The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - October 9,1989 - Page 3
Frank Deford tells of his new
publication; takes a shot at Bo
Frank Deford is one of the most
prominent figures on the national
sports scene. For 27 years, Deford
served as a writer for Sports
Illustrated where he won the U.S
Sportswriter of the Year in 1982,
and 1984-88. He was named the
U.S Magazine Writer of the Year in
1987 and 1988 and the G Q
magazine called Deford "the world's
Deford recently left Sports
Illustrated in order to start The
National, America's first daily all-
sports national newspaper.
Recently, Deford spoke with Daily
sports writer Steven Cohen.
Daily: The National. What are
you trying to do with it? Maybe
you can talk about your difficulties
leaving Sports Illustrated...
Frank Deford: I didn't have any
difficulty leaving Sports Illustrated.
I felt it was time for me to go but I
wasn't going to cut off my nose to
spite my face. I wasn't going to go
do something just to get away from
Sports Illustrated. But I certainly
felt, and had felt for several years
that I had accomplished everything
there that I could. There was no
new ground to break. But, again, I
wasn't going to leave just for the
sake of leaving. I was very happy
D: The U.S is the only major
country without a daily sportspaper,
F.D: America doesn't have it,
and most countries do. And so, it
would seem to me why this is all
the more reason why this should
D: It's rumored that the salaries
you are paying are real high?
F.D: Well, I mean we're paying
very competitive salaries. I think
any time you have a new enterprise
you're obliged if you want good
people to pay more than the
Continued from Page 1
defense that put Michigan ahead,
"We got caught in the defense
on that run," said Wisconsin
linebacker Tim Kneock. "We were
in a blitz situation and when you
get by the first line you got a good
shot at going."
However, the most important
event of the afternoon came from a
player who had been benched at the
beginning of the week. Cornerback
Lance Dottin lost his starting spot
to Todd Plate. The last two weeks,
opposing wide receivers flocked
through Dottin like immigrating
East Germans. But when Badger
quarterback Sean Wilson tried to
put a screen pass into the hands of
tailback Fred Owens, Dottin
became a wall of defense.
As the ball moved through the
air, Dottin ducked around Owens,
* picked off Wilson's pass, then
sashayed 22 yards for Michigan's
first touchdown of the afternoon.
"It's a great feeling to get a
touchdown for the team, instead of
giving one up," Dottin said. "I read
the quarterback the entire way.
When he threw the ball out to the
flat, I was in good position to make
Dottin would provide all the
existing. Whether you're starting a
basketball league or a newspaper,
you have to entice people away
from the security and comfort of
something that already exists.
D: Maybe you can discuss some
people that have already signed on.
F.D: Sure. O.K. We have Scott
Ostler. I certainly hope we get
Mike Lupica. Dave Kindred from
The Atlanta Constitution will be
another columnist. Chris
Mortenson, also from The Atlanta
Constitution, will be our football
writer. Sonny Rawls from the New
York Times and Jeff Marx from
The Lexington Herald, both will
head up our investigative staff.
D: The National is coming out
F.D: Well that's the plans right
now. We're a little beholden to
technology. But if all goes well it
will be out in January. We're not
going to come out too soon, we're
not going to rush it. We'll come
out when we're ready to come out
but we're shooting for January.
D: How will it differ from say,
USA Today, and why do you feel
The National will be succesful
where USA Today hasn't been?
F.D: Well I don't compare it to
USA Today except in'the logistical
sense that they'll both be national
newspapers. USA Today is a
general newspaper. We're much
closer to The Wall Street Journal.
The Wall Street Journal is a
specific subject newspaper
business. We're a specific subject
newspaper, sports. What we will
have is a sports section about four
times better than USA Today's
because they have three other
D:I don't know if you got a
chance to hear it, Bo Schembechler
made some scathing remarks about
your former colleague Rick
points in the first half. During the
opening two quarters, Elvis Grbac
finally looked like the red-shirt
frosh he is. His 7 for 13 half de-
ceived many, especially considering
how many times receivers had to
come back for footballs, preventing
potentially big plays.
