AND IN THIS
Daily sports alum...
hits big time with SI
HEN JOHN PAPANEK, fresh from his one-year stint as the sports
editor of The Michigan Daily, applied for employment with The Ann
Arbor News, the powers-that-be there shook their heads and sent him away
to get some experience.
Papanek laughs easily about it now, and the reason he does so is simple: a
few months later, he received a phone call from the publication which
'epresents the pinnacle of sports journalism, Sports Illustrated. Funny thing
fs, he almost turned down their offer.
"The (Vietnam War) draft just expired in June, 1973, and I was free, and I
wwas enjoying it when Sports Illustrated called," recalled Papanek, visiting
Ann Arbor last weekend on assignment at the Michigan-Notre Dame football
dame. "I thought about not taking the job"-he paused and smiled-"but I
couldn't pass it up."
Now, as he moves into the college football arena after seven years as SI's
primary professional basketball reporter, Papanek may well be the best
sportswriter in the business. His profile features on Bill Walton, Kareem
Abdul-Jabbar, Julius Erving, and Dave Cowens, maybe the four most
enigmatic basketball superstars, on and off the hardwood, of the last decade,
were nothing less than works of art, enlightening pieces on the bizarre and
varied personalities of these giants. His current project is to capture, in
words, the person of Boston Celtic Larry Bird.
"Whatever success I've had is related to the fact that I deal with people as
people, rather than athletes," Papanek explained. "I am more interested in
people than sports."
That is the key for Papanek; whereas most sports journalists watch the
athlete perform, talk to the athlete in the locker room after the performance,
and then write about the performance, Papanek (and many of his magazine
cohorts) visit Jabbar's home, chop wood with Cowens, go for a drive with
Walton- they insist on getting the superstar out of the workplace. And when
you are dealing with individuals six-feet-eight and taller, individuals who
spend half of their life avoiding crowds and the accompanying gapes, and
inane comments, it takes a special kind of journalist to dig inside their min-
ds, explore their strengths and weaknesses, and show the world that they
are, well, human.
"Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are both interesting characters,
extraordinary characters,'" Papanek said. "One is white and grew up in
middle class Southern California, and one is black and grew up in New York,
yet I identified with each of them. I really became inured to being with big
people all the time."
Papanek went to school in Ann Arbor during the anti-establishment, anti-
Vietnam, anti-everything period of the late '60s and early '70's, and he feels
that helped him convince the politically-active Walton to let his guard down
for an interview.
"Walton I could identify with because we were in school at the same time,
and we were both involved in politics, had trouble dealing with or
Papanek continues to make social comments when he deems them ap-
propriate; and that tendency resulted in perhaps his most visible moment as
a sportswriter-the day he dared to write an SI article that was critical of
Indiana Hoosier coach Bobby Knight for his behavior at the 1978 Pan-
American Games in Puerto Rico. Papanek was appalled at the arrogant,
overbearing manner in which Knight treated people in Puerto Rico,
disgusted that anyone would represent the United States by acting that
way-and that is what he wrote.
"I got tons of the angriest, nastiest mail ever," he recalled with a chuckle.
'It was the opinion-makers in Indiana that were upset.
Certainly then, back in 1972 when Papanek was doing his sportswriting for
The Daily, he must have had difficulty relating to that bastion of pride and
conservatism, Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler.
"Actually, I wasiooking through my old stuff, and I was surprised at how
much I defended Bo," he said. "He was new. His first year was my freshman
year. He had not reallygained a reputation for himself as a curmudgeon. He
wasn't the most gracious person to talk to, but he didn't make people cower,
as he supposedly does now."
}Papanek returns to town now and then, though wary of the cnsequences.
Three years ago, after covering a Detroit Piston game for the magazine on
Friday night, he was sitting in Michigan Stadium the next day with some old
friends, drinking and laughing and basically not paying a whole lot of atten-
tion to the Wolverine versus Michigan State game taking place on the
field-just like he was a student again.
"All of a sudden, I get paged in the press box. I look up and see Michigan is
losing. 'If Michigan loses, I want a 2,000-word story' my editor says over the
phone." The final was 24-15, MSU.
He reflected on his education at the University. "A lot has not changed at
all. I'm really amazed at the continuity. Walking into The Daily the other
day at three o'clock, I felt like it was any other day when I would walk into
that place at three in the afternoon and leave at two in the morning. I felt like
I was in a time warp."
He then provided some words of encouragement to prospective Daily spor-
tswriters. "Without question, my experience working for The Daily has
made me what I am.
"The Daily was then, and probably still is, the best student paper in the
I just had to put that quote in.
