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January 05, 1994 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-01-05

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSWednesday - Wednesday, January 5, 1994 - 3

Continued from page 1
few complaints as the ride was
smooth and the flight was on time.
After departing at 9 a.m. from
Detroit (I was on the second of four
planes), the 757 arrived in Tampa at
11:30 a.m.
Then it got interesting. Those
who were taking the Tour buses to
the hotel, went down a flight of
stairs built into the plane's tailcone
(I am not making this up) to the
buses waiting on the tarmac.
1980s, Tourees descended from
planes (not through tailcones,
though) to waiting buses at LAX on
the Rose Bowl Tour. More recently
they've used jetways. When all had
descended, the buses made their
way to Innisbrook.
While check-in was, to be blunt,
a nightmare as the workers seemed
unprepared for all the people
arriving at once (it took me and my
family 90 minutes to check-in)
Innisbrook was not. I could see why
the Tour officials were attracted. In
addition to all of the activities
available, the rooms are incredible.
Surrounding each of the three golf
courses are several two-story
buildings,almost exclusively filled
with suites.
'Suites' doesn't accurately
describe the rooms, however. Each
suite has a sitting room, one or two
bedrooms, a kitchen, at least one
bathroom - a condo. My
apartment would fit inside our
The Tour had no scheduled
activities the rest of the day. But
there was plenty to keep you busy.
Today we went where the wild
things are - Busch Gardens. The
Tour had a bus ride to the park you
could have paid extra for, but since
we had rented a car at the hotel, we
drove. Good thing too, as one of the
Tour's buses broke down about five
miles from the park; a school bus,
called to the scene, carried them the
rest of the way to Busch.
Now, I promised you a report on
the Kumba roller coaster, so here it
is: outstanding. I've never ridden
anything like it, but bear in mind
that the company that built it is also
*building the new coaster at Cedar
Point, so you'll get a chance to
experience their craftsmanship.
For those who didn't go to
Busch, you could have gone to
something called "Bowl Beach
Day" in Clearwater. Not that I
know anyone who went, but if you
did go you would have seen both
team's bands, cheerleaders and
&players in casual gear enjoying the

beach. There was a volleyball game
between the players (N.C. State
won, 2 games to 1), a tug-of-war
between the cheerleaders (the
Wolfpack won that, too) and a Key
Lime tart-eating contest between
the bands (which, draw your own
conclusions, Michigan actually
won). It was not an activity the
Tour sent buses to, however.
In the evening, the Tour held its
First Official Get-Together, a
reception at the main ballroom. It
was odd to see the Maize and Blue
"Alumni Association" banner, a
mainstay of the functions on the
Rose Bowl tour and prominently
hung in the Century Plaza ballroom,
hung somewhere else. But the
reception was nice, and I found
some Tourees I had met in Hawaii
last year.
Busch. Old Touring
companions. Great
accommodations. That filled a day,
and filled it well.
The size of Innisbrook makes
the character of the Tour different
than it is in California. At the
Century Plaza, where the Rose
Bowl tour is based, you constantly
run into people in Michigan shirts,
whether in the lobby, elevators or
buses. While you may not know
them, you always find yourself in a
conversation with them, just
because everybody there is for
Michigan. At Innisbrook, it's
difficult to bump into someone, as
everyone's someplace else.
However, there was a good
reason to get together this morning
as Joe Roberson, the new Athletic
Director, addressed all who chose to
attend at the first "Coffee with Our
Leaders" of the Tour. In a relatively
packed meeting room, Roberson
spoke and answered questions for
30 minutes on issues ranging from
his approach to his position ("We
are unique in that both our
academics and our athletics are at
the top, and we won't sacrifice
academic integrity for athletic
excellence," he said) to gender
Roberson didn't back down
from answering questions about that
controversial issue, and bluntly
stated that "I can't guarantee you"
other sports won't meet fates
similar to men's gymnastics.
At the end of the half-hour,
Roberson received a hearty round
of applause from the gathering, and
he and Bob Forman, head of the
Alumni Association, told everybody
that Michigan insignia golf balls
were available at the back of the
room, free.
"I've already lost about a dozen
of them," Forman quipped.
On our way out, my parents

