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November 05, 1998 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-11-05

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 5, 1998 - 13A

The
Grind
Sharat Raju

L

The Body'I first in sports takeover

nd in this corner! ... In case you
haven't heard, Jesse "The Body"
Ventura - former body slam-
mer/professional wrestler -- won the
gubernatorial race in the state of
Minnesota.
OK, so Minnesota is one of the
ore backward states of the 50 in this
country. I mean, for God's sake, the sec-
ond biggest topic of conversation next
to how it is so damn cold is Minnesota
Gophers hockey.
With that in mind, The Body is now
governor of Minnesota. Is that ridicu-
lous, or what?
But no, it's not ridiculous. This is a
trend in society that you will see contin-
e over the next few years. The Body's
stunning victory is one of only many in
a trend that will manifest over the next
several years into the next century.
Sports is taking over politics. The
Body's victory is only the first in what
will be a long line of sports heroes who
will ascend into political dominance.
Oh yes, mark my words.
Granted, pro wrestling is hardly a
professional sport. A couple of years

ago New Jersey ruled that pro wrestling
was not a sport just so the WWF and
WCW did not have to pay gaming fees.
But hey, saying pro wresting is fake is
like saying Santa Claus doesn't exist.
In any case, with The Body's monu-
mental victory - already proclaimed
one of the biggest political upsets in
history - many more popular sports
figures will run for political positions, I
guarantee that.
Take Joe "Boom Boom" Paterno,
for example. You can't tell me that he
wouldn't just destroy any candidate in
the state of Pennsylvania. Paterno's
been at Penn State so long that there are
rocks at Beaver Stadium younger than
him.
He definitely has that Ronald
Reagan, old-man, oh-I-feel-sorry-for-
his-senility-so-I'll-vote-for-him appeal.
He would be a shoo-in next election
day for governor.
What about the state of Michigan?
Scotty "Superfly" Bowman would have
won the Michigan gubernatorial race in
a landslide. He must be kicking himself
for not running this year, what with two

less-than-desirable candidates in the
race.
Bowman wouldn't even have to say
a damn thing. He would just hoist the
Red Wings' two Stanley Cups, and
that's it - Gov. Bowman.
Actually, in a couple of years, there
is going to be a national election once
again. Who would be a better running
team than Michael "Air" Jordan and
Mark "Bulked-up" McGwire? The
answer is no one. Not Al Gore or
George W. Bush or anyone.
OK, so Jordan wouldn't get votes in
Michigan or Utah or Ohio. That's fine.
He could probably carry the rest of the
country just as he did the Bulls for his
entire career. And with McGwire as a
running mate, he would clean up
around the country.
Imagine that - Joe Naismith's and
Abner Doubleday's birthdays would be
national holidays. A Utopian society.
It's coming, believe me. The full-on
sports takeover of politics and society
will arrive shortly.
- Sharat Raju can be reached via
e-mail at sraju@umich.edu.

GIANTS
Continued from PageIOA
while adding five blocks.
The Wolverines had a considerable
size advantage over the Giants, with
both Vignier and Asselin towering
over their Aussie counterparts. The
Wolverines out-rebounded the Giants,
54-38.
Freshman guard/forward Leon
Jones struggled from the floor, hitting
just one of his I1 shots, but was excel-
lent defensively.
"He made some plays that you don't
see sophomores make,'" Ellerbe said.
Despite the lopsided victory,
Ellerbe said he saw a lot of room for
improvement. He said the offense has
to execute better, cutting back on
turnovers, and the defense has to tight-
en up some holes.
One of the Wolverines' biggest
problems may have been lack of con-
centration. After holding the Giants to
just 18 first-half points, they gave .up
30 in the second stanza.
"Once we took control of the game,
mentally we got a little lackadaisical,"
Ellerbe said. "We spent a little too
much time focusing on the clock than
focusing on the game."
The Wolverines did an excellent job
containing North Melbourne point
guard Antoine Howard. Howard, who
scored 18 points against both Indiana
and Purdue earlier this week, managed
just five last night. In fact, no Giant
scored in double figures. Their leading
scorer, forward Luke Egan, had just
nine.

WARREN ZINN/Daily
Junior center Peter Vignier hauled down 16 rebounds in last night's victory. He
also blocked a shot and scored seven points.

