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September 17, 2003 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-17

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Wednesday
September 17,2003
www.michigandaily.com
sports@michigandaily.com

PORWhinTSil

8

4

Icers favored
for conference
championship
By Sharad Mattu
Daily Sports Writer
DETROIT - When it comes to preseason
expectations, the Wolverines have been at both
ends of the spectrum during Red Berenson's
tenure as Michigan hockey coach
"In 1984 there was no respect for Michigan
hockey, and that really bothered me. Things had
just gone astray," Berenson said. "But I always
said I knew what it should be like at Michigan.
Every night when we go out, the other team
should respect us. I want our team to have a
chance year in and year out, and that's part of my
mission."
Berenson, now entering his 20th season, has
done much more than that.
Michigan has been to the Frozen Four the last
three years and has been to 13 consecutive
NCAA Tournaments. And yesterday, it was
picked to finish first in the CCHA by the coach-
es and media.
But as everyone knows, and as last year demon-
strated, surprises should be expected. Ferris State,
last year's regular season champ, was predicted to
finish ninth.
With just three seniors on the roster, Michigan's
outstanding 10-man junior class, seven of whom
have been drafted by the NHL, will need to con-
tinue its development for the team to fulfill
expectations.
Leading this year's junior class are the alternate
captains, Brandon Rogers and Eric Nystrom.
Rogers, who scored just three points his fresh-
man year and five in the first half of last year,
broke out with 20 points in the second half. He'll
be expected to lead the Wolverines' blueliners
along with captain Andy Burnes.
Nystrom, who enjoyed a fantastic freshman
season, also picked things up as last season
winded down, netting 10 of his 15 goals in the
second half.
"As (an alternate) captain, I think Eric will be
one of our leaders," Berenson said. "I think he
will try to take over some of the (former captain)
Jed Ortmeyer presence that we lost from last year.
I expect him to be a key player on our team right
from the get-go."
Berenson said he is unsure where the bulk of
the scoring will come from, saying the team will
"score by committee." Aside from last year's lead-
ing scorer, sophomore Jeff Tambellini, and per-

Parry's courageous story
deserves to be heard

NICflULA AZL
Nothing new In the CCHA: Michigan Junior David Moss and the rest of the Wolverines will tangle with the
Spartans all season for the top spot, according to the two conference polls.

haps freshman T.J. Hensick, Berenson will be
looking for production from his juniors.
Dwight Helminen and David Moss notched 33
and 31 points, respectively, and will likely be
among the team's leaders in scoring again this
year. Jason Ryznar, who struggled much of last
year with shoulder injuries, could also emerge as
an offensive creator. And Milan Gajic, who has
struggled with consistency (all 11 of his goals
came at Yost Ice Arena), could put everything
together for the Wolverines this year.
Rounding out the juniors expected to contribute
is Eric Werner, who was on track for a solid sea-
son before being declared academically ineligible
midway through the campaign.
The Wolverines are having captains' practices
this week, with the coaching staff joining them
next week. The season begins with the Blue/White
intrasquad game Sept. 26.

CCHA POLLS
Both the media and the CCHA's coaches like the
Wolverines' chances this season. Both preseason
polls were announced yesterday at the conference's
annual media day at Joe Louis Arena.

CHRIS BURKE
Goin' to Work
As is the norm in September - when
football is starting up, baseball is wind-
ing down and basketball and hockey are
waiting in the wings - there's a lot
going on in the sports world.
Subsequently, there's a lot on my
mind, so let's get cracking ...
For everyone trying to pick through
all the NCAA stories about arrests and
broken rules to find a good story, here it
is.
Tomorrow night, when the San Jose
State football team takes on Nevada, the
feel-good moment of the year will prob-
ably take place.
That's because Neil Parry will make
his return as a member of the Spartans'
punt-return unit.
Thursday will mark the 1,069th day
-just less than three years - since'
Parry suffered one of the worst injuries
in football history. During a kick return
against UTEP, a teammate was blocked
into him, annihilating Parry's right leg.
Nine days later, after an infection
developed in the gruesomely broken
leg, Parry's doctors were forced to
amputate below the knee.
But now, 25 operations later, Parry,
thanks to the help of a prosthetic leg,
will take the field for the Spartans.
"Personally, I don't think I'm doing
something that anybody else wouldn't
do in my situation," Parry told The
Associated Press about his heart-warm-
ing comeback. "I just want to play foot-
ball. Anything inside the white lines is
better than a hospital bed, which is
where I was three years ago."
In a year where Maurice Clarett, Rick
Neuheisel and so many others have
embarrassed stories have plagued the
NCAA, smacking it with one black eye
after another, Parry has earned a right to
have his story told. If for no other rea-
son than to prove that college athletics
is still more than victories and profits.
"This is not a charity gesture,' San
Jose State coach Fit~z Hill said. "If he
can't get the job done, he'll be replaced
like anyone else. But I have confidence
in him and his desire to play again. It's a
wonderful story."
I've never worked for Nike and I have
no affiliation with the Oregon athletic
department.
But, whoever is responsible for
the Ducks' new alternate uniforms
ought to be fired immediately and
given the, "You'll never work in this

