When Rich Rodriguez stood in front of the media in Ann Arbor on that November day in 2007, having just been introduced as the next football coach at the University of Michigan, one of the sage scribes asked him what it felt like to be worse than sloppy seconds. OK, the question wasn’t posed with [...]

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Categories : football, Out of Bounds
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He had just set a new National Football League record for longest field goal made, and he did it to win the game. Tom Dempsey of the Saints, with half a right foot due to a birth deformity, blasted a 63 yard field goal to beat the Lions—naturally—in New Orleans on November 8, 1970. He [...]

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It was yet another funereal post-game press conference for a Lions coach. The scene took place in Anaheim, with another sound defeat in the books. The Lions had been manhandled by the Los Angeles Rams in 1983, dropping their record to 1-4. The coach, Monte Clark, stepped up to the podium, ready to answer the [...]

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Sep
11

It’s the Response, Stupid

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There’s some sad irony in the Ray Rice conundrum as far as the National Football League is concerned. The NFL is a league that has a legacy of toughness and images of “real men” doing battle on mud-strewn gridirons, snow and other unfavorable elements. It’s a league whose players like to throw around the word [...]

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The game was played the day after Christmas, a Saturday in 1970. The match still haunts the Lions franchise. The National Football League, expanded in one season from 16 to 26 teams thanks to the merger with the American Football League, changed its playoff format for the 1970 campaign. The league had split, like an [...]

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Sep
04

Avoidable Tragedy the Worst Kind

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In a perfect world, Derek Flemming would have been able to march up to the driver of a car that cut him off, express some anger, and get back into his own vehicle—without fear of losing his life. The 43 year-old husband and father of two young children would have vented his anger and frustration [...]

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Categories : crime, Enotes, justice, laws, society
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Sep
02

Silver and Black and Blue

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With the pro football fan base ushering in new and younger members every autumn, it’s time to write this column, because we’re getting dangerously close to the point where the newest and the youngest may not know of what I am about to impart. Gather ’round the keyboard and let me tell you of a [...]

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Categories : football, Out of Bounds
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Aug
28

“Whose Class” Action

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Labor Day was always my least favorite holiday. I’m sure I was hardly alone. Of course, I’m talking about when I was a kid, and so just about every other kid likely joined me in that sentiment. Labor Day meant the unofficial end to summer, though the calendar says that the season runs until September [...]

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Categories : education, Enotes
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He was a moon-faced behemoth of a defensive tackle out of Clemson, with a grin as wide as his generously-sized rear end. And he soon became a pawn between his head coach and his defensive coordinator. They called William Perry “The Refrigerator” and not long after the Chicago Bears picked him in the first round [...]

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It was April 2007 and the Red Wings were approaching an anniversary of sorts. And the occasion was even lost on the owner. A bunch of us media types were summoned to Joe Louis Arena on the eve of that year’s playoff run. The reason for the herding was to unveil the new Gordie Howe [...]

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