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March 15, 1991 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-03-15
Note:
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Back'

to

Glory

Berenson returns Michigan hockey to greatness

by Matt Rennie
Looking back to his first
season as head coach of
Michigan's hockey team, the
things Red Berenson remembers
most are the road trips.
Road trips with a college
hockey team are not exactly
vacations. Most college hockey
budgets are tight, and Michigan is
no exception. The team travels by
bus and leaves right after games
to save another night's hotel fare.
The destinations of these trips are
often obscure places such as Sault
Ste. Marie and Big Rapids.
However, the things that
Berenson remembers are neither
the cities his team has visited nor
the overnight accommodations.
What sticks out most in the
coach's memory is riding home on
the bus after another loss.
Perhaps this memory is
particularly vivid because it was
reinforced so many times. During
the 1984-85 season, Berenson's
first, the Wolverines lost 17 of the
21 road games they played. Yet it
seems that Berenson recalls the
losses not collectively, but
individually - as if each one
caused him a particular pain
which the others didn't.
"That team had no road
presence at all," Berenson said.
"We didn't even hope to win then.
"It meant a lot of long bus
rides home for me."
Somehow, even during that
brutal first campaign, Berenson
knew that his trip was only
beginning. He knew that his
Ac don Spwt's ar
HOCKEY
SKATE
BLOWOUT
419 E. Liberty
2 BIKS OFF STATE
663-6771

SPORTS INFORMATION
Smiles were the order of business when in May 1984, Red Berenson slipped on the Michigan cap and took the
reigns of the school's hockey team. Red immediately announced that he would retain Mark Miller (left) as his
assistant coach. Former Athletic Director Don Canham (right) made the decision to hire Berenson.

Blue. The Wolverine players had
settled into a bare minimum
mentality in which they went
through the motions in practice,
in games and in the classroom.
The commitment to the program
was not present.
"We had a lot of guys who
didn't understand what it meant
to be playing for Michigan,"
Miller said. "Once they got their
scholarship, they took everything
for granted. That bothered Red
and it bothered me, too."
What added to the frustration
of both Miller and Berenson was
that Michigan was more than
just their employer. It was their
alma mater. They could not
distance themselves from the
emotions and the memories of
their playing days at the
University. They knew
personally of the respect the
program once had. They knew
how far it had fallen.
"I remember when we used to
skate out against other schools
when I was playing," Berenson
said. "We had this look that we
knew we were going to win, and
we knew we had the better
school. We were Michigan. That
alone made us special."
Consequently, rebuilding the
program was more than a way to
earn a living. It was much more
personal, a passion to right a
wrong.
"I felt down deep that I owed
Michigan something," Berenson
said. "The only reason I came to
college hockey was that it was
Michigan."
Frank Downing, who would
go on to become the co-captain of
the 1985-86 team, remembers
Berenson during that first year.
"He wasn't the rah-rah guy
that (Giordano) was," Downing
remembers. "He was very hands-
off with the players, but you
always could see his
commitment."
Although Berenson's
philosophies were new to the
program at the time, he still
doesn't view himself as doing
anything original. He considers
himself to be continuing in the
Michigan tradition as he knows it
- not writing an entire book, but
rather his own chapter of a much
larger volume.
Among Berenson's first acts as
coach was to weed out the players
he felt did not exemplify the
Michigan attitude. During the
first few weeks of practice, he cut
several scholarship players and
replaced them with walk-ons.
The players were mortified.
They believed that once they

And the
by Tony Silbertre
mts
For better or for worse, the no
Academy Awards have established Ii
themselves as an integral part of
American popular culture. As a
result, they have acquired a degree su
of prestige in the film community. ma
Each February, the Academy of no
Motion Picture Arts and Sciences pro
announces its nominees for the
Oscars, and as that March 25 date
approaches, film critics everywhere gr
put their opinions on the line and pr
try to predict the winners. (19
The Best Picture award is the Ra
most revered of the prizes to be co
given out during the seemingly rel
endless night at the Shrine Civic di
Auditorium. Many Americans wait re'
out the three-hour plus parade of R
glitz and accounting rules to hear W
what film has won the year's A
cinematicpice de resistance. do
Out of the goodness of my;
heart, I will spare all of you the m
horrors of watching another snoozer sy
of an Academy Awards show, and Ac
tell you the winners right now. fil
Although only Price Waterhouse iss
knows for sure, I'll give it my best al
shot. I began a streak in 1984 when oft
I picked Amadeus to win Best
Picture and because of my infinite
knowledge of Academy voting be
An Inside

