Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · Michigan sportsman of the...
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Michigan sportsman of the decade

George Foster - January 11th, 2010
Michigan Sportsman of the Decade
Back in the early days of Northern
Express, I used to write a regular sports column for the paper.
That was the era of the Bad Boy Pistons, the seemingly eternally inept
“Dead” Wings, and football star Mark Ingram, the father (MSU receiver and
Super Bowl hero), not the Heisman Trophy-winning son, Mark Ingram.
With the explosion of cable sports coverage and the Internet, it seems to
me that the public’s interest in sports and athletes has increased
dramatically in the last decade. Also, we’ve heard more and more readers
of the Express comment that the regular sports content of the past is
missed.
Okay, people, you asked for it, now
you have it. The Score, our weekly sports column, is back.
Though I like to follow the local college and professional teams, my
intention is to write about anything that interests me. I rarely analyze
individual events and games; we have the daily papers and ESPN for that
task. The hope here is to foresee the coming sporting trends, look beneath
the surface for what makes an athlete tick, connect sports to society as a
whole – attempt to see the big picture.
Since I haven’t done a sports column for at least 10 years, let’s catch up
quickly by electing the Michigan Sportsman of the
Decade.
The results are in: second runner-up would have to be Chauncey Billups,
formerly of the Detroit Pistons. It is no coincidence that the Pistons
stormed to six consecutive conference finals after Detroit signed him to a
contract before the 2002-2003 season. The Pistons’ upset win over the
Lakers in the 2004 NBA championship series was largely orchestrated by
Billups, MVP of the series.
My runner-up is Nicklas Lidstrom of the Red Wings. Lidstrom has been the
defensive glue on several Stanley Cup-winning teams that have been known
for their offensive fireworks. Underrated, understated, quietly
efficient, Lidstrom has none of the egotistic qualities that make up a
typical hall-of-fame hockey player. He rarely makes mistakes, however,
and is the ultimate team player.
The winner and Michigan Sportsman of the Decade can be none other than Tom
Izzo, basketball coach of Michigan State University. Izzo has
single-handedly raised MSU’s basketball program to the elite status of
Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, and
Kentucky.
With a personality larger than life, Izzo has few detractors. He is
magnanimous with his opponents and remains close to his former players.
His high school recruits are second tier, mostly from Michigan and Ohio.
Yet his teams have been to the Final Four playoffs in five of the last 11
years (a primary measure of college coaching success that is unmatched).
His 1999-2000 team won the NCAA championship with only one contributing
player who would become a starter in the NBA.
How does he do it? In a nutshell, Coach Izzo expects his players to be as
physically and mentally tough as he is. If you don’t work on defense and
rebounding, you won’t play on an Izzo team. A telling statistic is that
over the last 10 years MSU has out-rebounded teams consistently by the
biggest margin in the country, though Izzo’s players are never tall
overall. Best of all, his basketball program has never had even a hint of
scandal.
There will never be another Tom Izzo. All things considered, he may be the
best college coach of our lifetime.

 
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