THE NEW GILDED AGE (Part 2)
THE NEW GILDED AGE (Part 2)
THIS COLUMN WAS WRITTEN IN FRONT OF A LIVE STUDIO AUDIENCE
11th September, 2023 0
What National Hockey League goaltender recorded the most shutouts in a season during the modern era?
“My biggest thrill came the night Elgin Baylor and I combined for 73 points in Madison Square Garden. Elgin had 71 of them.” – Hot Rod Hundley.
“In this ballpark, I feel when you walk to the plate, you’re in scoring position.” – Don Baylor, on playing in the Seattle Kingdom.
“When I went duck hunting with Bear Bryant, he shot at one but it kept flying. ‘John, he said, ‘there flies a dead duck.’ Now that’s confidence.” – Former USC football coach John McKay.
Most Michigan State University fans are in total shock after Spartan head football coach Mel Tucker was suspended by the university less than 24 hours after it was revealed he is the subject of an MSU Title IX investigation into allegations of sexual harassment, the university announced Sunday. Tucker is on leave without pay pending the outcome of the MSU's investigation with his future leading the Spartans now in doubt. Erroneous reports Sunday initially stated that Tucker was fired by Michigan State. Rather, the Title IX investigation will continue as scheduled before the university makes a decision on his future leading the Spartans program. I’m quite sure there’s a moral’s clause somewhere in Tucker’s $95M, 10-year contract.
Bill Freehan had a very solid career with the Detroit Tigers. He won the Gold Glove Award on five occasions, was named to the American League All-Star team 11 times, and of course, was a member of the World Series championship team in 1968. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2021, having missed his opportunities for a Hall of Fame inauguration. On August 24, 1976, he hit his 200th and final home run of his career in a 12-7 loss against the Chicago White Sox. Freehan ended his career having hit 100 home runs at home and 100 home runs on the road.
Former Detroit Red Wings coach Jacques Demers had asked Bob Probert to quit many times during his tenure as coach. But Probert didn’t listen. Demers once again approached him in the locker room, begged him to quit but Probert wasn’t buying it. Instead, he pulled out a cigarette even as Demers spoke, and lit it with the blowtorch players use to curve their stick blades.
I am extremely honored to serve as the Master of Ceremonies at the final Arthur Hill High School Letterwinner’s Banquet on Wednesday, October 25th at the American Legion Hall on Weiss Street. Scheduled for the Question/Answer segment are John Decker, Craig Dill, George Ihler and Brian Pruitt. The banquet will also serve as the 50th anniversary for Arthur Hill’s famed 1973 undefeated/unscored upon football team. To RSVP, please contact Roger Borchard at (989) 792-3409 by October 11th.
Facebook was alive and humming last Thursday night when the Detroit Lions edged the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, 21-20. Quite a few fans were complaining about the officiating, noting the Chiefs were getting all the calls. The Lions, who seem to never get calls go their way, hopefully will start to earn respect in the National Football League.
The Kansas City Chiefs have traded for Mike Evans on a 1-year $20M deal with $8.5M guaranteed. The Chiefs receive Evans, a receiver who can catch and the Tampa Bay Bucs receive Kadarius Toney, 2 draft picks and a year supply of Butterfingers.
NFL fans called out NBC’s Mike Tirico after his postgame comments about the Detroit Lions’ upset win over the Kansas City Chiefs went viral. Tirico said that the win for Detroit would have an asterisk next to it because Kansas City didn’t have star defensive tackle Chris Jones or Patrick Mahomes’ top receiving target, star tight end Travis Kelce, available for the game (Jones due to a contract dispute, Kelce due to a knee injury). Tirico quickly back-peddled faster than Lem Barney by saying, “If you have a problem with the word ‘asterisk,’ that’s a very legitimate complaint. However, it should be in context. If you want to take out the middle of the comment and make it the whole comment, then you don’t understand properly how to attribute things.” As Tirico noted, the static he received from Lions fans focused on his “asterisk” remark, although he also praised Detroit for being “for real” following the prime-time victory.
The Chattanooga Looksouts’ Minor League baseball team organized National Pigeon Races in the 1930s. Birds and their owners came to Chattanooga, Tennessee’s Engel Stadium from 25 cities and 10 states. The competing birds flew hundreds of miles and were timed.
Coco Gauff's net worth in 2023 is estimated to be around $10 million, a result of her tennis earnings, endorsement deals, and investments. However, after winning the US Open women's singles final at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York, on Saturday, she has also earned much-deserved respect.
On September 24, 1928, the smallest crowd ever to watch a Detroit Tigers game – just 404 fans – witnessed the Tigers defeat the Boston Red Sox 8-0 in its final game of the season. Only 24 hot dogs were sold!
In case you missed it, Saginaw Valley State University toppled rival-Northwood University, 31-8, marking the Cardinals’ fifth straight Axe Bowl victory. SVSU head coach Ryan Brady has yet to lose against Northwood in his tenure.
