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November 12, 2003 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-11-12

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November 12, 2003

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Fans, use Blue as role
model: Respect Wildcats

Goin' to work
Ithink every Michigan football
fan needs to take a deep breath.
The past week and a half has
been a lot to take in.
The Wolverines started that
stretch by riding Chris Perry's legs
to a victory at rival Michigan State.
And then everyone ahead of Michi-
gan started losing. Georgia lost, and
then Washington State and Miami
followed suit.
Then Michigan's bye week rolled
around - down went Virginia Tech,
Florida State and Miami (again).
Suddenly, a lot of people around
here began thinking national title
game again.
"If USC and LSU lose ... if
Michigan beats Ohio State ... if the
BCS falls just the right way."
Lost in all that hoopla was one
important fact.
Michigan has a game this week.
And I hate to bring everyone
down, but this one's dangerous for
the Wolverines. Coming off of a bye
week, just seven days before the
slugfest with the Buckeyes and with
everyone in Ann Arbor once more
having visions of sugar plums danc-
ing in their heads, Michigan needs
to keep it on an even-keel.
Northwestern's not as bad as
everyone seems to think - believe
it or not, a win over the Wolverines
on Saturday would make the Wild-
cats bowl eligible. They're 3-3 in the
Big Ten right now, including a 16-7
win over Wisconsin (the team that
beat Ohio State, mind you).
Running back Jason Wright has
rushed for 15 touchdowns and close
to 1,000 yards. Then, with Wright
injured last week, backup Noah Her-
ron blew up for 181 yards against
Penn State.
Yes, they lost to Air Force and got
thumped by Miami (Ohio) and Min-
But ...
This game is less about what
Northwestern can do than what
Michigan cannot do.
And Michigan cannot buy into the
sudden Sugar Bowl hype and the

excitement about the matchup with
the Bucks next Saturday.
The Wolverines cannot, like
everyone here is, overlook North-
We've seen this before. I hate to
bring this up, but remember 2000?
Michigan had two losses, one in
the Big Ten. The Wolverines rolled
Michigan State, 14-0 and headed
into their bye week right in the thick
of the Big Ten race.
Coming out of that bye, the
favored Maize and Blue went into
Evanston - right before games
with Penn State and Ohio State -
and the defense imploded, the
offense made some ill-timed
turnovers and the Wildcats pulled
off a huge 54-51 upset.
Northwestern was probably better
in 2000 than it is now, but regard-
less, there's something in learning
from past mistakes.
Michigan's efforts since the
fourth quarter of the game at Min-
nesota has led it to an impressive
four-game winning streak. The
Wolverines are back in the top five
in the national polls and in control
of their own destiny in the Big Ten.
A trip up this week, though, like
in 2000 and ... poof.
So, consider that my warning.
Do I think that Michigan will lose
to the Wildcats?
Honestly, no. Over the past three
weeks, Michigan has been clicking
on all cylinders - just ask Michi-
gan State or Purdue. And I've
watched Northwestern. Last week,
the Wildcats struggled past one of
the worst Penn State teams ever.
There's absolutely no question that
there is more talent on the Michigan
roster, and you can say that when
comparing Michigan to about 95
percent of the teams in the country.
But look past the Wildcats or
come out of the bye week flat, and
the Wolverines' Rose Bowl hopes
would come down to one game, and
you could definitely forget about the
Sugar Bowl.
Should Michigan win - and big
- on Saturday? Sure.
If Michigan fans should have
learned anything during this roller-
coaster ride of a season, though, it's
that you should never, EVER, take
things for granted.
- Chris Burke can be reached at


Michigan volunteer coach Waldir DeSouza watches as the Michigan men's soccer team warms up before last night's practice.
Soccer is universal language for multilinguist

By Ellen McGarrity
Daily Sports Writer
The first time senior Joey Iding tried to talk to
volunteer soccer coach Waldir DeSouza (pro-
nounced Val-deer), he reacted as many people do
- he had no idea what the man was saying.
"I was just sitting there nodding my head the
whole time," Iding said. "After awhile, I just had
to read his lips."
Waldir - "Val" for short - is originally from
Brazil and is known for his butchering of the Eng-
lish language, even though he's been living in the
United States since 1977.
"You really have to resist the English language
if you live here for 26 years," said Michigan coach
Steve Burns of his close friend and fellow coach.
"He speaks Portuguese, Spanish and English all at
the same time. Then he throws in a little Italian
because his wife's side is Italian. He doesn't finish
any word, and he doesn't end any sentence."
DeSouza is also known for being a practical
jokester, and his refusal to learn American English
just gives him more ways to make people laugh.
"I think the freshmen only get about 30 percent
(of what he says)," Burns said. "Val is great at
talking to them and giving you a wink like, 'Hey
watch this, I'm going to make this guy look con-

