March 16, 2005
sports. michigandaily. com
. .. .. .... ...
By Ian Herbert
Daily Sports Editor
Michigan freshman Chad Kolarik has a
* whole lot in common with his older brother,
Tyler, and it's not just their last name. For
instance, the two also share the same birthday,
but Tyler is older by five years.
"It's kind of cool," Tyler said. "I'll never for-
get his birthday."
And in his first season at Michigan, Chad
tallied 13 goals and 15 assists in conference
play - the same totals that Tyler put up in his
first season at Harvard four years ago. The
older brother was drafted by the Columbus
Blue Jackets in the 2000 NHL draft and now
plays for the Dayton Bombers, a minor league
affiliate of the Blue Jackets.
The two siblings talk on the phone regular-
ly, and Tyler makes a point to call his brother
every once, in a while just to catch up. Most
recently, Tyler called when he sprained his
MCL earlier this month. Now, he's spend-
ing his days in rehab for his knee. At first, he
thought he might be able to make the trip up
to Detroit this weekend to watch his younger
brother play in the CCHA Super 6. But, unfor-
tunately, his rehab is going to keep him in
* Dayton, Ohio.
But that's okay. The two brothers have
watched each other play plenty of times. When
Chad was younger, he used to make the trip
up to Cambridge, Mass., to watch Tyler play.
And Tyler was even in Dayton for the Lefty
McFadden tournament, Michigan's first series
of the year.
"I saw him score his first collegiate goal
against (Boston University)," Tyler said. "That
Tyler was also important in one of Chad's
most difficult decisions, coming to school at
Michigan. Tyler who had made the tough col-
lege decision just a few years before and had
some insight for is brother. And despite Chad's
love for football, his brother insisted that his
advice had nothing to do with the Big House.
"He told me to 'Go where you want to go;
go where you always think you want to go,' "
Chad said. "I came for the official visit, and it
was just like, 'Hail to the Victors,' and it gave
You can't run or hide,
the madness will strike
To whom it may concern:
The madness is upon us.
I have seen the madness and all the dam-
age it has done. I have seen it inflict others and
have watched it spread slowly. I've seen the
wide range of symptoms
that a person exhibits when;
overcome by the madness
- from delightful delirium
down to the depths of
There is no stopping the
madness. It's wildly con- JOSH HOLMAN
tagious, and you can only Part Icon, Whole Man
sit back and enjoy while it
sweeps you up. It only lasts for a month any-
way. As soon as you are stricken by the mad-
ness, it coughs you up, leaves you behind and
promises not to return for a whole year. And
all you can do is sit there, alone, waiting for
the madness to return.
There is an air of mystery surrounding the mad-
ness. For some inexplicable reason, people always
remember where they were when the madness
came. And how they felt after it struck them like a
I've watched the madness sweep over its unsus-
pecting victims, and I've witnessed all the unpre-
dictable forms it can take, recalling the memory of
where I was each time.
The madness first struck me in 1992, when I
had the fortune of watching my first Division I
college basketball game at the NCAA Regional
Finals in Lexington, Ky. I saw five young fresh-
men in baggy shorts and black socks change col-
As a 9-year-old boy from North Dakota - as
far away from the madness as possible - I
shouldn't have cared. But the madness swal-
lowed me. From my seats behind the pep band,
I fell in love with a team, a fight song, a school,
even the band itself. The madness inflicted me,
and I couldn't have been happier.
But that weekend reminds me just how cruel
the madness can be. Outside a hotel bar in
Kentucky, I watched the madness crush the
spirits of locals, when the image of Christian
Laettner's improbable overtime buzzer-beater
appeared on their TV screens. What had been
a night full of raucous excitement immediately
transformed into deathly silence. The madness
had been there and left.
From then on, I waited every year for the mad-
ness to reappear, and I can recollect each time
I remember 1998, when Valparaiso's Bryce
Drew nailed a miracle 3-pointer to beat Missis-
sippi. I was hiding out in my mother's big, empty
board room at her law firm. She had given rye the
green light to skip school, since the madness was
simply too strong to resist that day.
I was running back and forth between my dorm
room and my neighbor's room at Bursley Hall the
night Jason Williams missed a game-tying free
throw against Indiana in 2002, halting Duke's
chances at a repeat championship. I kept the televi-
sion off in my room because I knew the madness
would prevent me from finishing my Stats 350
assignment. Just as expected, the madness got in
And I was there in 1999, way up high in the
Tropicana Dome, when Connecticut beat Duke for
its first national championship in the greatest game
I have seen in person. The madness was so strong
that night that even I felt like a Huskies fan.
But the madness is not all fuzzy, happy
thoughts. That's what it wants you to think. As
that eerie night in Kentucky reminds me, the mad-
ness is sometimes your worst enemy.
Like in 1993. 1 was still in love with the Fab Five.
But, alone in my basement, shooting a mini-basket-
ball at a mini-hoop plastered to the wall, I replayed
Chris Webber's call for a timeout he didn't have over
and over in my head. Sleep escaped me that night,
and I wouldn't have that much trouble sleeping until
I was a sophomore in high school, the night I broke
up with my first girlfriend.
The madness doesn't always confuse and anger
you like an ex-girlfriend. Sometimes, you expect
anger and all you get is the disappointed sigh of
a parent. Like in 2003. My father, a Kansas alum
tried and true, flew the family to New Orleans,
where the Jayhawks were supposed to win it all.
