The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - January 25, 1
- Page 3
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The former Wolverine all-American
discusses Michigan and life in the NFL
Before his season-ending knee
injury at the end of the 1990 season,
Tripp Welborne was one of the most
decorated defensive backs in the
history of Michigan football. In his
senior season, as a safety and punt
returner, he became a member of the
first team all-Big Ten team
according to media and coaches as
well as earning first-team all-
America recognition from Kodak,
The Football News, Walter Camp
and The Football Writers
Association of America. Tripp was
drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in
1991. He began playing for the
Vikings at the beginning of their
1992 playoff season, after
completing the rehabilitation of his
knee. Daily Sports Writer Paul
Barger spoke with him recently.
Daily: How's your health?
Welborne: The knee feels great,
the rehab went really well.
D: Are you comfortable with the
idea of playing on artificial turf for
most of the NFL season?
W: Turf is turf. If I had a choice
I'd play on grass. But I don't mind
late you get fined.
It doesn't matter, no excuses, just
take it like a man, come in and get
fined and just go about your
business. You don't have to do
anything you don't want to do, but if
you don't want to do anything it will
cost you a lot of money.
D: Have you ever been fined?
W: No. Well, I was late one time
(1 minute) and I might have been
D : What are the greatest
memories you have of Michigan
W: First of alt, the team. There is
something that's been the
competitive spirit in me and helps
make the pro game that much more
You have a lot of guys that are
just there as a business, they just
want to get paid and that's it. But,
you have much more fun, cause
you're going to get paid anyway, so
you might as well win while you're
getting paid. That's the bottom line,
I enjoy winning.
D: What do you think about the
1992 version of the Michigan
W: The team looked great, which
playing on turf.
D: What are
W: The NFL
as much as you do during the regular
season. You might get paid $15,000
or $20,000 a game during the regular
season and for the playoffs it might
If you are a true player, by the
time you are playing in the playoffs
you aren't playing for money, you're
playing for pride, you're playing
because you want to be there and
you want to win. So the difference
is, the guys will always say once the
playoffs come around its the dash for
But not to belittle it, its
something that everyone has worked
for, so that you can be in the position
to have a chance to be the best.
Some guys don't give it all up
during the season, but come playoff
time, if you don't play like its your
last game, it will be.
D: How do you think the NFL's
new free agency policy will affect
W: It will raise salaries, first of
all. Second of all, it may bring much
more parity to the league. Any team
can beat you on any given day, but
the good teams are going to win and
the teams with the less talent will
You play enough games that you
can tell who is good and who is not.
With the free agency a lot of people
are going to be able to move around
and it is going to evenly hatch a lot
of the teams. It's definitely good
from the players' point of view
because it gives you a chance to
have some negotiating power, that's
D: Finally, can I get your Super
W: Well, I like the way that
Dallas plays and there a strong team.
Then again you look at Buffalo,
there hungry. You can get a
prediction from me, one of those two
teams will win. Both teams are great
teams, I played against Buffalo in
preseason, but we didn't play against
Buffalo is strong and Dallas is
strong, the best team that comes to
play on that day will win. They are a
close enough match whereas it is a
toss-up to me.
meets Garth Brooks
Well, the game itself might be pretty good this year. Buffalo vs.
Dallas. Two closely-matched teams. Two great running backs. Two
stingy defenses. It should make for an interesting Super Bowl XXVII.
That is, of course, if they ever decide to quit talking about it and just
Just play it. That would be too simple, wouldn't it? Too simple, even,
for Nike, the Super Bowl sponsor that will unveil it's latest zillion-dollar
Michael Jordan-Bugs Bunny ads Sunday. Ad nauseum? Oh, yes.
It's still six days away, but the hype has been spewing from the
television for more than a week now. THE GAME. Hype satisfies many
needs. Granted, few of them are very noble - money is the overriding
factor - but it is the biggest football game of the year, right? So if the
media goes a little overboard they should be forgiven. A little
overboard? This is abandon ship.
Mike Ditka doesn't think the Cowboys' lack of Super Bowl
experience is much of a factor. "If anything," he says, "it's in the
Cowboys' favor." I know this because I read it in the paper yesterday.
Mike Ditka wrote a column for Tribune Media Services about The
Game. So did Dan Reeves.
The pregame show, which begins early Wednesday afternoon and
will be broadcast in its entirety, should offer plenty of similar in-depth
analysis. For instance, we will learn - the minute NBC finds out -
what Thurman Thomas ate for breakfast Sunday morning. And then we
will find out that it really doesn't matter after all, because "you can
throw the records out now." This is what it's all about.
But hang on. Don't stray too far from the TV. You don't want to miss
Garth Brooks, courtesy of some friends in high places, singing the
The game? Oh, yes, the game. You'll have Cornelius Bennett and
Bruce Smith clawing at Troy Aikman, trying to rip his head out of his
helmet. And you'll have Emmitt Smith tearing up turf - turf carefully
prepared, mind you, by Turf Expert George Toma - as he scampers
past defender after defender. And then you'll have Michael Jackson.
Michael Jackson? Yes, he's doing the halftime show, bless his heart.
The game? A guy in Dallas - this is a true story - got caught last
week after he stole a color television set, and then went back to get a
remote control. He did it, he said, so he could watch The Game.
The mayor of Buffalo, Texas - this is also a true story - changed
the name of his town. (lie wanted Dallas, I heard, but that was already
taken.) Anyway, Byron Ryder - mayor of what used to be Buffalo,
Texas - said they are hanging blue stars (the Cowboys' logo) over the
word Buffalo all over town. No more Buffalo City Hall, Ryder says.