town again" speech.
Oregon's new threads - bright yel-
low from head to toe with a couple
green stripes, just for fun - are quite
possibly the worst uniforms in sports
history.
Yes, I've seen all of the other
apparel that is in contention for the
award: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers'
and Denver Broncos' old orange
entries, the San Diego Padres' cam-
ouflaged "troop tribute" efforts, and
all the rest of those disasters.
Oregon's take the cake.
It looks like Nike took Oregon's nor-
mal home and away jerseys - which
aren't that bad - and had a banana
throw up on them. If you ever played
"Ice Hockey" on the original Nintendo,
you might remember the uniforms of
the Swedish team. That's what we're
dealing with here.
Hopefully, the Ducks don't make the
choice to wear these monstrosities when
the Wolverines venture into Eugene,
Ore. on Saturday, because Michigan has
enough to worry about without the fear
of going blind.
I can't decide what to think about the
WNBA.
The Detroit Shock and Los Angeles
Sparks played last night in the WNBA
Finals' deciding game three.
And I think my biggest gripe with the
league lies in that sentence.
No major professional sport should
have a deciding Game 3.
In my opinion, it either needs to be a
one-game elimination tournament,.like
NCAA basketball, or it needs to be a
real series, at least five games long.
The WNBA season lasts just 34
games, and the all-star game is ridicu-
lously early. The Shock had played 15
measly games before the break for
those festivities.
The league itself has probably gotten
more coverage this season than any
other, and the crowds have been pretty
decent across the board. There were
almost 18,000 people in the Palace
when the Shock hosted game 2 of the
finals. It's a great source of entertain-
ment and inspiration for the young girls
across the country.
But if the WNBA really wants to be
taken seriously as a legitimate league on
America's sports radar, then the season
needs to be at least 41 games - half the
length of the NBA's regular season -
and the finals must be best-of-five.
And finally, go Tigers. The last thing
Detroit needs is the record for worst
baseball team ever.
That's it ... that one was short.

I

CCHA Coaches Poll
1. Michigan (10)
2. Ferris State (1)
3. Michigan State (1)
4 Ohio State
5. Northern Michigan
6. Miami
7. Notre Dame
8. Alaska Fairbanks
9. Western Michigan
10. Bowling heen
11. Nebraska-Omaha

CCHA Media Poll
1. Michigan (70)
2. Michigan State (7)
3. Ferris State (2)
4. Ohio State(3)
5. Northern Michigan
6. Miami
7. Notre Dame
8. Western Michigan
9. Alaska Fairbanks
10. Nebraska-Omaha
11. Bowling Green

Coaches believe NCAA has overtime solved

By Kyle O'Neill
Daily Sports Editor
According to some, the NFL does it
completely wrong,
and according to oth-
ers, the NCAA limitsV
who participates in it.
But either way, every-
one's got an opinion
on it.

Overtime in football is a very heav-
ily debated topic.
And college coaches were open to
talking about it after a weekend of
nationally televised overtime games
- in both college and pro. Ohio State,
after two overtime wins propelled it to
a national title last year, continued its
success in the extra frames with a 44-
38 triple-overtime win over North
Carolina State. Dallas, Carolina and

St. Louis all won week-two overtime
games in the NFL.
"We always played the ties off
(coaching at I-AA Idaho from 1989-
94), which I think is a good way to do
it," Michigan State coach John L.
Smith said. "Is this the right format? I
don't know. It's as good of a one that
I've been acquainted with."
As for the NFL?
"I think it's worse," Smith said.
The debate is sparked in the pros
every time a team that loses a coin
toss, loses a game. Many believe that
the way that colleges do it is the best:
Give each team an equal amount of
chances from the 25-yard line until
one team can come out on top.
"I really like the format," Ohio State
coach Jim Tressel said. "There's
excitement to it. It's a little like soccer,
where they have that goal, kick-off."
But there are disputes that without
using the entire field, overtime isn't
really deciding the better team.
Instead, it decides the better kicker
from 42 yards out, when both defens-
es were able to make stops that would
normally bring out the punting units.
MAC-DADDIES: Lloyd Carr called it
the most underappreciated conference
in the nation not too long ago.

Tressel talks about it as if he were
describing the Pac-10.
But it has been the Mid-American
Conference that has been making
waves this season.
After Northern Illinois' week-one
win over preseason ACC favorite
Maryland, it made some news. But
while that garnered some attention,
the MAC has really made a name for
itself with its recent performances
over the teams in the Big Ten.
And perennial power Marshall has-
n't been named at all.
Bowling Green - a perfect 3-0
going into this weekend's contest with
No. 5 Ohio State - got the media
hype in the midwest going for the
conference with a one-point win over
one of the Big Ten's best, Purdue.
"Northern Illinois got it started
off with its win over Maryland,"
Tressel said. "Obviously, Bowling
Green's win put a feather in the con-
ference's cap. Miami (Ohio) had a
solid performance, too against
Northwestern."
The Redhawks won their game
against the Wildcats this past week-
end and actually had a closer game
with Iowa than the 21-3 score would
indicate.

4
4

- Chris Burke can be reached at
chrisbur@umich.edu.

AP PHOTO
Oregon may have produced Detroit's own Icon in Joey Harrington, but its jerseys
hardly look like they are worthy of the side of a New York building.

0

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