Grbac misfired horribly on two
passes in particular. One was
dropped, but Eric Thomas did not
lose the second Grbac error, giving
Wisconsin the ball at their 45-yard
line for their best scoring opp-
ortunity of the afternoon.
Badger backs Robert Williams
and Jimmy Henderson punched
through holes to reach the Mich-
igan 19. The Wolverine defense
held there, creating a fourth and one
situation for coach Don Morton.
But Rich Thompson's 36-yard
kick could not reach the goal posts.
Michigan's defense held the rest
of the game, stopping the Badgers
for only one first down and 15 yards
total offense in the second half.
Even with those numbers, Bo
spoke critically of the team's
"I didn't think that was a great
defensive performance by a long
shot. That tackling didn't impress
me. I see guys squirting through
there, knocking us back for five
yards. I see that, I didn't think that
Telander's book condemning
F.D: No I didn't get a chance to
D: He said, "Rick Telander is a
loser. He's been a loser all his life.
You wouldn't want him on your
team, you wouldn't want him in
your organization.... I don't give a
damn about what he says."
F.D: Yeah it certainly does
sound like he was upset and um,
sounds rather hysterical. I wouldn't
want someone like that coaching
my child.... I would like somebody
more balanced, who takes the
world, the whole world into
D: What do you think about
F.D: I think college athletics are
terrible. A horrible influence on
American education. They
emphasize all the wrong things,
particularly in an educational
context. U.S. News and World
Report took a survey not too long
ago and 86% of college presidents
said that college athletics were
damaging the education. I can't say
that any better.
This is the only country in the
world where athletics are mixed
with academics, it's a terrible
mistake, can't be corrected, and it's
Telander's point, the book points
out, which I have for years, that
this is a bad situation, that has
never been correct, there was never
any Golden Age in college
athletics, they've always had a bad
influence on academics and they
always will... Notwithstanding
what people like fo Schembechler,
who make his money in that sewer,
have to say about the subject.
D: So if you had to search for
any postive aspect about college
F.D: I would go to small
colleges in Division III or
As the Oakland A's steamroll over the Toronto
Blue Jays, headed for what looks like a destined world
championship title, it seems that we've finally found a
true sports dynasty in the making.
The first team since the 1977 and 1978 New York
Yankees to repeat a division title, the Oakland A's
seem virtually unstoppable. Complete with speed,
pitching and hitting. A clean fighting machine.
But there is only one thing that could keep them
down. Only one thing that can hold them back from
true longevity and greatness.
Amidst the home runs, accolades, and stolen bases,
the fact still is that Oakland's monster right-fielder
Jose Canseco is a head case. This man has definite
problems. Problems that can break a team in two.
For instance, last Thursday, Canseco took himself
out of the line-up. Out of a playoff game lineup. For
most players, a playoff game would be a memorable
experience. Most would have to be dragged off the field
with a monster truck.
But not Jose. He's not your normal, everyday guy.
You see, Jose had a migraine. He had a headache
this big. And it had riding the pine against a tough.
right-handed pitcher written all over it.
While migraines are pretty painful and a bit rough,
playing baseball with one might be possible. Really.
Face it. Not the best and finest physical specimens of
sport play this game. Fat San Francisco Giant pitcher
and 17-game winner Rick Rueschel happens to be
successful at it. And he looks like Jabba the Hut with
a mean off-speed pitch.
But with that pounding feeling and no relief in
sight, Canseco sat out one of the most important
games of the season. While Canseco squinted at the
action from the bench, you had to be wondering what
his teammates thought about that.
Most of them didn't seem fazed, as they went out
and won the game convincingly. But they were
probably thinking: Look Jose, take three and get the
hell out into right field already.
