Blog

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: http://a2sf.org/event/ask-me-another/ 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.] http://www.johnubacon.com/wp-content/uploads/Getting-UM-Fans-Back.mp3 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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Mitch McGary’s Mistake – and the NCAA’s Failure

Posted by on May 1, 2014 in Uncategorized | 13 comments

[To listen to the audio version, click here: Bacon Final 5.1.14 McGary for Web] When Mitch McGary played high school basketball in New Hampshire, he was one of the nation’s top recruits.  Michigan fans were rightly thrilled when he decided to play for the Wolverines. In his first NCAA tournament, last spring, McGary played so well folks thought he might jump to the NBA.  Instead, he returned for his sophomore year — then injured his back so badly, he needed surgery mid-season.  The Wolverines weren’t doing much better at 6-4, with...

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Michigan’s Unlikely Marathon Man

Posted by on Apr 24, 2014 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

[To listen to the audio version, click here Bacon Final 4.24.14 Greg Meyers for Web] In 1896, the first modern Olympics in Athens staged a marathon. The next year the Boston Athletic Association followed suit.  Just 18 men ran that day, and the winner finished in about three hours – something office workers can beat today. Most people thought they were crazy – if they thought of them at all.  Many people probably still do. Marathoners don’t care. “We are different, in essence, from other men,” said Czechoslovakian star Emil Zatopek...

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The NBA: To Go, or Not To Go — and Why

Posted by on Apr 18, 2014 in Uncategorized | 13 comments

[To listen to the audio version, click here: UM hoops to NBA] Nik Stauskas grew up in Mississauga, Ontario – a Toronto suburb better known for its neighborhood hockey games than 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...

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Hammerin’ Hank Aaron’s record – and what makes it great

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Uncategorized | 5 comments

[To listen to the audio version, please click here: Bacon Final 4.11.14 for Web] 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, you have to understand who Hank Aaron is – and what he faced. You’ve heard of Babe Ruth, who might be the last century’s best-known American athlete.  Ruth loved the fans, and the fans loved him right back. That’s why, when another New York...

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The Northwestern players union: What it means, and what it doesn’t

Posted by on Apr 3, 2014 in Uncategorized | 19 comments

[To listen to the audio version, please click here: Northwestern Union 2014] Last week, in a surprising decision, the National Labor Relations Board granted the Northwestern University football players the right to unionize, if they want. But what does that mean?  What doesn’t it mean?  And how might this change the future of college football? The NLRB’s ruling made a big splash, but it’s actually very narrow.  The decision applies only to private schools.  There are only a handful or two that play big time college football –...

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Who’s a Real Michigan Fan – and Who Isn’t?

Posted by on Mar 27, 2014 in Uncategorized | 14 comments

To listen to the audio version, click here: Bacon_final_Big_House_3-28-14 One debate I could do without is the question of who is a real Michigan fan, and who isn’t? On the face of it, the question is pretty stupid.  A Michigan fan is a fan of Michigan.  And beyond the surface, it’s still pretty stupid.  But let’s play it out. The argument goes that only those who attended Michigan can call themselves Michigan fans. The rest?  They’re mere “Walmart Wolverines”—fans who could have picked any school to cheer for, as well as any...

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