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September 25, 1995 - Image 12

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-25

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48- The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, September 25, 1995

Michigan Experience
attracts huge crowd

BARRY SOLLENBERGER
Sollenberger in Paradise

Right: A youngster
participates in
roller hockey action
at the Michigan
Experience
yesterday.
Below: Kids play on
mne of the many
structures set up
for young fans.
Photos by
MARK FRIEDMAN/Daily

By Michael Levy
For the Daily
Maize and blue was worn proudly
yesterday at Crisler Arena. However,
this time it was for all sports and not
just basketball.
The Michigan Experience, in only
its second year, was very crowded.
The event was filled with all 22 ath-
letic teams from gymnastics to foot-
ball.
The area looked like an amusement
park but, instead of having rides, it
had games, music, prizes and enter-
tainment.
Many of the fans who attended were
kids and their parents. All the games
were free and the athletes were sign-
ing autographs for their fans. Jarrett

Irons, middle linebacker for the foot-
ball team, had this to say about the
event: "It's a great thing. It brings the
fans closer to the players and it's a
great experience for both."
"This is really fun," said football
player Amani Toomer. "It's a change
of pace and its relaxing. Its great to
see fans so interested."
The area had many basketball
courts, roller hockey games and bat-
ting cages.
It also had entertainment from the
cheerleaders, the marching band and
the stage, where music was played
and prizes were given out.
Finally, the free posters from all the
sports were provided, which by the
end were filled with signatures. One
poster was of the catch made by Hayes
against Virginia.
The Michigan Experience was
sponsored by Nike, Coca-Cola and
others. This had a major effect on the
event. Basketball stars Maurice Tay-
lor and Maceo Baston agreed that the
sponsors were important.
"This year is way better than last
year," Taylor said. "Last year, it was
almost all inside Crisler Arena, but
now there are so many things to do
and there is much more space to do it
in.
For freshman athletes, it was a new
experience.
Basketball newcomers Robert
Traylor, Louis Bullock and Albert
White enjoyed the occasion.
"It's fun doing things for the fans,"
Traylor said. "They support us all
season and this is one of the ways we
get to show that we appreciate it."
"It's great doing things for kids,"
Bullock said. "This is really fun do-
ing things for fans who are faithful."
Admittance to the Michigan Expe-
rience was free, but concessions were
not. Long lines for autographs were
common.

NoFNz126
MIkes 4zka
IL
t is kind of sad, actually.
The NFL has been reduced to
this.
Of the season's 251 games, only
two are important, you know.
On Nov. 12, the 49ers and
Cowboys hook up in Dallas in a
game that should be a lot of fun to
watch.
The loser will be sorely disap-
pointed.
It will then need to be content
with lawn-mowing the rest of the
league and finishing the season, 15-
1 - only the second-best record
ever.
Barring upsets along the lines of
Mondale over Reagan, the same two
teams will then square off Jan. 14
with a Super Bowl win at stake.
Now that neon-Deion has made
(what could become) his annual
defection from the KGB to the CIA
(or vice versa, depending on what
team and murderous organization
you prefer), Troy and his 'Boys are
the favorites to capture their third
Super Bowl in four seasons.
Wait a minute ... I almost forgot.
The real Super Bowl is Jan. 28 in
Tempe, Ariz. January 14 is "just"
the NFC Championship game.
This is the United States of
America, where you are innocent
until proven guilty, so I mustn't
presume the AFC to be a joke of a
conference just yet.
Could someone in that league
actually win the whole bean burro
for the first time since 1984?
Let's take a gander at the Miami
Dolphins, for example.
Many think they will indeed make
that trip to Phoenix in late January.
They have possibly the greatest
coach and greatest quarterback of
all time on their side, which helps.
But, dadgumitall, what does all
that matter when it comes time to
line up with the 'Boys or Niners in
the big game?
Nada.
The last time Don Shula won a
Super Bowl, a dumb-looking hotel
named Watergate was getting a lot
of ink - 1974. Over that span, San
Francisco and Dallas have won five
and three Super Bowls, respec-
tively.
And despite all of his mileage
through the air, Dan Marino has as
many Super Bowl rings as I do -
zero.
But to tell you the truth, I'm tired
of everyone always blasting the
AFC. Thirteen of the 15 teams in
the NFC stink, too.
Let's see:
Who could possibly knock off the
Big Two?
How about someone from the
NFC Central, or the Philadelphia
Eagles or the (St. Louis to Phoenix
to Arizona to Los Angeles?)
Cardinals?

