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September 26, 1994 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-26

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A

Howard
The Heisman Trophy winner talks about
the NFL and college life

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RACHEL BACHMAN
Bach's Score

Desmond Howard is one of the
most celebrated receivers in Michi-
gan history. His fourth-down touch-
down reception against Notre Dame
in 1991 is still being talked about.
"The Catch" also helped the senior
linch Michigan's second-ever
eisman Trophy thatseason. Howard
was the Washington Redskins' No. 1
draft pick, fourth overall, in 1992.
Recently, Daily sports writer Jenni-
fer Duberstein spoke with the third-
year pro about life in the NFL.
Daily: In your third season with
the Redskins, do you feel there is
extreme pressure to make things hap-
en?
Howard: I think with the person-
nel that we have this year, there is not
pressure just on me to make things
happen. There are going to be a lot of
guys out there making plays, so I
think that it's not going to be on any
one player's showing to make the
plays.Ithink it's just amatter of when
your number is called, stepping up
and taking advantage of the opportu-
ty when it's given to you.
D:How do you plan to turn around
your game?
H: Basically,just catching the ball
and running with it, and letting my
athletic ability take over and doing
the best I can.
D: The Redskins have had three
coaches in three years. What differ-
exces have you noticed among Joe
gbbs, Ritchie Petibon and Norv
*rner?
H: I think the first two were quite
similar because Coach Petibon has
been under Coach Gibbs for awhile,
but I think that the biggest difference
is this year with Coach Norv Turner.
He's bringing in a whole new offensive
system and he brought a new entourage
of coaches. Therefore, we have an of-
fense this year that's distributing the
,VI equally and giving a lot of players
portunities to make plays. It's more
or less a ball-control offense. You are
not just relying on the big play to make
the score. You are really controlling the
ball, moving it down field, and at the
same time, eating time off the clock and
keeping the other team's offense off the
field.
D: Do you believe that the firing
of Coach Petibon was warranted after
*ly one year as head coach?
H: I really can't say that because I
don't know everything that goes into
that sort of decision. I think that if you
would have taken a vote last year, the
players probably would have voted
not to fire him and to fire some of his
assistant coaches.
D: Why do you believe that the
Redskins have fallen from their domi-
qnt position so quickly?
H: Well, the coaching change has
something to do with it. The NFL is
like a roller coaster. You are going to
have your good years and you are
going to have your bad years. I think
Dallas has been on the swing of their
good years the past two seasons, but
no one mentions when they were 1-
15, when they were in their bad years.
I think its like a roller coaster and
u have to roll with the punches. I
think we will definitely be on top,
though, soon.
D: What are differences between
playing at RFK Stadium and Michi-
gan Stadium?
H: RFK is half the size and it
doesn't get as noisy. Michigan isdefi-
nitely a fun place to play. There is

nothing like it.
9 D: Do you think Washington is a
sports town"?
H: I don't know if it's a sports
town, but they definitely support the
Redskins. They don't have the domi-
nance that would come with a lot of
different sports teams. I think that the
Redskins are the focal point for the
town. A lot of people rally behind the
Redskins, but they don't really rally
'hind a lot of the other sports teams.
D: How does the Cowboys-
Redskins rivalry compare with the
Notre Dame or Michigan State ri-
valry with Michigan?
H: I think there are a lot of simi-
larities. I think the cowboy-Indian
rivalry is a little more embedded into

seen a lot of other Big Ten teams play
but if they let that Notre Dame game
prepare them for the rest of the season,

catch-22 situation when people just
want to go and make an assessment of
the decision by its results.

you are really a fan or friend of
Tyrone's then you should be happy
because he is happy.

Minor 'M' sports
produce major results
A t any table in the Mug, there are people who will tell you about
Michigan football. On any swatch of Diag grass, there are
people who will tell you about Michigan basketball. And in any
CRISP line, there are people who will tell you about the hockey team.
These people are many.
It's no secret why such hordes abound: The football team is the
winningest major-college program in the history of the sport; the basketball
team has one championship and two second-places in the last five years;
and the hockey team has an air-conditioned building.
The teams are popular. They are, as they say, the stuff of legends.
And books (Fab Five).
And books about legends (Natural Enemies, about the Notre Dame
rivalry).
This is fine, except that the volumes written about these teams have
only made the rich richer, like Michael Jackson marrying Lisa Marie
Presley.
Yes, football, basketball and hockey are fun to watch, but are they
worth the $70 or $80 season-tickets price? Maybe. But you won't find that
kind of money under the seat cushions of your couch. Unless you don't
have seat cushions, in which case you probably have more things to worry
about than sports, like "How am I going to get rid of these splinters?".
There are things called "minor" or "non-revenue" sports, which means
there are no hordes of inebriated sophomores stumbling into their games,
no guys without teeth scalping tickets outside. These sports are not that
glamorous.
What minor sports do have, however, is a wealth of excitement beyond
TV timeouts, away from the snaking lines of Crisler Arena. These unsung
sports teams have talent, pure and simple. Consider this:
Last year, Michigan had 30 NCAA All-Americans in non-revenue
sports, three of whom earned the honor on three teams.
The Wolverines had nine conference championship teams. That
means that out of 23 sports, Michigan reigns supreme in more than a third.
Earlier this month, sophomore swimmer Tom Dolan set a world
record in the 400 individual medley. A world record. A sophomore. (Can
you imagine the reaction this guy gets?
"Bobby, what did you do on your summer vacation?" "I scraped gum
off the seats of the Screaming Weasel at Six Flags, Mrs. Crabtree."
"Tom Dolan, how about you?...")
The rest of the swim team is full of such overachievers. The women
have won the conference for the past eight years; the men the past nine.
Talk about bragging rights: Even fans still clinging to water wings should
be proud.
The women's gymnastics team vaulted into the national spotlight last
year. The Wolverines finished fourth in the country after going 27-1 last
season, 13-0 in the Big Ten.
Beth Wymer, who has two years of eligibility left, won everything in
sight at the conference level. She also took first in the uneven bars at the
national co-championship and second on the balance beam at NCAAs.
Wymer is one of a handful of gymnasts who, just by dipping her hands in
pre-event chalk, commands a hush from the crowd.
The cross-country teams, which finished first in the conference,
provided a consistent, reliable butt-kickin' from start to finish last year.
All-Americans Molly McClimon and Courtney Babcock also moonlighted
for the track and field team, helping the squad to Big Ten Outdoor and
Indoor Championships.
That's just a sample of the collective power and grace that resides on
this campus. And those athletes don't even have leather couches in their
locker rooms.
See BACHMAN, Page 8

then Michigan should have a real good
year.
D: How do you feel about Tyrone
Wheatley's decision to stay in school
instead of foregoing his last year of
eligibility?
H: Well, that decision really
shouldn't be second-guessed by any-
one even though it will be. It's a

Basically, if he gets hurt again, it
hurts his position in the draft and then
people say it was a dumb decision for
him to stay. But say if he comes back
and wins the Heisman and goes as one
of the top three to five picks in the
draft, then everyone will say it was a
great decision. Realistically, he made
the decision that is best for him and if

D: What advice would you give to
Michigan senior Walter Smith, who
See HOWARD, Page 7

I,

VI

.N

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