The 1950 Blizzard Bowl

November 25th, 2013 at 10:00 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Sports, Weather

On Nov. 25, 1950 Michigan and Ohio State met for what has been called the “Blizzard Bowl” or the “Snow Bowl“. Check out the film of the storm here and here. Michigan won the game 9-3 despite gaining only 27 yards of offense in 46 plays. They had no first downs, didn’t complete a pass and punted 24 times. In fact, there were 45 punts in the game. Both teams mostly tried two runs then punted on 3rd down, so in case the punter slipped, they could try again on fourth down. Only 2 of the 45 punts were returned (for a total of 8 yards). That was mostly because the return man couldn’t find the ball. Most just hit the snow and stopped without bouncing. There were only 10 fumbles in the game. The temperature at the start of the game was +10° and the wind was howling out of the north-northeast. One Ohio St. player remarked that he was supposed to go down and block a linebacker, but when he ran downfield he could find him! All the points were scored after blocked kicks in the first half. Several hundred Boy Scouts were on the sidelines helping to sweep snow off the field so the officials and players could find the yard markers. Most of the state of Ohio got 10″ or more of snow, with reports up to 33″ and drifts up to 25 feet! The temperature in Grand Rapids that morning reached -10°F, the coldest temperature ever recorded here in the month of November. (photo – OSU library)

Sports Thread Thanksgiving Weekend

November 23rd, 2013 at 2:41 pm by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

    Gotta get this up early because of the Lions game today.  Can the Lions win one out of ten games on Thanksgiving Day.  On paper, the answer is yes (no Rodgers, home field, etc.), but this is the Lions on Thanksgiving Day.  There are 3 NFL games today.  The Lions play at 12:30 on FOX.  At 4:30 has the Oakland Raiders and the Dallas Cowboys.  In the evening you can see Pittsburgh and Baltimore on NBC/WOOD-TV.   Since the Lions play today, we may get the Bears/Vikings game if FOX has a game at 1 PM Sunday.  The Sunday evening game is Baltimore at Washington (with RG III and Holland’s own Kirk Cousins).

There are 16 college games on Friday.  At 2 pm Eastern Mich. is at C.M.U.  The weather should be cool and dry.  There are 2 games on WOTV4.  At Noon, it’s a Big Ten showdown with Iowa at Nebraska followed by Miami (FL) at Pittsburgh.   Saturday, the big Michigan/Ohio State game is on WOTV4 at Noon from Ann Arbor.    The Minnesota at Michigan State game is also at Noon on the Big Ten Network.  My Badgers host Penn St. at 3:30 on WOTV4.  Georgia and Georgia Tech is the 3:30 game on WOTV4.  Notre Dame has a tough match-up with Stanford at 7 PM out west (FOX).  On WOTV4 you can see UCLA and USC at 8 PM.  That’s #22 and #23, pretty even match-up.

The high school playoff games are all day Friday and Saturday from Ford Field.   We have half a dozen W. Michigan teams playing, but since the blog gets comments and readers from all over the state and beyond, I’ll show you the complete schedule.  Tickets are $10 and you get to see 4 games and be in Ford Field…pretty good deal.  The Friday games are televised on FOX Sports Detroit-Plus; the Saturday games are on FOX Sports Detroit.


Weekend Sports Thread Nov. 16-17 – updated

November 15th, 2013 at 1:00 am by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

  GVSU logo  GVSU (9-2) beat Saginaw Valley (9-2) today 49-34, despite having 188 fewer yards, less than half the first downs of Saginaw Valley and a 15.64 minute deficit in time of possession.  HUGE win for Michigan State, 41-28.  Nebraska had 5 turnovers, Michigan St. had none.  Michigan’s triple-overtime win at Northwestern was amazing.  Watch the last play of regulation (the field goal).  Notice the officials hustle to get the ball in play.  Video at the link is all I could find, there’s better video out there…again watch the officials.  The ball was tossed between officials twice.  If either one drops the ball, time runs out!   Central Michigan earned their fourth victory of the season over Western Michigan 27-22.  Western only has one win this season.    My alma mater, Wisconsin racked up 554 yards on the ground, blasting Indiana 51-3, but my wife’s alma mater gave up 60 points in a loss to Ohio State.  The Illini haven’t beaten O.S.U. at Champaign since 1991.  Ferris St. topped Northern Michigan 25-22.  The evening game on WOTV4 (now, as I write this) is Stanford and USC – Stanford has won the last four games with USC and is favored in this one.    We’ll be covered 10 of the high school playoff games this Saturday.   The Detroit Lions head to Pittsburgh where they are 0-9 in their last 9 meetings there.  They haven’t won in Pittsburgh since I was in kindergarten.  There are 2 games in the Severe Storm Moderate Risk Area – that’s Baltimore at Chicago and Cleveland at Cincinnati.   The Sunday evening game on NBC/WOOD-TV is Kansas City at Denver.   Watch 24-Hour News 8 for Football Frenzy and the updated severe weather forecast.

Besides the Michigan field goal with one second left…here’s the other play of the day.

