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February 19, 1987 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-02-19

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Women's Indoor Track
Big Ten Championship
Feb. 27-28, 1987
Track and Tennis Building

SPORTS

Hockey
vs. Bowling Green
Tomorrow, 7:30 p.m.
Yost Ice Arena %

The Michigan Daily Thursday, February 19, 1987 Page 7
lo'1 SPORTSCASTER STARS ON NEW YORK TV

Zaret reaches t

By IAN RATNER
Far removed from Ann Arbor
Pioneer High School football
games, where he began his
broadcasting career, 1972 Michigan
graduate Eli Zaret now plays to a
New York audience.
As the sports anchor for WABC-
TV's Eyewitness News, Zaret has
enjoyed a quick ascent as a
broadcaster. But he admits he never
carried any specific goals.

detracted from the pleasures of
being a fan.
As he notes, "The more you get
involved as an anchorman, the more
removed you get from the game.
You don't find many sportscasters
inundated with sports. Like other
sportscasters, I find myself rooting
for myself. If it's 11:15 and the
(New York) Knicks are tied, I don't
want overtime... it's going to give
me problems."
Much of Zaret's success can be
attributed to his raspy voice and
colorful style which includes his
daily "Sport Shorts" clip, a healthy
diversion from the local sporting
news.
ZARET ENJOYS the
challenge of satisfying the viewers.
"What's unique about this business

he top
knowledge unto himself - I have'
to remain knowledgeable with guys
who have satellite dishes and read
three newspapers."
With his contract at WABC-TV,
New York, expiring in two years,
Zaret remains uncertain about his
future plans.
"I really don't know where to go
after this. This is kind of an end of
the line job. I suppose the only
other thing to do is network but I
don't envision myself as a Bob
Costas or Brent Musberger."
He adds, "My fantasy job would
be a daily feature on national
news."
Zaret, however, leaves open the
possibility of returning to network
radio.
"Radio's the pure medium," says

Daily Photo by JOHN MUNSON
Referees struggle to restrain Michigan and Michigan State players. Strict enforcement of rules has
prevented more of these scenes from happening in college hockey.
Pro hockey fights spill into
Motor City political arena

S ome things never change in sports. Just ask the
Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens.
When a December contest between the two teams
degenerated into a bench-clearing brawl, it shocked no
one familiar with the rivalry. The Bruins and
Canadiens, both members of the NHL's original six
teams, have fought for years.
But apparently Boston Mayor Raymond Flynn never
knew this. He declared if he had been at the Boston
Garden, he would have instructed the police to go on
the ice to handcuff and arrest the brawlers.
Some things never change in politics, especially
meddling. Unnecessary political involvement created
.Watergate and Contragate. And now Hockeygate.
While Hockeygate involves none of the illegalities
of either Watergate or Contragate, it is another example
of unwanted meddling.
MAYOR FLYNN specializes in this behavior.
Elected three years ago, Flynn campaigned as the
people's candidate.~
To his credit, Flynn has kept his word. During the
first snowstorm of his term, he rode a public-works
plow truck. Flynn, who played basketball for
-Providence College in'the 1960s, hit the playgrounds
every weekend to promote city harmony. Local
newscasts so consistently featured the mayor and his
activities that it appeared Flynn moonlighted in the
television industry. Even Sixty Minutes featured a
segment on Boston's wonder politician.
Whenever the spotlight shifted from the mayor, a
six o'clock news telecast would show Flynn
convincing a man not to jump from a bridge or
performing some other spectacular feat. His current
crusade against violence in professional athletics landed
him on the CBS Morning News and ABC's Good
Morning America.
Unwittingly, one could accuse Flynn of a publicity
ploy. What other issues could possibly demand more
attention?
Two weeks ago, the Bruins and the Pittsburgh
Penguins engaged in a full-scale melee, yet no
policeman arrested the combatants. Bruins' General
Manager Harry Sinden has openly scoffed at Flynn's
statements, and Flynn's proposed fighting legislation
died in the Boston City Council. It's time for the
mayor to find a new issue to crusade for. But another
politician decided to bring the crusade to Detroit.
DETROIT CITY COUNCILMAN David
Eberhard has proposed, but not submitted, legislation

