The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday -
November 25,1991 - Page 3
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The broadcaster speaks on men's and
women's basketball, Crisler and more
For four years, Larry Henry has
been "the voice of Michigan bas-
ketball" on WJR radio. Henry, who
came to Detroit from Indianapolis,
lives in Southfield with his wife and
two children. Henry recently talked
to Daily Basketball Writer Adam
Miller over the phone.
Daily: What is your favorite
part of being a sports broadcaster?
Henry: It's not being in the of-
fice, and doing something you have
to be thinking all the time. It's re-
D: When you call Michigan bas-
ketball, you don't work with a
color commentator. How does that
H: I guess ok. We have survived
four years that way. I've gotten so
used to it, I have to think about (the
fact that I don't have a color
commentator). It all comes down to
being prepared ahead of time with
everything. I've got stuff, I've got
._notes of things - heaven forbid a
backboard shattering and you've got
20 minutes to fill while they're
putting up a new backboard - that I
can do by myself. And I end up
talking to myself basically, when
I'm actually talking to people who
D: Your calls are featured on the
Michigan videotape of the 1989
championship, ("The Battle in Seat-
tle"). Can you give us some of your
reflections on that experience?
H: At the time you didn't have
time to think. Things were happen-
ing so quickly for three weeks. It all
started when Bill Frieder left. I got
a phone call that morning early in
the day. I was set to fly out at noon-
time to Atlanta, and instead I had go
to a Michigan press conference to
handle the Frieder situation. It all
started from there, and things hap-
pened so quickly that you really had
to cover it to enjoy all of it.
I think that one of the fun mo-
ments was after they won the title
and we had a big celebration back at
the hotel that night. After that, I
was invited to fly back on the team
charter and got to ride in the caravan
with the team on the buses with the
police escort from the airport to
Crisler Arena. Walking in and see-
ing all the fans, that was neat. That
was something I will remember for
quite a while.
D: If you ask most people what
they remember of Larry Henry's
calls during the Final Four, most
will say your call of Scan Higgins'
shot to beat Illinois stands out.
What about that one?
H: (Laughs) Sean Higgins' shot.
Yeah, that one will stand out for a
while, that's for sure. That's really
funny. At the time that happened,
there was a stat crew - all the stats
were being done on computers and
the people that were doing it, the
main company was based in
Louisville, Kentucky, - and they
just happened to have the one crew
that really worked for the company,
- were in Atlanta (Michigan's
first-round site), where they first
stopped, so I got to know them
there. Then they were also in Lex-
ington, Kentucky (site of the re-
gional finals) and they were at the
Final Four in Seattle.
It was the same guys and they
were sitting to my left and right.
Right after I got done with (the
call) after Sean's shot, Illinois took
a time out and I went to commer-
cial. One of the stat guys sitting be-
side me turned to me in a look of
concern and said, "Are you ok?"
'I do criticize the
team. If they make a
mistake, they make a
mistake. You don't
gloss over it. I thought
Chris Webber was
showboating at the
end of the game
(against Cuba). And I
said so. You don't
show off on the floor,
you play basketball'
And I said, "Yeah," but I went off
the deep end and he was genuinely
concerned that I had hurt myself.
D: What do you think of the new
student seating plan at Crisler?
H: I hope it works. They had to
do something. It's the worst Big
Ten home crowd in the conference. I
mean, to be honest, it's got to get
better. It's got to get much better. I
realize (the alumni) are giving a lot
of money to the University, but the
University is there for the students
first, and it's really their team. And
I have always thought that there's
got to be some way to get the stu-
dents involved more and to show
pride in it and to be there and be a
worst Big Ten home
crowd in the
to be honest, it's got
to get better'
part of the whole show that college
That's what makes it college
basketball; not just the players, -
the fans and the atmosphere. That's
why 100,000 people in Michigan
Stadium is so great. It's the
atmosphere. And that's hopefully
what Crisler will be.
