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November 12, 1987 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-11-12

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

I Adamantly Speaking
BY ADAM OCHLIS

Critics give Brown thumbs
up after Minnesota victory

Where, oh, where did all the critics go?
Where, oh where, did they go?
After being lambasted by everyone from the
media to your parents, who no doubt called you
up to ask, "just who is this bum you have
playing quarterback," Demetrius Brown, Mich-
igan's belittled signal caller, has quieted, er, shut
up most of his critics.
Forget that Brown is playing with a broken
thumb on his throwing hand and a dislocated
thumb on the other; he has made believers out of
the fans and his teammates.
Brown, who walks around these days with
both hands wrapped in bandages, splints, and
adhesive tape, and looks more like a defeated
prize fighter than a quarterback, has put an abrupt
halt to the criticism that fell upon him earlier in
the season.
That, however, is not to say the criticism
wasn't deserved. Brown, by his own admission,
did not fare too well earlier in the season. Sure,
passes were dropped, protection broke down, and
the weather didn't cooperate. But, to put it
simply, Brown stunk the joint up early on.
SEVEN INTERCEPTIONS against
Michigan State? Yuck. Constant passes into the
heart of opponent's zone defenses? Double Yuck.
The calls for heralded rookie quarterback Eric
Bush were legitimate, and one had to wonder
what Wolverine head coach Bo Schembechler was

thinking about by sticking with his starter.
While Brown's predecessor, Jim Harbaugh could
make 'something out of nothing' (as the saying
goes); Brown was coining the phrase 'making
nothing out of something.'
But, as Schembechler will certainly tell you if
you ask him, he knows more about his team
than anybody else. And not for a moment did he
think of replacing Brown. And maybe, just
maybe, Michigan fans will thank Schembechler
for sticking with the redshirt sophomore from
Miami.
Brown's performance in last week's 30-20
comeback win over Minnesota in the Metrodome
was courageous, if not inspiring. Once again,
Brown failed to complete half of his passes (he
was seven-ofi5), and once again, he failed to pass
for more than 150 yards (he threw for 146). But
the way Brown brought his team back from a 10-
point halftime deficit showed leadership qualities
that many thought were at the heart of the
problem.
TO SAY BROWN is not a demonstrative
fellow is surely an understatement. He is not
flashy, he is not loud, and early on he was not a
Harbaughian, take charge player. But last
Saturday he took charge.
Brown played as well as any quarterback with
two good thumbs could have. His two
touchdown passes were among the best balls he

has thrown all year. One of the two interceptions
he threw was not his fault.
Brown was listed as questionable before
Saturday's game and the fact that he played with
a broken thumb is a remarkable feat in itself.
And then to have his other thumb bent back and
dislocated to the point where Schembechler
described it as "grotesque" is insult to injury.
Literally.
And while there was no reason to think Brown
would return to the game, there he was, one play
later, ready to go back in. Hell, just get the
doctor to snap it back in place, have the trainer
tape it up, and continue the job, right?
Unbelievable.
Obviously the circumstances surrounding the
game make Brown's feat even more remarkable.
In the lockerroom following the game, all the
players seemed to talk about how glad they were
for their quarterback. And while it is hard to
believe Brown when he says that his teammates
never lost confidence in him, let's just say that
there is a new confidence by the Wolverines in
their quarterback.
"I don't know what you guys think of
(Brown)," Schembechler said to the media earlier
in the week, "but I like him."
After Saturday's performance, Schembechler
isn't alone.

The Michigan Daily-Thursday, November 12, 1987- Page 11
THE SPORTING VIEWS
Real heroes...
...hard to coe by
BY MICHAEL GILL
Who are the heroes of the sports world? For most people they are
athletes like Brian Bosworth, Kirk Gibson, Michael Jordan, and Keith
Hernandez - well known athletes with big check books and often
big egos.
Heroes can be a needed commodity. Someone to look up to and
generate pride. They often act as great role models and contribute to
charities in the communities they serve.
Many heroes are family-oriented, polite people. They work hard
and the pay is handsome.
But your run-of-the-mill, name-brand heroes are not always
everything we imagine them to be or want them to be. They are
human beings.
. They make mistakes. They have jealousies. They have fears. They
have faults. And they have problems - just like everyone else.
Many heroes do not last forever.
When a player is traded it is like Superman losing his costume,
losing his identity. You learn that heroes are not made by one's
actions, but rather in the color of their uniform.
Then there are those who seem to be heroes. They show leadership
on the field or court. They hit the winning homer, sink the shot at
the buzzer, throw a touchdown bomb. They are the heroes of Detroit,
Boston, New York and other large cities.
Then money beckons.
Loyalty does not respond. They become mercenaries, selling
themselves to the highest bidder, forgetting the past, forgetting the
ten-year old who pounds the glove with their name inscribed on it.
And then there are those who pollute their bodies with drugs and
let down their fans, but commit to stopping this awful problem that
gripped them. With their returns come Ruthian standing ovations.
Our society will often cannonize ones not deserving of
uncontrolled adoration and emulation.
A real hero
Yes there are heroes but are there real heroes?
Ideas on what makes a real hero is faulty. Sometimes, one needs
to step away from our stadiums and arenas to find true sports heroes.
Bob Wieland is a true hereo.
Yes, Bob Wieland.
He is not your standard hero, just a courageous person.
At age 40, Bob Wieland raced in the New York City Marathon
earlier this month. He didn't finish first. He didn't finish runner up.
But he finished. He completed the grueling 26.2 mile course. Dead
Last. In fact, night time came, morning followed. Monday. He still
pushed on. And again, night time came, morning followed. Tuesday.
The body was killing, it said stop, only the mind said go. And so
he went. Night time came, morning followed. Wednesday.
After 81 hours, 37 minutes, and 45 seconds, a group of New
Yorkers gathered at the finish line for the last person to finish the
course. They clapped and cheered. "Hail" to a hero. "Hail" to a person
who finished Dead Last.
You see, Bob's not a professional athlete, not a millionaire, not
rehabilitated from drugs. Bob is only a person who fought in
Vietnam and in 1969, lost both of his legs from the waist down in a
land mine explosion.
He didn't strike out. Working with metal extensions hanging from
his arms, Bob pushed, pulled and tugged his torso toward the finish
line.
81:37:45. A time for a champion. The mark of a real hero. A
hero of the past and a hero now.