Earl Morrall was an All-American quarterback at Michigan State. He starred in the 1956 Rose Bowl Game and once held the NCAA record for average yards gained per completion. Morrall, a native of Muskegon, also played varsity baseball for three seasons for the Spartans. He held the dubious honor of having the Big 10 record of five errors in one game. The record was later broken by Wisconsin’s Harvey Kuenn.
A staggering 11,000 runners out of a 30,000-person field from the Mexico City Marathon were disqualified for cheating after they cut some part of the course during the 42km race on August 27. Runners were disqualified after missing checkpoints placed every five kilometers. Some of the runners used bicycles while others actually hopped in cars during the race. Shades of Rosie Ruiz, who was declared the winner in the female category for the 84th Boston Marathon in 1980, only to have her title stripped eight days after the race when it was discovered that she had not run the entire course. The Cuban-American runner is believed to have jumped onto the course about a half-mile before the finish.
On August 25, 1938, in Goldsboro, North Carolina, Coastal Plain League umpire W.T. Chewning gave the Class D Goldsboro Goldbugs a forfeit loss because they were ignoring his requests for new baseballs.
Not so fast, Max Novak. When he was in first grade, his parents – Tim and Kristin - took him to see College Gameday at Michigan State University. He loved it. On the way home he said he wanted to dress up as Lee Corso for Halloween! He’s been obsessed with Gameday ever since. Max, a 2023 graduate of Nouvel Catholic Central High School, is currently a freshman at Saginaw Valley State University, majoring in Business and Marketing. His dream is to work somewhere in Sports Management. He has been obsessed with sports statistics since he was in kindergarten. After every homework assignment, he would flip his paper over and do March Madness brackets. Still to this day, 13 years later, he still does brackets. He worked for the Great Lakes Loons this past season in concessions.
On August 8, 1978, free agent goalie Rogie Vachon of the Los Angeles Kings signed with the Detroit Red Wings. Dale McCourt was awarded to the Kings as NHL rules required Detroit to send compensation to Los Angeles. The Red Wings had been offering Jimmy Rutherford and Bill Lochead as compensation but the Kings wanted the 21-year-old McCourt.
An independent arbitrator ruled that Detroit must send McCourt, who was the leading Red Wing scorer as a rookie the previous season. McCourt, however, challenged the compensation clause in the NHL's collective bargaining agreement, and a circuit court judge in Detroit subsequently ruled in McCourt's favor, allowing him to remain with the Red Wings. The judge ruled that the compensation requirements of NHL free agency were an illegal restraint of trade because they limited competition. McCourt's lawyer, Brian Smith, then sued the NHL, the NHLPA, the Red Wings and Kings in an effort to prevent McCourt from ever being sent to Los Angeles as part of any compensation package.
McCourt angered many fellow players, who thought his actions were undermining the NHLPA, which had agreed to the compensation requirements in its Collective Bargaining Agreement. The acquisition of Vachon did not work out well for Detroit. In his debut he gave up two easy goals, made nine saves, and Detroit, which outshot St. Louis 42-14, lost the game 5-4. Vachon finished the season with 10 wins and 27 losses with 11 ties after winning 29 games with LA the previous season against 27 losses and 13 ties. His GAA rose from 2.87 to 3.91.
NHL President John Ziegler called the McCourt compensation suit the biggest problem facing hockey today. If it is not overturned, Ziegler says, the world of pro hockey will be in turmoil as the players, freed at last from that the shackles of their $92,000 average yearly salaries, begin pursuing free agency with the relish of their baseball cousins. McCourt did not have upheaval in mind, however, when he challenged the compensation clause. "I just wanted to stay in Detroit," he said. "When I came here, I planned to stay and make it my home. I would have had to start from zero again with LA."
A federal appeals court later ruled that McCourt must go to the Los Angeles Kings, reversing the lower Court's decision and upholding the National Hockey League's reserve clause. In a 2-to-1 decision, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals set aside the previous ruling of U.S. District Judge Robert DiMascio of Detroit that held that the NHL reserve clause violated antitrust laws. "We believe that in holding that the reserve system had not been the subject of good faith, arm's-length bargaining, the trial court failed to recognize that well-established principle that nothing in the labor law compels either party negotiating . . . to yield on its original position," the appeals court said.
The Appeals Court allowed McCourt to play for Detroit while his case could be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. McCourt immediately appealed the case to the United States Supreme Court. The situation was resolved, and the need for a Supreme Court ruling avoided, when Los Angeles traded McCourt's rights back to Detroit for Andre St. Laurent, 1980 first round pick (Larry Murphy) and the option of having Detroit's 1980 second-round pick or 1981 first-round pick (Los Angeles chose the 1981 first round pick and selected Doug Smith) on Aug. 22, 1979. This was an alternate compensation package that Los Angeles had been willing to accept in 1978, but Detroit had rejected. Los Angeles' original request, before the McCourt request set off a legal battle, had been for Reed Larson, two No. 1 picks and $700,000 in cash. The McCourt case helped to eventually change the NHL's rules on compensation but the experience took its toll on McCourt. He later said he lost his love for being in the NHL as a result of the legal ordeal
Whatever happened to Rick Mount?
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THE NEW GILDED AGE (Part 2)