Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on November 15, 1986 · Page 35
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 35

Detroit, Michigan
Issue Date:
Saturday, November 15, 1986
Page 35
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DETROIT FREE PRESS j-1 Off to the faces: Bill Ballenger's column, charts, entries, previews and statistics all on the Saturday racing page. 5D. Sports Phone (scores): 1-976-1313 Saturday, Hov. 15, 1S83 NBANHL SCOREBOARD m MOVIE DIRECTORY Call with sports newt: 222-6660 CoQO& fOOtbdll n MSU'S Rison likes a broken record Scouting U-M, MSU, EMU, WMU, CMU rage ou Top 20 games, today's schedule, Bottom 10 ,aJ yj 3 Chailie Oil Uincent Idyllic Notre Dame campus a promise always fulfilled SOUTH BEND, Ind. -1 walked Friday where Knute Rockne walked. I stood on the sidelines where George Gipp stood. I talked with Roger Valdiserri, who convinced Joe Theismann to change the pronunciation of his name from These-man to Thighs-man so it would rhyme with Heisman. I saw the glint of the late fall sun on the golden dome. And I was as moved as I was the first time I came here, 15 years ago. It didn't exactly bring a lump to my throat or a tear to my eye, but it made me feel the way I always feel when I come here: like I'm in a one-of-a-kind place. Francis Scott Key got emotional over a tattered flag still waving over a fort in the first light of dawn. Some people break out in goosebumps at the sight of the Beach Boys in concert. Some find the most delightful sight in the world to be a dividend check. I feel like that about Notre Dame's campus, even though I know it's corny and I wish I didn't feel that way. It is, I think, because it is one of life's promises that did not disappoint. Mental images were stirring My first knowledge of Notre Dame was by word of mouth, from the guys who broadcast the Fighting Irish's football games in the late 1940s. Was it Ted Heusing? Or Mel Allen? Or Bill Stern? I don't remember, but I remember the word pictures of the campus and the atmosphere on those crisp football Saturdays. And overriding their words every now and then would be the sound of music: "Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame, wake up the echoes cheering her name ..." In those days before television, I could conjure it all up in my mind's eye. I didn't see it for myself until 25 years later, but it was exactly what they described. To me, it is the most beautiful college campus in America. The smell of hot dogs and hamburgers roasting over open fires on the quadrangle, music drifting out from dorm windows, thousands of people promenading in the crisp air and a modest 59,000-seat stadium that has stood unchanged for half a century. I can't tell you just why I feel the way I do about it. I know today that Gipp hung around pool halls, that Notre Dame hasn't finished in the Top Ten since 1980 and that the school is looking for a way out of some of its football contracts, including the one with Michigan State. I don't care. I brought my youngest son here one summer when he was in his early teens. Some of my feeling for the campus, I thought, might rub off. I never entertained any ideas of going to school at Notre Dame my family could not afford that but I thought maybe my son would want to go to school here someday. He wasn't impressed. Instead, he went to Wayne State and Southwest Texas State. But I get back every couple of years, usually to cover something like what's going to happen in that old brick stadium this afternoon. And if this campus and this school and this football program is not something a little different than any other, please tell me why ABC is televising a game between the No. 3 team in the nation and a team with a 4-4 record. And why do the oddsmakers make the No. 3 team only a five-point favorite? Outcome doesn't matter On paper, the difference is far greater. Even Blue & Gold Illustrated, a weekly newspaper published for fans of the Fighting Irish, rated Notre Dame inferior to the No. 3 team in 45 of 47 categories this week. "Realistically," notes the paper, "Penn State is the clear-cut favorite (but) do not count Notre Dame out. These are the kinds of games that the Irish . . . have thrived on throughout their history." But I do not care who wins here this afternoon. The outcome will not make me richer or poorer, happy or sad, disappointed or satisfied, will not change my life at all. Sitting in on it will be enough, though I realize that's an emotion that isn't universally shared. The Penn State Nittany Lions got here Friday, too. They walked the same ground I did. Today they'll play where Rockne and Gipp and Johnny Lujack played. And you know something? I bet not a Q'ie of them feels the way I do about the place. Long wait is about to end. By CURT SYLVESTER Free Press Sporls Writer There are growing indications that rookie quarterback Chuck Long will play in his first NFL game for the Lions on Sunday. Some of'the indications even came from coach Darryl Rogers, although he quickly resumed hedging the question of who will play and how much in the game at Philadelphia. "Right now I don't have an answer," Rogers said after the Lions' workout Friday afternoon. There were indications, nevertheless, that Long, the Lions' first-round choice in the NFL draft last spring, will Lions rookie QB likely to get call get substantial playing time as the starter or in a relief role: Speaking with J.P. McCarthy on WJR radio Friday morning, Rogers said: "He's going in. I don't think there's any question that this week he'll have some playing time." Long continued working with the Lions' first-team offense Friday, as he has all week. Eric Hippie, the Lions' starter in the first 10 games, said he does not expect to play Sunday, because of an injured elbow. Four hours after telling WJR listeners that Long would play against the Eagles, Rogers said he actually meant to say something else. "I said we're going to try everything we can if the situations warrant it to get him to play," Rogers said. Asked if Long will definitely play against the Eagles, Rogers said: "No, not for sure." THE COMBINATION of the week's activity and Rogers' See LIONS, Page 20 if V His.VFSi it-, r 1 t - i V . . , A. ! . . t 1 " till . f 'm.