Friday, April 24, 2009

Tom "The Bird" Izzo to Throw Out First Pitch

The Freep is reporting that Tom Izzo is set to throw out the first pitch for the Tigers on Monday:

Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Monday's Tigers game against the Yankees at Comerica Park.

Izzo will be next door to Ford Field, site of this month's Final Four, where his Spartans beat Connecticut in the national semifinals before losing to North Carolina in the title game.

Better Than Rocky III

...with UNC playing the role of Clubber Lang.

State v UNC: The Third Serving

The Big Ten/ACC Challenge schedule is out and it looks like State will be playing UNC again, in what is turning into the premier matchup between these two power conferences. It has potential to be a #1 v #2 matchup, so get ready!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Suton is a Hot Commodity

Goran Suton's flight into the limelight during the 2009 Final Four has left him with an interesting dilemma: which national team does he want to play for? He is Bosnian by birth (and by mother,) but his father is Croatian. Therefore, both Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia are inviting him to play for their teams. Would he have had this problem a year ago? Probably not. Things are looking good for this Spartan.

I'm not really sure why he wouldn't play for Croatia, though. He's been a member of their youth teams for a very long time and doesn't really have a tight link to Croatia. Plus, it's not like Croatia is an elite basketball nation (Toni Kukoc, anyone?) but maybe I'm missing something...Either way, this is not a bad problem to have. It's much better than my situation of getting picked up last in pickup games, after the kid with one leg.

Hat tip to Spartan Sports Page

Monday, April 20, 2009

Really ESPN?

As if being on the internet wasn't bad enough while at work, now I have to contend with softcore porn ads too! Oh yeah, this is an animation...

Meet our 2009 boys basketball dream team

The Freep has posted Michigan's 2009 Dream Team, which consists solely of juniors. Keith Appling leads the charge. Go State!

G Keith Appling

Detroit Pershing (Class A) 6-2, junior

Accomplishments: Averaged 23.8 points, six rebound and five assists. Led team to state title, scoring a state-record 49 points against Kalamazoo Central. Committed to Michigan State.

Coach A.W. Canada: "Early in the season he got hurt and then he came back, but he didn't come back like we wanted him to. We got on him about working harder and spending more time on his game. He is one of the best defenders in the state."

Appling: "The biggest game for me this season was the second round of the districts against Henry Ford (a 92-89 win). If I don't hit that shot, we probably lose the game. In the championship game, my teammates kept getting me the ball and told me to stay aggressive."

I think Appling would've won the state's Mr. Basketball if juniors were eligible. Derrick Nix, another MSU signee, won anyways, so I'll let this one slide.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Greg Paulus: The Poor Man's Matt Ishbia

Apparently, Greg Paulus was an All-America QB in high school, but decided to ride the pine for the Dukies rather than do something he's good at. Now that he's a senior, he has apparently reconsidered his choice and now wants to be a quarterback. I think that this picture pretty much sums it up:

Here's the link to the full article by Chris Mottram over at the SportingBlog.

Monday, April 13, 2009

On the Bright Side

State landed number two on Andy Katz's postseason/preseason top 25 list. Even he notes that a lot could change, depending on who declares, but this still takes a little weight off of my shoulders:

Only KU is ahead of MSU in the poll and, well, they beat them twice last season.  I think I am only going to post positive articles for the next week so that I can personally feel a little better.  I may also post articles mocking UNC....haha.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I need a little more time to think about yesterday's game before I put up all of my thoughts.

We gave 'em hell.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Final Four Floor From Michigan, Again

Can you tell that I love alliteration?

Anyways, I was not aware of this, but apparently the Final Four flooring was manufactured in Michigan's own Upper Peninsula.  Not only can we be proud of the Spartans making it to the tournament semi-finals, but they will be playing on a court that helps provide 100 Yoopers with jobs.  This week just keeps getting better and better....

Here is an excerpt from Governor Granholm's weekly radio address:

This is Governor Jennifer Granholm.

This weekend, basketball fans around Michigan and across the country will watch some of the nation’s best college players – including the Michigan State University men and women – continue their march to the NCAA Final Four championships.  I think you’ll agree that at a time when the news of the nation’s credit crisis and rising unemployment rates is so painful, the fun and the frenzy of March Madness is a welcome diversion. 

For those of us in Michigan, the anticipation of the Final Four is magnified, because for the first time, the men’s championship will be played here in Michigan at Ford Field in Detroit.  But as the late Paul Harvey used to say:  And now, for the rest of the story.  When the men take to the floor in Detroit and the women take to the floor in St. Louis, Missouri, for their championship games – they’ll be playing on beautiful, maple hardwood floors that were manufactured right here in Michigan by Connor Sport Court International in the Upper Peninsula town of Amasa.  

As the exclusive supplier of the championship floors for both the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Final Four and the floors for more professional sporting events than any other company in the world, Connor is a great example of the kinds of great businesses that can be found in Michigan.  The Iron County plant has been part of the Amasa community since 1872, and the 100 employees who work there embody Michigan’s proud manufacturing tradition.  They are using our plentiful renewable resources – in this case, our forests – in ways that honor our commitment to being good stewards of our land, air and water. 

This week, as the truck carrying the maple flooring bound for Detroit made the trip from the U.P., there was excitement and pride at every stop.  I hope that fans across our state will turn to their friends next weekend and say, “Did you know that floor was made right here in Michigan?” 

The pride we feel for Connor and its talented workforce is the pride we feel for all our Michigan companies, companies whose names are easily recognized:  Whirlpool, Stryker, and, of course, our Big Three auto companies and their workers that we’re fighting hard for in the face of a daunting worldwide recession.   

In the coming days, more than 70,000 people will visit Detroit to see the Men’s Final Four with a direct economic impact to our state of $30-$50 million, which is a great boost to our local economy.  Day in and day out, though, it’s Michigan’s workers and Michigan businesses like Connor that keep our state going.  They truly are our champions, and they deserve both our pride and our support.  

Thank you for listening.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Well, If Magic Endorses Him, It Must Be Good...

The excerpt on the right is part of an email that arrived in my inbox this morning.  While I am flattered to be called a "business leader," I am even more flattered to receive an email from a guy ENDORSED BY MAGIC JOHNSON!!!  Oh, and by an author of a book I have never heard of.  And by a retired CEO....

"I’m Not Sure I’d Walk Through Them.”

My friend forwarded my this article about how tough Izzo is and I just could not help but post it.  This is a must-read for anybody from Michigan and, honestly, for anyone who loves college basketball.  I mean, it contains this quote: 
He was asked Tuesday if the Final Four would help him recruit nationally, he shrugged. “It might be able to open up doors. I’m not sure I’d walk through them.”
How can you not love Izzo after reading that?  He also talks about why he likes recruiting kids from Detroit and Flint because they don't "have silver spoons in their mouth."