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September 14, 1979 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-09-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


By Billy Neff
The big game ...
" "just a game
This weekend has a special meaning for me, not because Michigan is
playing Notre Dame in football, and not because the game will be on national
'television, but for a more important reason.
A friend of mine, Kris, is coming into town to see the game. No big deal,
right? Well, this friend of mine is different - he lost his legs in an accident at
a recycling plant this summer. Tomorrow will be his first time together with
all his friends since the accident.
4 How will everyone react to seeing Kris in a wheelchair? Who knows?
How will Kris,react to all the attention? I know: with the same spirit he reac-
.ts to everything.
-' When news of the accident came forth, everyone was stunned. Friends
flew in from all over the country to lift his sagging spirits. There was onlyf
one problem. His spirits weren't sagging, only ours were.
rY. He was up and around every day. One minute he was doing chinups in his
"bed, and the next minute he was off for a ride in his wheelchair.
I kept thinking to myself that he should be an emotional wreck; I know I
would be. But no, the nurse would come into his room and Kris wouldn't be
there..He was outside sunning himself while the hospital staff searched for
' him. Normally, the staff would be very upset with a patient who kept disap-
pearing. But not Kris! They admired his courage too much. Not only that,
every day Kris went to visit the nurses who took care of him when he was in
intensive care. Nurses have so many ill-tempered patients that they adored
his graciousness.
They loved him, as- well they should; he showed a lot of courage. There
he was, a fantastic athlete who could never play sports again. His life
revolved around sports; he was an all-city swimmer in Detroit for three
' years. In addition, he led his dormitory team to the all-campus champion-
ship in football last year with 11 touchdowns (the whole team had 20) in
seven games. And at a mere six feet tall, he could easily dunk a basketball.
That was all gone.
It was depressing to know that Kris would never be my teammate again
in basketball. I'll miss him gliding through the air to grab a rebound over
people three or four inches taller than he.
No shame felt'
Worse yet, Kris was an avid bicyclist who spent a good part of his sum-
mers bicycling throughout the nation. His bike trips took him from Detroit to
Maine, New Hampshire and New York City, on three separate trips.
His favorite passions in life were taken from him, but his spirits never
dampened. When I asked him about the accident, he responded, "At least I'll
beable to walk (with artificial legs) and travel." He had accepted his fate
willingly and without a touch of pessimism.'
Kris talked about the accident freely as if he had stubbed his toe or cut
his arm. He said, "I slipped and fell and then I realized, Kris, you screwed
up." He was laughing about it. It made everyone feel so good. There he was,
seriously injured for life, and he was laughing.
It makes us realize how small our day-to-day problems are. We worry
about what classes to take or whether or not our girl or boyfriend will keep
z us. Kris' problems are much more severe and he never utters a complaint.
He even asked me what my reaction was when I first saw him after the
accident. I was befuddled when he asked that question. I had never dealt
with that type of situation before, and he was being so damn candid about it..
Hell, I would have been sulking, but there he was, smiling.
I knew he wanted the honest truth and since he was so candid, I felt com-
pelled to tell him. "It really shook me up; I tried to visualize (when I was
n way fr6m him) but it just makes you queasy," I answered.
He laughed and said, 'Some people said they had to walk out; they
couldn't take it." He could smile and not preoccupy himself with his con-
dition. He is an example for us all,
Whenever I get depressed, I think of Kris. He puts a smile on my face
when I realize he has all these problems, yet he worries little about them.
Most of us can lead normal lives. Kris, unfortunately cannot, but he leads a
much happier existence than most of us.'
So as the game approaches, it doesn't really matter who wins or loses,
whether Vagas Ferguson rambles for two touchdowns or not, or even who
quarterbacks for Michigan. Instead, I'll just be content knowing Kris is wat-
ching and enjoying himself. Whether we win or lose, I know Kris will be en-
joying himself; he doesn't know any other way.
But once intramural basketball starts, not only will our team be losing
our big forward, but we'll be losing the heart and soul of the team - and it's
quite a big heart we're losing.
Pacers cut Meyers