grabbed a box of three.
We don't golf.
What the heck.
Some on the tour had departed
on a day-trip to Disney World. I've
been to Disney World, a lot, and
instead went to a press conference
at the Tampa Convention Center.
Everyone else had the day "at
leisure." Or as busy as you wanted
it, since we were at Innisbrook.
As ABC's Keith Jackson might
say, "Whoa, Nellie." The Tour
kicked into overdrive today. The
day started at 9 a.m. with Coffee
With James Duderstadt, in which
the president provided commentary
on everything from Michigan's
need for research to his complaint
with the over-commercialization of
college athletics.
He and Forman also pitched golf
balls again. We didn't take them
this time.
After the talk, I had a chance to
sit down with Forman for a few
minutes. In his 28th year as Alumni
Association head and on his 20th
Tour, Forman also noticed a
distinctness to this Tour.
"This tour gives people an
opportunity to just sit down, or play
golf, or relax; it's more a vacation
or a holiday," he said. "Saturday the
game will still be the No. I item,
but in the past when we've gone out
and played in the Rose Bowl, and
the game had national
championship implications, the
game has all your focus during the
"You don't hear on this tour as
much discussion of the game itself
as you would if we were at the Rose
Bowl. But at the same time I
wouldn't take away from the
importance of the game."
Then, at 2 p.m. sharp, it was
onto the buses for a trip to the
convention center and a Big Tour
Event - the Michigan Marching
Band concert. Did I mention that
the band stayed at Innisbrook, too?
We saw their buses, but you
couldn't see them pratice, because
they didn't practice at Innisbrook.
Instead, they prepared at a nearby
high school.
I finally saw them at the Center.
The Convention Center is right on
Hillsborough Bay, just across the
bridge from Harbour Island (where
the team stayed) and the band
performed on waterfront. The
crowd was large, over 5,000, but
surprisingly quiet during the
A few hours later, at the
Harbour Island New Year's Eve
festival, just the opposite was the
case. Both N.C. State's and
Michigan's bands and cheerleaders
performed in a 'battle of the bands'

and the crowd was half the size but
much louder. During the
performance of "Temptation" and
(since you can't have one without
the other...) "Hawaiian War Chant"
and "Blues Brothers," the island
ROCKED (as Van Earl Wright
might say), cameras flashed, and
people went wild.
The night gave an indication of
the coming mismatch between the
schools, as the N.C. State crowd
was much smaller and their
cheerleaders led them in a dance
that, as far as I can tell, was the
New Age Hokey Pokey.
My brother, who will be a
freshman here next year, could even
synchronize the Hokey Pokey steps
to it.
The evening also featured a
country-western DJ, who played a
tune called the "18-Wheeler Song"
and repeatedly shouted "COME ON
and a country-rock band, whose
blaring performance drove the
Michigan fans into the attached
indoor mall in droves.
The fireworks ended at 10 p.m.,
and all bussed back to Innisbrook to
get ready for "THE GAME."
After a week of fantastic
weather, it rained. The stadium was
soggy, and since umbrellas weren't
allowed, ponchos were the order of
the day. But Michigan cruised, and
the fans in my section (Tampa
Stadium's miniscule press box
meant not all attending journalists
could sit up there) were particularly
crazy about it, so no one
particularly minded.
After the game, the atypical
nature of the Tour shone through.
While my family drove to the game
(since I had to stay late for the press
conference) the busses were
reportedly quiet. That's never the
case after a Pasadena victory, as
you've sung "The Victors" a good
25 times by the time you're back to
the hotel.
Also, after a Rose Bowl victory,
everyone goes across the street
from the Century Plaza to the ABC
Entertainment Center and has a
giant, informal party. But here?
People just went back to their
condos to pack.
We came home. End of tour.
I hope you see that the Official
Tours really are the premier way to
travel to these bowl games, Final
Fours, and other events. Usually,
the sense of Michigan community is
great (and it was here too, when
everyone was together), the
accommodations can't be beat, and
unlike some tours run out of
Madison, everyone definitely gets a
seat to the game.
Give it a try next year. It just
may give you a ROCKING good

