Continued from page 1
from more than 20 points down, just
to lose at the buzzer.
Jan. 22, against Michigan State,
the Wolverines had a chance to tie the
game in the waning moments. The
team elected to go for the victory
with a questionable 3-pointer,
subsequently blowing any chance of
upsetting its intra-state rivals.
The Spartans gave Michigan every
conceivable opportunity to emerge
victorious in the rematch in East
Lansing. But the Wolverines went
cold in the final eight minutes and
Michigan State completed the season
It is not even worth reminding
students about the Western Kentucky
game. The game was seemingly over;
fans were preparing to travel to
Dayton to watch the squad battle
Kansas. After the game, every person
in the small Michigan cheering
section was shaking his or her head in
At least the season was over and
the disasters had come to an end.
But there was still more to come.
The hockey team played bril-
liantly all season, but many Michigan
students did not seem to care. That all
The Wolverines gave all they had
for more than five periods and their
efforts were greatly admired and
appreciated by a good portion of the
Unfortunately for the team and the
fans, Maine won on a fluke goal in a
game that both teams deserved to
win. More disappointment.
So, how did this happen? It seems
impossible that any group of fans
could have ever endured as much as
Michigan fans did this year.
Clearly something is working
against the Wolverines and their
supporters, beside the opposition.
It boils down to one event.
This was an all too familiar scene for Michigan fans this year.
In a year filled with tragedies,
there was one golden moment, a
memory that fans will be able to hold
on to for the rest of their lives. Sadly,
this incredibly emotional victory has
had unheard-of consequences.
Michigan beat Notre Dame, and
God got angry.
Thankfully, the Irish are off of the
schedule next year.
Things are beginning to look up
Bad weather limits field in cycling meet
By Ravi Gopal
Daily Sports Writer
Lack of competition didn't
dampen the spirits of the Michigan
cycling team, who rode a large turn-
out to gain points in the Midwest
Conference standings in its first home
meet this weekend.
Only 55 riders competed, as op-
posed to a normal field of 100-200.
The small number of participants
could be attributed to a variety of
* factors, but one reason tends to domi-
"Michigan has gotten this bad
reputation (for having bad weather),"
Michigan Cycling Club President
Matt Curin said.
Ann Arbor didn't disappoint the
............. ............. ... ............................ _ ......
competitors, as snow flurries were
evident in Saturday's road race. How-
ever, the weather, for the most part,
What failed to live up to expecta-
tions was the Wolverine A-Team's
performance in the road race. With
five riders in the fray, Michigan ex-
pected to come away with a top fin-
But Mike Flynn of Miami (Ohio)
and Derek Witte of Marion (Ind.)
broke away from the pack. As the
Wolverines tried to take the lead, rid-
ers from Miami and Marion sealed
them out. Witte and Flynn finished 1-
2 in the race.
Eric Small's sixth-place finish
was Michigan's top performance.
James Wagner and Dan Leroy fin-
ished ninth and 10th respectively.
"We spent the whole time trying
to pass them, but the other teams
blocked us out," Leroy said.
However, the C-Team got re-
venge, as Andrew Young and Kevin
Collins led the Wolverine C's to a
first place finish. Young emerged
victorious, with Collins three places
"Andrew Young's doing real
well," Matt Lambert said. "He's not
that into road racing, but he got cou-
rageous and beat the pack by 40 to 50
Michigan's familiarity with the
course aided its success.
"Oh yeah, (riding at home) gave
us a big advantage," Collins said.
Both Collins and Young moved
up to the B-Team for the first time
in yesterday's criterium, and did
well in their debuts. Collins fin-
ished third and Young finished right
Lambert, Michigan's strongest
B-team rider, fell victim to a flat tire
in the last lap of the race. This hurt
the Wolverines, since Lambert was
their designated set-up rider.
Being a set-up man entails fol-
lowing a teammate who breaks the
wind ahead of you, creating less
drag. Near the end, the set-up man
breaks free of his leader, taking the
victory. Lambert was unable to do
But victory occurred again for the
C's, as Eric Gotting took the crown
VinceChmielewski finished third,
with Neil Blatt and Brian McCormick
finishing sixth and seventh, respec-
Leroy and Wagner led the A-
Team in yesterday's road race, fin-
ishing seventh and ninth, respec-
tively. The duo was part of a nine-
man breakaway, splitting from the
field after the first lap of the 48-lap
Overall,Curin said Michigan was
"disappointed" with its performance.
