Sports

Looking underneath a bridge at sunrise, a group of boats in the water surround several swimmers attached to orange buoys.
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

More than 300 people braved the Straits of Mackinac Sunday for the 13th annual Mighty Mac Swim.

Despite the Traverse City Pit Spitters' winning record and engagement efforts, fan attendance numbers have been low.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

This spring, a lot of fanfare accompanied the announcement the Pit Spitters baseball team was coming to Traverse City. Billboards went up declaring, “New Team. New Fun.” Now free pocket schedules can be found at just about any gas station you stop at in northern Michigan. But for all these efforts and the team’s recent 18-game winning streak, fans have been slow to respond.

 


The Traverse City Pit Spitters revealed the baseball team's new name and logo Tuesday morning at the State Theatre.
Dan Wanschura

The new baseball team in Traverse City has a name. The 'Pit Spitters' was the name chosen from over four-thousand fan suggestions, including Dogmen and Dune Bears.

Today on Stateside, why the auto industry is breathing "a sigh of relief" after President Trump announced the trilateral trade deal that will replace NAFTA. Plus, an Oscoda resident shares his experience of being affected by PFAS contamination, kicking off Michigan Radio's week-long series on contamination by the chemicals across the state.    

This weekend, baseball fans will roll the clock way back, more than 150 years.

There's a four-game tournament of early baseball happening at Cambridge Junction Historic State Park in Brooklyn, Michigan.

That's where the Walker Tavern Wheels will be hosting an invitational with the Saginaw Old Golds, the Detroit Early Risers, and the Canton Cornshuckers.


 

New Lions head coach Matt Patricia has found himself at the center of a Detroit News story that reported: he'd been arrested in March 1996 and indicted for aggravated sexual assault. 

The case collapsed when the accuser decided not to testify.

 

 

John U. Bacon, Michigan Radio sports commentator, joined Stateside today to discuss what the Red Wings should expect in the draft lottery, what the main difference was between watching the Frozen Four and Red Wings games, and why the Pistons have "stalled."

 

For the Michigan Wolverines basketball team, it’s on to the championship game. One last game stands between the Wolverines and their first NCAA title since 1989.

John U. Bacon, Michigan Radio’s sports commentator, joined Stateside to discuss the Wolverines’ victory over Loyola University Chicago, the challenges ahead against Villanova, and also about Notre Dame’s historic victory in the NCAA women’s championship over the weekend.

 

 

John U. Bacon, Michigan Radio sports commentator, joined Stateside to give us an update on everything going on with Michigan sports (and there is a lot).

 

March Madness is upon us now that the NCAA has announced its 68-team field. Let those who love college hoops plunge into making their brackets. 

Anders Kelto (right) stands next to Anthony Ervin, a swimmer who is featured in Kelto's new audio series "Gamebreaker with Keith Olbermann."
Caroline Kim

When Anders Kelto listened to sports podcasts, what he usually heard was a couple of guys sitting around bantering with each other.

“There was no good audio sports journalism in the world, at least that I had been exposed to,” he says.

Anders is changing that. Today, the Traverse City native is out with his own podcast —it’s a sports documentary series.

 


Between a wild weekend with the Red Wings and coaching change-ups at the Lions, there’s a lot going on in the world of Michigan sports.

John U. Bacon, Michigan Radio’s sports commentator, joined Stateside to talk about the week’s news.

With Super Bowl LII officially in the books, former Michigan quarterback Tom Brady is still at just five Super Bowl wins. 

John U. Bacon, Michigan Radio’s sports commentator, joined Stateside today to discuss the big game and the week’s other news.

 


 

We’ve had some listeners reach out on twitter to put in a request: talk some hockey!

We aim to please, and the timing is perfect — it’s the mid-season mark.

 

John U. Bacon, Michigan Radio sports commentator, joined Stateside to give us an update on all things hockey, with a side of basketball and football.

The 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia wrapped up this past weekend and there were a number of storylines involving players with Michigan connections.

It was recently announced that the National Hockey League (NHL) will not be sending its players to the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The last time NHL players weren't included in the Olympic hockey tournament was in 1998. After nearly two decades, that is expected to come to a close next year when the Winter Games are hosted in Seoul, South Korea.

Big outdoor stadiums hosting hockey is a trend that’s been on the rise over the past decade. The 2014 NHL Winter Classic, held in Michigan Stadium, drew more than 100,000 fans to watch the Red Wings play the Toronto Maple Leafs, the largest crowd ever to watch a professional hockey game.

But the Wings' very first outdoor game wasn’t at a stadium or even in a big city. It took place in 1954, at the self-proclaimed “Alcatraz of the North.” The opponent: the Marquette Prison Pirates.

It is the end of multiple eras for sports fans in Michigan and specifically metro Detroit. Last night, the Detroit Red Wings played their final game at Joe Louis Arena, a place they have called home since 1979.

Tonight, the Detroit Pistons will play their last home game at the Palace of Auburn Hills, an arena where they've played since 1988.

The U.S. Women’s Hockey team will play in the IIHF World Championship after all. The team ended their threat of boycotting the tournament after agreeing to a four-year deal with USA Hockey.

One of the players happy to be back on the ice is Farmington Hills native Megan Keller. The defender who plays college hockey for Boston College joined Stateside to talk about what the women's national team was hoping to gain from the new deal.

It's been called "Brawl in Hockeytown." Some call it "Fight Night at the Joe."

On March 26, 1997, Darren McCarty of the Detroit Red Wings punched, then kept on punching, Claude Lemieux of the Colorado Avalanche.

The reason for that fight happened 301 days earlier in Game 6 of the 1996 Western Conference Finals when Lemieux hit Wings center Kris Draper from behind, sending Draper face-first into the bench and smashing his face (see video below). He suffered a broken orbital bone, a broken cheekbone, a broken nose, a broken jaw and a concussion. 

The Michigan State Board of Education is trying to pressure schools to drop team mascots and nicknames that are offensive to Native American tribes.

The board is asking the Legislature to adopt budget sanctions on schools that won’t scrap offensive Native American mascots.

“We want to make sure that students are able to go to school and to learn and be in environments that are conducive to learning, and so that is why it’s quite important,” said Pam Pugh, a Democratic board member.

For the first time since 1990, the Detroit Red Wings might not go to the NHL playoffs.

John U. Bacon spoke to Stateside about the Red Wings' playoff chances and his predictions for Michigan’s college basketball teams going into March Madness.

Traverse City West basketball coach dies suddenly

Feb 22, 2017
Photo courtesy of Gary D. Smith at Picture This.

The varsity girls basketball coach at Traverse City West High School has died, school officials confirmed on Wednesday. 

Mike Wilde coached a variety of sports in Traverse City Area Public Schools for more than 30 years, including basketball, baseball and football.

The city of Detroit lost one of its business icons when Mike Ilitch passed away. Many people know him for being the founder of Little Caesars Pizza, but most know him as the owner of the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings.

Michigan Sports Hall of Famer Ray Lane began covering sports in Detroit starting in 1961 and was there when Ilitch bought the Red Wings in 1982 (for $8 million!), and later the Tigers in 1992. Lane joined Stateside to look back at the sports side of Ilitch's legacy.

We're midway through February, which for college basketball fans means March Madness is just around the corner. Many fans around the state are likely saving those sick days to watch the opening round of the men's NCAA tournament, but fans in the Great Lakes State aren't guaranteed to have a home team to root for this year. 

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