October 30, 2014

IDLE THOUGHTS

by Jerry Kent/Sports Editor
Posted

It's way too early in the season, but the University of Michigan football team appears to headed in the right direction after whipping Western Michigan 31-7 Saturday afternoon in Ann Arbor.

The offense looked sharp in the first half, with freshmen quarterbacks Tate Forcier (running/passing) and Denard Robinson (running) showing flashes of brilliance.

But perhaps the most interesting development from Saturday's game was the play of the defense, a defense that was one of the worst in the nation last year.

WMU senior quarterback Matt Hiller was back under center after a good season in 2008 but looked more like a freshman at times, due in part to the pressure the Wolverines' defense was able to apply when he attepted to pass. It forced Hiller into making some bad throws, and even when he did get time, the secondary did a nice job closing in on the Broncos recievers to break up the pass. The Michigan defense limited the Broncos to a miniscule 78 yards in total offense in the first half.

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The Central Division leading Detroit Tigers seem to pick the perfect times to lose -- when the second-place Minnesota Twins and third-place Chicago White Sox do too.

The timing of the Tigers' losses couldn't be better since the Twins and White Sox fail to gain ground when they do lose. As of Sept. 9 the Tigers had a 6.5 game lead over the Twins, and are 7.5 games up on the White Sox.

Of course, winning would be better, but if the Twins and White Sox want to cooperate when the Tigers lose, that's almost as good.

The Tigers have 25 games left. Hold on!

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Anybody watching the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament?

A couple good stories have developed.

On the men's side, Rafael Nadal, coming back from injury, advanced to the quarterfinals last night (Sept. 8), setting up a possible match-up with Roger Federer in the finals. After watching the pair square off in the Wimbeldon final in 2008 (Nadal won in five sets), a rematch in New York would be a treat.

On the women's side, Kim Clisters is grabbing a lot of the headlines. Like Nadal, she too is making a comeback, but not from injury -- she took over a year off to have a child. Clisters advanced to the semifinals last night (Sept. 8). Go Mama!

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The Detroit Lions open the season Sunday in New Orleans. Yeh, so what. Wake me up when the playoffs start and the Lions are done for the year. I've been through the rookie sensation quarterback hopes before (Joey Harrington), now it's Matt Stafford.

A fan since the late 1960s, I've witnessed a few playoff seasons, even an NFC championship game way back when.

But that's not a lot of accomplishment in 40 some years of being a fan, so can you blame me when I don't get excited?

One season the Lions started 4-0, and after chalking up their third-straight win, adopted that stupid Queen song "Another one bites the dust." Ha, Ha, Ha!!! In the end it was the Lions that bit the dust.

Sure, if they start winning I'll get interested, but I'm not holding my breath -- 40-plus years of mediocrity or worse will do that to a fan.

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MY TOP 10 SPORTS LIST

Things you are unlikely to see at a football tailgate party

10. A man standing on stilts cooking brats in his underwear.

9. Bowling pins.

8. A fish-finder and trolling motor.

7. A keg of milk.

6. Anything pink, other than uncooked meat.

5. A woman in a wet suit tossing a salad with road flares.

4. An electric chair.

3. A man with a live lobster hanging from his beard.

2. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

And the No. 1 thing you are unlikely to see at a football tailgate party …

… Tap Dancers.

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