Miller Time
BY SCOTT G. MILLER
to allow police "to be called in for altercations in any,
sports event in the city in order to maintain the peace
and safety of all citizens, just as a police officer is
called into the stands to stop a disturbance."
On the surface, the proposal appears reasonable
because it is designed to protect fans. Eberhard feels
that brawls on the ice can spill into the stands or incite
fan violence.
"You aren't going to put a police officer on every
field, and you're not a Gestapo," said Eberhard. "It
serves notice to the sports arena that they aren't
immune."
If only politicians were immune from stupidity.
Imagine calling the Detroit police to report a gang war
and receiving the following response:
"Sorry," says the officer. "We assigned all our
officers to the Red Wings game. You never know when
a fight will start on the ice."
WHILE FIGHTING still occurs, new NHL rules
such as the instigator penalty have drastically reduced
hockey fisticuffs. At the halfway point of the season,
fighting is down 17.6 percent from the same time last
year. The downward trend should continue.
"Eventually, I think you'll see fighting banned from
pro hockey like it is in college," said Michigan hockey
coach Red Berenson, who played and coached in the
NHL. "The penalties will be so severe that players
won't be able to afford getting into a fight."
Eberhard's other argument, that player violence
incites fan violence, cannot be proven. Tragedies at
soccer matches around the world are far too frequent
occurrences, yet soccer is not as violent as hockey. The
causes of fan violence are multidimensional.
"I think there is a bigger problem with drinking in
the stands of professional hockey than there is with
brawling," said Berenson. "Drinking leads more to
brawling or any other problems in the stands that what
is going on on the ice."
So why are politicians concerned with on ice
brawling?
Eberhard feels it is a cop out not to deal with the
issue. Failure to deal with the more pressing problems
of the time is even more of a cop out.
But then again, some things never change.

"I just took what was next and - unlike law or medicine, where a Zaret. "Ultimately, I like radio
things seemed to always present professional has a body of better, but T.V. is my meal ticket."
themselves," explained Zaret.
WITH A fascination for the
media, Zaret earned a bachelor's
degree in speech, radio, and
television. Following graduation,
he worked for a local Ann Arbor
cable station. He served as both a
cameraman and a broadcaster for
Pioneer and Ann Arbor Huron high 'K
school sporting events. In 1974, he
embarked on a highly successful
radio career with a progressive-rock"
station based in Detroit. Zaret
joined WRIF in 1978, and in 1979
became the first sportscaster to have
had a daily, nationally-syndicated, /a
FM-radio show.
Zaret became a fixture on
Detroit's WDIV-TV, Channel 4,
where he served as weekday sports
anchor from November, 1980, until
he bolted for New York in March,
1986. While at WDIV, Zaret
garnered regional and Michigan UPI
awards for best television sports
coverage.
Zaret additionally served as a
baseball pre-game announcer,
working alongside Hall of Famers
Al Kaline and George Kell, during
the Detroit Tigers championship
season of 1984. A memorable
incident occurred when the Tigers'
Marty Castillo rubbed a pie in
Zaret's face during a live interview.
In retrospect, Eli calls the
incident "the most noteworthy
event in my career. It showed I had
a good rapport with the players
which is extremely important in Eli Zaret got his start in broadcasting working for WRIF radio in Detroit.
this business... and it helped me Zaret is now a sportscaster for Eyewitness News in New York.
get recognition." ----------
AS FOR working with TigerMSPRING BREAK -FLORIDA
greats Kaline and Kell, Zaret said, Michigan Daily Studios, 1 BDR., & 2 BDR. Apts. Close to
"That was a great experience.PSBeach in Delray Beach, Florida (Between Fort
They're legends and synonymous I Lauderdale & W. Palm Beach). Call today:
with Tiger baseball." 763-0376 ' 305-265-0158. I
Zaret's extensive work in $40.00 OFF WITH THIS AD
sportscasting has surprisingly
The Michigan Daily I
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