Tuesday, December 7, 1982
The Michigan Daily
Making a god
out of a gifted
By Ron Pollack
It was with utter bewilderment that I read
Jon Weiss's article, " 'A.C.! A.C.!': Tribute
to a gridiron god" (Daily, Nov. 30).
For 23 paragraphs, Weiss paid homage to
Michigan flanker Anthony Carter, concluding
that the senior from Riviera Beach, Fla. "must
be more than God's gift to football. He must be
EXCUSE MY cynicism, but such deification
strikes me as rather repulsive.
Consider what Carter has become renowned
for these last four years. He stands motionless,
and listens for another guy to yell a bunch of
numbers, whereupon he breaks into a quick
gait and tries to catch a funny-shaped ball.
Teenagers on sandlots do the same all across
America. Carter just happens to do it betters
You might say he has the god-given ability
to excel at this game.
Nowhere doesitesay in the Bible that God
runs down-and-out patterns or that the divine
being must be able to go over the middle
without fear of taking a crushing hit.
CARTER IS exceptionally talented. He owns
a bevy of Wolverine football records. And he
may well be the finest college receiver in the
But he is not a god. There are far too many
flaws which he must straighten out before he
reaches such a lofty plateau.
To begin with, he is lacking in the relatively
commonplace characteristic known as tact.
AFTER FOOTBALL games, the press con-
verges upon the locker room. Most of the
players are tolerant of reporters' questions.
Quarterback Steve Smith is a perfect example.
No matter how poorly he may have played on a
given afternoon, no matter how much a defeat
may be tearing him up inside, he always meets
the press's questions head on.
But just as the majority of the team is willing
to talk to the media, two players care very little
for scribes and broadcasters alike. They are
linebacker Robert Thompson and Carter.
The pair's handling of the press, however, is
worlds apart. When approached by a media
member and asked a question, Thompson
politely replies, "I'm sorry, but I have nothing
to say about the game."
IN CONTRAST, Carter's response to the
situation ranges from rude to ridiculous.
Following the Oct. 23 game at Northwestern(in
which the Wolverines routed the Wildcats, 49-
14, and had good reason to be in a jolly mood),
Carter was dressed and was sauntering toward
the locker room exit when the media entered
the room. He suddenly increased, his pace
toward the door.
A group of reporters caught him and a
question was asked. "Anthony Carter can't an-
swer no questions," said Carter. "He's in a
hurry and has to go."
In a hurry to go where? As Carter left, most
of the Wolverine players were slowly milling
about in various states of dress. Where did Car-
ter have to go that the others didn't? Did he
have his own private jet awaiting his arrival?
AFTER MICHIGAN'S 24-14 loss to hated
task was left to an assistant coach who said so
as the reporters shuffled away.
Carter's teammates were equally pained by
the defeat. Tears welled up in many of their
eyes. Yet every player who was not up to the
task of answering questions had the good grace
and tact to politely say just that.
Another trait of Carter's that qualifies as
anything but god-like is clearly apparent on
those rare occasions when he does answer a
QUITE SIMPLY, he does not express him-
self well. His grasp of the English language is
not of a nature normally possessed by-no,
make that expected of-a college student. In a
recent Sports Illustrated feature on Carter, his
verbal miscues were in evidence on more than
one occasion. His access to one of the most ex-
pensive public educations in the country ap-
parently has not sufficiently improved his
command of the language.
What is sad about Weiss's "tribute to a
gridiron god" is that he completely overlooks
those Wolverine players who are multi-
dimensional and deserving of high praise. The
following players aren't "gods," but they are
much more worthy of being placed on a
pedestal than Carter. These players-like Car-
ter-are winners on the field. But equally im-
portant, they are examples of winners off the
Tailback Lawrence Ricks. On the field, he
was Michigan's leading ground gainer, rushing
for 1,300 yards on 243 carries. His play has ear-
ned him All-Big Ten honors. Off the field, he is
a successful student majoring in engineering
with an emphasis on computer science. "I-
came here to play football and get an
education," he said before the season began. "I
won't sacrifice my education for football."
. Offensive guard Stefan Humphries. On the
field, he also played well enough to earn a spot
on the All-Big Ten team. Off the field, he, too, is
an excellent student. In high school, Hum-
phries was his class's valedictorian. He curren-
tly carries a 3.94 grade point average as an in-
terdisciplinary medical engineering major and
was recently named to the district all-
academic first team by the College Sports In-
formation Directors of America.
* Linebacker Robert Thompson. A Wolverine
captain in each of the last two seasons, Thom-
pson earned All-Big Ten honors along with Car-
ter, Humphries, and Ricks. He currently holds
a 3.21 grade point average in medicine, and
joined Humphries on the district all-academic
* Tight end Craig Dunaway. Dunaway was
the Wolverines' starting tight end all year. He
was just named to the district's all-academic
honorable mention list.
For his scintillating play on the gridiron,
Carter most certainly deserves theumoniker,
"Saturday's hero." But Ricks, Humphries,
Thompson, and Dunaway, among others, per-
form heroic deeds seven days a week.