The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, September 22, 1981-Page 9
SPOR TS OF THE DAIL Y-
By CHRIS WILSON vitational in East Lansing. And who previous outing in which they defeated
So far this season, the Michigan knows, being back in Michigan might Bowling Green.
women's golf team has proved at least be almost as good as being home. The next meet for the harriers will be
two things.First of all, that it is a very Sunday when they travel to London, On-
respectable team and secondly that Thnilandgfourth tario to compete in the Springbank In-
here really is no place likehome M1ani W r whn h t th b vitational.
The linksters began their season two
weeks ago by taking first place in the
Lady Wolverine invitational here in
UNFORTUNATELY, when the team
took to the road for the Illinois State In-
vitational in Normal, it ran into a few
problems of its own. Stiffer competition
and an unfamiliar course combined to
put the Wolverines sixth among the nine
teams taking part in the event.
But last Saturday in Terre Haute, In}
diana the team showed signs of getting
back on track. Paced by team leader
Elaine Satyshur's two-round 168 and
Colbert's score of 171 the Blue put
together a score of 699 and garnered
fourth place in the Indiana State In-
vitational. Western Kentucky's mark
of 650 was good for first, followed by
Southern Illinois (677) and the
University of Cincinnati (686).
This weekend the team is on the road
again for the Michigan State -In-
1viria~l le weave , w Las Iaye c e u
defeated by a fellow Michigan thinclad,
finished seventh overall last weekend
and led the women's cross country
team to a fouth place standing in the
Kentucky Invitational at Lexington.
Sue Frederick was the second
finisher for Michigan, coming in eighth
overall, just 8.6 seconds after Weaver.
PURDUE WON the meet with the low
score of 44. Tennessee followed with 77
and Kentucky, which gathered 91 poin-
Michigan compiled 112 points, just.
two points less than the fifth place
"I WOULD have liked to have beaten
Purdue, but , they ended up beating
everyone," commented first-year
coach Francie Goodridge. "Indiana, I
expected to be up there and since we
only beat them by two points we will
have to work harder."
Still, Goodridge felt the team had
"gotten much stronger" since their
The Michigan women's volleyball
team started strong in the Eastern
Michigan Tournament over the
weekend before losing in the semifinals
and settling for third place in the eight-
The Wolverines opened with a 15-4,
15-12 win over Ohio University and then
rolled to a 15-7, 15-3 victory over the host
Hurons. They then advanced to the
semifinals with a hard-fought 15-7, 6-15,
15-11 triumph over Ball State. In the
semis, eventual second-place finisher
Miami of Ohio routed the Wolverines, 3-
Western Michigan captured the tour-
nament crown, while the Wolverines
settled for a third place tie with Ball
State. Michigan opens its home
schedule tonight with a 7 p.m. match
against Western Michigan at the CCRB.
The Michigan field hockey team
returned from Philadelphia with a
mediocre 0-2-1 record to open the 1981,
season, but head coach Candy Zientek
nevertheless was pleased with the
The Wolverines faced three national-
caliber teams, tying Lafayette, 1-1 in
their first contest, and losing to 1980
Division I1 National Champion LaSalle,
1-0 and Villanova, 2-0.
GET IN VOL VED IN)
Interview on Sept. 21 and 22 for a
position on a Student/Faculty committee.
Positions are available on the following col-
Student Faculty Policy Board
To sign up for an interview or for more information stop
by the LSA Student Government office.
4003 Michigan Union
Review of the Curriculum
in Physical Terap
Thursday, Sept. 24, 1981
Regents' Room-First Floor,
2:00.p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Those wishing to make a public statement should
call Edward Dougherty at 764-9254.
Vice President Frye is also available for private
meetings on physical therapy on Wednesday, Sep-
tember 23, from 3-5 p.m.
Appointments can be made
with us at 764-9290
7 .~ 'a
The quickest way to get,
These days a trip to the college book-
store can reduce your available funds to
some small change. Luckily, that's about
all you need to make the one phone call
that can replenish your depleted funds
in a couple of hours. Here's what to do:
I . Call home. Report the situation, and
tell the folks they can get emergency
cash to you fast by phone.
2. Ask them to call Western Union's
card. A Western Union Charge Card
Money Order, up to $1,000, will be
flashed to the Western Union office or
agent nearest your emergency.
3. Pick up your money-usually within
two hours-at the local Western Union
office or agent. There are 8,500 nation-
ally, except in Alaska. Conveniently,
about 900 locations are open 24 hours.
It's that easy.
Be sure to remind your narents about
See the Jostens' Display at