Connie Hawkins

The basketball world is mourning the lost of a legend with the passing of Connie Hawkins. Hawkins, most commonly known as “The Hawk” revolutionized the game with his unique combination of size, grace and athleticism which was ahead of its time. His style of play is now a hallmark of the modern game. He was an offensive force with his graceful and acrobatic moves long before there was a “Dr. J” or Michael Jordan.

Hawkins was a New York City playground legend and led Boys High School to back-to-back  PSAL titles in 1959 and 1960. He earned a scholarship to the University of Iowa, but he never played for them because he was linked to a point-shaving scandal in New York. Although Hawkins was never arrested or indicted, he was expelled from Iowa and was blackballed from playing college basketball. He was initially barred from the NBA as well as then Commissioner J. Walter Kennedy informed all the teams that he would not approve any contract for Hawkins. As a result, Hawkins became a basketball nomad. He played one season for the Pittsburgh Rens of the American Basketball League and was the MVP. When that league folded, he played three years with the Harlem Globetrotters. After his stint with the Globetrotters, Hawkins played with Pittsburgh Pipers in the inagural season of the ABA in 1967. Hawkins had sued the NBA for $6 million for unfairly banning him. Both sides reached a settlement in 1969 and Hawkins’ rights were assigned to the Phoenix Suns where he played from 1969 to 1973. He later played for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Atlanta Hawks before retiring in 1976.

Hawkins was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992.

 

Detroit Tigers’ managerial search begins with in-house interviews

General manager Al Avila spoke with reporters before the team’s regular season finale on Sunday afternoon against the Twins and said he has already interviewed two internal candidates — first base coach Omar Vizquel and third base coach Dave Clark. Expected to interview soon is hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, who is considered the strongest in-house candidate.

The Tigers should be considering getting more involved with the analytics of the sport if they want to be successful in the game as it is today. The previous manager, Brad Ausmus had indicated that the organization was for the most part  very deficient in the terms of analytics. There was no analytics department.

Sports analytics is the collection of relevant, historical, statistics that when properly used can provide a competitive advantage to a team. With the use of analytics, it can be helpful in decision-making both during and prior to sporting events. The two key aspects of sports analytics are on-field and off-field analytics. On-field deals with improving the on-field performance of teams and players. Off-field analytics deals with the business side of sports.

Source: Detroit Tigers’ managerial search begins with in-house interviews

Brad Ausmus’ Detroit Tigers tenure doomed by his lack of experience

Detroit Tigers GM Al Alvila made the announcement that Tiger manager Brad Ausmus will not return next season as the manager of the Tigers. It’s an announcement that has been expected by Tiger fans. For the most part it was a bad move from the beginning. Ausmus never had a chance from the start. Detroit is a sports town and its fans are knowledgable as well. They were never comfortable with Ausmus from the beginning.

Brad Ausmus liked to read. Almost from the beginning, that intellectual pursuit worked against him outside the ballpark. That and his Ivy League background. Fans like smart. But a certain kind of smart. Which meant Ausmus was forever managing against his image. Well, he won’t have to worry about that anymore. Not that he ever did. As he told reporters Friday afternoon after the team announced he wouldn’t be back next year, developing thick skin is critical to surviving the dugout. If nothing else, Ausmus leaves our city knowing he rarely took anything personal. At least not publicly.

Source: Brad Ausmus’ Detroit Tigers tenure doomed by his lack of experience

How The Game of the Century Almost Never Was

The rivalry between Michigan State and Notre Dame is one of college footballs’ storied rivalries. The scheduling of Michigan State was instrumental in State joining the Big Ten conference against strong opposition from University of Michigan.

Let your mind wander to imagine a seminal college football moment matching Notre Dame at Michigan State in the 1966 Game of the Century having not taken place. This is more than a whimsical thought as the teams prepare to meet on the 51st anniversary Saturday night at Michigan State.It is based on then-Notre Dame president Father Theodore Hesburgh’s threat to shut down the football program — indeed, all of Notre Dame athletics. He made his case in a letter delivered to Notre Dame’s students on the eve of 1965 Michigan State-Notre Dame game played in South Bend.

A year earlier, Michigan State also traveled to Notre Dame and suffered a 34-7 loss. Michigan State’s band exited Notre Dame Stadium and marched toward its buses when attacked by a group of Notre Dame students near Gate A. One band member suffered a bloody nose. Another was hit in the back and fainted as he fell to the ground. Four band members had their hats snatched.

 

Source: How The Game of the Century Almost Never Was

Lewerke proving he can be Michigan State’s next great quarterback | isportsweb

Is Lewerke the next big thing at MSU? No one can know for sure. However, he has all the tools to be great, and his proven ability to run and pass could take him to elite status in the near future.

Quarterback has been a very important position for the success of the Michigan State football program in recent years. It looks like Brian Lewerke is following in the footsteps of Kirk Cousins and Conner Cook in terms of talent at the position. After the first two games this season, the redshirt-sophomore has impressed his coaches and teammates with his ability in leading the team to victory.

Source: Lewerke proving he can be Michigan State’s next great quarterback | isportsweb

Is Curse of Bobby Layne real? 1957 Detroit Lions say team’s jinxed

The 2017 NFL season is about to begin and loyal Detroit Lion fans have to wonder if the Curse of Bobby Layne is real.

The mythology about the curse goes like this: The season after Layne helped the Lions win their third and final championship of the 1950s, Lions coach George Wilson traded the Hall of Fame quarterback to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Oct. 6, 1958. In exchange, the Lions received quarterback Earl Morrall and two high draft picks. Layne was angry and supposedly said the Lions wouldn’t win a championship for another 50 years.

Well, now it’s been sixty years since this franchise has won an NFL championship despite the number of great players who have donned the Honolulu Blue and Silver. The Lions have the distinction of being one of four teams in the league that have never appeared in a Super Bowl. The other three would be the Cleveland, Houston and Jacksonville. When you consider that those three teams are essentially expansion teams, that makes the Lions’ situation even more tough to swallow for the loyal fans of Detroit.

Source: Is Curse of Bobby Layne real? 1957 Detroit Lions say team’s jinxed