Lloyd Carr Handshake Controversy? Free Press Stirring Up Trouble

Apparently, beating the Wolverines in overtime last season wasn’t enough for some Michigan State Spartan fans.  This week at the Big Ten meetings in Chicago much was made of the fact the Lloyd Carr didn’t give MSU Head Coach Bobby Williams a handshake after the game.

There’s only one problem.  Lloyd did shake his hand.  See the picture.  Watch the video.


Journalistic Integrity?

Now I’ll be the first to admit that it wasn’t exactly a ‘warm’ handshake.  But it wasn’t a snub either.  A snub would have been to ignore Bobby Williams completely.  But no matter what video shows the media seems intent to re-write history.

…They’re still pouting in East Lansing because Carr didn’t shake hands with Williams…(7/27/02)…

Who wrote this you ask?  None other than the illustrious Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press.  I vowed to stop reading Sharp (oxymoron?) long ago but happened to run across this article while researching the upcoming Big Ten season.  You have to wonder if he even watched the game.  The Ann Arbor News also repeated the fallacy in its Friday print edition.

Inferiority Complex

The ‘handshake controversy’ is just another symptom of Spartan inferiority.  Of course, some Spartan backers will deny that any such complex exists.  But the reality is that some MSU fans have a chip on their shoulder regarding the Wolverines.  They don’t feel that they get the respect that they deserve.  Wolverine fans find this humorous.  The truth is Wolverines fans don’trespect the Spartans.  Why should we?  Our all-time record versus Michigan State is 61-28-5.  Since 1970 Michigan is 24-8 versus the mighty Spartans.  Two of their latest ‘victories’ (19902001) were dubious at best.  This Spartan inferiority complex even seeps into the media.  Respect is earned not given freely. 

Why Do They Care?

Michigan fans couldn’t care less what other fans think about the Wolverines.  We care what we think and that’s about it.  That’s the difference between being number one and being an also ran.  That’s the difference between being a Wolverine and a Spartan.

Detroit Tiger Lou Whitaker Punished for not Pandering to Sports Writers

Last week the results of the Hall of Fame (HOF) voting were released.  No Detroit Tigers got the requisite amount of votes for election to the Hall of Fame.  In fact three Tigers (Kirk Gibson, Lance Parrish, Lou Whitaker) received so few votes that they will be dropped form future consideration.  Among these players, the fact that Lou Whitaker received so few votes is a crime.

During his career, Whitaker did not have the best relationship with sports writers.  He wasn’t an easy interview and didn’t enjoy dealing with reporters.  Apparently this lack of media accessibility has cost Whitaker any chance of entering the Hall of Fame.  He received so few votes from sportswriters that he can’t even be considered by the veteran’s committee, which has the power to elect players overlooked by the media.

Many will say that Whitaker didn’t have the stats to enter the hall.  Well consider these statistics:

These are the average season statistics for four second baseman.  Three are in the Hall of Fame and one isn’t.  Can you pick the loser?  The loser had the highest fielding percentage, the highest batting average, and averaged more home runs and RBI’s per season.

Among these players,  Morgan had the good fortune of playing for the Cincinnati Reds, one of the premier teams of the 1970’s. But the hall of the fame is for individual statistics not for team achievements.  Morgan did win two MVP awards but if you look at his statistics for those season they are good years but not great.  More importantly Morgan is considered a great guy and went into broadcasting after his career.  It must has been easy for the baseball media to elect one of the their own.

Evers had the good fortune to be elected for his defensive fame.  He was part of the famous double play combination Tinkers-Evers to Chance immortalized in the early 1900’s.

Schoendienst had the best batting average among the four and was elected to the hall by the veteran’s committee.

Which leaves Whitaker, who played great defensive baseball and swung a potent bat, out of Cooperstown.

Baseball is a game of numbers and statistics.  There’s no doubt some players have entered the Hall with less than stellar credentials, but when standards of admission are influenced by the personality of the player that’s just wrong.  With similar statistics Morgan was elected with 81% of the vote while Whitaker only received 5% of the vote. 

