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November 22, 1988 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-11-22

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Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 22, 1988

Home, sweet home not
so sweet for Blue icers

Former 'M' safety Brown
still a team player in the NFL

What has happened to the home ice
advantage for the Michigan hockey team?
Often, beating a team on their home court,
field, or ice can be the toughest feat in sports.
Just ask the Detroit Pistons, who practically
needed to invoke magical chants to beat the
Boston Celtics on their home floor.
Usually, home is kind.
THIS YEAR, home is where the
Michigan hockey team sports a 2-3-2 record.
Home is where the pucks have been bouncing
around like a pinball. Home is where the
Wolverines have not played well.
"I don't know (what the problem is.) I
wish I knew," said Michigan coach Red
Berenson. "Right now, other teams are
coming in here and playing well."
Maybe Yost Ice Arena needs a parquet
Whatever the answer is, Berenson and Co.
have not found it. So far this year, Michigan
has suffered disappointing home series's
against Illinois-Chicago and now last weekend
against Ohio State.
"On the road, we seem to play Michigan
hockey but tonight (Friday) we weren't ready
and we played down to their level," said
Michigan co-captain Todd Brost after Friday's
loss to Ohio State. "We weren't checking like
we did on the road and that makes a
ALTHOUGH Michigan has not been
able to win consistently at home, they have
been road warriors, winning its first five road
games. Berenson's goal of finishing .500 on
the road has gotten off to a roaring start.
The road wins have been impressive. On
its first road trip this year, Michigan travelled
300+ miles to sweep Lake Superior, the
defending national champs.
Michigan's next road win came at Bowling
Green, a night after they lost at Yost to the

Ryan Pardoski entered the Ohio State zone.
PARDOSKI shot at the net and Buckeye
goalie Todd Fanning did not save the puck.
But something did: whether it was the Boston
Garden demons or the new Yost Ice Arena
demon, who knows.
The puck hit the right post and caromed
directly across the crease to the left post.
After hitting the left post the puck, instead
of entering the net, somehow ricocheted back
out toward the blue line.
The green light indicating a goal flashed
momentarily, for it seemed that Pardoski's
shot had hit the mark. Unbelievably, it didn't.
In addition to the imaginary brick wall in
the Buckeye net, the pucks constantly bounced
over the Wolverine sticks. Adding these
unlucky breaks to Michigan lowering its level
of play equals a home problem.
"I don't know what it is but when we go
on the road, within the team, we give
ourselves the role of underdogs and when
we're at home we don't seem to understand
that all other teams coming in are doing the
same thing," said Michigan defenseman Mark
Sorensen added: "They're the underdogs,
overachievers. We have to get above the level
of being complacent to being comfortable."
There is no cause to panic now since
Michigan enters the Thanksgiving break in
second place, something that hasn't occurred
in a while. Their level of play on the road has
been inspiring, with the Wolverines, at times,
looking completely unbeatable.
But at home, the Wolverines take on a
completely new look.
"I suppose in previous years, we would've
been happy to be .500 at home but not this
year we're not. And we have not played well
at home," Berenson said. "If we knew what
the problem was we would change it."

In the early '70s, safety Dave
Brown was the anchor of the
Wolverine defense. Brown, also a
top punt returner, was best
known for his hard tackling.
Now, in his fourteenth season
in the NFL, Brown has long
since switched from safety to
cornerback and no longer returns
Even his trademark has
changed. Instead of the bone-
crushing tackle, the Green Bay
Packers rely on Brown to make
the spirit-crushing interception.
BROWN doesn't mind being
asked to alter his role. In the pros
and in college, Brown has always
made whatever changes are needed
to help his team win games.
Alumni Update1
"I didn't think I'd be a
cornerback when I first came into
the league, but you adapt to the
situation," he said. "I'm a team
player and the team needed a
Brown currently ranks tenth in
all-time NFL interceptions, with
55. Paul Krause, who played for
the Washington Redskins and the
Minnesota Vikings in the '60s,
is the record holder with 81, 26
ahead of Brown.
"Of course I'd like to be the
number one all-time interceptor,"
Brown says. "I'm a little ways
away. I know I've got to get a lot
of interceptions in the next few
years. But I just take it one game
at a time."
DESPITE closing in on
such a major individual
accomplishment, team success is
still Brown's first priority.
"I'm not going to take a
chance that could hurt the team

just to become the number one
interceptor. My goal is to help
the football team. I don't like
anyone to score on me at any
time," Brown said.
After being drafted in the first
round by the Pittsburgh Steelers
in 1975, Brown won a Super
Bowl in his first NFL season.
Before he had time to adjust his
Super Bowl ring on his finger,
however, Brown was plucked up
by the Seattle Seahawks in the
1976 expansion draft.
In 1987, after eleven years
with Seattle, Brown was traded to
Green Bay. He and Steve Largent
were the last two members of the
original Seahawks.
"I was surprised, and
somewhat disappointed when I
got traded," Brown says. "But
that's all part of the business of
being in professional.football."
As he nears the end of his
career, Brown wants to reach the
level of team success that has
eluded him since his rookie year
with the Steelers.
"That's my main goal. I want
to go back one more time and
win it all. We're going to get on
the winning track. We've got to
work hard and get better."
Unrealistic talk for a member
of the 2-10 Packers? Perhaps, but
Brown has reason to expect
Wolverine-like success from his
team. Brown is joined on the
Packers by three other Michigan
alumni: punter Don Bracken, and
linebackers John Anderson and
Ron Simpkins.
Brown enjoys being part of
what has become a mini
Michigan alumni club in Green
Bay. "It's different, but it's
great," Brown said. "You know
you all come from the *same
place. The character and integrity
carries over from the 'M' days.
We still talk about the Big Blue."


Wolverine center Mike Moes (7) is tied up,
just like the other Wolverines on home ice.

The last two road wins came in a sweep of Ferris
State, breaking the Bulldog's four game winning streak.
But for some reason, Michigan has not reached the level
of excellence at home that they profess on the road.
"We're playing well and coming together as a team
on the road," said Michigan center Rob Brown Saturday
night. "We get a lot of good bounces on the road and we
didn't get a lot of bounces tonight."
Saying Michigan did not get good bounces at Yost
Saturday night is an understatement. Down one goal
with approximately four minutes remaining, Michigan's

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I 10am -6pm
TODAY, November 2

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