The Michiqan Daily-Friday, September 14, 1979-Page 13

Alumni gridders start new season

Last May, the National Football
League conducted the pro draft. Some
336 college seniors were selected, each
with the hope of fulfilling his boyhood
dream - to play professional football.
But only a handful were chosen.
Eight Michigan seniors were given
the opportunity to fulfill this dream,
but, unfortunately, dreams don't
always come true.
Whatever happened to Tom Seabron?
Drafted in the fifth round by the San
Francisco 49ers, the 6-3, 208-lb.
linebacker made the 45-man squad. He
starts on all special teams units and is
backup outside linebacker.
And, according to Seabron, the ad-
justments from college to the pros are
"BASICALLY, it's nothing like
Michigan. The main difference is the
business aspect over the thrill of win-

ning," said Seabron. "Nobody is really
emotional. You just go out and do your
job. Bo fires you up with speeches. Here
the coach says, 'let's go, guys'," he ad-
The social aspect of pro life is also a
change. "I've been homesick. I miss
my friends, the town (Ann Arbor). It's a
stage where you have to grow up fast,"
said Seabron. "It was easier to make
friends at Michigan. In college, you do
things with players after the game. You
have a real camaraderie. Here, you can
build a camaraderie, but the guys
might be gone tomorrow."'
The most difficult adjustment for
Seabron is losing. In his four-year
college career, Michigan was 38-8-2,
while the 49ers are already off to an 0-2
ANOTHER Wolverine whose dream
has come true is Jon Geisler. Drafted in
the first round by the Miami Dolphins,

the 6-4, 255-lb. offensive tackle starts on
two special team units and is backup at
the tackle position.
Two other gridders' dreams have
come true, but have been delayed due
to injuries.
Harln Hucklel>y
Fiullback Russell Davis, drafted in
the fourth round by the Pittsburgh
Steelers, had his professional career
delayed due to a broken left arm suf-
fered in the pre-season. A spokesperson
for Pittsburgh said that Davis was
placed on the injured reserve and that
he will not play all year.
throughout his career at Michigan and
have already pestered him in his rookie
season with the New York Jets. Drafted
in the sixth round by New York, the of-
fensive tackle suffered a back injury in
training camp and is also on the injured
Remember Harlan Huckleby?
Michigan's fourth all-time leading
rusher was the fifth-round selection of
the New Orleans Saints. But Huckleby
was a victim of numbers. "We had

Chuck Muncie and Mike Strong ahead:
of him," said a spokesperson for the"
Saints. "He played well for a rookie. 'In
time, he'll be back. He's good enough to
play in this league"
In the meantime, Huckleby, has
signed with Saskatchewan of the
Canadian Football League and doesn't.
seem to mind foreign football at all.
HUCKLEBY SAID he'd like to playin
the NFL, but the money is just as good,
in the CFL. He also pointed out some;
personal advantages to playing,
Canadian football. "The field is wider?
and the linebackers are slower, botho4
which are an advantage to me, with my,
speed," said Huckleby.
A couple of dreams that weren't
fulfilled were of Wolverines Jerry
Meter and Gene Johnson. Meter was
drafted on the fifth round by the Min-
nesota Vikings and Johnson was signed
as a free agent by Pittsburgh.
Meter noted two reasons for his being
cut. "The opportunity for a rookie
linebacker to make the team wasn't
good. The Vikings tend to go wit4
veterans," said Meter. "My size also
wasn't quite big enough for them," add
mitted the 6-2, 206-pounder.
JOHNSON SIGNED with the Steeleri
after the draft, but was placed oz-
waivers during the training camp.
The final player selected the draft
was All-American quarterback Ricl&
Leach. Leach was drafted on the fiftlh
round by the Denver Broncos, and b"
the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL'
Leach rejected both offers and signed
professional baseball contract with the
Detroit Tigers.
Many are called, but few are chosen,
This phrase fits the pro draft so very

History casts doubt
on Irish 'mystique'