4OO

v

the

are

A team from the NFC Central last
beat a non-NFC Central team in the
playoffs in 1992. The Eagles
haven't been good since Buddy
Ryan took his defense and wonder-
ful personality out West.
Which brings me to Arizona.
Nice joke, huh?
Back in August, there was
genuine excitement in the Valley of
the Sun about the Birds' chances
this season. A Zonie might be heard
saying: "Gee, maybe we can
actually have a winning season for
the first time since 1984 and make
the playoffs." Sports Illustrated
picked the Cardinals to go 10-6,
beat Green Bay in a wild-card game
and lose to Dallas in the divisional
playoffs.
After Arizona's 1-3 start, Buddy
is more likely to lose 100 pounds,
but that's not the point.
Miracles do happen,.and if the
Cards were to finish, say, 9-3, and
actually play a post season game for
the first time since 1982, what
would that really mean?
A trip to the Bay Area or the
heart of Texas and a 41-0 loss. Now
is that something to get excited
about?
Save your interest (and money)
for the Suns, Phoenix.
It's not just the Cardinals, though.
In seven games this season, San
Francisco and Dallas have
outscored their opponents by a
combined score of 216-93.
So what's my brilliant idea on
how to improve the parity of the
league?
Unfortunately, I don't have one.
Until Emmitt Smith loses about four
steps and Jerry Rice actually starts
to play like he's not 21, the 'Boys
and Niners will be two superpowers
among 28 other Haitis.
Something could be done, though,
to at leastmake the league more
interesting.
If I were to write a letter to
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue,
assuming he wouldn't toss it in the
trash, I would say:
Dear Paul,
Even if 93 percent of the league is
terrible, we can devise a plan to
ensure that the Super Bowl won't be
a joke anymore.
Let's junk this current playoff
system and set up an inter-confer-
ence one based strictly on seeding,
like the NCAA Basketball Tourna-
ment.
That way, the 49ers and Cowboys
would be seeded No. I and No. 2
and could play their ways towards
Super Sunday - in opposite
brackets.
Wouldn't it be nice for the Super
Bowl to showcase the top two teams
for a change?
- Barry Sollenberger can be reached
atjsol@umich.edu

if
YOU

::?::

you can read this .

can write this.
Daily Sports.

GOLF
Continued from page 1B
top honors after shooting 218 for the
weekend.
Michigan's best finisher was
Brockway, whose 226 was good enough
for 14th in the tournament. Sophomore
Justin Hicks also faired well, shooting a
229 in his first college tournament. Kyle
Dobbs played "progressively better,"
according to Carras, and is "right on
track," after shooting a 230 for the week-
end.

Carras knows what the team needs to
work on in preparation for the Windon
Memorial Classic Oct. 9 at Northwestern.
"We need to work on finding the five
right guys," he said. "Nothing more, noth-
ing less."
The Windon Memorial Classic fea-
tures several powerful teams, including
Big 10rival Northwestern, Florida, North
Carolina and Stanford, which is led by
phenom Tiger Woods.
EVERSON
Continued from page 3B
campus with such chips on their
shoulders.
Of all the whining I've heard over the
past year while playing basketball, soft-
ball, flag football and so on, Fox says
that only six people officially filed pro-
tests.
So given the circumstances, Fox and
Rademacherare quite pleased with their
officials.
"I think with most of the officials,
you'll see a learning curve," says
Rademacher, who is reminded ofa first-
time soccer referee he observed.
"I watched her the first week, and she
had no clue what she was doing," he
says. "After that, she was in complete
control ."
- Darren Everson can be reached at
evey@umich.edu.

[I

II

mLADRID

Take the Syracuse advantage!

I I

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Madrid faculty member
at the International Center

(next to West Quad)

r

Room 9, 4:00 p.m.

/

Monday, September

25

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