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March 24, 1994 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-24

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 24, 1994 9

Divine intervention for Fi

The call came early last fall, as it
does every year.
"Steve, how ya doin' ?"
"Just Jim Dandy, thanks. And yourself?"
"Oh, fine, fine. Keeping an even strain,
you know."
The conversation went along like this for
about five minutes or so, much as it had nearly
every year before.
Dean got the call last September. Mike
was fortunate enough to have gotten it the two
years before that.
After a while, however, Fisher became
"Who did you say you
were, again?"
"I didn't."A
"Well who are ya
then?" .<
ichigan men's bas- _
ketball coach Steve
Fisher had yet to discern BRE1T
the purpose of the phone FORREST
call. You see, few people Forrest
even know about the Fires
whole arrangement.
"Who am I," the voice
on the other end chuckled.
"Yeah. Hey, I don't have all day."
0 "Look. Steve. Calm down. I'm doin' you
a favor."
"Alright. I'm sorry ... go ahead."
"Fish, have you seen that film with Jimmy
Stewart? What am I thinking, of course you
have. Steve, my name is Clarence ..."
"Hey, you're that guy from the movie?
I've seen ..."
"Yeah, yeah. I know, I got my wings. Now
listen, I need to talk to ya. Do you have time
*for lunch today?"
"Why, sure. Where ya wanna go?"
That was it. Fisher had accepted an invita-
tion with destiny. He was unaware at the time,
but his season was about to become much
more eventful than it would have been other-
The two met at a corner table at a local
eatery. (Surely you understand why the
establishment's proprietor would want the
name of the restaurant withheld.)
Fisher's mind was wandering, to say the
"So Steve, do you have any idea why I
called you here?"
There was a weightless pause, as the waiter
filled their water glasses. Even the help won-
dered what was happening. He had seen Fish

in there before, but never with that afternoon's
"Well, when you ask it that way, no I don't
have a clue," the coach said, gazing at his
1989 championship ring. "I was kinda hun-
gry, though."
With that cue, the two ravenous men eyed
the menu. (Not together, of course; they each
had their own copy.)
Fish went with the hot pastrami sandwich,
while Clarence ordered a chicken salad, with
ranch dressing. They put away the menus.
After taking a lengthy drag on his just-lit
Cuban, Clarence finally cut to the chase.
"Steve, how would you like to win the
national championship this season?"
"Heh, heh, heh. That's a funny one. Really
it is. Where do you come off ..."
"Now, I'm serious about this one, Steve."
It was at this time that Fish was all but won
over by his Santa-believing side.
"Whaddaya mean, national champion-
"You know, basketball."
But the coach needed some proof. What was
this guy talking about? Why would he want to
play such a mean-spirited trick on Fish?
"Look, Steve, you gotta trust me on this
one. I know it's hard to believe. You know
that lucky charm of yours called the NCAA
tournament? Well, it follows a plan every
year. Those upsets and amazing storylines
don't just happen. They're planned."
"But, what about Duke over UNLV, or NC
State beating Houston?"
"You really think those teams could have
won if not for some divine intervention?"
Just then, the waiter, glancing at each man,
placed the dishes on the table and walked
away. Others in the restaurant began looking
too. Not only was it Steve Fisher in the corner,
but the two men were becoming boisterous.
"Steve, I'm just a messenger. I answer to
a higher authority."
"But I've never heard ..."
"Don't worry Fish. We want Michigan to
win this year."
Fisher stared longing]' at his steaming
sandwich as if it doubled as a crystal ball.
"Hey Steve, grand realizations like this
happen all the time in people's lives."
"Not mine."
"OK, maybe not yours."
The other patrons sensed a calm and dove
back into their own conversations.
"Steve, if you want to win the national
championship just tell me, and I'll tell the big
man. And, hey, it'll happen."

sher's boys
"I'm not sure if I want to be part of this."
"There's nothing wrong with it. Nothing
illegal. Nothing immoral. It happens every
year. Dean did it last year. Krzyzewski did it
the year before that. Don't worry."
Fish finally took a bite of his pastrami.
This gave him time to mull over the NCAA's
amazingly corpulent volume of dos and don'ts.
As he chewed he could find nothing wrong
with the discourse thus far.
"Well, why not. Sure I want to win the
national championship. Who wouldn't?"
"OK then.Great. This makes me extremely
happy, Steve. You see, there have been a
couple times in the past when coaches didn't
want to accept our deal. I remember eating
with Thompson in September'84. We wentto
this place on M Street. He said he could win
without our help.... You remember Villanova
that year, don't you?"
"That was you?"
Fish took another chomp on the sandwich.
Suddenly, as if awakened from a Rip Van
Winkle-like stupor, the coach knew there had
to be a catch. There had to be a price. He
played it cool.
"Well, let's say I wanted to win the thing.
What would I have to do for you?"
"Just a few things, Steve."
"Yeah, I knew it. A few things like what?"
Clarence smothered his cigar, but not after
telling Fish all the conditions of the agree-
Steve had little trouble with giving the
French kid playing time. He looked pretty
good as it was anyway.
Fish almost choked on the pastrami, though,
when he heard they had to find an African kid
they could recruit away from another school -
and start him in Bloomington. Fish had never
heard of anything like that. But, if there was a
higher power at work, he figured anything was
It was pretty tough dealing with the next
condition. Stolen beer? Well, that was going
a bit far.
"Steve, all kids do things they regret. That's
why they're called kids."
"Yeah, but I just don't ..."
"Steve, it's a character builder. Trust me."
The coach had to give in. Plus, the desert
menus had just arrived.
The final condition was the most difficult
to swallow. Fish struggled over his coconut
custard pie. He weighed and pondered. Still,
though, he could not figure out how it could

Did Steve Fisher make a heavenly deal bring to another NCAA championship to Ann Arbor?

be done.
It was not that he was against doing it, he
just could not calculate how to do it.
"There are some things that just aren't
possible," Fisher implored.
"This is one of the conditions. It must be
adhered to. Period."
The waiter took brought the check and
walked away silently. Fisher mulled some
more. Clarence lit another Cuban.
Fisher finally managed an answer.
"I guess we could find a way to keep it

under 10 points against Pepperdine. It's just
gonna be tough, that's all."
"Great. Then it's settled."
"I guess," Fisher muttered under his breath.
"Then I'll see ya in Charlotte, coach."
The two men exited the eatery seperately
and have not spoken since.
Fisher sauntered back to his office and has
yet to tell anyone of the conversation to date.
But having fulfilled every condition of the.
agreement thus far, the coach must be pretty'
confident going to Dallas.

I. U



Lutheran Campus Ministry Presents:
12th Annual Kauper Lecture
Professor Jeanne Erickson
Professor of Biology
University of California at Los Angeles
Sunday, March 27, 4:00 P.M.
Squire, Sanders and Dempsey Auditorium
Room 120
University of Michigan Law School
Reception Following
The Public is cordially invited to attend
Other Event in Connection with Lecture
Sunday, March 27, 11:30 A.M., Prof. Erickson will join us
for brunch and lead a discussion on "The Vocation of
Researching the Frontiers of Life."
Lord of Light Church, 801 S. Forest at Hill





Statistics 100: Introduction to Statistical Reasoning (4 credits)
T Th 9-10 a.m.
M W 9-11 a.m.
Statistics 402: Introduction to Statistics and Data Analysis (4 credits)
M W 11-12 a.m.
TTH 0-12a.m.
Statistics 412: Introduction to Probability and Statistics (3 credits)
T Th 9-10 a.m.

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