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April 20, 2004 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-04-20

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Tuesday
April 20, 2004
* sports.michigandaily.com
sports@michigandaily.com

Jbe fiditrntt ~itj
SPORTS

11A

Former 'M' star Law arrested
Patriots cornerback bolts after committing traffic violation

The world isn't perfect;
'Sportura'to the rescue

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) -
New England Patriots cornerback Ty
Law was arrested after he allegedly
led police on a brief foot chase.
Law was driving his 2004 Rolls-
Royce early Saturday morning in the
South Beach section of the city
when an officer flagged him down
for a lane violation, Miami Beach
police said.
The 30-year-old Pro Bowl player
and former Michigan football star
initially pulled over, but police said
he sped off, prompting them to
chase him about half a block until
he stopped again.
He then ran away from officers
again but they caught up to him
after a short chase. According to

police, Law told the two officers
"not to touch him because he is a
professional athlete."
Law was charged with failure to
obey a police officer and resisting
an officer, both misdemeanors.
"He didn't want to go to jail, and
he didn't want the police to tell him
what to do. And that was the prob-
lem," police spokesman Bobby Her-
nandez said Sunday.
"He decided that he's above the
law and he's not, and that's why he
was arrested."
Law was taken to the Miami-
Dade County Jail after his arrest
and released early Saturday on
$1,500 bond.
When reached at his home by The

Associated Press, Law declined
comment and referred calls to his
attorney.
Patriots spokesman Stacey James
said the team was "aware of the
reports. We're going to work inter-
nally to gather more information."
In December 2000, U.S. Customs
officials found several Ecstasy pills
in Law's bag after he was leaving
Canada with two other players.
Law said the drug belonged to his
cousin, but paid a $700 administra-
tive fine at the scene and was
released.
Last month, Law said he no
longer wanted to play for the Patri-
ots because of "irreconcilable differ-
ences" caused by a contract dispute.

NAWEED SIKORA
Blowin' smoke

FILE PHOTO
Law told officers "not to touch him
because he Is a professional athlete."

Bue feeding sweet tooth on trips to third
B Anne Ulb e
Daily Sports Writer;:n..

Fourteen years ago, Michigan softball coach
Carol Hutchins led her Wolverines into a crucial
game against nationally
ranked Central Michi-m
gan and was concerned f AY
about how her team was f >t;
going to perform.
While talking to a5
friend about her nerv-.....T10 .
ousness, her friend rec-A F
ommend throwing
M&M's to her players
when they crossed third base since it had brought
her friend's program success.
Hutchins implemented the idea and the
Wolverines swept the series.
Now, a tradition that was started 14 years ago
has become a benchmark good-luck charm for
the Wolverines.
The tradition has also become an important
and enjoyable one for the players.
"It's sort of like an incentive to get to third
base," senior captain Meghan Doe said. "It's def-
initely something to look forward to."
Today, as the Wolverines (38-7) host Central
Michigan in a nonconference doubleheader,
Hutchins will continue her ritual and hope that the
_old trick is still effective in helping the team win.
Although possessing a modest overall record
of 21-11, the Chippewas currently lead the Mid-
American Conference with a 10-1 record. They
also have a decorated history that is fairly intimi-
dating, including 10 MAC titles and 12 appear-
ances at the NCAA tournament.
"We have to be really serious about this game,
although it's a nonconference one," Doe said.
"Central has been a nationally ranked team in the
past, so it will be good competition for us."
The Chippewas hope to extend their 10-game
winning streak, which includes a win against
nonconference state rival Michigan State two
weeks ago and a three-game sweep against

f there's one thing I learned in
college, it's that this world will
never be perfect.
I have been enlightened over these
past four years about the injustices
that have occurred - and continue
to occur - in the world, and even at
this University. Sometimes it's very
difficult to swallow.
But I feel as if I am leaving Ann
Arbor a better, more knowledgeable
person for having learned about
these injustices, and I am grateful
for that.
Now it's my turn to help the stu-
dents on this campus who feel the
problems in their lives are too
immense. The place I am going to tell
you about is no secret. In fact, I'm
sure everyone has been there at some
point. But without it, I wouldn't have
made it this far and been able to still
have this big smile on my face.
It's a wonderful place, even though
it can be painful at times. In this
place there are only games. Losing is
the worst possible thing that can hap-
pen, but as I'm sure you would
agree, this pales in comparison to the
problems of real life.
I go here when I need to escape
from reality. I call this haven
"Sportura."
As a lifelong visitor of Sportura, I
belong to a group of people who see
sports as more than just a contest
with a winner and a loser. We see
sports as a means of coping with the
burdens of real life. To us, sports
don't represent reality; they represent
fantasy.
When I sit down to watch two
teams play, I step out of our real
world and into Sportura.
The beauty of sports is that the
outcomes here don't affect real life
as a fan, but you can derive real-life
pleasure from those very same out-
comes. That's what makes this place
so popular.
Think about what it's like to step
into Sportura. When I sit down to
watch a Michigan football game, I
leave Earth.
As I watch the game in this alter-

