THE NEW GILDED AGE (Part 2)
THE NEW GILDED AGE (Part 2)
22nd January, 2023 0
THIS COLUMN WAS WRITTEN IN FRONT OF A LIVE STUDIO AUDIENCE
The NBA Most Valuable Player Award is an annual award of the National Basketball Association given since the 1955-56 season to the most successful player of the regular season. Who holds the record for most MVP awards?
“As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round,” – Ben Hogan
Legendary football coach Lou Holtz was asked to describe the difference between football players today and those 50 years ago. He answered, “Simple. Today’s athletes talk about rights and privileges and the players 50 years ago talked about obligations and responsibilities.”
“We want men here, not just players. Players are a dime a dozen.” – Michigan State University head basketball coach Tom Izzo.
Pete Maravich averaged 44.2 points-per-game at Louisiana State University despite there being no three-point line. One of his coaches went back and watched every single one of Maravich’s games and concluded that Maravich was making about 13 threes a game. If the line existed, he would have averaged 55 points-per-game. Maravich is the all-time career leader in points scored in NCAA history with 3,667 points. The Pete Maravich Assembly Center, located on the campus of LSU, was renamed in honor of Pistol Pete shortly after his death in 1988. It was originally known as the LSU Assembly Center.
Hats off to both Greg Meter and Dave Schauman who were recently named Assistant Coaches of the Year by the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association. They coach at Nouvel Catholic Central and Freeland high school, respectively.
Changes are being made to Comerica Park to make it more “hitter friendly.” The Tigers are moving in the center field fence 10 feet, but it will still be the second-deepest center field in the league after Coors Field in Denver. Additionally, the height of the outfield wall will be lowered to seven feet in center field and right field (down from 8.5 feet), and in right-center field (down from 13.5 feet). According to a press release from the team, they gathered feedback from fans, players, and front-office stakeholders to make the adjustments. They obviously didn’t consult me. I would have moved the centerfield fence back to 440-feet to match Briggs/Tiger Stadium. With a handful of speedy players, they could vie for the record for most triples by an MLB team in one season. The work is expected to be done in time for the Tigers’ home opener on April 6 against the Boston Red Sox.
Former Arthur Hill High School boys’ basketball coach Dave Slaggert has been feverishly working on a book about the Arthur Hill/Saginaw High basketball rivalry – the longest-running inner-city rivalry in the state. Slaggert has done extensive work, including personally interviewing every living basketball coach from both schools to get their viewpoint of the rivalry. The book will come out after the two schools play their last game prior to merging into Saginaw United High School.
With a little more than three months before the 2023 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions will be in need of a new college scouting director. Dave Sears, who has served in the role since 2019, is departing to become the assistant general manager for the Arizona Cardinals. You’ve never heard of him either, have you?
All good things eventually come to an end. That old adage now includes Jerry Green, the outstanding sports reporter from the The Detroit News. This year, for the first time since the Super Bowl’s 1967 inception, the 94-year-old Green won’t be in attendance to cover the game – halting his streak of 56 consecutive games. He is the only writer to attend every Super Bowl contest. Green was one of a handful of reporters who gathered around New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath poolside at the Galt Ocean Mile Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when Broadway Joe boasted about guaranteeing a Jets victory.
Former Buena Vista High School basketball standout Tory Jackson, a Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame inductee, always speaks very highly of Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey, who recently announced that this will be his final year coaching the Fighting Irish. “He played a major part in helping me grow as a player and coach,” said Jackson, the head coach at Grand Blanc High School, currently ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press Class A polls. “He’s impacted so many lives during his 23 years at Notre Dame. His honesty, integrity, love, knowledge of the game, and willingness to serve others, made it easy to play for him. I’ll never forget the day of my mother’s funeral when he and my Notre Dame family came to support me during one of my darkest moments. He’s really been a father I can lean on for anything since the passing of my parents. He didn’t have to do any of the things he’s done for us, but he still did it anyways, and he did it with a smile. We love him and thank God for blessing us with him.” Extremely high praise from one outstanding coach to another.
I’ll be honest. I am not a big fan of college football players smoking victory cigars after the NCAA National Championship game. It all started in 2019 with LSU’s Joe Burrow, and now all the winning teams are toking on stogies minutes after the game. What happened to players trying to be role models for our youth?
I hope Arthur Hill High School’s iconic Memorial Stadium will not be renamed once Saginaw Public Schools merge Saginaw High and Arthur Hill high schools into Saginaw United High School. Arthur Hill, 3115 Mackinaw Street, will become the new home of Saginaw Arts and Science Academy. Saginaw United, currently being built at 1903 N. Niagara Street along the Saginaw River, will have a new field at that site. After World War II, the Fordney Club of Saginaw County spearheaded the drive to construct Memorial Stadium. Many club members pledged their personal credit to back the successful effort. The result was one of Michigan's finest high school football stadiums, dedicated in 1949 to the schools World War II fallen heroes. I would like to see Saginaw Public Schools give the stadium a much-needed facelift, install turf, and let other Saginaw County high schools play there as well as hosting state playoff games – a la Atwood Stadium in the city of Flint. They could also bring back the Red Feather Football Classic.
The great Jim Brown of Syracuse University once won a track meet, scored 12 goals in a lacrosse game, and scored four touchdowns in the Spring football game – all in the same day.
Burgergate. That’s what I’m calling the rumors swirling around Jim Harbaugh’s Level One NCAA violation for allegedly buying a recruit a hamburger. The NCAA reportedly found a receipt and then Harbaugh wasn’t honest about it. Just hoping it wasn’t the Garbage Burger at the Scottish Inn.
The Fox NFL Sunday’s pregame crew of Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson, Michael Strahan, and Curt Menefee are always very well dressed. But it looks as if they are trying to outdo each other with their pocket squares.
M.J. Yeager of Nouvel Catholic Central High School is an outstanding shooter from three-point range. Yeager recently netted 42 points – including nine three-pointers – in a win over Kalamazoo Hackett. Only a junior, he now owns the Nouvel career record for treys with 170. He’s one of the best pure shooters I’ve seen locally since the Brad Redford days at Frankenmuth High School.
Speaking of Frankenmuth, Frankenmuth News Editor Scott Wenzel provided me with the following nugget. He told me former Frankenmuth Athletic Director Marco Marcet, a Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame inductee, originally came up with the moniker “Muth” simply to save on the cost of spelling out the entire “Frankenmuth” on athletic uniforms.
Whatever happened to Jon Kitna?
QUICK QUIZ ANSWER
D. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the record for most MVP awards, winning six. He is also the only player to win the award when his team did not make the playoffs in the 1975-76 season. After him, Bill Russell and Michael Jordan both won the award five times, while Wilt Chamberlain and LeBron James won it four times. Moses Malone, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson each won the award three times, while Bob Pettit, Karl Malone, Tim Duncan, Steve Nash, Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo each won twice
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THE NEW GILDED AGE (Part 2)