Nik Stauskas grew up in Mississauga, Ontario – a Toronto suburb better known for its neighborhood hockey games than for a Lithuanian kid spending thousands of hours shooting on his parents’ backyard hoop. This year, Stauskas was named Big Ten player of the year. It worked. Glenn Robinson III took a completely different route to the NBA: His father is Glenn Robinson Jr., also known as “The Big Dog,” and was the first pick in the NBA draft twenty years ago. If Stauskas had to work to get attention, Robinson had to work to avoid it.
This week marks the 40th anniversary of one of baseball’s signature moments: Hank Aaron hitting his record 715th home run, to surpass Babe Ruth’s 39-year old record. But to appreciate how special that was, columnist John U. Bacon says you have to understand who Hank Aaron is – and what he faced.
In the wake of the National Labor Relations Board’s decision to grant Northwestern University football players the right to unionize, columnist John U. Bacon examines the possible impact. He argues that the NCAA, leagues and all universities should be pushing for reforms on their own, including health care for injuries sustained while playing, paying for the players’ entire education, and ending bonuses for coaches and administrators that are tied to players’ achievements.
Michigan Stadium is the front porch for one of the world’s great universities, writes columnist John U. Bacon. When you walk through the front gates, no one should care – and most don’t – about your age or income, or your race, religion or creed. Most don’t even care if you went to school there. They care about one thing: Can you sing “The Victors”? If you know when to throw your fist in the air, you’re in.
Columnist John U. Bacon writes that the University of Michigan and Michigan State University have elevated basketball in the state of Michigan – and with it, the rivalry between them. And with John Beilein and Tom Izzo at the helms, they’ve done it the right way, too.
Columnist John U. Bacon provides insight into the life and legacy of William Clay Ford, who died on March 9. He’ll likely be most remembered as the owner of the Detroit Lions, during five woefully unsuccessful decades. But in the end, the abiding respect and affection for Bill Ford Sr. might have been worth more than the Lombardi Trophy.
Columnist John U. Bacon looks at the unlikely career of University of Michigan men’s basketball coach John Beilein, who has led the team to a Big Ten title this year – its first outright Big Ten title in almost three decades. He argues that if John Beilein is not the Big Ten coach of the year, Michigan should demand a recount, because it’s hard to imagine a more deserving recipient, on or off the court.
Columnist John U. Bacon catalogues the weirdness of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi – from bronze water and warm weather to the beatings of Pussy Riot. Yet despite the challenges, the Games still showcase amazing athletes at the height of their games – and the spontaneous joy is something you can’t get anywhere else.
The University of Michigan named a new president last month, and the football team landed another great class of recruits last week. But there’s another story that keeps eclipsing those two, writes columnist John U. Bacon. Though much is unclear about the encounter between Wolverine kicker Brendan Gibbons and a female student, it is clear that Michigan’s athletic department mishandled the aftermath.
Nobody knows what will happen in sports. That’s why we watch: We don’t know how it’s going to end. Even so, columnist John U. Bacon makes his best guesses for 2014, starting at the very bottom – the Detroit Lions – to the Wolverines football team, which just might be poised for a comeback.