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February 01, 2010 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2010-02-01

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2B -- February 1, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com 0

Pro Bowl doesn't
deserve fans'respect

Forgive me if you're a happy
Jacksonville fan, but David Gar-
rard probably doesn't deserve to
be on any NFL roster - especially
the Pro Bowl
This sea-
son, the annual
event wasn't so
much a game as
it was a joke.
I was sur-
prised they ANDY
even got anyone REID
to show up at
the game. Did
they give all those tickets away?
I was pretty skeptical when I
heard that the league was plan-
ning to move the game to the week
before the Super Bowl.
For starters, that eliminates
anyone from the two best teams in
the league. So how could they real-
ly call it a combination of the best
players when the league's MVP,
Peyton Manning, couldn't play?
Or when the Super Bowl coaches
can't accept an invitation to coach?
Atleast the teams were still com-
petitive about it - the announcers

said NFC coach Wade Phillips was
spying on the AFC team's practice.
But I guess it didn't help,.as Phil-
lips's team lost 41-34.
The NFL's second mistake was
taking it away from Hawaii - one
of the things that used to make
the thing fun to watch. (And that
point is probably debatable. I
used to like watching, but I know
plenty of people that have hated
it forever. Really, how great can
football be when there's a "no
blitzing" rule?)
I don't know about you, but
there was something pretty cool
about the Hawaiian shirts and leis,
the beach sports and wishing I
was enjoying the warm Hawaiian
weather in February.
It's not all the NFL's fault. When
players start dropping out and
deciding not to play, there's really
nothing the league can do about it.
If the players aren't going to
respect the Pro Bowl, maybe they
don't deserve to have it at all.
Here's the thing: what used to
be a greatgauge of a player's career
- "four-time Pro Bowl selection"
for example - is never going to

be the same after the AFC team
had to stoop to Matt Schaub as its
starter when Manning couldn't
play because of next week's Super
Bowl, and Brady and Phillip Rivers
passed. Honestly, Schaub wouldn't
have even made the roster if those
three guys played.
If this trend continues, the Pro
Bowl is going to be pointless. Well,
even more pointless than it used
to be.
I know they made the changes
to boost ratings and attendance,
but is it really going to help?
If they really want to pump
some life into the Pro Bowl, they
should try something really cre-
ative and off-the-wall. Maybe an
all-star game between the best
of the NFL and college football ...
with blitzing.
That would probably never
work or be agreed to by anyone.
But no one would argue that a
stale, irrelevant game a week
before the Super Bowl seems to be
a worse idea.
- Reid can be reached at


Wolverines grab important
rivalry win over Buckeyes

Freshman Natalie Beilstein competed in the beam roster for her first time. Beilstein scored a 9.825 in her collegiate debut
Solid effort on beam
boosts Blue in victory *

Even with a new diver,
Wolverines dominate
in Columbus
Daily Sports Writer
COLUMBUS- Freshman Sam
Hoekstra got his first taste of the
Michigan-Ohio State rivalry in
Columbus last weekend.
And it was bitter.
Hoekstra, who normally com-
petes in swimming events, dove for
the Wolverines as they -competed
against the Buckeyes, Northwest-
ern and Penn State in the Big Ten
Quad Meet so that Michigan could
earn points in the diving events. To
automatically score points in div-
ing, a team must have two compet-
itors and the Wolverines only had
one, sophomore Chris Morrison.
The former high school diver
was rusty, but Hoekstra scored
over 100 points on the one- and
three-meter diving events. No
thanks to Ohio State's divingcoach
Vince Panzano, who was upset
Michigan entered a swimmer in its
diving events.
"I don't think he gave Sam a
score higher than one out of ten,
even on dives when other judges
gave him four and a halves," Mich-
igan coach Mike Bottom said. "He
referred to our athlete in a deroga-
tory way and (his scoring) was a
statement he decided to make and
that upset me."
After Michigan's dual meet vic-
tories against all three schools,
Hoekstra was showered with pats
on the back and praise from Bot-
tom. Teammates joked he was the
"diver of the meet."