What were the sports writers thinking?

The biggest disgrace is how Detroit Sportswriters are failing to support Whitaker.  It’s clear that they are punishing him for being a tough interview.

Here are the final career statistics Evers, Morgan, Whitaker, and Schoendienst.  If you ever visit Cooperstown think of Lou Whitaker…

Go Blue!

2000 Orange Bowl Michigan/Alabama Bet

Background:  I made a bet with an Alabama fan over the outcome of the 2000 Orange Bowl.  The loser of the bet had to send an e-mail out proclaiming the glory of the winning team.  Of course, I won!  Here is the message that he had to send out to his co-workers, friends, and family.  It’s especially poignant when you know that he has a relative who PLAYS for the Crimson Tide!!!

MESSAGE TITLE:  Go Blue!  Flush Tide!

Dear Friends,

As the year the 2000 dawns, I have made a remarkable discovery. For years I have labored under the illusion that Alabama was the one true college football program.

But I know now that I was mistaken.

The Crimson Tide was crushed, spanked, destroyed, whipped, crunched, walloped, beaten, embarrassed, abolished in such a way on January 1st that there can be no doubt that the University of Michigan Wolverines rule the college football world. In fact, if I had a vote in the final polls for the season, Michigan would be my number one team.

Such a fine program with outstanding fans and alumni.  And what a fight song!  It literally brought tears to my eyes when heard it played after the game.  What more can I say?  I have seen the light and it is maize!

Thanks to all my Michigan Friends who have helped me find the truth!

Hail To the Victors Valiant!

Hail To Michigan!

Hail to all Wolverines Everywhere!

(Name Withheld)

New Wolverine, Reformed Tider


Don’t worry guys- it’s not too late to become Wolverine Fans!!

12/1/99- Saban Shows Disrespect to MSU

On Tuesday, November 30 Nick Saban re-affirmed the nagging fear that every Spartan fan has in the back of their mind.

“At Michigan State we were never No. 1…That was always Michigan. It was always U-M this or that.”

For as much as Wolverines take great glee in reminding Spartans of their inherent inferiority it’s a different matter when it comes from the former Spartan Head Football Coach.

Nick Saban not only left the Spartans, stabbing them in the back at the end of their best season since 1965, but took a verbal swipe at the institution on the way out.

The message is clear. MSU is second rate school only worthy as a stepping stone to real job elsewhere. Much is made of the salary increase at LSU.

Saban has said that he needed to listen to offers “…for the good of his family…”

Well, last I checked Saban was making $700K at MSU, he was already taking care of his family pretty well. When an athlete makes a decision to sign a contract it’s one thing. An athlete may only get a or two chances to sign a big contract since their careers are relatively short. But a coach? Saban is only 48 years old. He can conceivably coach for another 25 years. 25 years times $700K= $17.5 million.

MSU had just rewarded basketball coach Tom Izzo with a new million dollar contract. It was possible that if Saban replicated his success again next year he could have been rewarded with a lucrative contract as well. So what happened? Nick Saban obviously got tired of being in the shadow of the University of Michigan. It’s one thing to be second in the Big Ten but another thing to be second in your state. Rather than dig in for the long haul and make a commitment to building up the Spartan program to be consistently on par with UM he bailed out.

Believe it or not there was a time in the State of Michigan when MSU was the dominant football power. The 1960’s (the dark days) were owned by the Spartans.

It took Bo Schembechler’s great career to move the State of Michigan firmly into the grasp of UM. Spartans may have hoped that Saban would be such a figure to restore MSU glory.

But he left. It’s one thing to leave a job but it’s another thing to show disrespect to the university that has treated you well. Saban also disappointed his team and recruits that he brought to MSU. They made a commitment to Nick Saban. Unfortunately, his commitment to them was for sale to highest bidder.