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September 19, 1994 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-19

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The Michigan Daily -- SPORTSMonday - Monday, September 19, 1994 - 5

Fox gains upper hand in TV sports with new NHL contract

Daily Hockey Writer
In the endless search for
internships last spring, I remember
one phone call to CBS Sports in
which the woman encouraged me
with words to the effect of 'you
don't want to work here, we have
no sports.'
She wasn't kidding.
Around the corner for CBS lay
the U.S. Open tennis tournament
and well...
If you recall, CBS's domination
of televised sports had begun its
downward spin. It was not part of
the newborn Baseball Network
linking ABC and NBC, and even
ESPN, and last December, it lost its
bid for the NFC to the Fox
Fox, the up-and-coming
television network for Generation
X, i.e. people like you and me, now
bombards us with endless promos
and groovy graphics during "NFL

Sunday on Fox." It has restructured
its fall lineup, most notably moving
"The Simpsons" to its blockbuster
Sunday. And CBS has no choice but
to run 70's flicks in place of sports
programming .
Just last week, with CBS egos
and job security at risk, Fox outbid
CBS for the newly packaged NHL
by, reportedly, a mere five million
dollars. CBS has the money, but no
longer possess the clout with
professional sports organizations to
secure contracts.
Now, who is really suffering
because of CBS's demise and the
subsequent rise of Fox?
Certainly it's not the advertisers
who have merely switched
affiliations. And we don't see the
talent shedding any tears. Pat
Summerall and John Madden,
CBS's genetic link to Joe Football,
jumped ship for Fox along with
James Brown and Terry Bradshaw.
Lesley Visser now graces ESPN

with her presence, and although he
still manages to butter you up
during tennis, Pat O'Brien has been
gossiping with the stars on
Entertainment Tonight. Pride and
ego, folks - that's where it's at.
Although Fox may be stretching
its sports coverage a bit with the
new series "Hardball", looking like
a progressively worse Major
League III and a laugh track to
boot, the marriage of two
blossoming entities is bound for
NHL Commissioner Gary
Bettman, a defecter from the NBA,
has worked diligently over the last
two years to punctuate the NHL
image with a growing audience and
a cleaner game. Rule changes
restricting fighting and cheap stick
fouls (look for the NBA's similar
changes this season) and athlete
promotions continue to reach out to
a younger and more diverse

"(Fox is) particularly strong in
the 18-year-old to 34-year-range.
Among the viewers' households,
we're stronger in the 18-to-34
group," Bettman said. "That's
where we think the future of our
game lies."
Simultaneously, the NHL also
signed a five-year contract
extension with ESPN. ESPN will
continue its coverage this season,
broadcasting approximately 100
games between its two networks
(ESPN and ESPN2). Fox will
broadcast at least two Stanley Cup
final games and the perennial Game
7, if one is needed.
One of Bettman's greatest
accomplishments in re-signing with
ESPN is ensuring it the exclusive
rights to semifinals and finals. This
prohibits any blackout possibilities
like those last season in the New
York area due to the Rangers
affiliations with Madison Square
Garden Network.

As hockey fans, we have
relished in the national (and limited
at that) coverage of the NHL in
recent seasons. NBC has telecast
the All-Star Game and this year,
ABC picked up live regional
coverage on the final Sundays
leading up to the playoffs.
Although we enjoyed the
exposure, not to mention the antics
of Marv Albert and John Davidson,
we were certainly not too proud of
the scripted 16-bazillion goal All-
Star festivities. Fox will kick off,
excuse me, face off its coverage on
All-Star Weekend in San Jose,
Calif., Jan. 21.
Even though you will have to
survive numerous promos for the
hippest Fox imitations of television
production and even an occasional
spot of meaningful art, Fox will
bring to life the truest form of
hockey with a little spice in time for
the holidays.

Sittler sent to
minors by Philly
Daily Hockey Writer
After leaving the University of
Michigan hockey team with two
years of eligibility left, Ryan Sittler
signed a two-way contract with the
Philadelphia Flyers just in time to
be sent down to Hershey, the Fly-
ers' American Hockey League af-
Sittler, along with four
defenseman, failed to survive early
cuts in this young pre-season. Now,
it seems as though Sittler's pro ca-
reer will start off slowly, like most
other NHL prospects.
Amassing 51 points during his
tenure at Michigan, Sittler saw lim-
ited game action last season due to
injury. He surprised many Michi-
gan followers with his decision to
forego his last two years of colle-
giate hockey and sign with the Fly-
ers Sept. 2. The No. 7 overall 1992
draft pick apparently had his eyes
set on something bigger and more

M' Experience showcases athletics
*~t~y° Teams and coaches on hand to meet Blue fans