And do
us abou
as swi
and I ti
to shov
got her
at first,
it as so
help m
two riv
gan's 1
State, t
relays i
guys st
got kno
and rac
I than]
mers fo
Chris B

don't call Hoekstra a diver. Junior Tyler Clary won the 200-
on't call him a swimmer, yard backstroke and individual
medley, and sophomore Dan Mad-
ke preaches and preaches to wed won the 200-yard freestyle
ut not thinking of ourselves and butterfly events.
mmers but being athletes, Overall, Michigan had two of
hought this would be a way the top three places in seven of the
w how athletic we are as a 12 individual events, including the
Hoekstra said. "When we top three finishes in the 500-yard
e yesterday their coach was freestyle.
ining a lot and it got to me Winning this weekend's meet
but then I just approached will help make the Wolverines feel
mething fun and a way to more comfortable in an environ-
y team score." ment they will need to get used to.
competition between the This was just the first of four trips
als was no less fierce in the Michigan will make to Columbus
:ing pool. Despite Michi- in eight weeks. This season's Big
Ten and NCAA Championships are
also being held there.
n t a Bottom said his goal was for
'l not af'aid Michigan to think about being
the better team instead of worry-
:o say that I .ing about beating Ohio State. He
encouraged his team to focus on
olutely despise being excellent in every detail of
hat school." their swims. Brady agreed, say-
ing a victory would surely follow
as long as the Wolverines stayed
focused on their own business.
"There were plenty of momen-
97.5-135.5 win over Ohio tum swings in this meet," Brady
he Wolverines faced their said. "When Ohio State wins an
t adversity as a team this event, they like to get really loud
dropping two of the four but I just looked at it as a chance to
n the two-day meet to the take our team a step closer to win-
es and facing tight races in ning the Big Ten title."
every event. The emotion of the rivalry was
very proud that lot of our more motivation than distraction
epped up and some of them for some swimmers like Clary,
icked down and then got up a two-time national champion
," Bottom said. "The rivalry and reigning NCAA Swimmer of
ing gives us a purpose, and the Year. The California native
ked the Ohio State swim- admits he doesn't fully understand
r the good races." the depths of the rivalry, but has
e Wolverines won two indi- already rendered a decision about
events. Senior co-captain the Buckeyes.
rady won the 100-yard but- "I'm not afraid to say that I abso-
and the SO-yard freestyle. lutely despise that school," he said.
"I've seen the way they act at foot-
ball games and swim meets and
the petty things they do just gets
me fired up. And typically when
I'm angry or pissed off at some-
thing, I move through the water a
2010 little faster."

Daily Sports Writer
It took another solid balance
beam performance from a home-
town girl, senior captain Kelsey
Knutson, to right the ship for the
No. 17 Michigan women's gymnas-
tics team after recent road woes.
The Wolverines rebounded from
last weekend's defeat by Nebraska
with a dominant tri-meet victory
against No. 14 Iowa State (2-3) and
BYU (0-5) on Friday, posting a sea-
son-high 196.000 score in the win.
In her return to Ames, Iowa -
where she won three Iowa Gym-
nast of the Year titles in high school
- Knutson took first place on the
balance beam for the second con-
secutive meet with a 9.850 score.
While the meet was, at face
value, no more than a good win, the
whole experience was a trip down
memory lane for the decorated
"Words can't really even
describe my feelings," Knutson
said. "I grew up watching colle-
giate gymnasts here at the Hilton
Coliseum since I was five years old,
so to finally compete in that envi-
ronment, it was very surreal."
As a leader of the team, Knut-
son knew she needed to display

some consistency to get her team
on track.
"For her to have developed the
kind of confidence that she has now
on beam is wonderful, because last
year she didn't have that kind of
confidence," Michigan coach Bev
Plocki said. "To be able to come
home in front of a lot of her home-
town people and to be able to do
that was really important."
From a team standpoint, the
Wolverines (2-0 Big Ten, 5-1 over-
all) showed their diversity by tak-
ing each of the four event titles, as
well as the all-around award.
Michigan benefited tremen-
dously from their all-around per-
formers, junior Kylee Botterman
and senior Sarah Curtis, who took
top all-around honors with scores
of 39.300 and 39.250, respectively.
Botterman won both the vault and
uneven bars routines, and took first
place in the all-around for the sec-
ond consecutive meet.
Pacing the Wolverines again was
freshman Natalie Beilstein, who
took first-place on the floor routine
with her season-high 9.900 score
just a week after earning her sec-
ond Big Ten Freshman of the Week
Senior captain Jordan Sexton
also gave the Wolverines a boost