nate universe, I experience real-life
emotions such as elation and despair.
For those three magnificent hours
of Michigan football, whatever real-
life problems I left behind when I
entered Sportura were gone. My only
concern was whether or not Michi-
gan was going to win.
When the game ends and I return
from Sportura, I'm still the same
person with the same problems, but
for the past three hours, I was in a
different, carefree place.
Now I know some of you out there
might contest this next point. But, in
my opinion, when your worst fear is
whether or not your team is going to
win, you're in pretty good shape.
That's what it's like in Sportura.
Real life problems are transformed
into just winning and losing. The only
downside about Sportura is that even-
tually you have to leave it. But when-
ever the pressure starts getting to you
again, you can always go back.
I have invested my time into
watching and writing about Michi-
gan sports for the past four years,
and I have to say, it's the best thing I
could have done for myself. When
the reality of life on campus had me
down, I knew exactly where to turn. I-
knew that for those few hours when I1
was watching a sporting event, I did-
n't have to worry about school and
my problems, and it felt great.
For those of you who have time
left at Michigan, take some advice
from someone who is about to leave:
Don't ignore the serious problems at
this University, because there are
many, but if you are feeling over-
whelmed and need an escape,
Sportura will always be there for
you, just like it will for me.
I would like to say farewell to all
my friends and fellow Sportura
lovers. I know this world will never
be perfect, but I truly hope that we
can change it for the better, so that
maybe in the future, the petty prob-
lems of Sportura can be our worst
problems in reality.

DANNY MOLOSHOK/Daily
Thanks to advice from a friend 14 years ago, Michigan coach Carol Hutchins started her bizarre tradition.

Northern Illinois over the past weekend. The
Chippewas handily beat their conference rival,
including a final-game blowout of 12-1.
Coach Margo Jonker heads Central's team and
has been with the program for 25 years.
"(Jonker) is probably one of the best coaches
in the country," Hutchins said. "She's been
coaching for Central longer than I've been at
Michigan, which is a really long time."
The Wolverines lead the all-time series against
the Chippewas (35-28), including a win last
year. But Hutchins is hesitant to put history on
her side.

"This is going to be a very competitive double-
header," Hutchins said. "This is not one we are
going to overlook, because they are a very tough
team. We are going to play the best we can."
Hutchins has been preparing the team for the
game by working on being more defensive at the
plate and staying mentally tough throughout one
of the hardest times in the season, due to the
team's rigorous academic schedule.
Tomorrow, as Hutchins's tradition of throwing
M&M's enters its 14th year of existence, the
Wolverines hope that it brings about the same
outcome that made it a ritual for the team.

Naweed Sikora would like to thank his
parents for reading every story he ever
wrote -from his first men's golf arti
cle to this column - and for always
supporting him. And he's sorry he
spends so much time in Sportura, belt,
he loves it there. He can be reached ai
nsikora@umich. edui

0 WOMEN'S TRACK & FIELD
Simms looks back on successful track career

By Gabriela D'Jaen
Daily Sports Writer
If you're a fan of ESPN, you might
have seen it before. It's the commer-
cial that says: "There are over
'360,000 NCAA student-athletes and
just about all of us will be going pro
in something other than sports."
Vera Simms is the perfect candi-
date for this commercial.
Simms, the senior quad-captain of
the Michigan women's track and
field team, will graduate in two
weeks with a degree in mechanical
engineering. Next year she will
attend graduate school, leaving
behind a successful career in both
academics and athletics.
Before she graduates, Simms faces
a few challenges in the last month of

the season. Simms has been battling
knee injuries, as well as foot prob-
lems - both have limited her run-
ning at practice and meets. She has
tried different rhythms to adapt to
these injuries.
Over the weekend at the Mt. SAC
Relays, Simms had a disappointing
showing.
She ran the 400-meter hurdles in
1:01.48 to finish in 22nd place. As
the current school record-holder in
the event with a time of 58.18, she
is determined to end her college
career on a more positive note.
"I got out of it mentally and had a
very bad run," Simms said. "I need
to remember the things that I have
been working on for the past four
years and get back into the rhythm
for the race."

Four years ago, Simms left behind
the warm beaches of Hawaii for the
brutally cold winters in Ann Arbor,
and she has yet to regret the deci-
sion. She found the winters easy to
adjust to and was overwhelmed with
a sense of school pride.
"I'm going to miss going to the
meets and running for a school that
everyone recognizes and respects,"
Simms said.
"I love hearing people shout 'Go
Blue!' wherever we compete."
Simms's school spirit developed as

soon as she started running with the
program. The track and field team
has a big sister-little sister program
to help form bonds between the
young runners and the veterans.
While Simms found the training at
Michigan difficult at first, she was
inspired by her big sister and a group
of upperclassmen. Their dedication
to the team motivated Simms and
pushed her to excel.
Now, the tables are turned, and
Simms is in the position of leadership.
See SIMMS, Page 12A

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