Author: John U. Bacon

Recent Posts

Column: Saying Good-Bye to Coach Mac |

Columnist John U. Bacon says farewell to Coach Mac McKenzie, who coached him as a youth and taught him much more than just baseball. McKenzie died recently, and Bacon reflects on his influence. [Full Story]

Column: The Jeopardy of Game Shows |

A recent appearance on NPR’s game show “Ask Me Another” reminded columnist John U. Bacon of another, more traumatic experience: Trying out for Jeopardy. Although it seemed like a good idea at the time, the try-out was an exercise in humiliation. And for sports fans, a warning: There wasn’t a single question about sports on the the test. [Full Story]

Column: Fixing College Football |

Columnist John U. Bacon describes specific steps that college athletic programs can take to save the football experience from corporate greed and growing fan disinterest. If you think the University of Michigan is just a brand, he writes, and the athletic department is merely a business, you will turn off the very people who’ve been coming to your temple for decades. [Full Story]

Column: Paying The Price at Michigan |

With a sharp drop in student ticket sales for this fall’s football season, the University of Michigan athletics department is reaping what it sowed – and that’s no surprise, writes columnist John U. Bacon. The move toward a higher-priced, corporatized experience at the Big House is resulting in less interest from loyal fans who shun the artificial excess. [Full Story]

Column: Michael Sam’s Saga |

In February 2013, University of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam publicly declared he was gay – a first for a likely NFL draft pick. Last week, the St. Louis Rams drafted him in the last round – another first. But columnist John U. Bacon believes the trickiest terrain is still ahead. [Full Story]

Column: NCAA’s Harsh Hypocrisy |

In April, the NCAA ruled that Michigan basketball player Mitch McGary failed a drug test for marijuana, and suspended him for the entire upcoming season. McGary has decided to leave for the NBA. Columnist John U. Bacon believes McGary obviously made a big mistake – but the NCAA made a bigger one. [Full Story]

Column: One Runner’s Road to Boston |

This year, American Meb Keflezighi won the Boston Marathon – the first time that a U.S. runner has achieved that goal since 1983. Columnist John U. Bacon describes how that earlier American, Greg Meyer, worked his way to victory, starting with his training at the University of Michigan. [Full Story]

Column: Chasing the Brass Hoop |

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. [Full Story]

Column: Hank Aaron’s Impressive Run |

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. [Full Story]

Column: Reforming College Football |

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. [Full Story]