Sports Columns

OT rules set up for more ties

Now with a bunch of fights, dumb decisions, inept play and some of the biggest stars out with injuries, I am happy about one thing with the NFL. They didn’t screw up overtime as badly as I thought they would. I liked when they added the field-goal-on-the-first-possession rule a few years ...

Upper Peninsula youths go for the Junior Gold

July might seem a long time ago since some of us were complaining of the heat. But it was during that summer month four Upper Peninsula young people set out to bowl in a large national tournament in the Cleveland area. Known as Junior Gold, these competitors — one each from Marquette and ...

Verlander finally gets his due

Justin Verlander is officially great. To Detroit baseball fans, the former Tigers pitcher was always seen that way, but on Wednesday night, he clinched the one thing that has been lacking on his career resume — a World Series title. In the world of sports, that’s typically how an ...

Nation gets taste of Green Bay Packers-Detroit Lions rivalry

ESPN should come to the Upper Peninsula this week to see just how the Detroit Lions-Green Bay Packers rivalry turns into a civil war as the teams prepare to be the Monday night game this week. Because the Lions were so woeful for so long, I would imagine most Packers’ fans outside the U.P. ...

Women’s event kicks off bowling tourney season

Yes, it’s another bowling season, actually it’s almost two months in for us league regulars. But I’ve heard many times that it doesn’t start feeling like the season until around Halloween, and well, it’s one day away in case you’ve forgotten to buy enough candy to keep the little ...

Sneaking through enemy lines

One ring to rule them all. That’s what Green Bay Packers fans have been holding above the Minnesota Vikings’ and Detroit Lions’ faithful for the past five decades. Green Bay has won four Super Bowl rings, but all they need is one to quiet their NFC North Division rivals. Growing up ...

Welcome back to my favorite recliner

Hopefully none of you had too severe of damage from the howler that came through the area on Tuesday. That’s because I’d feel bad celebrating the storm after the Armchair Quarterback Barcalounger washed up on the Lake Superior shore the next morning. I got a call from the police (don’t ...

Green Bay Packers staring at lean times

The less said the better about a 4-10 picking record last week. So onto today’s real topic — the Green Bay Packers. I was looking at several things to comment on, including a time when it might’ve been good to go for a two-point conversion in the third quarter, or the New England-New ...

Summing up US soccer failure: ‘Heartbreak’

Editor’s note: Ryan Spitza is a part-time sports writer at The Mining Journal, graduate of Marquette Senior High School and student at Northern Michigan University. ------------------ U.S. soccer, you failed. You failed yourselves, your fans and an entire nation. I’m absolutely ...

Let’s all take a breath

One of the best things about college football rivalries is the reactions of the opposing fan bases after a game is over. Last weekend, on Oct. 7, didn’t disappoint as Michigan and Michigan State fans took things to the extreme after the Spartans upset the Wolverines in Ann Arbor. On the ...

It’s easy to be humble

I’m sure making it simple to find fodder to write for this column. That’s because I find it so much easier to make fun of myself than to try and crow when I’m doing well making these picks. After that 15-1 record in Week 2 (and 26-5 record through the first two weeks), I tanked ...

It’s time to fold the Cards

Back in June, the University of Louisville men’s basketball team had its wings clipped. Now, it’s time to take the next step and put it down altogether. Just a few months ago, the NCAA issued sanctions on the Cardinals after the team’s former director of operations paid for strip ...

Stuck in a land of mediocrity

Bizz. Bizz. Bizz. Bizzz. Bizzzzzzzzzz. That’s me pressing the reset button on this NFL season, but my heavy-handed approach with that device would have you thinking I’m really pressing the panic button. That’s because I am. After 11-4 and 15-1 weeks, I’ve sunk to 8-8 and 7-9 the ...

Where the Wolverines are

In two weeks, the University of Michigan Wolverines will face their in-state rival, the Michigan State Spartans, and at least on paper, this should be another victory for the Maize and Blue. However, Michigan has some flaws going into that game, just like the fierce Wild Things in the ...

Reality comes crashing down for the Armchair Quarterback

I mentioned in this column a couple weeks ago that I gave up playing fantasy football years ago. I should’ve realized that all the easy success I had picking games the first two weeks of this season was my current-day version of the fantasy game. Last weekend I got a dose of reality. My ...

Fellas, it’s time to get over it

Over the last few weeks, whenever I see certain types of sports stories online, these are the typical comments I tend to find attached to them. “Get that chick off the air.” “I don’t need to hear this.” “It’s like my girlfriend is watching with me.” “My ears are ...

Stafford deserved to get paid

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford deserved to get paid this season. When I mean “paid,” I mean every bit of the contract extension that he received a few weeks ago to make him the NFL’s highest-paid player in league history. That was $135 million over five years. He showed ...

Just trying to remain humble

Oh, I so want to crow right now after an 11-4 start in my Week 1 picks. But if I do that, there’s not enough wood in the Upper Peninsula for me to knock on to keep from jinxing this week’s picks. So I’ll just say I got lucky, which is true, really, for every good AND bad week making ...

Packers look to come up short again

Dear Packers fans: It may be obvious to you at this point, but in case it hasn’t sunk in yet, here is my message to you. I think your favorite team is wasting Aaron Rodgers’ career. During Rodgers’ tenure as starting quarterback, your amazingly accurate field general has led the ...

Hard to pick teams who will win at start of NFL season

This is my most dreaded prognostication time of the NFL season — Week 1. Not being a student of the game and not studying every personnel move of every team to see if they’ve improved or gotten worse, I end up picking based on last year’s assumptions. It’s also one reason I gave up ...