Daily Sports Analysis
Bo Schembechler's post-game words
after Michigan's come-from-behind win
over Notre Dame last year still ring in
the ears of reporters that will cover
tomorrow's re-match in Michigan
"We beat a great team today. All I
know is that we beat Notre Dame,"
remarked Schembechler after the 28-14
victory, "and any time you do that, it's
Unlike the last confrontation, the
Wolverines will meet the Fighting Irish
on their home turf with their fans in the
majority. But despite its non-
conference status, a game of this sort
has a particular meaning to those in-
volved: the fans, the players and
coaches, and all those Notre Dame and
Michigan alumni viewing on their home
television sets.
Schembechler's words are substan-
tial. An undefinable "mystique" ap-
pears to surround-the Irish. Part of it is
due to their independent status - the
fact that they don't belong to any foot-
ball conference. But another reason for
this attitude revolves around their rich
football tradition.
Names from the Fighting Irish's past
are immortalized in the hearts of foot-
ball fans across the nation as well as in
Hollywood. Pat O'Brien made a box of-
fice legend when he portrayed Knute
Rockne, one of Notre Dame's greatest
coaches. George Gipp ("the Gipper")
and the Four Horsemen are among
others from a long list. All these names,
and more, have contributed to building
the Irish tradition.
Yet one thing that perhaps escaped
Schembechler's mind when he uttered
his post-game comments is the fact that
of the 12 times the Wolverines have
clashed with the Irish, Michigan has, in
fact, ten victories in comparison to
Notre Dame's two.
In the limited Michigan-Notre Dame
series, Michigan suffered an 11-3 defeat
in 1909 under the guidance of Fielding
H. Yost. But the last Wolverine team to
lose to Notre Dame came in 1943 when
Coach Fritz Crisler's team took a 35-12

In essence, if any team should com-
mand the praise that Schembechler
gave, it should be his own. Fans from
the Wolverine side of the fence may
look at Notre Dame with awe, but in
light of the outcome of the 12'meetings
thus far, Michigan has clearly
dominated the rivalry.
"Notre Dame may have had
mystique in the early days," commen-
ted former Michigan coach Fritz
Crisler, "but back then, tradition came
from the Ivy Leagues," continued
Crisler who coached at Princeton
before coming to the Big Ten. "Now,
Michigan's contribution is much
more," he concluded.
Another Wolverine legend, '0198 Tom
Harmon who played under Crisler and
remains Michigan's only Heisman
trophy winnerto date, had this to say
about the powerhouse match-up: "It's a
natural rivalry. Both Michigan and'
Notre Dame are predominant powers in
football. I know both teams are as good
as each other."
According to Crisler, when he was
coaching on the sidelines, to play Notre
Dame was just another game on the
schedule. "They had tradition, but so
did the other teams that Michigan
played: Harvard, Yale and Princeton,"
he remarked.
Without question, tomorrow's game
is a classic gridiron contest. Both teams
will want the victory, not for standings
sake, but for pride more than anything
else. No Rose Bowl trip looms on this
There is no mystique involved,
however. The clash 'consists of two
hard-hitting teams both backed by
great traditions and large fan support.
If Notre Dame Coach Dan Devine is
victorious in this gridiron classic, then
perhaps he should be the one to echo
Schembechler's words after the game,
substituting Michigan for Notre Dame.

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I .4F

By The Associated Press
Ann Meyers won't be in uniform but
Bill Walton, Larry Bird and Magic
Johnson will when the 22 National
Basketball Association teams open
their pre-season training camps this
Meyers, trying to become the first
'woman to play in the NBA, failed to
survive the Indiana Pacers' rookie
camp earlier this week. The Pacers
were among several clubs to hold
special workouts for rookies and free
agent hopefuls prior to the veterans'
*eporting date.
CMEYERS GOT the bad news from
tobby Leonard, the Pacers' coach and
'eneral manager, Wednesday night.
"If she was six inches bigger and 40
$ounds heavier, it would have been a
different story," Leonard said of the 5-
foot-9, 140-pound Meyers, a former
UCLA All-American and sister of Dave
Mleyers of the Milwaukee Bucks.
But as it is, Meyers won't be among
the players reporting to the Pacers'
j regular pre-season camp, which opens
Friday. It hasn't been determined what
her role will be with the team, which
-.signed her to a $50,000 guaranteed con-
tract, but she may work as a radio or
-television commentator.
The Pacers are among 17 NBA teams
who will open their pre-season camps
.Friday. By Monday all clubs will be
holding two;a-day workouts in

preparation for the start of the
exhibition schedule next Thursday. The
regular season begins Oct. 12.

LIVE at the
with special guest "TIGHT"
Monday, September 17
Advance tickets at the Second Chance, Schoolkids Records, and
Wherehouse Records in Ypsi. $4.50-limited number available.
earn $100
for 2 or 3 hours a week of your spare time.
donate plasma

a GtA~~


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