But as the weather improves, the
Wolverines hope their results will do
"We're getting a lot more riders,
and we're building up more momen-
tum," Collins said.
For unknown reasons,
'M' can't shake curse
.man from the preeminent sports weekly in the United States
recently suggested to me that his publication should write a
lengthy piece about Michigan athletics. "It's the place for
college sports," he posited.
As I prepare to graduate, I am compelled to agree with this man.
College sports, after all, are about heartbreak and distress, calamity
and chagrin. And Michigan leads the nation in all statistical categories.
We all know the story (or should that be plural?).
Notre Dame beats Michigan in football. Duke bests the Wolverine
basketball team. The Michigan hockey team succumbs to Lake Superior
Aside from being dropped by rival schools,
Michigan also repeatedly relinquishes its grasp on
opportunity in big-game situations.
Five final four appearances between the basketball
y and hockey teams in the last four seasons produced no
Michigan was ranked in the top 10 on the gridiron
v k.,before each of the last four seasons as well, yet
claimed just one Rose Bowl victory and zilch national
Berensor Including this year's men's swimming crown,
Michigan has had just three NCAA titles in any sport
since 1964 . Not a bad record for most universities,
but what burns the well-schooled Wolverine booster is the amount of
chances Michigan has blown over the years.
From Webber to Grbac and Shields to Wheatley, Michigan athletes
have been felled by the curse of the winged helmet. A finer athletic
institution doesfnot exist, yet Maize and Blue remain the official colors
of the Nation of Frustration.
The malady of Michigan has deep roots but is not easily explained.
Poor coaching, you say?
Bo Schembechler is one of college football's true
legends, yet will forever be known as the guy who
really knew how to lose a Rose Bowl.
Steve Fisher has solidly built a top-notch
basketball program, but he's not the greatest of game
Red Berenson brought the hockey team back from
the grave, but cannot guide it to the promised land.
Gary Moeller ... well ... um ..
Many of the so-called minor sports have terrific Schembechler
coaches too: baseball's Bill Freehan, women's
gymnastics' Bev Plocki, softball's Carol Hutchins, wrestling's Dale
Bahr and women's cross-country's Mike McGuire to mention a handful.
But all have failed in the grand quest while in Ann Arbor.
Maybe it's the redheaded stepchild attitude that pervades the entire
University. Academically, Michigan perpetually attempts to align itself
with the likes of Harvard, Yale and Princeton - but to no avail.
It's the same in athletics. Whether it's football or basketball,
Michigan is forever one step behind Notre Dame and North Carolina.
Perhaps, as one of my colleagues suggests, the problems have a divine
origin (Barger Than Life, page 1). I am less bold, not having the poetry of
imagination to discern the cause of Michigan's hex. Thus, I do not know.
But what I can say is that the Wolverines, while providing
inspirational moments and crowd-roaring exploits, will always
ultimately disappoint. And the sooner Michigan fans grasp that reality,
the healthier they will be.
The Michigan cycling team hosted its first home meet of the year this weekend, welcoming 55 competitors.
Women's crew begins spring with
victory over Virginia in Columbus
By Jed Rosenthal
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's crew team
traveled to Columbus Saturday, and
soundly defeated Virginia, culminating
a week marked by firsts for the squad.
For the first time ever, the Wol-
verines' novice boat beat the Cava-
"I was really happy," freshman
Jessica Ghazal said. "I had extreme
faith in our crew, and we just pulled
With a flair for dramatics, the
Wolverines' varsity boat edged away
near the end of its race, finishing with
a time of 6:51. That performance bet-
tered Virginia's by only two seconds.
"It was very close," sophomore
NazemaSiddiqui said. "We were down
three seats to start, and we won by four.
I'm really happy with the crew."
Still early in the spring season,
Michigan coach Mark Rothstein was
only somewhat impressed with his
"We are rowing well," Rothstein
said. "But we have a lot to improve on
if we're going to have continued suc-
cess, including our conditioning. It's
just a matter of jelling together."
Rothstein is concerned because
his boats are not completely set yet.
He feels that each of his rowers should
be in place in two weeks.
"It takes a while for rowers to row
together efficiently," Rothstein said.
"There hasn't been a lot of consis-
tency in our lineup."
Last Tuesday, the athletic depart-
ment recommended that women's
crew be the next varsity sport atMichi-
gan. The endorsement had no effect
on the team, though.
"It really doesn't matter if we're
rowing as a varsity or club team,"
freshman Rita Ghazal said. "We just
want to do our best no matter what."
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