Friday, 4 p.m.
vs. Ohio State
Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Yost Ice Arena
The Michigan Daily
part of the Pack
Wednesday, November 16, 1988
BY DAVID FELDMAN
When Green Bay Packers punter
Don Bracken was cut from the
Michigan Panthers of the United
States Football League in 1984
because of an injured knee, he could
have resigned himself to the idea that
punting footballs was not meant to
be his livelihood. He didn't.
Instead, he took the experience as
a lesson in the difference between the
game of college football and the
business of professional football.
Bracken felt the stinging difference
again when he was cut by the Kansas
City Chiefs in training camp and by
the Houston Oilers in midseason.
"In the pros, the pressure is quite
a bit more than in college," Bracken
said. "In college, if you had a bad
day, they weren't going to kick you
out and take away your scholarship."
, BRACKEN persevered, how-
ever. And now, as the punter for the
Green Bay Packers, things are
beginning to remind him of his
Michigan days, at least to a degree.
Bracken is again part of a team
with a great football tradition. He
anchors a solid special teams corps,
and still contends with far-from-
perfect weather conditions.
- The only difference that remains is
the team's performance. At 2-9, the
Packers are tied with the Detroit
Lions for last place in the NFC
Central. But Bracken is happy just to*
be in the NFL.
"You've got to be lucky, in the
fight place at the right time," he said.
"As a punter, there are only 28 jobs
available. You have to come in and
make the team every year. Even once
you've proven yourself, you can't
just lay a big egg in training camp."
Last month's release of Packers
placekicker Max Zendejas reminded
Bracken once again that job security
is not part of being a kicker or punter
in the NFL.
"It's tough when your friends get
released," Bracken said. "During
practice, when you're having prob-
lems, the punter and kicker help each
other out. You develop friendships."
NOW THAT his own injuries
and releases are in the past, Bracken
can finally begin to settle down and
try to meet the lofty expectations he
sets for himself. He averages 39.3
yards per punt, eleventh best in the
"I don't think you ever do as well
as you can. You always think you
could do a little better," Bracken said.
"Every season, I come in and set
goals. It's unrealistic to want to lead
the NFC every year, especially in
Green Bay; it gets so cold. It's still a
goal I'd like to achieve, though."
Packers special teams coach
Howard Tippett agrees that Bracken
could be a top punter, even in frigid
"He's got that potential. As you
know at Michigan, sometimes stats
can be deceiving in bad weather. Don
can adjust to the elements. But if he
were kicking in a dome, his stats
would be even better," Tippett said.
Bracken's main focus is not on
his own accomplishments, but on
his team's. His fondest memory is
being part of Michigan's 1981 Rose
Bowl champion squad and kicking a
Rose Bowl record 73-yard punt.
"The first thing Michigan said to
me was that I could be playing in the
Rose Bowl. That was a dream I
always had, and to go in there and
break a record - that was great.
"Now I want to make it to the
Super Bowl," he said. "At this point,
we're rebuilding our confidence.
We've just got to keep our heads up
and keep going. We're getting better
every week. The Packers are
BY DOUG VOLAN
Michigan's non-conference bask-
etball schedule may be weak, but it
certainly doesn't lack variety.
The Wolverines open up the
season tonight against the Yugo-
slavian national team. Tip-off at
Crisler Arena is at 7:30.
Although Yugoslavia won the
silver medal at the Olympics in
Seoul last month, Michigan coach
Bill Frieder remains unconcerned.
"I don't give a damn if we beat
them or not," he said. "It doesn't;
count in the record or anything, so
we're not really that worried about
FRIEDER does admit, however,
that this contest will be a good early-
season test for his squad.
"I don't know anything about
them, and I don't know how to
pronounce their names, but they're,
pretty good," Frieder said.
Yugoslavia is a physical team
with several quality post-up players.
This will help Michigan's front line
prepare for the always-rough Big
Ten. League play starts in January.
"It will be a good test for Terry
(Mills), Loy (Vaught), and myself,"
senior center Mark Hughes said. "To
play against guys of that caliber -
big guys and older guys - will
definitely help us."
The last time Michigan played
Yugoslavia, in 1985, Michigan
forwards Richard Rellford and Butch
Wade felt that the Yugoslavians were
a bit too physical for their tastes, and
punches were thrown.
Michigan guard Rumeal Robinson
does not feel that there will be any
fisticuffs this time, but was careful
to point out that "it's a different
game if the refs let it get real
THIS GAME is also important
for the Wolverines because it may
answer some of the questions at
guard, where Robinson has yet to
find a running mate. Several players,
including Sean Higgins, Mike
Griffin, Kirk Taylor, and Demetrius
Calip, all figure to see action there.
Higgins is the favorite to start-at
off guard, despite the fact that Frieder
insists he's a better forward.
Higgins, however, disagrees. "I
don't think small forward is my best
position. Off guard is my best
position and it's hard for a guy to
come two thousand miles away from
home and not start."
Whoever starts at off guard will
certainly get a good workout, as tie
Wolverines plan to run against their
"They have a really big team, so
we're going to run on them,'
Robinson said. "I don't think that
they've got the basketball players: to
keep up with us."
Former Michigan punter Don Bracken has found a home
away from home in Green Bay. He is 11th in the NFC in
punting, averaging 39.3 yards per punt.
Gibson named MVP
NEW YORK (AP) - Kirk
Gibson who inspired the Los
Angeles Dodgers in the clubhouse
and carried them at the plate, was
named the National League Most
Valuable Player on Tuesday.
Gibson drove in only 76 runs, the
fewest RBIs by an MVP since Pete
Rose in 1973, but did enough to
finish comfortably ahead of Darryl
Strawberry of the New York Mets.
Orel Hershisher, the playoff and
World Series MVP, finished a
Gibson got 13 first-place votes
and finished with 272 points.
Strawberry had seven first-place
votes and 236, followed by Kevin
McReynolds of the Mets with the
other four first-place votes and 162.
Pittsburgh's Andy Van Slyke got
160 points. San Francisco's Will
Clark got 135 and Hershiser got
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A camp representative will be interviewing on your campus:
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