"The name of the town, essentially, will be Blue Star, Texas," Ryder
told the Associated Press.
The game? It gets lost in all this. We have this extra week, for some
unknown reason. Could it be that the Bud Bowl players need seven more
days of practice? (I've got my money on the team with Bud Dry.)
Did I mention that newly-syndicated columnist Dan Reeves says that
he feels there shouldn't be an extra week after the conference
championships? He says the extra week is the reason we keep getting
these Super Bowl flops. (San Francisco 55, Denver 10. Do you
remember that one?) When the New York Giants beat the Bills two
years ago - the only contest I can remember in the last several years
that was worthy of any of this hype - they skipped the extra week.
Kickoff is at 6:18 p.m. EST, in case you forgot. The game will be
televised, I think.
football and the
is much more
it is still a team
atmosphere. There is much more
responsibility on the person because
it is a job. It changes sometimes
from an adventure to a job. In the
army they say things like, "It is not
just a job, its an adventure". Well, in
college it is an adventure, in the pros
its a job. That is the way you have to
look at it, businesslike.
D: Compare the coaching
philosophies of Bo Schembechler,
Gary Moeller and Dennis Green.
W: They have the same sort of
styles, because Dennis Green was a
college coach for so long. But it is
still basically the same old thing,
you have to play with pride within
yourself. You can't look for a coach
to get you motivated because if you
can't motivate yourself then you
can't be motivated.
Dennis Green keeps it
businesslike, but he lets you have
fun too. He goes out, like Coach
Moeller, and expects the most out of
you. If you can't get the job done,
there will be somebody else who
can. Philosophy is still the same, just
give it what you got and if you can't
do it, we'll get someone who can.
D: Is training basically the same
W: First of all, everything is to
the dollar, so training is such that
when you have a prescribed time to
be at a certain place or do a certain
thing, if you are not there or you're
Former all-American Tripp Welborne returns a punt during a game against
Minnesota. Welborne played at Michigan from 1987-1990 and was drafted
by the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL in 1991.
nothing more important than the
team. Although you're playing for
yourself, you can have better success
through team success. When the
team wins, you win and when they
don't, you don't.
I learned to keep pressing on
because through Michigan football
you're going to go through trials and
tribulations, you're going to go up
and down, you're going to fight to
be a champion. Because there is
nothing short of a champion, and I
have learned never to quit and
always, always fight. That's been
was evident in the Rose Bowl. I
think they did a great job of blending
speed and size. They'll definitely be
a force to be reckoned with for a
D : Can you explain the
experiences and atmospheres in the
Rose Bowl and the NFL playoffs?
W : The NFL playoffs are
intense, just like a bowl game. In
actuality, when you play in the
playoffs, that is what you've worked
for all year. You get paid for the
playoffs, but if you put it into
retrospect you don't get paid nearly
C h a m p i o n
l(r - .1
Wrestlers place fifth at Duals
Bonnet sets tournament record; wins Outstanding Weser Award
by Michael Rosenberg
Daily Sports Writer
Well, it wasn't exactly winning
one for the Cliffer, but Michigan's
wrestlers finished a surprising fifth
in the Cliff Keen National Team
Duals, named after the former
Michigan coach. The meet was held
in Lincoln, Neb.
Wolverine Sean Bormet, who has
been bothered lately by a bad back,
was named the tournament's Most
Outstanding Wrestler. Bormet,
ranked No. 3 in the country, went 6-
0 and set a new tournament record
with 28 team points over six
matches. Bormet was the only
Michigan wrestler to go undefeated.
Michigan, which was seeded
eighth, defeated seventh seed Ohio
State in the fifth-place match, 22-14.
The Ohio State victory was
highlighted by Wolverine Lanny
Green's decision over defending
national champion Kevin Randleman
at 177 pounds.
Earlier in the tournament, the
Wolverines defeated two other
ranked teams. Michigan defeated
No. 19 North Carolina State in the
seed at the Big Ten Championships
in March. None of his losses came to
Big Ten wrestlers.
The Wolverines' only two losses
were to Iowa and Arizona State,
both of which came into the meet
ranked in the nation's top three. The
Sun Devils beat Michigan by a slim
Tournament favorite Iowa was
stunned in the third round by host
Nebraska. The Cornhuskers then lost
to Penn State in the final, 20-13.
Iowa finished third.
The results of the Keens figure to
shake up the national rankings quite
a bit. Iowa will surely be replaced at
the top of the polls by Penn State,
and the Hawkeyes may also fall
behind Nebraska. Northern Iowa,
which came in ranked No. 8, lost to
unranked Fresno State and Oregon
State, and should fall significantly.
Michigan should move all the
way up to No. 9, leapfrogging Ohio
State, Northern Iowa, and Iowa
State. The Wolverines may wind up
even higher. Although Michigan has
three losses, they are all to teams
ranked in the top five.
B UY T wo RE VE R SE W E A VE"
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opening match, 27-16. The
Wolverines also beat No. 6 Iowa
Michigan heavyweight Steve
King, currently ranked ninth in the
country, had a rough time in
Lincoln. King lost to North Carolina
State's Sylvester Terkay by a major
decision, and he was also edged out
by Missouri's Jeremy Lay and Iowa
State's Todd Kinney. Kinney is
ranked in the top five.
Fortunately for King, the meet
did not hurt his chances for a top
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