Daily Sports Editor
Throughout the season, hundreds
of thousands of fans jam Michigan
Stadium, Crisler Arena and other
campus venues to cheer for the Wol-
verines. Yesterday's "Michigan Ex-
perience" gave anyone who wanted
the chance to see those teams up
close and personal.
Coaches and players from all 22
varsity programs greeted fans and
signed autographs for two hours yes-
terday atCrislerArena. Thousands lined
up all the way around the parking lot as
the athletic department showcased its
"It's a great experience," said Mary
Ruth Birdwho brought her three small
children from Livonia. "It's good for
the kids to see the student-athletes.
It's also fun for them to participate in
the activities."
The activities that fans could par-

ticipate in out in the parking lot in-
cluded kicking a field goal, shooting
a basketball and a hockey puck, pitch-
ing a basebal and even hitting a golf
ball. Fans also had the opportunity to
try on football, baseball and hockey
The mix of autographs, prizes,
games and souvenirs was a hit for
fans of all ages.
"I like getting the autographs, espe-
cially Dugan Fife's," said 10-year old
Justin Smoes of Wayne, Mich. "He's
my favorite player."
Inside Crisler, fans were also en-
tertained by the Wolverettes dance
team, the Michigan cheerleaders and
the Michigan Marching Band.
"It's the best P.R. we've had in
years for the athletic department,"
men's swimming coach Jon Urbanchek
said. "We've got half of Ann Arbor
here. It gives us a chance to expose
everyone to a lot of the other sports

around here. They all know about foot-
ball and basketball."
A dixieland band greeted fans as
they entered the arena. Everyone re-
ceived a free souvenir such as a poster,
a keychain or a bracelet. Lucky fans
won autographed balls and tickets to an
upcoming football game.
"We charge people a lot of money
to come to football games here,"
Urbanchek said. "It's time for us to
pay something back and give them
the opportunity to meet some of the
Each team had a coach and, in .
most cases, several players on hand.
On the way out, fans had an opportu-
nity to view the men's basketball
"It gives us a chance to thank the
fans for their continued support," as-
sistant men's basketball coach Jay
Smith said. "It gives people the oppor-
tunity to see what we're all about."

Jimmy King and Dugan Fife of the men's basketball team sign autographs yesterday at Crisler Arena.

Eeootballaskt e
Everything you always wanted to know about the college game

The defense tries to anticipate
what the offense will do. Each
defenseman is assigned an
offensive player to follow during
the play.

Football Glossary
Audible - When a quarterback
' gets to the line of scrimmage and
sees the defense in an unexpected
formation, he can yell a series of
commands that changes the
offensive plays.
Blitz - When linebackers and/or
defensive backs rush the passer.
Encroachment - When an
offensive player is in or beyond the
neutral zone (the length of the
ball and width of the field) after
the snapper touches or simulates
A touching the ball before the snap.
Fumble - The ball carrier loses
the ball.
Handoff - When the quarterback
pivots and gives the ball to the
running back to start a play.
Huddle - The pre-play strategy
session. In an attempt to keep the
defense off guard, some teams
use "no-huddle" offenses.
Interception - When the defense
catches one of the quarterback's
Line of Scrimmage - The
imaginary horizontal line that
runs through the ball from one
sideline to the other at the
beginning of the play.
Offside - When a defensive player
is beyond the neutral zone when
the ball is snapped, or touches an
opponent or the ball before it is
Option - When the quarterback
runs with the ball and has the
option of tossing the ball to a
running back or keeping' it
Play Clock - The 25-second limit
each team has to begin a play.
Pocket - Area behind the line of
scrimmage where the quarterback
looks for receivers. Offensive

The game must be played under the supervision of a minimum of four
officials. This group includes a referee, an umpire, a linesman and a line
judge. In addition, a crew can consist of back judge, a field judge or a
side judge.

Graphics by Jonathan
Berndt and Scot Woods
Text by Rachel Bachman
and Melanie Schuman

No ruling may be changed after the next play begins.

TD, field goal,
extra point



Personal foul

First down

,fid k r

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'C' f
c~O4 S4,/

There are three categories of
defenders: linemen, linebackers and
defensive backs.
The linemen on the far sides of
the line are called ends. Their job is
to harass the quarterback. The nose
tackle or middle guard lines up
opposite the center and tries to stop
running backs from rushing up the
Linebackers usually lead their
team in tackles. They run around the
defensive linemen, trying to stop the
ball carrier or sack the quarterback.
The defensive backfield, or
secondary, usually contains two
cornerbacks and two safeties.
Cornerbacks shadow receivers,
trying to keep them from catching
passes. Safeties are the defensive
free-lancers. They are the last line of
defense against big offensive plays.

Pass Incomplete pass,
interference penalty refused.
missed kick


r :..

tosses the ball to the quarterback.
Third and Long - Refers to a third
down wien the offensive team
has 10 yards or more to gain. An
obvious passing play.
Timeout - One minute 30 seconds
long; each team receives three per
Turnover - When a team gives up
possession of the ball before
scoring or punting. The two most
common turnovers are fumbles
and interceptions.

*{'{ ...::'{h'{t ii.

The offense has four tries, or downs, to advance the ball 10 yards. If
the team is successful, it gains a first down. Then, it gets four more
tries to advance the ball. A drive, or sequence of plays, ends when (1)
the offensive team scores, or (2) the team fails to earn a first down. On
fourth down, a team usually punts the ball to the opposing team. That
team then becomes the offensive team.

Special Teims
These teams always involve a kicker. He is used (1)
when kicking off after scoring, (2) on punts on a fourth
down, (3) in attempts to kick the extra point after a

quarterback is the
focal point of the offense.
All offensive plays begin with
the center, who crouches in front
of the quarterback, snapping the
ball to him. After the center snaps
the ball, he blocks the opposing

There are five ways to score.
A touchdown is worth six points.
It occurs when an offensive
player moves the ball across the
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