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.
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.
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.
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.
The Michigan State Spartans are starting the 2017 season with a victory over Bowling Green. With the 35-10 victory, the Spartans are starting off on the right foot in hopes of forgetting last season’s debacle. Next up is Western Michigan which should be a stout early test for them.
Justin Verlander gets a standing ovation from Tigers fans at Comerica Park after pitching the top of the eighth inning against the Dodgers on Aug. 20, 2017. The Tigers won, 6-1. It was Verlander’s last home start as a Tiger.
With the trading of Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros marks the end of an era for the Detroit Tigers. Verlander had an excellent career in Tigertown. In his 13-year career, he had 183 wins with a 3.49 ERA and 2,373 strikeouts. It’s great that he is going to a winning team with a chance to be champions. He will get another chance to pitch in a World Series.
It’s unfortunate for Tiger fans that they couldn’t win the World Series with All-star staff of Verlander, David Price, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello, but it’s good he may get another shot.