P e 16 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 25, 1990
Next year, let it be Marlboro
it seems like famed movie
director David Lynch is currently
running the world of sport.
His movie "Blue Velvet" and new
television show "Twin Peaks," drawB
raves from fans of the strange and
bizzare. Lynch is known for taking a H edgingmyB
peaceful setting and showing the
viewer that serenity is just an
This illusion has settled over athletics. Sports as an institution is in
something of a crisis state.
Looking at sports at the surface, one has to ask 'is there any good in the
world of sports?'
Excuse me for sounding like a youngster, but this is a question that even
as a senior I still ask. In this line of work, you've got to look for answers
to tough questions. The answers you find on the surface are not very
Many journalists are taught to focus on the people when writing a story.
I was once told by a journalist I respected "no one wants to read about the
game, it is the people, and what they did, that readers can really identify
Yet that might be a difficult rule to live by nowadays. Too many covers
of magazines are dedicated to sports' fallen heroes, like Pete Rose. The
former Cincinnati Reds star may have had the largest decline of any athlete.
His name will be remembered even when Len Bias, Reggie Rogers, Gary
McLain, Chris Washburn and Charles White are forgotten.
It needs to be emphasized that these scandalous figures are the stories that
can be proven. If all the rumors of waste and abuse in sports were true, even
David Lynch might be freaked out.
Michigan is not a sports oasis. The athletic department has a problem
with its minority representation in administrative positions. The graduation
rate for minority athletes is almost 20 percent lower than it is for white
athletes. Yet these are not the biggest problems facing athletic director Jack
Weidenbach. He has to find a way to get the department out of a $1.5
million dollar deficit without cutting a team.
So you've got to look a little bit deeper to find something worth liking.
Sports also has a side that only Steven Spielberg could make. Kirk
Gibson's home run in 1988 World Series, Joe Montana to Dwight Clark, or
John Taylor, or any other dramatatic game winning touchdown pass. And if
you want to talk game winning pass, just say "Doug Flutie."
Great games and great moments, but what about the people? In both
collegiate and professional athletics, the names change, but the game lives
on. As fans, we watch the sport, not the person who plays.
I have been lucky to meet some
great people who participate in
athletics. People I respect for their
courage, individuality and actions.
Everyone has a Rumeal
Robinson story, but I have my own
favorite. While living at West Quad,
I met Rumeal through some friends.
One evening, he joined a large group
of drunken fools (myself included)
were headed to a fraternity party. Our objective - to get more drunk.
Rumeal joined us, but he did not even have a sip. of brew. We ripped him,
reminding him that he wasn't playing ball that year.
Rumeal still turned us down. I've known only a few college students that
do not drink, and I've known even fewer who are immune to peer pressure.
Rumeal did not have to sink any free throws to win my respect - he earned
it before he ever played.
Last summer, I worked for a paper in the suburbs of Philadelphia. I was
lucky to do a story on the Phillies utility infielder Randy Ready. His name
is more goofy than it is well known, but Ready is far from a joke. Ready's
wife has been in and out of institutions for five years after a bizzare accident
left her brain damaged.
Ready had three young children, a huge medical bill, and a job that forces
him to travel for half a year.
Yet with the help of a sister, Ready has been able to care for his children,
and still continue his career with the Phillies.
More importantly, Ready continues to care for his wife. His friends
marvel at his commitment to a woman who may never walk or take care of
herself again. Ready has never considered anything else.
There are other people who may not have gut wrenching stories, but
Vada Murray, Chris Hutchinson, Gary Moeller, Brian Eisner, Steve
Ontiveros and the entire 1988-89 women's basketball team are all worth
mentioning at least one more time.
These days, a good person is a pretty valuable commodity in athletics.
These people are not necessarily worth a first-round draft pick, but still have
great value. Fans, and writers, need athletes to identify and idolize. They
make the whole thing very real.
This is final column at the Daily. I want to thank all the people who
have supported me during the last three years: Tipper, Jules, The Big Man,
JayMo, RSE, LaNoah and the IHOP, JW, SMP, Silk, Mookie, JSFIII and
the fabulous one, Elle.
Returing students can look forward to the football coverage frm the new
beat, Eric Lemont, David Hyman, Steven Cohen and Mike Gill. Best of
is one to like...
time Super Bowl winner Joe Montana has displayed his qualities
nd off the field.
t ^ .
imm 718 ARBOR!
(Blot, Jodels, Ofe, Shapero, Slammer, Stace & Wendyl)
Here'sfo (bnd Menories <r...
Dice, the bar, too many people in one car,
® Doing jello shots, finding parking spots,
Movies, T.V., Arbor block party,
l Ourbat, Blot's black hat, "H.K. on that"...
Too many amazing memories to list-
Incredible roommates that are going to be missed.
SUMM ER COURSES
Begin June 4th & July 9th
- 4-year liberal arts & science college " Day and evening classes
- Transferrable semester credit . 5-week sessions
- 30 miles west of Chicago
5700 COLLEGE ROAD, LISLE, ILLINOIS 60532-0900
LvE sHAeK, ABY!
With love alwys,
Please mention this newspaper when calling.
It's Live and In Color.
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