State has new

dynamic duo

BY ADAM SCHRAGER
If Central Collegiate Hockey
Association teams thought they had
it made when Michigan State goalies
Bob Essensa and Norm Foster
finally graduated, they were gravely
mistaken.
The league has been rudely
introduced to the Spartans new
"Dynamic Duo," Jamie Stewart and
Jason Muzzatti, who have helped
their team to a 7-2-1 record thus far.
In only their first season, the two
have met the challenge of replacing
Michigan State's All-American
goaltending duo of Essensa and
Foster, who shared a record of 169-
37-4 in the Spartan nets for the past
four years.
"WE ARE always up for a
challenge," said Stewart. "I know we
are in the rebuilding stage, but we
will attempt to make the transition
as smooth as possible."
Essensa and Foster, regarded by
most hockey experts as the best
goaltending pair last season, led the
Spartans to the NCAA finals after
aiding them to a CCHA tournament
championship.
With their graduation though,
Michigan State was supposed to be
weak in goal, but this has not been
the case. By stepping in and playing
well in their first year in Spartan
uniforms, Muzzatti (on Friday
pights) and Stewart (on Saturday
nights) have drawn rave reviews,
especially from opposing coaches.
"The mantle or flame has been
passed more than adequately from
Foster and Essensa to Muzzatti and
Stewart," said Western Michigan
assistant coach Jim Scanlon. "If
their performance against us is any
premonition of how good they will
the rest of the league should
THE PERFORMANCE giv-
en by Muzzatti and Stewart against
the Broncos earned them CCHA Co-
Players of the Week honors in only
their fourth series of college hockey.
On Friday night, Muzzatti made
25 saves and allowed two goals.
Stewart followed with his first career
shutout, turning away 24 shots, the
next night.
$ The sweep of the Broncos, while
very early in the season, vaulted
Michigan State into the top spot of
F U

the conference, while dropping
Western into second.
According to Scanlon, most of
the credit has to go to Stewart and
Muzzatti because they "have to stop
the puck," but the two rookies have
been fortunate to work behind a
veteran defense.
"We had a very strong returning
defense," said Spartan head coach
Ron Mason. "With all six of our
defensemen being letter winners last
year, we felt comfortable that
Stewart and Muzzatti would not have
to come in and play at a senior level,
but instead gradually become
accustomed to college hockey."
MICHIGAN head coach Red
Berenson, whose team faces the
Spartans in a home-and-home series
this weekend, agrees with Mason's
statement.
"They have a very good team
defense that hasn't put pressure on
their goalies," said Berenson. "Their
goalies have not really been tested
seriously yet."
Although they have only played

ten games, Muzzatti's and Stewart's
performances to date cannot be taken
lightly. The pair rank one-two in the
league with a 2.52 and 2.60 goals
against average, respectively, and
each has recorded over 100 saves.
"I think that they understood that
they were not going to step in right
away and be All-Americans," said
Illinois-Chicago head coach Val
Belmonte, whose team only scored
four goals while being swept by the
Spartans last weekend.
"THEY HAVE only been in
the league ten games and they are far
from established, but if their play
remains at its current level, that
security will come shortly."
With all the present hype
surrounding the new "Dynamic
Duo," the inevitable 'attempts' to
draw comparisons between the
established Essensa and Foster and
the inexperienced Muzzatti and
Stewart exist.

"Jamie and Jason are bigger than
Norm and Bob were and that is just
the start of the differences between
the two," said Mason. "We don't
like to compare them to Bob and
Norm because their differences are
moreinoticeable than their
similarities."
The major similarity is that both
duos have produced victories.
Michigan State won 30 or more
games every year that Essensa and
Foster were in goal, and now there is
confidence that the Spartans can
continue that winning tradition.
"We are just trying to have fun
out there," said Stewart. "We both
have positive attitudes and we
seriously believe that if we play
well, the team will play well and
thus, we will win games. It is that
simple."

STEVE MARTIN JOHN CANDY
PLANESTRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES

'With all six of our
defensemen being letter
winners last year, we felt
comfortable that Stewart
and Muzzatti would not
have to come in and play
at a senior level.'
-Michigan State head
coach Ron Mason

What he really wanted was
to spend Thanksgiving with his family.

What he got was three days with the turkey.

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