Monday, October 4, 2010

The State of Michigan Sports

Michigan Expats - Sports - See All Sports

There's no reason to beat around the bush today. Most Michigan Expats are thinking sports this week. Whether it is agonizing over the Lions coming up predictably short again yesterday, what lies ahead for the Tigers this off-season, or most likely, the upcoming battle of the undefeated ranked teams at the Big House this Saturday.

Specifically, sports are an important way for Michigan Expats to stay connected to our home state as well as a means to meet and relate to other Michiganders. Michiganders take pride in their teams, even the Lions (I saw a family all decked out in Lions jerseys at Arlington National Cemetery this spring), and do a great job of supporting our teams - Red Wings fans in particular do a fantastic job of supporting the Wings on the road.

We apologize for not discussing Michigan sports more here on the blog and promise to talk about the subject more often going forward. Of course, this is a great week to begin the discussion with so much going on with the Lions, Spartans, Tigers, and Wolverines.

We'll start with the Lions, so we can get them out the way. They are 0-4, again. People will point to signs of progress, but the fact of the matter is that the Lions should not be punting on the opponents 37 yard line when trailing with less than 7 minutes to go when they haven't won a road game in 22 (now 23) tries.

Meanwhile the Tigers won yesterday in Baltimore to finish the 2010 season at an even .500, 81-81. They still haven't been able to return to the post-season since their World Series appearance in 2006, but they were a fun team to follow this year, albeit sometimes frustrating, with a combination of top-flight superstars and young talent. Miguel Cabrera is in the running for the American League MVP; Austin Jackson is a top-candidate for Rookie of the Year; and Max Scherzer was one of the most dominate pitchers over the second-half of the season. It will be an interesting and exciting off-season for the Tigers who will return next spring with high expectations.

#17 Michigan State (5-0) v. #18 Michigan (5-0)
Nevertheless, the attention this week is on the battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy at the Big House this Saturday. Both Michigan and Michigan State are undefeated and ranked for the first time since 1999 when the Spartans prevailed under Nick Saban despite a Tom Brady lead second-half rally and both teams finished the year in the Top Ten.

Denard Robinson has been the most exciting player in college football thus far this season, becoming a Heisman candidate, but he will face his toughest defensive test yet against the Michigan State defense lead by All-American linebacker, Greg Jones. It will be interesting if the Spartans can finally slowdown "shoelace" or if he will continue to smash records and challenge reigning Heisman trophy winner, Alabama running back and Flint native, Mark Ingram.

The Spartans are not without their own drama this season. The "Little Giants" ovetime victory against Notre Dame has been one of the most exciting finishes this season in college football, yet it has almost been overshadowed by head coach Mark Dantonio suffering a heart attack shortly after the nail biting win and it is still uncertain whether Dantonio will return to the sidelines for the game in Ann Arbor after making a return trip to the hospital this weekend for a blood clot. The Spartans win against Wisconsin with Dantonio watching from the hospital was a huge step forward for the program and a win to build upon if it hopes to contend for a Big Ten title.

We'll have more about the big game this Saturday throughout the week along with more coverage of Detroit's professional teams going forward.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for the very informative review. I would just like to share one thing:

    check it out!!! your 1065 day winning streak WILL be broken, MSU, although, i do agree that UM needs to work on their defense. It should be a great game.

    GO BLUE!!!!!!!!!