Interestingly enough, this was Jose's most legal
distraction for his baseball team. Earlier in the year,
while injured, Canseco got busted for having a nice
piece of a gun in his sports car. You know, the car in
which he breaks the speed of sound on your major
Sooner or later, this attitude will cause major,
major dissention on this team. Especially after they
become winners and much more complacent.
But, for now, Oakland can rely on other players to
pick up the slack. Like, say, Rickey Henderson for
Another major head case.
All throughout the American League playoff series,
Henderson has played phenomenally. On Thursday,
while Jose watched from the bench in great pain,
Henderson stole four bases, Game 2 and the whole
Head cases spell
future doom for A's
The night before that, Henderson slid into second
base, breaking up a double-play, allowing the winnin2
run to score. On Saturday, he topped all of this,
hitting two diggers in the playoff game. No wonde,
people are mentioning him as the Most Valuable
Player of the ALCS.
But while Henderson steals everything under the
sun, he also swipes away our memories. For during
his tenure with the New York Yankees, Henderson
played much like a dog.
With the Bronx Bombers, Henderson would
sometimes have a monster first-half of the season and
then disappear for the latter half.
See you. I think I'll play like a dog from now on.
Thinking of Henderson as a Yankee brings up the
same memory: Henderson loafing after a ball rolling
around in the corner while enemy runners book around
the basepaths to beat the Yankees, 20-19.
Frequently, Henderson would stare at the Yankee
Stadium crowd while play continued. Sometimes he
would sway like a child, staring into his glove. The
only thing that separated himself from a little-leaguer
is the fact that he didn't chew on the strings.
And sooner or later, he'll grow tired of Oakland and
go back to the same old tricks. Remember what they
say about old dogs.
After Oakland wins the World Series, and it will do
that, these idiosyncrasies, these annoying little acts of
personal selfishness should break up the squad. Once
complacency sets in and Henderson decides to stop
playing and Canseco puts the pedal to the metal even
harder, the A's will squabble.
Look at the New York Mets. After their win in
1986, it seemed as if this team was a true dynasty of
awesome potential. But ever since then, dissention has
ruined the team. Darryl Strawberry, the head case of all
head cases, has annoyed every teammate, and even
sparked a pre-season intrasquad brawl this year.
Unbelievable. In the pre-season, he ticked
everyone off. And this was after Strawberry and the
team had been apart for months.
Much of the Mets' problem stems from their
manager, Davey Johnson, who really looks as if he
doesn't give a damn. Johnson just manages the team
and leaves the card-playing and whining to the players.
And this is where the A's might save themselves.
Their manager, Tony LaRussa, happens to be the best
in baseball. With his hands-on, free and easy approach,
he might be able to keep his head cases in line.
He might be able to control Henderson. And while
no one can control Jose, LaRussa can only hope that
Canseco keeps smashing homeruns at his current
alarming rate, averaging 46 home runs a season. That
way, nobody should care what Canseco does off the
But sooner or later, it's going to get them.
Dissention looms on the horizon for Oakland.
,. _ r
On Saturday night, Ohio State
was able to feast on the Wolverine's
weaknesses: backcourt defense,
serving, and receiving.
Michigan committed nine receiv-
ing errors to Ohio State's one, and
Michigan came up with only 39 digs
whereas the Buckeyes had 53.
Carla Hunter, a strong force in
the frontcourt, had to be pulled out
of the match and replaced by Heather
Wells after missing several service
receptions while in the backcourt.
"She's been playing real well in
the front row (Hunter led the team
with 8 kills), but she's had some
problems passing in the back row,"
said Michigan coach Joyce Davis.
Team leader Karen Marshall also
suffered from a sub-par performance
as she only came up with 5 kills and
a weak .052 hitting percentage.
Frosh Hayley Lorenzen saw
limited action, but continued her
solid frontcourt play, leading the
team with a .666 hitting percentage.
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