fused right now.' He has a stern look to his face so
he can look like he's pretty intense. You don't
know he's playing with you, but the rest of the
team does."
When asked if he ever feels bad about his
pranks, DeSouza replied, "No it feels good. You
know Brazil - we do a lot of jokes. You would
have to spend a couple of days with me to get all
the jokes."
But amid his jokes, DeSouza brings something
to the men's soccer team that the other coaches
can't always provide: a happy-no-matter-what
"Since he's one of the volunteer coaches, he has
a different job than the rest of the coaches," junior
Jeff Mirmelstein said. "He does a really good job
of keeping the mood light and doesn't let us lose
sight of having fun."
After Iding got over the initial language barri-
er with DeSouza his freshman year, the volunteer
coach helped Iding through a season-ending
knee injury.
"I spent a lot of time with Val on the sidelines,"
Iding said. "He came to practice with tapes of
Brazilian music, Christmas music - anything to
keep my spirits up."
DeSouza does know a little something about

In Brazil, he got his start in soccer at the age of
eight. DeSouza excelled at the sport so quickly
that, by age 16, one of Brazil's premiere soccer
clubs, Palmeiras, signed him. After an appearance
on the 1976 Brazilian Olympic soccer team, DeS-
ouza decided to come to the United States to play
It wasn't until 1994, though, that DeSouza and
Burns met. DeSouza was the head coach for the
Detroit Wheels, a semi-professional soccer team.
Burns was the team captain.
"When Val and I met, Val has said he thought of
me as someone he would 'hold his hand over a
flame for,' meaning that I was a loyal guy and a
friend for life," Burns said.
DeSouza confirmed, saying, "I love him the first
time - personality, everything."
Over the next few years, DeSouza and Burns'
friendship grew on and off the soccer field. When
Burns took over the Michigan men's club team,
DeSouza came on as an assistant coach. He moved
down to volunteer coach with Burns when the
team was converted to varsity status in 2000.
The bond between Burns and DeSouza is now
so strong that the volunteer coach says he will
likely be with the team for a long time. And he
will remain an inspiration and source of laughter
to all the players that play under him.


Even with muscle removed, Reld thrives


By Naweed Sikora
Daily Sports Editor
Which Michigan defensive player is
leading the team in tackles? If you said
Marlin Jackson, you haven't been pay-
ing much attention,
as the junior has sat
out Michigan's last _A
three games. If you 100
said Pierre Woods,
you're probably not
alone, but you're still not right.
But if you said junior linebacker
Lawrence Reid, you hit the nail on the
Reid isn't the most flamboyant Michi-
gan defensive player, but his actions
speak for themselves. The junior leads
the Wolverines with 63 tackles, nine
more than Michigan's second-leading
tackler, Pierre Woods. Lloyd Carr says
Reid's totals are special because of the
time and effort he puts into learning his

opponent, and the quiet way he goes
about picking up tackles.
"I think his instincts are very good, but
there's no question that he's made a lot of
plays simply because of his athletic abili-
ty and toughness," Carr said.
What's most amazing about Reid,
though, is what he had to fight through
last season just to get an opportunity to
play this year. During last season's bye
week in early October, Reid began to feel
a throbbing pain in his arm. Initially, he
said he believed it was simply a bruise,
and he decided to try and play through it.
But when the pain didn't go away, he
realized that it was more than a bruise,
and the team trainers had him consult a
doctor. While at the doctor, Reid discov-
ered that he had a blood clot in his arm.
"The doctors said that the muscle in
my neck had grown bigger than it was
supposed to and cut off the circulation in
the veins to my arms," Reid said. "If I
hadn't detected it, it could have gotten to

my lungs, and I possibly could have died.
I was a little shocked by that because I
didn't think it was that serious, but thank
god that we found it."
Reid had a part of his muscle and
upper ribs removed in order to correct
the problem, and is now completely back
to normal, as if nothing had ever hap-
pened. But he was forced to sit out the
rest of the season.
"Lawrence was really beginning to
play well when he got the blood clot,"
Carr said. "When he went down, it was a
major disappointment for our team."
The doctors had assured Reid that he
would return to the field after surgery no
matter what, so he was never concerned
about not playing again. He says the
hardest thing was missing the remainder
of last season, just as he was peaking.
"It was hard to be on the sideline
watching everyone else play," Reid said.
"I just took the time off to learn from the
other players and get my grades up. I got

a chance to watch Zach (Kaufman) a lot.
"It makes this year much more spe-
cial, knowing that this can be taken away
from me at any point:'
But right now, Reid isn't concerned
about missing games. He says he wants
to continue working hard so he can set
the pace in tackles. Because of the injury,
Reid faught through a slow start, but is
playing at a high level right now because
of his ability to get to the ball.
"I didn't feel real good about him until
the second or third game of the season;'
Carr said. "Then he began to really play
like we thought he could play. He's made
an unbelievable contribution because
he's a very bright guy, he's very athletic,
very quick, and he's made a lot of plays:'
ONE OUT, ONE BACK: Carr anounced
on Monday that defensive back
Jacob Stewart is not ready to go this
week, but that safety Marlin Jackson
will be back after missing three



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