Page 10-The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, November 11, 1987
THE SPORTING VIEWS
Alvarez shafs viewers
By ANDREW MILLS
Injuries, raucous fans, and celebrities on the sidelines.
This is the type of story we expect from the on-the-field reporters
during a football game. "Our man down on the field," ABC's Steve
Alvarez, obviously has a different interpretation of his job. Alvarez
redefined the job during last Saturday's Michigan win at Minnesota.
Instead of covering a possible career-ending injury to Pat
Tingelhoff, Alvarez was busy throwing handfuls of popcorn into the
camera. Ooooh, that really made the viewers feel like a part of the
game - a little more inside the coaches' minds.
Instead of huddling up with the defense to get the "low down" on
the latest Wolverine strategy to thwart the Minnesota running game,
Alvarez was busy waving a - what is this now? - a "Touchdown
Towel?" Absolutely enthralling.
THE GAME wasn't that boring, was it Steve?
In his endless quest for the meaningless, absurd, and downright
stupid, Alvarez managed to almost get sucked up into an airshaft,
played with a mass of tangled cord, and had a scintillating interview
with Minnesota Twins manager Tom Kelly. The Kelly interview he
can have - it was, after all, Kelly's first Gopher game - but in the
midst of it, Alvarez talked over an interception.
Alvarez did venture into the crowd on one occasion, though. But he
only made it into the calm Minnesota alumni section to interview a
1927 Gopher grad.
A fierce, intrepid reporter like Alvarez could not be expected to
wage battle with the student section. He was too busy eating popcorn
out of a Wheaties box.
WHEN EVENTS AROSE that demanded "on-the-spot" cover-
age, like the injury to Minnesota's Tingelhoff, the obnoxiously long
crowd delay, and an interview with Minnesota quarterback Rickey
Foggie after his fumble at the goal line, where was Alvarez?
Throwing a feather into an airshaft. Nice.
He eventually talked with Foggie about the fumble, but he only
relayed that information to the viewers at home (and Lynn Swann and
Gary Bender up in the booth) second hand. "Foggie said..." Alvarez
reported. It would have been nice to see the interview on camera - to
see Foggie's emotions and to hear the comments "from the horse's
He did give us a look at the fabled Brown Jug, but only after
giving us his unique insight on its contents.
"It's filled with granny's rheumatizz medicine," Alvarez said.
He went on to say that, if he picked up the Jug, he "would
probably drop it and end history." The Jug is an important trophy, but
I don't think its destruction would put an end to human history as we
At the end of the game, Alvarez had to get the obligatory winning
coach interview. For a while, he forgot about it, but as the pack of
jubilant Wolverines dispersed, there was Alvarez with his arm around
Bo. Not to be outdone by some small-time media organization,
Alvarez ripped Schembechler away from another interview.
Alvarez left no stone unturned, no towel unwaved, and no popcorn
uneaten in his quest for the sideline story.
Sort of makes you wish he probed that air-shaft story just a little
(Continued from Page 9)
COLUMBO'S appraisal gains
credibility every time McMurtry
steps onto the football field. He
leads the Wolverines this season
with 22 yards per catch on 18
receptions - a total of 399 yards.
While those numbers hardly qualify
him for All-America status, he is a
consistent threat to break the big
Much of McMurtry's inactivity
can be traced to Michigan's
inexperience at quarterback. But as
Wolverine head coach Bo Schem-
bechler says, wide receivers can have
a tremendous impact even if they
don't catch the ball.
"Receivers have to block. It takes
discipline," said Schembechler. "Our
receivers are trying to block on every
play, and 90 percent of the time it
doesn't matter. But the few times
you need the block, it matters."
McMurtry learned self-di
in high school, balancing h
between school, baseball, bas
and football. The juggling
continued at Michigan;
particularly difficult duri
spring. His schedule leav
time for any relaxation. M
participates in spring footba
not on the baseball diamond.
"The discipline come
knowing you don't have a
time as regular students," M
said. "So what time you ha
have to make the most of it.'
difficulties besides time mans
in making the most of play
college sports. The differenc
size of a baseball and footbal
him. "I have trouble pickin
baseball because it seems fi
slower than it really is," he
have to adjust to that."
He also has adjusted to t
scipline cism from fellow students who con-
his time tinue to ask him why he passed on
sketball, the money and the opportunity to
of time play for the Red Sox. McMurtry re-
and is fuses to second-guess his decision.
ing the The opportunity for a professional
es little career will present itself again, he
ll when McMurtry came to Michigan to
play for Schembechler and is still
s from impressed with his coach. Schem-
s much bechler's impression of McMurtry
cMurtry was so strong that the 19th-year head
yve, you coach last spring traveled all the way
, y to Brockton to watch McMurtry play
"I thought I was a pretty good
football player," said McMurtry.
"But I didn't think I was that good or
important that Bo would come out
and watch a (baseball) game. I was
When McMurtry decides on his
professional career, it will not be
surprising if he chooses football.
Although he started playing baseball
at age seven, he quickly learned of
the football tradition in Brockton by
age 10. He attended high school
games to see his brothers compete
and acquired a strong desire to play
for Brockton and beyond.
,e in the
ng up a
'I thought I was a pretty
good football player. But I
didn't think I was that good
or important that Bo would
come out and watch a
(baseball) game. I was really
-- Michigan athlete
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