The madness played with him most of the
night, until it finally disappeared and swept over
the Syracuse fans that were celebrating their first
national championship. The old man was left sad
and exhausted from his battle against the madness,
and I was left to console him. Until I realized that
the madness had hit me that night, too, and I need-
ed my share of consolation as well. We sat there
in the upper deck of the Superdome, watching the
madness swirl around the champions, wondering
what could have been.
You cannot predict who the madness will inflict
and how it will infect them. But you will remem-
ber when it hits, and where you were when it did.
That's why, Professor , I recom-
mend you excuse from
your class on Thursday/Friday (circle one). The
madness could be at its strongest these days, and
I cannot guarantee a safe learning environment
should it hit. Like I said, the most we can do is just
sit back and enjoy it.
Josh Holman wants to hear where you were when
you were hit by the madness. He can be reached at
Freshman forward Chad Kolarik had 13 goals and 15 assists in conference play this season.
Chad is convinced now that he made the
right choice, even if his mom is disappoint-
ed that he's so far away from his Abington,
Penn., home. But, on a team with 10 seniors
and only two freshmen, he didn't expect the
transition to be as easy as it has been. He said
that the seniors on the team invite him and
his roommate out when they aren't going to
the bars, and the sophomores often invite the
two of them over to their place just to hang
"When I was envisioning college, I always
thought the freshmen were always supposed to
be left out, but the guys on the team are great
guys," Chad said. "I never thought that I would
be included in everything."
His roommate, fellow freshman Kevin Por-
ter, has helped to make the transition to college
an easy one. The two were teammates on the
U.S. National Team Development Program,
based out of Ann Arbor. They were also both
drafted into the NHL last year by the same
team, the Phoenix Coyotes. Porter was drafted
in the fourth round and Kolarik was picked in
the seventh. Kolarik said that the two freshmen
really push each other on and off the ice. They
are in three of the same classes, and Kolarik
said that his roommate helps him get to class
when he's tired. He also looks forward to the
possibility of moving up through the Coyotes
organization with Porter.
"We just get along so well," Kolarik said.
"And to have a lifelong friend there with you
in Phoenix when you are trying out for the
team will definitely be an easier adjustment
rather than going in by yourself."
But for now, his focus is all on Michi-
gan. In conference play, he tallied a point
per game, and he managed to improve as
the season progressed - something that,
Kolarik said, used to be his weakness.
And even as a freshman on a team full of
seniors, Kolarik leads the team in both
power play goals and game-winners.
"(The pucks) always bounce my way in
overtime or bounce my way late in the game,"
Kolarik said about his natural talent. "But
some of the game-winners I have this year
have been like 10-1 games where I scored the
second goal. I guess it's just luck."
Streifler fights back
By Daniel Levy
Daily Sports Writer
Sometimes it takes a setback to get the best out of a person. In sports, an athlete
can learn a lot about herself and how much she cares about playing when things
don't go her way. For Debra Streifler, a junior on the Michigan women's tennis team,
early season disappointment has served as motivation for recent success.
Streifler started the year slowly, going 2-4 in singles play. After a loss at No. 21
Notre Dame, Michigan coach Bitsy Ritt decided to make a change. Streifler was out
of the No. 6 singles slot, and freshman Allie Shafner was in.
"At that point, it was early in the season, and we have a lot of people on this team.
who can contribute," Ritt said. "We decided that Allie deserved the opportunity to
compete. It wasn't just a reflection on Debra's performance."
Along with the mediocre record, Ritt saw a decline in Streifler's on-court inten-
sity, which was another factor in the early-season switch.
"Debra is a great competitor," Ritt said. "But against Notre Dame, she wasn't her
normal, competitive and feisty self."
Streifler was more candid about the situation.
"Allie had been playing well, and I had been struggling," Streifler said.
A dejected Streifler sat and watched as the team played on without her in the
"I was really upset," Streifler said. "I felt like I had blown my chance."
Streifler had reached a crossroads in her season. She knew she had two choices.
She could give up and continue to watch her teammates play without her or fight her
0 way back into action. She chose to fight.
into starting lineup
"I used the time off as motivation," Streifler said. "I focused on working hard in
every practice and match to do my best and play again."
Her hard work did not go unnoticed.
"Debra worked extremely hard when she was out of the lineup," Ritt said. "She is
very competitive. She is a fighter, and she showed how much she wanted to get back
in the lineup and play."
With Streifler picking up her intensity and Shafner not fairing much better in the
lineup (1-2), Ritt decided to swap the two players again.
Streifler has taken advantage of her second opportunity. She is 3-0 since being
placed back into the lineup, notching impressive wins over Liis Sober from No. 6
Kentucky and Sisse Nielsen of No. 25 San Diego State.
"Sometimes when players aren't in the lineup, it changes their perception," Ritt
said. "It gives them an opportunity to sit back and think about their game, goals and
what they are willing to do to improve."
Streifler admits that the time off has given her a new outlook on tennis. So far her
new attitude has paid off.
"I had to change how I thought on the court," Streifler said. "(The time off) makes
me work hard during every point to stay in the lineup. It is not fun sitting on the
The Wolverines have definitely appreciated her resurgence in the lineup, which
may be one of the keys to Improving on a sub-par season.
"Debra has come back and performed very well for us," Ritt said. "She has given
us a good lift at No. 6 (singles)."
Streifler looks to make it four wins in a row when Michigan hosts Western Michi-
gan on March 16.
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