by tying Knutson as the meet's
highest-scoring competitor on the
For a team looking so desperate-
ly for an answertotheirundeniable 0
struggles on the beam, their scores
were a sigh of relief. In each of the
previous two meets, Michigan suf-
fered three falls out of six perform-
ers on the beam, but luckily only
five routines count for each event.
"It was huge for us to go out and
hit 6-for-6 on beam," Knutson said.
"We have very talented balance
beam athletes, and we were able
to showcase that talent, and we've
been performing well in practice
but couldn't seem to replicate that
in the meet setting."
With an away meet next Fri-
day against West Virginia, Iowa
State, and William and Mary in Las
Vegas, Michigan hopes to build on
its recent achievements and main-
tain the balanced scoring for the
remainder of the season.
"Obviously (this meet) is what
a team performance is all about,
for everyone to contribute some-
where," Plocki said. "We finally
put together all four events and
came out with a score that I think
is more representative of the qual-
ity of team that we are."team that
we are."

Seniors ift 'M' over Spartans

Daily Sports Writer
When Michigan senior co-cap-
tains Margaret Kelly and Leigh
Cole completed their last swim
meet for Ann Arbor Pioneer, both
of their fathers jumped into the
pool along with their daughters
to celebrate two illustrious high
school career.
The duo helped Pioneer to four

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state championships and three
national championships.
After dominating rival Michigan
State 127-87 within the friendly
confines of Canham Natotorium
this weekend against arch rival
Michigan State, the two, along
with 11 other seniors jumped into
the pool to celebrate the win.
This time, Kelly's and Cole's dads
decided to rejoice from the stands.
"It didn't hit me until we met in
the team room before the meet,"
Kelly said. "(Michigan coach Jim
Richardson) said he would miss all
of us and that's when we all lost it.
To look back here, the four years
we all had and to know this is the
last time we'll be here for a dual
meet is tough."
After seeing its streak of 16
straight dual meet wins against
Ohio State snapped last week-
end, No. 16 Michigan extended its
winning streak against Michigan
State. The Wolverines have not
lost a dual meet to the Spartans
since 1985.
The team would have won all
of the meet's events but decided to
swim exhibition in the final three
events. The meet served as an
extension of its weekly prepara-
tion in that regard.
"We stuck to our training,"
Richardson said. "I was actually
surprised as to how well we actu-
ally performed. We aren't compro-
mising anything to win dual meets.
We are sticking to the plan."
Since Michigan took an early
lead over the Spartans, it gave
many swimmers an opportunity
to swim events that they wouldn't
usually participate in.
One such event was the exhibi-
tion of the 100-yard breaststroke
which included distance special-

ists seniors Emily Brunemann and
Emily Hanson and sprinter sopho-
more Natasha Moodie in the field.
"Jim asked us before the meet
what event. we would like to
swim," Brunemann said. "I want-
ed to swim something different
than what I always swim. I actu-
ally like breaststroke a lot. It's one
of my stronger parts of my 400
(individual medley)."
Kelly and Cole competed in
their normal events, dominating
the competition. Kelly touched
the wall first in the 100-yard but-
terfly and was part of the winning
200-yard medley relay team. Cole
earned an event victory in the
100-yard freestyle and finished
runner-up in the SO-yard freestyle
behind Moodie.
While the Michigan seniors had
strong performances across the
board, it was the younger mem-
bersmwho impressed Richardson
the mostL
Freshman Julia Andracki prac-
ticed through fatigue during the
week, but showed a lot of guts in
the 100-yard breaststroke, taking
first place. And sophomore Megan
Craig earned lifetime bests in the
200 and 500-yard freestyle.
These young members of the
team hope to have the impact of
this year's 13 member senior class
that has shown a bond that very
few teams have, as Richardson
"When you look around major
college athletic teams, you'll find
very few who have a 13-member
senior class," Richardson said.
"There's no attrition. Our seniors
all come from diverse back-
grounds, but they are not diverse
when it comes to Michigan. That's
an important thing for us."

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