Weekend Sports Thread Nov. 2-3

November 1st, 2013 at 7:58 pm by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

   It’s a wet Friday night for high school football playoff games.   We’re going to get to 21 games on the Football Frenzy – watch us at 10 PM on WXSP and at 11 PM on WOOD for the playoff highlights.  Tomorrow is the big Michigan-Michigan State game at East Lansing.  It’s a nationally televised game and you can see the game on WOTV4 at 3:30 PM.  The two teams each have one loss on the season and are ranked #21 (MI) and #22 (MSU) in the BCS standings.  It’ll be mostly cloudy and cool in East Lansing, with about a 50/50 chance of a brief period of very light rain.  Temperatures will be in the mid-upper 40s.  WOTV4 has 3 football games on Saturday.  The Noon game features my Wisconsin Badgers taking on Iowa and the evening is a Florida showdown between Miami (#7) and Florida State (#3).  Both of those teams are undefeated.  Both Western and Central have a bye week.   Wayne St. takes on Ferris St. at Noon and at 7 PM Hillsdale and Grand Valley clash in Allendale.  While there is a chance of a sprinkle there, odds favor cloudy, dry and cool conditions.

The Lions also have a bye week.  The Sunday night game is Indianapolis at Houston on WOOD-TV at 8:30 PM.  The Monday night game is Da Bears at Lambeau Field to take on the Packers.  NASCAR is at the Texas Motor Speedway.

The Game That Changed Football – 100 Years Ago Today

November 1st, 2013 at 5:44 am by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

knute rockne   It was 100 years ago today that the game of football was changed forever.  You might not have recognized early football games.  The first football game, between Rutgers and Princeton was played in 1869 with 25 players on each team, using a round ball.  In early football, there were no quarterbacks, no receivers, no first downs.  The ball could not be picked up and carried and was either kicked, or batted with the head, arms or body.  The team had to get the ball across the goal line of the opposing team.  In early football, every game had different rules.  The teams would meet before the game to decide how many players would be on each team, even how long the field should be, how many points would be scored for reaching the goal and how many minutes the game would last.  For awhile, touchdowns (crossing the goal line) didn’t earn you any points, only the right to kick the ball over a rope strung between two poles.  In 1873, four schools met and decided on a uniform field of 400 feet by 250 feet and 20 players on each team.  In 1880, the number of players on the field at one time was reduced to 11 and the snap was introduced.  Originally, a snap was uncontested and on several occasions, the team just held the ball for the entire half to preserve a lead (and you thought Jaguar games were boring).  Football was a dangerous sport.  In 1905, there were 19 fatalities in a very limited number of football games.  President Roosevelt, himself a fan since watching a game from the stands as a student at Harvard in 1876, threatened to abolish the game unless rules were changed.  In 1905, sixty-two schools met in New York City and formed the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. (NCAA).  Among the new rules was the introduction of the forward pass, suggested by a Georgia Tech coach named John Heisman (yeah, the trophy guy – he once beat Cumberland 222-0, the most lopsided game in football history).  The first forward pass was thrown by St. Louis in a Carroll College game in Waukesha, WI. in 1906, but there were very few passes.  First of all, if a pass was incomplete, it was a turnover and the defensive team got the ball on offense.  Passes had to be thrown from at least 5 yards behind the scrimmage line and couldn’t go more than 20 yards.  The rules were eventually eased and in 1912, passes could be longer and you didn’t turn the ball over with an incomplete pass.  Also in 1912, it was decided that 6 points would be awarded for a touchdown, that the field would be shortened to 100 yards and that the offense would have four downs instead of three to get a first down.  Read on… (more…)

Weekend Sports Thread Oct. 19-20

October 26th, 2013 at 1:00 am by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

  GVSU logo  The GVSU (8-2)/Saginaw Valley (9-1) game today in Allendale is huge.  Lubbers Field will be rockin’.  That’s a 1 PM game.  Ferris State has a home game against Northern Michigan.  Michigan State has a big match-up with Nebraska.  That game’s at 3:30 PM on WOTV4.   CMU (3-6) is at WMU (1-9).  Both teams desperately looking for a win.   Michigan heads to Evanston, IL to take on Northwestern, a team that has had too many injuries and a disappointing Big Ten season so far.  My Badgers should get a win over Indiana in Madison and I’ll be helping my wife root for her alma mater, Illinois (BA and MA) against Ohio State.   The last time Illinois beat Ohio State in Champaign was 1991.  There is a chance of showers at that game.   Stanford and USC tangle on WOTV4 at 8 PM.  Stanford has won the last four games of that match.  Notre Dame is idle this week.  WOOD and Football Frenzy will be covering at least 10 of the high school playoff games today.  The games start at 1 PM with the exception of the Zeeland West game at Mt. Pleasant, which starts at 2 PM.   The games should take place under mild and dry conditions.  Congratulations to Comstock Park and South Christian for their Friday night victories.   In general, we had good weather for the Friday night games this year.   Detroit tries to get their first win at Pittsburgh since 1955 (they’ve lost 9 in a row there).  They will have to watch for a thunderstorm and strong winds at the NFL games Sunday in Chicago and Cincinnati.   The Pistons won one in Sacramento, Michigan St. took way too long to put away Columbia, the Red Wings have lost 7 in a row at home.