D: That having been said, do you
see anyway that the Athletic De-
partment can make women's basket-
H: (Interrupts) No. There is no
following for it here. Now you go
to Iowa, they have 14-15,000. You
go to Ohio State, they have 11-
12,000. Go to Purdue, they have 10-
11,000. That's because their wo-
men's programs are ranked in the
top 20 and in the NCAA Tourna-
ment and they're from states where
(high school) girls basketball is big
time, Iowa especially. If you ever
saw their girls high school state
basketball championships, it's like
the NCAA finals and they just pack
them in. It's just not that big in the
state of Michigan.
D: Do you think it has to do with
Michigan's recent struggles?
H: I just don't - I think they're
doing a good job. I think Bud Van-
DeWege does a great job recruiting
his staff and putting it together. I
just don't think people will spent
their two hours to go watch
It's no reflection on their tal-
ents. It's just that if someone is go-
ing to spend their hours, they're go-
ing to go watch the men's team or
some other 'major' sport. How
many people went to a swim meet
to see (former Wolverine Mike)
Barrowman, who is a world class
swimmer? People didn't go to
watch him. Same thing. There's just
not the interest there, and it's no re-
flection on the team or the job the
coaching staff has done.
D: Getting back to broadcasting,
since you are Michigan's announcer,
there's never any question about
your objectivity or the role you play
as an announcer, is there?
H: Well, there have been some
people that have said I'm a homer,
and I admit I am to a point. You
know, it makes my job much easier
if the team wins and also means that
people are listening if the team
wins. That's part of the job.
D: You've been known to criti-
cize the team on occasion.
H: Oh yeah, I do criticize the
team. If they make a mistake, they
make a mistake. You don't gloss
over it. It's like the other night in
the exhibition game (against Cuba),
I thought Chris Webber was show-
boating at the end of the game. And
I said so. Because this isn't high
school, you don't show off on the
floor, you play basketball. There are
players as good or better than you
are and that is something that
(Webber) has to learn. And I said
I mean, he's got a world of talent
and probably is going to be a super-
star and probably a first-round
NBA draft pick down the road. But
he was doing something that he
shouldn't have been doing and I'll
D: If we could turn to sports in
general. In the past two weeks, if
you're a Detroit sports fan, you've
been hit with both Magic Johnson's
HIV situation and (Detroit Lion
Mike) Utley's broken neck. Do you
think this will change in any way
the way people view athletes and
athletics in general?
H: No. People have very short
memories. Utley's big news today,
but it's like the Magic Johnson
thing. I mean, for two or three days
that's all you heard. Now it's an oc-
casional story, but it's buried way
People have a very short memory
and attention span. They focus in on
a story for two or three days and
then it's gone. And that's a product
of, let's be honest, television. It re-
ally is. You take a look at the news,
and everything is forced down your
throat in short packages and that's
the way our attention span has gone.
It's here today, gone tomorrow.
The time is right for
Michigan is a football team. Not an assemblage of athletes, but a
team. There's some maize and blue synergy that radiates throughout
Michigan Stadium that makes the Wolverines greater than the sum of
This axiom has held true since the days of Fielding Yost, whose 1901
team outscored its opponents, 550-0. Ensuing injuries must have
hampered the 1902 campaign, when Michigan compiled a 644-12 margin.
For most of the 20th century, individuals have come second. There
may be an "I" in "Michigan," but there has certainly been no "I" in
"team." Maybe there should be.
A corollary to the above axiom states that the Wolverines will
experience success - always. Without the fanfare of an absolute
marquee player, Michigan will win.
But now, Michigan is rewriting the laws of college football. It is
enjoying the same success of its predecessors', and yet also has that
marquee player. And another one. And another one.
Michigan's Desmond Howard, Erick Anderson, and Greg Skrepenak
are each vying for natibnal awards at their respective positions.
Howard is a lock for the Heisman Trophy, as his end zone pose
divulged after he broke a 93-yard punt return against Ohio State
Saturday. Anderson is among three finalists nationwide still eligible for
the Butkus Award as America's best linebacker. Skrepenak is one of four
linemen in the final competition for the Lombardi Award.