envelop,
ends (and a lot of luck), I haven't
ssed since.
For Best Picture of the year, the
minees are: Awakenings, Dances
ith Wolves, Ghost, The Godfather
'art III), and Good Fe/las.
One of the best ways to predict
ch an unpredictable thing is to
ake a case for and against each
minee before choosing the
obable winner.
Awakenings
The case for: This film has a
eat deal in common with
evious winners Midnight Cowboy
%9), Ordinary People (1980), and
ain Man (1988). These films
ncentrate on the evolving
ationship between two very
fferent characters. The Academy
wards excellent acting, which
obert DeNiro and Robin
illiams certainly provide in
vakenings. Terrific scriptwriting
esn't hurt, either.
The case against: Awakenings
ay be hurt by the Rain Main
ndrome - it is unlikely that the
cademy would reward another
m dealing with mental illness
ues just two years later. That,
ong with the predictable nature
the story, will take its toll.
Dances With Wolves
The case for: The film features
eautiful filming, effective acting,
Look at

s
' leas e..

and powerful storytelling. Costner's
one-man film project (he starred,
produced, and directed) is a
triumph for him, proving to
Hollywood and the world that he is
much more than a pretty face. Lt.
John Dunbar's struggle for justice
in the 19th century conflict
between the white man and the
Sioux Indian looks and feels like an
epic, and the Academy loves a good
epic. Recent selections of The Deer
Hunter (1978) and The Last Emperor
(1987) prove that is still the case.
The case against: The length of
the film (three hours) may turn off
some, and the recent criticism
regarding Costner's portrayal of
Native Americans can't help its
chances, either. Finally, with a long
career in front of him, the Academy
may wait and reward Costner later.
Ghost
The case for: The 1990 box
office champion has a large public
following. The simplicity of the
film's story and the meager budget
with which it was made may force
the Academy to "believe" in this
unlikely success story.
The case against: This was
certainly not the best picture of
1990 and it seems to be the
sentimental nominee, as Field of
Dreams was last year. It is difficult
to evaluate the seriousness of
RWL's

Ghost's chances, but here is one
reviewer who will fall off his seat if
this one's announced.
The Godfather, Pt. III
The case for: Parts I and II won,
so why not make it a clean sweep
for Francis Ford Coppola and the
Corleones? Like the first two
installments, this film is
exceptionally well made. In Part III
of Hollywood's most famous family
saga, there are some terrific
performances, especially Andy
Garcia's. Coppola's serial-like,
action-packed, highly emotional
storytelling is as strong as ever and
he could bring home the gold
again.
The case against: Part III falls
slighty short of the standards set by
the first two Godfather films.
Confusion with the story and
unanymous condemnation of
Sophia Coppola's performance will
also affect Academy voting. Good
effort, Francis, but two out of three
ain't bad.
Good Fellas
The case for: Many of the
qualities that made the first two
Godfather films so legendary are
here in this "modern" gangster
saga: powerful acting, incredibly
interesting characters, and a hell of
a story with plenty of action and
nostalgic flavor. Robert DeNiro,

Secret Punctuational Agenda

associated with Revolutio
Fortunately, there is an
has been infiltrated by th
exclamation points in the
tend to sound like this:
Victory to Iraq! EndU.
socialism! After the Revoluti
Following January's Si
member Paul Carmouche
to deny any grammatical I
pro-exclamation point tha
it my way, we would use e

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I
a
s
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itinerary would take him much
farther than Big Rapids. He knew
that his road would prove to be
the road to success.
"I remember one time, after we
had lost another road game, we
were on the bus coming home,"
Berenson recalls nostalgically. "I
looked over to Mark [Miller, an
assistant coach} and I said, 'You
know, Mark, someday we're ,
going to come into these places
and kick the shit out of these
teams.'"
Even then, Berenson knew. As
the Wolverines prepare for the
NCAA tournament tonight -
their first appearance since 1977
- it would appear that
"someday" is now.
The difference can be seen in
all aspects of the Michigan
program. For example, during the
first road trip of Berenson's
inaugural season, Michigan split
with Miami, 6-4 and 4-3. This
year, the Wolverines opened the
season by sweeping the Redskins,
11-1 and 9-3.
The Michigan hockey team's
trip back to the top is complete.
The Wolverines have arrived at
their destination, with Berenson
providing the direction. But the
journey was a long one.

