Monday, November 20, 2006

Weekend Compendium Vol. 3

First off, apologies to not mentioning Jim Leyland's AL Manager of the Year title last week. I guess since it pretty much was a lock, I'd figured they had already given out the award, so I missed it when he officially received it. Sorry Jim.

In other news, I was driving on E. Stadium to get lunch today at work and as I get up to Michigan Stadium, I come across a couple police motorcycles lights and sirens blaring going in the other direction. I pull over to the side like any good motorist would, then I see another police car, then a hearse and a funeral procession. Then it dawns on me...That's for Bo. Many outside of the state may not understand the reverence the he was held in here. He wasn't just the coach of Michigan football, he was Michigan football. I am not a U of M fan, or college football fan for that matter, but the Wolverines were always on in my house growing up. I remember a few players Tony Boles, Greg McMurtry, and Elvis Grbac, come to mind, but the lasting memory I have is Bo on the Sidelines, with those aviators on, snarling at somebody. That and the fact as Michigan's A.D. he fired the lame duck Bill Frieder before the 1989 NCAA tournament, which interim coach Steve Fisher led to the national title. I have conveniently forgot what he did from 1990 to 1992. So as I watch the coach pass by the Big House for the last time, as so many that have been around Ann Arbor long enough do, here's my Bo story.

Through my job, I was able to participate in his charity golf tournament earlier this year. I come in after my round and turn in my score card when someone at the table calls out" Hey coach, how'd you do today?" He mumbles a reply. Then the guy calls out "How's the team this year?" He volume and intensity in his voice skyrockets as he starts singing the praises of Mike Hart and LaMarr Woodley. Later during the banquet, people are eating and awards are being handed out, then Bo steps up to the mic, and every one in the room stops and focuses on Bo. The speech was basically a thank you for everyone coming out and a little football talk. Nothing spectacular, but to be in the room to hear a legendary coach talk, was still pretty cool.

That's how I remember him. R.I.P. Bo, well as much peace as you can get during football season.

On to the rest of the weekend activities:
One streak ends, and another one begins. The Pistons beat the Wizards and Rockets on Friday and Saturday, led by Rip Hamilton's 57 points in the two games. This looked a little more like last year's teams, with a 13-2 run to open the 3rd on Friday, and holding the Rockets to 14 in the 4th on Saturday. SO let's just back away from the ledge a little bit shall we? As long as they don't lose to Philly and Atlanta.

As for the Wings, well their franchise record tying 9 game winning streak ended in Calgary Friday night. They followed that up with a loss to Edmonton in a shoot out on Saturday. That with Joey MacDonald playing in his first NHL game. Along with Jimmy Howard, the Wings netminders of the future look pretty good. They look to break that new streak with tow games against the Canucks Tuesday and Wednesday. Jason Williams is back after taking a wicked, but clean hit last Wednesday against Edmonton. Tomas Holmstrom should be back in the mix after being out with a groin injury.

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