-.T - -f - " n tirt ' t a sat JOHN LUKE Greg King, kicking out of Kirk Strauther's hold, overcame even his coach's objections in making Henry Ford's football team. Relentless Henry Ford kicker makes his dream come true By TERRY FOSTER Free Press Sports Writer Greg King had never played organized football before last season, but he wanted to badly. Henry Ford High coach Joe Hoskins had discouraged him, fearful that King would get hurt. But after King tearfully pleaded his case to teachers Carol Rust and Amy Kos, Hoskins relented. Today, when Henry Ford plays Grosse Pointe North in the Class A quarterfinal playoffs (1:30 p.m., Lincoln Park High), King will be the Trojans' placekicker. King's lack of football experience was only part of the reason for Hoskins' reluctance to play him last season. The major reason was that King is deaf. "I could never forgive myself if he got himself hurt," Hoskins said. "I might have been overprotective. But he is a tough little rascal." King, a senior, played some at linebacker last season but realized he had no future there. So Kos used many of her lunch periods to assist with his kicking. During lunch hour, Kos gave King pointers on kicking technique and even held the ball for him. THE PAYOFF came last weekend when King kicked a 32-yard field goal in Henry Ford's 9-7 playoff victory over Dearborn Edsel Ford. "I felt great," King said with a smile. "It felt great because I helped my team stay in 4he state playoffs." It was King's first field goal, but he has converted eight extra points in 10 attempts. And Hoskins says he no longer worries about using him. "Greg is relentless in his efforts," Hoskins said. "He has been an inspiration to our entire team. I've never seen a kid work that hard." Hoskins hasn't always been confident in King. He angered some fans earlier this season when he chose Tony Flowers to kick an important field goal against Murray-Wright. "I got some letters saying I should have used Greg," Hoskins said. "I felt bad about it. I prayed to God that this guy got another chance. Last week there was no doubt that he was going to get the opportunity." Some credit goes to Kos, a senior at Eastern Michigan University and student teacher at Henry Ford, and Rust, a special-education teacher who works with the hearing-impaired. Kos acted as counselor, coach and friend to King during some trying times. KOS AND RUST convinced Hoskins that King could handle himself on the field. "I always knew he could make it," Kos said. "Watching Greg kick, I knew there was ability. He just needed guidance." King said: "I felt bad because I felt that coach could not depend on me, because I was deaf. What chance did I have? But I worked harder and kept on practicing." Greg's grandmother, Ruby King, said he gradually lost his hearing from ages four through nine. But few people family members included knew, because he learned to read lips on his own. "I feel that football has really done a lot for Greg," Ruby King said. "It has brought up his self-esteem." King's confidence grew when he won a blue ribbon for a science-fiction project in seventh grade. He won a regional spelling bee in 1982 and carries a 3.2 grade-point average at Henry Ford. King wants to play football at Eastern Michigan while studying engineering. "He knows he's good," Ruby King said. "He tries to do his best all the time." U-M gunning for Gophers By TOMMY GEORGE Free Press Sports Writer ANN ARBOR - It's a big game in "The Big House," the last for Michigan's seniors when the No. 2 Wolverines tackle Minnesota at 1 p.m. today at Michigan Stadium. At stake for Michigan (9-0 overall, 6-0 in the Big Ten) is continued momentum for its regular-season finale against Ohio State next Saturday that will decide the Big Ten championship and a Rose Bowl berth. And the Wolverines are still eyeing a solid shot at the national championship. Minnesota (5-4, 4-2) has less lofty goals. It hopes to finish the season strongly and wait for a bowl bid but even Gophers coach John Gutekunst admits matching last season's 6-5 regular-season record and Independence Bowl victory over Clemson, 20-13, will be difficult. "Let's not kid ourselves," Gutekunst said. "We were 6-5 l See MICHIGAN, Page 3D Today's games Michigan MATCHUP: No. 2 Michigan (9-0, 6-0 in Big Ten) vs. Minnesota (5-4, 4-2). WHEN: 1 p.m., Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor. TVRADIO: No TV; WJR 760-AM, WW J 950-AM, WAAM 1600-AM. LINE: Michigan by 25V,. WEATHER: Cloudy and mild, temperatures in the low 40s, no precipitation. Michigan State MATCHUP: Michigan State (5-4, 3-3 in Big Ten) at Northwestern (2-7, 0-6) WHEN: 2 p.m., Dyche Stadium, Evanston, III. TVRADIO: No TV; WXYT 1270-AM and statewide network. LINE: MSU by 19. Hunters excited, eager as deer season opens By TOM OPRE Free Press Outdoor Writer CLARE What may prove to the finest deer-hunting season in Michigan history opens today statewide. An air of optimism infused hunters' conversations everywhere on Friday. Deer were easily noticeable even at midday. Just north of Clare, a group of hunters' cars was pulled to the side of the road, all the hunters grabbing binoculars to watch a mammoth buck trot across an open field. Further down U.S. 1 0 toward Evart, two does darted across the highway, followed by six-point buck. Brake lights winked brightly as cars slammed to a stop in both directions. "I don't know if I've ever seen so much excited anticipation of any deer season," said a Department of Natural Resources fire officer at Evart. "We've had a lot of hunters through here this morning (Friday), and everyone seems really happy. They expect to be successful." NEWS OF excellent prospects began filtering out midway into October's bow-hunting season, when archers reported seeing lots of deer and an unusual number of bucks. "We're taking big bucks," said See DEER SEASON, Page 2D

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