But Michigan is a perennial powerhouse. It must have fielded award-
winners throughout its history, right?
Well, we all know Tom Harmon was the last Wolverine Heisman
winner, earning the honor in 1940. Incidentally, before we praise anyone
for his performances Saturday, let's first recall what Old 98
accomplished against Ohio State in his final game at Michigan.
In that game, Harmon rushed for 139 yards and two touchdowns. He
also completed 11 of 12 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns. He
also scored four extra points. He also intercepted three passes and ran one
in for a touchdown. He also averaged 50 yards per punt.
Now from one incredible fact to another: Harmon was the last
Wolverine to win any individual award at all - in 1940.
Since then, Michigan has won two national titles and 20 Big Ten
Championships, excluding this season. Not one player on any of those
teams has ever won a national individual award. But this season,
Michigan could have three award winners.
Anthony Carter never won the Heisman, nor did Jim Harbaugh. Mark
Messner never won the Lombardi. Tripp Welbome never won the Thorpe
Award, given to defensive backs.
Something must be wrong.
But to what can we attribute these players' individual recognition?
For years, outstanding players and coaches have graced the Michigan
program, which has always drawn publicity and media coverage. It
almost seems as if something has been wrong, and the problem is first
being corrected this season.
Michigan should always have had award winners. Thams can be
comprised of successful individuals without sacrificing the community
of the squad.
Historically, Wolverine coaches have dismissed the importance of
these awards, arguing that the team is more important. Such an outlook-
ignores the vast benefit of an individual honor to the team.
When Anderson acknowledges his Butkus candidacy, he salutes the
front three, the secondary and his fellow linebackers. The whole defense.
When Skrepenak speaks of his Lombardi chances, he praises the
running backs, the receivers, the quarterback, and his fellow linemen. The
When Howard talks about the Heisman, he extols the quarterback,
the linemen, the backs - everyone. All three individuals credit every
other individual on the team, and all recognize the positive effect their
awards will have on the Michigan program.
This attitude is a product of that first axiom; there's no "I" in
Anderson, Skrepenak, or Howard. But if we're invoking logical analysis,
then we must challenge the historical de-emphasis on personal honors.
Notre Dame is a team steeped in team tradition. Amid religious
undertones and references to Knute Rockne, the Fighting Irish have
become America's team. Yet, while developing a team persona, Notre
Dame players have collected a host of individual awards - seven
Heisman Trophies, three Lombardi Awards, three Outland Trophies, and
many other lesser awards.
These accolades have never dampened the group focus that defines
Notre Dame. Nor would it dampen Michigan's own group focus.
Anderson, Skrepenak, and Howard are all deserving players, and have
all achieved excellence with or without actually winning their
respective awards. Their honors would be unequivocally positive for
And, it would be about time.
The Michig an women's swimming and diving te am won both ends of a
double-dual meet against Iowa and Penn State on Friday.
Iowa, Penn State
Continued form page 1
with others her age, a new
experience for Silvester.
"We all worked together, were
the same age, and had a lot of fun,"
Silvester said. "We had an
awesome team and had awesome
relays, and that's basically how I
But as a high school junior,
Silvester recalls, an unexpected
turn for the worse occurred - she
flopped in the biggest meet of her
"I just turned 16, and could go
to European junior championships,
which was a really big deal. If you
win an event there, you're set when
you go on and can possibly
represent your country at worlds.
"I was one of the favorites to
make the junior team, but I really
screwed up at the trials. I totally
bombed. It was my first year that I
was doing well nationally, and
there was a lot of pressure. By the
end of the summer I saw my
friends go there, and I thought I
put it behind me, but that whole
year I did really bad, and swam
slower the whole year. Suddenly, I
didn't care anymore."
One summer later, Silvester re-
emerged on the swimming scene
with an outstanding performance
at Holland's nationals.
. "On the first day of nationals, I
won my first national
championship in the 800-meter
freestyle. The next day I had to get
fifth in the 200-meter freestyle to
go to European championships. At
night I swam a second and a half
off my best time and got fourth."
