The End of a Great Rivalry

Posted by on Sep 4, 2014 in Uncategorized | 23 comments

  The rivalry between Michigan and Notre Dame goes back to 1887, when a band of brothers from Michigan took a train to South Bend and literally taught those boys how to play the game. Afterward, Notre Dame served the Wolverines a nice, hot meal.  Then the Notre Dame president, Reverend Thomas Walsh, told the Wolverines a “cordial reception would always await them at Notre Dame.” That day started the longest running rivalry among major college powers – and one of the most popular.  It inspired Notre Dame’s famous fight...

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What Michigan Really Lost Against Appalachian State – and What They Need to Reclaim

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in Uncategorized | 12 comments What’s all the fuss about Appalachian State? The Michigan Wolverines open their football season tomorrow the way they usually do these days, by playing a team they should easily beat. But that’s what they thought the last time they played Appalachian State. It goes back to 2007, the year the NCAA allowed schools to add a twelfth regular season game, for no reason but revenue. Yes, another shameless money grab on the backs, knees, and skulls of amateur...

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Fireworks at Michigan — on and off the field

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 26 comments

  To listen to the audio version, click below. The University of Michigan’s athletic director sent a proposal to the University’s Regents, requesting permission to set off fireworks during two football games this fall. At first blush, the question of post-game fireworks didn’t seem like a very big deal either way. On Michigan fan blogs, reactions were mixed. As for the University’s Regents, they have bigger things to worry about than fireworks. Even...

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Revised Coach Mac eulogy runs on Yahoo; UM Regents vote against stadium fireworks

Posted by on Jul 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 4 comments

Hello, Loyal Readers! It’s been a busy week at Bacon Blog headquarters — which is to say, these days, usually my car, zipping from Ann Arbor to Chicago to Up North and repeat as needed. Yahoo asked me to combine my pieces on Coach Mac from last year and last week, condense and revise, and I did so to create a eulogy for him currently running in the’s page.  Here is the link. Back...

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A Letter From Coach Mac – and a Letter Back, a Little Late

Posted by on Jul 10, 2014 in Uncategorized | 13 comments

  [To listen to the audio, which I recommend for this story, just click here: Coach Mac 2014] The summer before Mac McKenzie became our little league baseball coach, I spent the season picking dandelions in right field, and batting last. But just weeks after Coach Mac took over, I rose to starting catcher, lead-off hitter, and team captain. Trust me, I was no bigger, faster or stronger than I was the previous season. But I had one thing I didn’t have the year before: confidence. Instead of playing back on my heels, I was up on my...

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Jeopardizing Your Ego

Posted by on Jun 26, 2014 in Uncategorized | 5 comments

Last night, I tried my luck on the NPR game show, “Ask Me Another,” which will run in a few weeks. But it brought back memories – traumatic ones – of my disastrous try out for the Jeopardy game show 24 years ago.  I wrote this in my first year as a writer, as a 25-year old, and sold it to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Sunday magazine, This World.  Hope you enjoy it.   “I’ll take ‘Humility’ for $100.” “He was one of forty-eight people to fail the Jeopardy test on Thursday, June 21,...

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Appearing on NPR game show tonight in Ann Arbor – come join us!

Posted by on Jun 26, 2014 in Uncategorized | 4 comments

Dear Loyal Readers, Here are a few Current Events that might be of interest to you. First, I’ll be appearing TONIGHT, Thursday, June 26, on the very funny NPR game show Ask Me Another at the University of Michigan’s Power Center, 8 p.m.  Here’s more info, and how you get pretty cheap tickets: Second, I’ll be on with Ira and Sam on WTKA not on Friday for 20 minutes, as usual, but TODAY, Thursday, for an hour: 9-10.  To discuss the game show, and my recent articles. Last,...

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How to Save the College Football Game Experience – Before It’s Too late

Posted by on Jun 12, 2014 in Uncategorized | 36 comments

  [To listen to the shorter, audio version, click here.] Last week, I explained why Michigan students are dropping football tickets in record numbers – about 40-percent in the last two years. It touched a nerve – actually a few hundred thousand nerves. And not just among Michigan fans, but college football fans nationwide, who recognized many of the same flaws at their favorite university that were turning them off, too. It’s all well and good to criticize...

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The real reasons why students — and others — are bailing on Michigan football tickets

Posted by on Jun 5, 2014 in Uncategorized | 207 comments

Last week, the Michigan athletic department admitted what many had long suspected: student football ticket sales are down, way down, from about 21,000 in 2012 to a projected 13,000-14,000 this fall. The department has blamed cell phones, high-definition TV, and a sweeping national trend – but those don’t tell the whole story. How’d Michigan lose so many students so fast?  Answer: a lot of hard work. Athletic Director Dave Brandon has often cited the difficulty of using cell phones at Michigan Stadium as “the biggest challenge we...

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What Michael Sam Got Right – and His Handlers Got Wrong

Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

[To listen to the audio version, click here: Bacon final Michael Sam for web with open 5-23-2014] Last February, 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 I believe the trickiest terrain is still ahead. When Michael Sam told his University of Missouri teammates he was gay before last season, no one seemed to care very much.  No one tweeted the news to the public, and Sam had a...

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