Close But No Sugiura
Fame Bowl offers new
beginnings.r for Blue
T AMPA, Fla. - A bowl game usually seems like more of an ending
than a beginning. Though many of them take place on the first day of
the new year, bowl games typically mean a climactic conclusion to
the long season that began way back in August.
It also marks the end of the road for each teams seniors and the handful
of underclassmen who decide it is time to move on.
An while Michigan's 42-7 Hall of Fame Bowl humiliation of N.C. State
was all these things, the game seemed as much a rebirth as anything else.
For just like Ponce de Len, the National Hockey League and
seemingly millions of geriatrics before them, the Wolverines of the
Michigan football team came to Florida looking for renewal. They came in
search of a chance to put the past seasons aches and pains - both mental
and physical - behind them and return to the glories of years past.
"I know the younger guys want to go back to the Rose Bowl. That's
why we wanted to send them into next year right," said defensive lineman
and team leader Buster Stanley.
And while it seems altogether odd that the road to Pasadena would wind through
the greater Tampa/St. Petersburg area, so it has. The long, strange trip has begun.
The trip back to national prominence, back to conference titles and back
to fear-stricken opponents has begun.
"We're definitely eager," said stalwart linebacker Steve Morrison, who is
probably as ready as anyone to jettison from his memory the images of his
injury-riddled season. "Just because of the last four games we've won. Were
on the rise and hopefully, we'll continue to do this throughout the next year. It
only helps to build for the future in terms of winter and spring and stuff like
that. I think definitely it's a great stepping stone for us next year."
Morrison is only one of many returning players who starred against the
Wolfpack. Morison, who will be a senior next fall, picked off an errant pass and
racked up eight tackles, all of them solo. He will head a rock-solid linebacking corps
that will include his replacement this season, freshman Jarrett Irons, as well as Matt
Dyson, Bobby Powers and Trevor Pryce, among others.
Everywhere Morrison looks, there is youth.
"I guess last year I got the feeling that a lot of people were leaving. We
were losing our offensive linemen and things like that, and this year, you're
going to see a lot of guys coming back," he said. "We're young in some
respects, so I think you definitely have to look forward to all the positive
things that can happen in the next year."
While last year's Rose Bowl victory over Washington was memorable
for Tyrone Wheatley's astounding runs and offered promise for the coming
season, it seemed in many ways more like a last hurrah. In addition to
offensive linemen Steve Everitt, Joe Cocozzo, Doug Skene and Rob
Doherty, players like Tony McGee, Elvis Grbac, Corwin Brown and Mike
Evans all finished out their careers at the Rose Bowl.
New Year's Day 1993 was a valedictory. New Year's Day 1994 was
1,400 on the SAT. There is the promise of more to come. Those leaving
seemed to realize that.
"I'm glad I'm done with my five years because I'm, ready to heal my
body and move on in life," said center Marc Milia, who is headed for
Michigan's medical school. "But I wish I could've started as a fourth-year
player and had two years as a starter instead of just one."
It will be interesting to see how history remembers this edition of Michigan
football. Much of the season was forgettable, although it had its moments,
particularly the emotional victories over Penn State and Ohio State.
But perhaps it would be best remembered as a learning experience,
when the young were forced to earn their wings prematurely, when the old
seemed to forget how hard it is to truly soar.
"As bad as our season may have looked, I think it was the best thing for
our team, because we had a lot of young guys on the team," senior safety
Shonte Peoples recapped. "We had a lot of players who didn't know what it
took to win and a lot of them just came in and started playing without
having to go on 'demo' (the scout team) or having to go through summer
running, conditioning, spring ball.
"I think that for me, it was a bad thing, but for them it's a good thing,"
he added. "It was something like a slap in the face saying you can't go out
and win games. You have to prepare first."
The preparation has begun.


I 1

Making their first appearance in Pasadena since 1963, the Wisconsin Badgers' defeat UCLA 21-16 to win their first
Rose Bowl ever. The Badgers capitalized on several Bruins turnovers and made it the second straight year that the
Big Ten was victorious over the Pac-10.

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