It is unfortunate, but Carter is one-
dimensional. To be sure, he is not a god. What
he is is human; an exceptionally gifted athlete
with his share of flaws. Let's just leave it at
Carter: Talented, but human
Ohio State, Carter's worst colors came out
again. Reporters surrounded the flanker and
rattled off a number of questions. Each
question was met with dead silence. All the
while, Carter maintained an icy stare at the
locker in front of him. He did not even have the
diplomacy to say he did not care to speak; that
Pollack is a Daily sports editor.
ditee by tatUir f ig
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCIII, No. 73
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
'E' for effort
UPON COMING home from his trip
to Latin America, President
Reagan announced that he'd had a real
"I learned a lot," the president said.
". . . I didn't go down there with any
plan for the Americas, or anything. I
went down to find out from them and
(learn) their views. You'd be sur-
prised. They're all individual coun-
Hmmm. Sounds like quite a lesson-
for a tenth grade civics class. It seems,
in fact, that instead of learning
something new, the president simply
took a refresher course in the same old
hard-line dogma he's been spouting
since he took office.
Take, for example, his final flourish
of the trip. After visiting Guatemalan
President Efrain Rios Montt, Reagan
announced that Montt has been getting
a "bum rap" and "is totally dedicated
Montt's dedication, though, must be.
a very personal matter; it certainly
hasn't been manifested in any public
action. Since he came to power in a
military coup last March, Montt has
suspended all political activity and
severely curtailed civil liberties.
Rumors abound-backed up by ac-
cusations from Amnesty Inter-
national-that Montt's government
has been responsible for large-scale
massacres of civilians in anti-guerrilla
campaigns. When asked to comment
on reports that the Guatemalan army
is pursuing a scorched-earth
strategy-destroying villages suspec-
ted of harboring rebels-Montt replied,
"We have no scorched-earth policy.
We have a policy of scorched Com-
So much for the bum rap.
Now Montt, that freedom-loving
spirit, has promised to hold elections
and revive political parties as soon as
he gets a chance-at least by next
March, to be specific.
And Reagan, after his thought-
provoking jaunt, is convinced that
Montt is moving to restore democratic
rule. For good measure, he announced
he is thinking of restoring the military
aid denied Guatemala for its alleged
human rights violations.
That's an awful lot for one president
to learn, or for one nation to swallow.
On this trip, Reagan deserves
nothing more than an "E" for effort.
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'R TRUE ?
As auto sales and housing star-
ts rise, and, especially, as early
Christmas shopping seems brisk,
Reagan officials are optimistic
that the long-awaited consumer-
led recovery may have come.
But big city mayors are
worried about something else-a
rapidly increasing flow of
homeless people into their cities.
They hope that they are just tran-
sients between jobs, available to
be absorbed into a recovery
from other countries in
similar straits indicate these
"new poor" are going to
be a permanent part of our urban
landscape. They can be seen by
the thousands in most of Europe's
While administration officials
still believe that new economic
growth will cut down the number
of our new poor, the signs are
multiplying that even if economic
growth resumes, it will be with
permanently high unem-
Throughout the nation, major
businesses are cutting their work
forces, hoping to keep produc-
tivity high by substituting
machines for workers. And in
By Franz Schurmann
and find their own economic
ways. The others who can't will
then be helped through some
ultimate streamlined safety net.
The rub may be that the new
poor fit in nowhere, neither in an
economy that no longer needs
their individual skills, nor in ur-
ban labor markets where their
isolation makes them unattrac-
tive job candidates.
IN THE CHRISTMAS season of
hope, what hope is there for these
new poor aside from the will-o-
the-wisp of a recovered economy,
or some grandiose national
proposal for "rein-
Slender as it is, a ray of hope
comes from the growing numbers
of community kitchens and
hospitality houses that open their
doors to them. iReligious in-
stitutions, as they have done for
hundreds of years, are again
taking the lead in administering
to the poor.
What they and others in the
struggle against the new misery
need is for city governments to
open up vacant buildings for
living and sleeping space, and for
the federal government to
provide money and surplus food.
THE NEW POOR are going to
have to be fitted into new or old
social fabrics and economic lat-
from middle-class backgrounds.
Unlike the 1960s, when the
"flower children" by and large
still could return to their parents'
home, many now have no friends
or relatives or urban community
with whom they can bed down un-
til some opportunity comes by.
That gives them the ultimate
anonymity of no address and no
Besides all their problems, the
new poor have to battle against
an ingrained antipathy among all
too many Americans. against
poverty. The ancestors of most
Am nrn-.' wm hrPt oP £cfnon
tunate but natural condition of
life. But we might consider that
in France, for example, a distin-
ction has always been made bet-
ween the poor and the miserable.
The poor, as the French see it,
are people who survive, even if
barely. "Les Miserables" are
those who cannot even survive,
like the tortured loner in Victor
Hugo's great novel.
MANY OF THE new poor
worked hard as individuals to get
into the workforce. They
qualified, got jobs, and thought
they were moving on up the
career ladder of achievement.