Feely divine as placekicker

By Sharat Raju
Daily Sports Editor
It takes a lot to be a placekicker.
Consistency. Form. Leg strength.
How about Divine Intervention?
It might just work for Michigan
senior kicker Jay Feely. Before attempt-
ing field goals he asks for a little help.
"'I can do all things through Christ
who strengthens me,' is the prayer I say,
Feely said.
Feely has been playing like he's been
heaven-sent this season. Since assuming
the full-time kicker role, he has drilled 9
of 13 through the uprights, including a
51 -yarder against Michigan State.
Just this past Saturday, with the
Michigan running game severely strug-
gling, Feely proved to be the Wolverines'
savior. He made both of his field goals,
including a late-game 18-yarder that
gave the Wolverines a five-point lead.
The kick forced the Gophers into a posi-
tion where they needed a touchdown to

win, not just a field goal.
Feely's efforts have managed to sal-
vage victory from the clutches of defeat
on ocassion, but he hasn't been able to
resurrect the Wolverines by himself.
"I don't think we're a frustrated team,
I don't think that at all," Feely said. "It's
just frustrating to know we can be better."
Just as the Wolverines have struggled
throughout to find the right people in the
right places - for example, tailback,
quarterback, punt returner- Feely was-
n't Michigan's first choice for kicker.
Kraig Baker, who handled the kick-
ing chores last season, began this year
and played against Notre Dame. After a
few misses early in the game, he was
yanked in favor of Feely.
Since then, Feely hasn't relinquished
the position. Along with consistent field-
goal kicking, the Odessa, Fla., native has
made 21 of 21 extra-point attempts.
But his success hasn't overshadowed
the problems surround the special teams

unit as a whole.
"I think we've underachieved in spe-
cial teams,' Feely said. "We've had a
good game plan going into each game. It
just happens to be one part of it each
week - whether it's the kickers or
returners fumbling the ball, things like
that. It's been a different part each week.
We can't do that and we know that and
we keep improving."
Besides Feely's field-goal kicking
and Hayden Epstien's out-of-the-end-
zone kickoffs, the Wolverines have been
trying to achieve consistency in nearly
every part of their game.
But a six-game winning streak has
returned confidence for Feely and the
Wolverines heading into this week's
Penn State showdown.
"There's a quote that I like, it says:
'The only failure in falling is the failure
to get back up,"' Feely said. "We've got-
ten back up and we have a chance to do
something great."

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WARREN ZINN/Daily
Before he attempts a field goal, Including this one against Northwestern, Jay Feely
says 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,' the Michigan kicker said.

occer hopes to repeat as champs
REVENGE which helped the Wildcats to victory formation," Lewis said. "They wil
over Michigan earlier this season. give us a run for our money, but w
Continued from Page :IOA "Because we played them before we will be ready."

I

11
e

said. "Now it's our turn to answer
back."
Earlier this year, the Wildcats'
defense humiliated Michigan's
offense.
Northwestern plays a 3-4-3,
which in soccer terms means three
enders, four midfielders and three
Torwards. On defense, they play an
off-sides trap. The Wildcats string
their three defenders across the same
line, which enables the "d-line" to
move upfield together and trap
qpposing forwards behind it. This
creates many offside penalities

know how their defense works,' Lewis
said. "When we lost to them earlier in
the season we were not prepared, but we
know how to play them now."
Michigan will adjust to the for-
mation by playing a 4-4-2.
This gives the Wolverines four
defenders, four midfielders and two
forwards.
Belkin believes that this new for-
mation enables Michigan to defend
against Northwestern's athletic for-
wards.
"Our formation will definitely
compensate for their three-forward

The Wolverines are in a little
bind after losing to Notre Dame and
Bringham Young in the past two
weeks, because the Wolverines are
no longer guaranteed a bid to the
NCAA tournament.
"We are not guaranteed to get a
bid to the tournament," Lewis said.
"But winning this game and the tour-
nament will most likely get us a bid."
Despite a tougher battle to repeat,
Lewis thinks she knows what the
outcome will be.
"We're gonna win," she said.
"We're gonna win the whole thing."

rU

WOS. tan UhI.
Win tickets to, the big gae

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