However, the future of
Holland had moved to Marquette,
Mich., and acted as foster parents
during Silvester's short career at
Upon arrival at Northern,
Silvester quickly increased her
training time and efforts, and cites
then-coach Ann James for much of
her initial success.
"I wasn't a very good swimmer
when I came over, but (James)
helped me so much. She and I had
such a great relationship, and she
knew exactly what my body needed
in swimming," Silvester said. "We
worked together very well, we
talked about everything together,
and I totally looked up to her."
At Northern, Silvester strived
academically, concentrating in
math, and athletically, dominating
'Here it is logical that
you attend the big
meets, and that you
will be swimming
against the best
- Kirsten Silvester
by Sharon Lundy
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's swim-
ming team showed complete team
unity in defeating Penn State and
Iowa in a double-dual meet at
Canham. Natatorium Friday.
"Although events are swum in-
dividually, no.one was thinking of
individual times or swimming per-
sonal bests," assistant coach Margo
Mahoney said. "It was a total team
Michigan beat Iowa, 208.5-95,
and Penn State, 198.5-116.5, to bring.
their 1991-92 record to 4-0 in the
Big Ten and overall.
Despite the team emphasis, two
first-year Wolverine swimmers set
records Friday. Lara Hooiveld set a
rn ncl rn rrld n e100-ya ord 1.n i-
Junior Mindy Gehrs won the 200
fly in 2:04.74, and the 400 individ-
ual medley relay in 4:27.12.
Hooiveld and Humphrey, in addi-
tion to their record times, also won
the 200 breast in 2:18.71, and the
200 back in 2:01.15, respectively.
The Wolverines started the meet
with a victory in the 400 medley re-
lay. Humphrey, Hooiveld, Gehrs,
and captain Jennifer Love won with
a time of 3:50.5 5.
"We were really nervous, and it
was good to start the meet off with
a fast race," Love said.
Other Michigan event winners
include captains Michelle Swix and
Love, who won the 1000 and 50 free,
needed to get (my math degree)
from a big and well-known school,
otherwise it wouldn't count. So
that was a good reason to come to
"Overseas, nobody has heard of
Northern Michigan," Silvester
added. "And not to put it down,
because I had a great time there, but
the people back home and in other
places - when you talk about
being a math major at Michigan,
they know it's a great school."
Silvester has experienced some
fine performances in her first few
meets as a Wolverine this year.
Friday afternoon against Iowa and
Penn State, Silvester swam to
season-best times in the 200 and
500 freestyles, with a 1:50.30 and
Both are well within striking
distance of her previous bests at
Northern Michigan. While her
training technique as a Wolverine
is similar to what it was at
Northern, the composition of the
team is stronger.
"There, (James) had me
swimming my own intervals,
doing my own workouts, so I
didn't swim with the rest of the
team," Silvester said. "Here, the
team is split up into different
attend the big meets, and that you
will be swimming against the best
swimmers often," Silvester said.
"Instead of having to make all the
arrangements yourself, here it is
done for you, so it is easier to think
only about swimming fast.
"On this team, there are many
very good swimmers, which make
practices very good. There is a lot
of competition, but it helps us
Senior distance freestyler
Katherine Creighton commented
on Silvester's potential to help the
"Certainly she will add to our
team depth, and she is a pretty
versatile swimmer," said
Creighton. "Traditionally our 800-
free relay places top-eight at
NCAAs and she will add to that
relay and probably the 400-free
"We hope she will achieve her .
NCAA cuts soon," said senior co-
captain Jen Love. "This program
has helped those of us who came in
without our cuts, so hopefully she
will blend in."
This upcoming summer,
Silvester plans to remain in Ann
Arbor and train with Club
Wolverine, Michigan's club
affili ate to imrrr le her 100
She not only achieved Division
II qualifying times, but at
nationals won four individual
titles: the 200, 500, and 1650-yard
freestyles, and the 200-yard
Originally, Silvester had
planned to return to Holland after
one year in America, but chose to
-remain after her success. In her
second season at Northern, Kirsten
set a new Division II record in the