After taking one look at the
Michigan program, Berenson
knew he had his work cut out for
him. The championship
Michigan program that Berenson
remembered from his playing
days was a distant memory,
nothing more than a page in some
dust-covered history book.
The look of confidence which
the Wolverines of the glory years
always wore was no longer
present. Opponents were loving
every minute of the Wolverines'
fall from grace. Schools which
could not compare to Michigan in
any other aspect - athletic or
scholastic - were taking out
their frustrations on the ice,
laughing as the once-proud
Wolverines floundered.
Inevitably, Michigan searched
for someone to blame, and that
someone turned out to be head
coach John Giordano. One
player's parent wrote a letter,
which 22 players signed, to then-
Athletic Director Don Canham,
asking that Giordano be relieved
of his coaching duties. The
players' complaints ranged from
general coaching ineptness to
specific threats by Giordano to
take away the scholarships of
players who did not perform up

to his expectations.
Ultimately, Canham asked
Giordano to resign, and when the
coach refused, he fired him in
May of 1984. Canham hoped to
restore some stability to the
program. With this in mind, he
looked to Berenson, who, despite
rumors that he was a top
candidate for several NHL
coaching positions, looked
forward to returning to his alma
mater.
"This, to me, was a
challenge," Berenson said.
"Things weren't well. The team
wasn't doing well. There were a
lot of negatives associated with
the program. But I really believed
in this type of coaching. It's not
just coaching; it's educating. I
believed in the system."
The system in which Berensor
believed featured players who
took advantage of the
opportunities which Michigan
hockey provided, appreciating
the education as well as the
athletic training they received. In
other words, he believed in his
system, the system he had learned
in his playing days.
Berenson quickly found out
that times had changed since he
had last donned the Maize and

. There is a common
misperception on this campus
that the Revolutionary Workers
League is a radical communist
group. This is completely false.
The RWL is actually a highly
disciplined, CIA-organized, right-
wing organization which poses as
a gaggle of drooling communist
lunatics in order to subvert and
discredit the Left.
RWL's basic technique can
best be compared to that of a
bacteriophage. What
bacteriophages do is latch onto an innocent, God-fearing
bacterium and inject bacteriophage DNA into the
bacterium's nucleus. This DNA "reprograms" the
bacterium to produce more bacteriophages instead of
begetting more members of its own species. Eventually,
the bacterium bursts and releases the bacteriophages.
The ACT-UP split provides a fine example of the
RWL using this method to destroy an activist organization.
Its members joined ACT-UP and disrupted the meetings
with "communist" rhetoric until finally ACT-UP expelled
them. This, of course, was part of RWL's plan. They
proceeded to form their own chapter of ACT-UP, claiming
that they were the real ACT-UP. For a while there, nobody
knew who the hell ACT-UP was. (The original ACT-UP
solved this by qualifying its meeting announcements with
the footnote, "Not associated with Revolutionary Workers
League.") Then the two groups printed opinion pieces in
the Daily, each claiming to be the real ACT-UP and
accusing the other of being racist. My basic impression
from this situation is that either:
1) ACT-UP consists of hysterical, ultra left-wing
McCarthyists who accuse anyone who disagrees with them
of being racist, even if the issue has absolutely nothing to

do with racism, or
2) ACT-UP really is racist.
So either way, they look pretty bad.
If the RWL really were communist, it would not be
subverting fellow left-
wing organizations.
Instead, it would try to
go after conservative
groups. The only
problem with this
strategy is that, as far as
anybody knows, there

-

6

1
r

are no active
conservative groups in
Ann Arbor. This is
because conservatives
shun political activism,
prefering instead to sit
in their rooms, getting
drunk and complaining
about the Daily. So
RWL would probably
take the next best step
and infiltrate the Greek
System.
I don't know about
you, but this would
make fraternity life a
lot more appealing to
me. I would rush every
house. I can see it now:
"Welcome to Delta

, . r
f
A, 4
i

''
.

e
V
u8
NO Q b

RWI- :the ea~rk1lyyeas

Alpha Nu, Jon. Our house stresses academics, social life,
and revolution of the proletariat."
Inevitably, of course, the RWL would be booted out,
and would form a rival house using the same name. We
would start seeing posters saying, "Rush Sigma Chi. Not

fact is, RWL is dangerous
organization which threat
I think it's great! We r
capitalist system!! Power
RWL!!

March 15, 1991

WEEKEND

Page 4

Page 9

WEEKED

M

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