, about Fourth and Long and everything else.  I think you might need to be a member to join in, but I hope you...

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2013: The Year in Sports

Posted by on Dec 19, 2013 in Uncategorized | 5 comments

The year in sports, 2013, started out with the Detroit Lions missing the playoffs, and hockey fans missing the entire National Hockey League season. The NHL hadn’t played a game since the Stanley Cup Finals that spring.  The lockout started the way these things usually do: The players thought the owners made too much money, and the owners thought the players made too much money.  And, of course, both sides were dead right. On one side, you had NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, a small, whiny person considered the worst commissioner in sports...

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How John Hannah used football to transform Moo U into a world class university

Posted by on Dec 12, 2013 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

[To listen to the short audio version, click here: Bacon_final_for_web_MSU-Hannah_with_open-12-13-13] On Saturday night, the Michigan State Spartans upset of second-ranked Ohio State, gave the Spartans a 12-1 record, a number four national ranking, and their first trip to the Rose Bowl since 1988. But what’s more impressive: Michigan State no longer needs a ranked football team to be a world-class university.  Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon explains how President Hannah used football to boost State’s academics. Every...

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Follow the Money: Where does the Michigan Athletic Department Get It, and Where Do They Spend It?

Posted by on Dec 5, 2013 in Uncategorized | 20 comments

To listen to the audio version, click here: Bacon_final-_budget_issues_2013_for_web_with_open-_12-6-2013 I’ve often joked that some Michigan football fans aren’t happy unless they’re not happy.  But after eleven games this season, even they could be excused for having plenty to be unhappy about. A week ago, the Wolverines were 3-and-4 in the Big Ten, with undefeated Ohio State coming up next. The Wolverines had been surprisingly bad all season — until the Ohio State game, when they were suddenly, surprisingly good, falling short...

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The most important game of the decade – because they didn’t play it

Posted by on Nov 22, 2013 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

A month ago, Grambling State was scheduled to play Jackson State in a largely meaningless football game.  The date has been little noted, nor long remembered.  But years from now, we might look back on it as the most important game of the decade – because they didn’t play it. The Grambling State University football team plays in the unheralded Southwestern Athletic Conference, in the division beneath the big boys.  They had an 11-game losing streak, stretching back into the 2012 season. In short, this was not a team that warranted...

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Michigan Football at a Crossroads – On and Off the Field

Posted by on Nov 8, 2013 in Uncategorized | 5 comments

[To listen to the audio version, click here: Bacon final Hoke Michigan State for web with open 11-8-2013] Moments before the Michigan Wolverines introduced Brady Hoke as their new head football coach in 2011, Michigan fans had lots of questions.  Why not hire a national star like Les Miles or Jim Harbaugh, who both played at Michigan?  Who was Brady Hoke?  Was he up to the task of taking over the Wolverines, and returning the team to glory? Hoke answered these questions by nailing his first press conference.  He won over more Michigan fans...

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The “Fourth and Long” Book Tour: Radio, TV and Talks

Posted by on Nov 1, 2013 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Hola, Loyal Readers and Listeners! I just got back at midnight from Cali, Colombia, where I gave a speech (no, not on college football!).  So, no Bacon Blog today, but there is a lot going on, and since I’ve done such a poor job updating the Events tab on my website (okay, no job at all!), here are a few things you might want to know about.  I’ll be updating (he says again) the events this weekend, too. FRIDAY, NOV. 1 9-9:30 a.m. WTKA with Sam Webb and Ira Weintraub 12 noon: Plymouth Rotary at the Plymouth Cultural Center.  A...

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Jim Leyland: More Coach Than Computer — and Better

Posted by on Oct 25, 2013 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

[To listen to the audio version, click here: Bacon - Leyland final for web with open 10-25-2013]   When you’re 68, working in a young man’s game, announcing your retirement does not come as a big surprise.  But before he leaves the stage, Detroit Tiger manager Jim Leyland has a few underappreciated qualities that are worth remembering. Leyland is a baseball man to the core.  Raised in Perrysburg, Ohio, where his dad worked in a glass factory, he grew up wanting to do one thing: Play baseball. He was good, very good, so the Tigers...

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Reform School: A Bold Plan to Fix College Football’s Central Problem: Not Scandals, but Greed (Abridged)

Posted by on Oct 25, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

[To listen to the audio version, click here: Bacon-final-fresh ineligibility-NCAA-for web with open 10-4-2013] Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said last week that football and basketball might work better if they had minor leagues, so players who didn’t want to attend college had somewhere else to go. I came to the same conclusion several years ago, though for different reasons.  Most of the problems with college football and basketball can be traced back to their beginnings.  Unlike most sports, football and basketball developed on...

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