Weekend Sports Oct. 12/13

October 12th, 2013 at 1:45 am by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

detroit tigers logo  TIGERS WIN! 1-0. They got their first hit in the 9th inning.  Sanchez – no hitter thru 6 innings (he threw 116 pitches).  He had 12 strikeouts and 6 walks.  Sanchez with FOUR STRIKEOUTS in the first inning.  A record!   Penn State wins 43-40 in FOUR overtimes!  Exciting game, big 4th down conversion by Penn. St.      Spartans knocked off  Indiana this afternoon.  Central won at Ohio, 26-23, but Western got skunked 33-0 by Buffalo.    Notre Dame had a bye week.  My Badgers had an easier time than expected with Northwestern, winning 35-6.  The Detroit Lions head to Cleveland for the usual 1 PM start.  Cleveland has won 3 in a row.  I see Suh is 100K poorer.  NASCAR stopped in Charlotte NC.   Finally, an interesting article on how President Teddy Roosevelt helped to promote football in the early days.

Weekend Sports

October 5th, 2013 at 1:21 pm by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

detroit tigers logo

The big story is the Tigers.  They lost a tough one 1-0 in the bottom of the 9th.  Great Pitching by Verlander…gotta score.   The series is 1-1.  Both U. of M and MSU won.  Central Michigan beat Miami (OH) 21-9.  Western is still winless.  Ferris made quite a comeback, but fell a little short.   Notre Dame beat AZ. State.  Grand Valley thumped Mich. Tech.   The Lions are in Green Bay (1 PM on FOX) .  NASCAR is in Kansas this weekend (Sunday 1 PM on ESPN).

Weekend Sports

September 28th, 2013 at 12:56 pm by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

detroit tigers logo

The big story is the Tigers as they finish up a couple of games in Miami against the Marlins and look ahead to the playoffs…maybe with Oakland.   It’s been near 90 in Miami this week.  The Marlins have lost 100 games.  Only Houston has more losses.  Both the Cubs and White Sox finish last in their divisions.  Kind of a quiet football Saturday with both Michigan and Michigan St. have a bye week.  Many teams are getting two bye weeks this year.  That can be both good and bad…more prep. time, a recruiting trip, injuries have another week to heal, but it can slow down your momentum (and you waste a good football weekend weatherwise on a day like today).  The bigger TV games for us are #14 Oklahoma at Notre Dame at 3:30 PM – that game is on WOOD-TV.   This evening, I’ll be watching my alma mater (Wisconsin) try and upend Ohio State in Columbus.  That game is on WOTV4 at 8 PM.  Central is at North Carolina State at 3:30 PM on ESPN3.  Western has a good chance to get that first win of the year, taking on Kent St. at home.  That game is at 7 PM on ESPN3.  Grand Valley is at Ohio Dominion…that’s a school with 23, 464 students against a school with 2982 students (Hillsdale has 1200 students and Lake Erie 1300 – they’re like high schools in terms of numbers).  Hope is undefeated so far this year and on the road against Illinois Wesleyan.   Last we have the Detroit Lions playing da Bears.  That’s the usual 1 PM start on FOX.  The Sunday night game on WOOD-TV/NBC is New England at Atlanta.  NASCAR is in Dover, Delaware Sunday afternoon on ESPN. Leave a comment if I missed anything that you’re interested in.

Weekend Sports Thread

September 13th, 2013 at 9:14 pm by under Bill's Blog, Sports, Weather

detroit tigers logo

Michigan St. travels to S. Bend to take on Notre Dame at 3:30 PM Saturday.  That game is on WOOD-TV (NBC) at 3:30 PM.  I’ll probably be down at ArtPrize, but if I’m near a TV, I’ll keep an eye on my alma mater (Wisconsin).  The Badgers are hosting Purdue.  Michigan is at Connecticut (they should have just moved he game to the Big House and collected the extra $$).  That’s an ABC (WOTV4) game and starts at 8 PM.  Toledo comes to Mt. Pleasant to take on CMU at Noon (ESPN3).  Western is at Iowa at Noon on the Big Ten Network.  The Lions are in D.C. to take on the Redskins.  Both teams really need a win.  The Sunday evening game on WOOD-TV (NBC) is the 2-0 Bears against Pittsburgh.  The Tigers host the last-place White Sox.  They may close out the division title this weekend.  NASCAR is at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Sunday 2 PM on ESPN).  Keep an eye on the forecasts for the Friday night Football Frenzy games.  The front ought to clear our area, but east toward Detroit and especially in Ohio, thunderstorms could disrupt the games.  I already linked to this video, but it’s worth seeing again.  Lightning hitting a tree next to a high school football halftime show in Florida last Friday night.   More new and updated threads below this one.