Sports Columns

Time to rethink mascots

High school basketball season is upon us again and passions are already high when you look at social media like Twitter and Facebook. Students, parents and fans take great pride in their teams and for good reason. In some areas, the nicknames of the high school teams serve as the town’s ...

Lions’ Caldwell treats Vikings as just another opponent

ALLEN PARK — Jim Caldwell is not looking too far ahead.bThat’s also the advice the Detroit Lions coach is offering to his team as they prepare for the Thanksgiving Day matchup with the NFC North-leading Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field. The Vikings (8-2) lead the division by two games over ...

Women bowlers vie for titles, Hall of Fame ceremony set

Three bowlers won titles at the annual women’s association tournament conducted by the Marquette County U.S. Bowling Congress on Nov. 11 at River Rock Lanes in Ishpeming. This was a two-division tournament with both singles and doubles. The wealth was spread around well, as nobody came to ...

Lions no longer the turkeys on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a special occasion for Michigan sports fans. It’s a day when people around the state gather together to overeat and watch the Detroit Lions look terrible in front of a national audience. You have to admit, that’s a hard tradition to top. However, this year things will ...

NASCAR won’t be the same without Dale Jr.

I grew up with a passion for NASCAR and having people always tell me that it was “boring” or “just a bunch of left turns.” I used to defend against those arguments, but now I’m starting to feel like those people are right. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be running his final Cup series ...

National Football League is where the action is this weekend

The ESPN announcer — darn, I remember his comment but not who it was — said this isn’t much of a college football weekend. But he added that it should be really good for watching the NFL. A lot of close matchups make for tough picking. But I look at it as the glass half-full — as in ...

Bowler Justin Stephens ready to match his age in his perfect 300 output

You’ve probably heard of very good senior-citizen golfers shooting their age for an 18-hole round. Now a not-anywhere-near-senior-citizen-age guy is looking at the bowling version of that. Justin Stephens, 39, rolled his 36th perfect 300 game at River Rock Lanes in Ishpeming on Oct. 17. ...

Do the Pistons matter up here?

Does anyone care about the Detroit Pistons around here? I’ve wondered that ever since my first winter in the Upper Peninsula and until a few months ago, I had yet to meet a Pistons fan. Or at least one that would admit to it. It’s always seemed odd to me. I knew that when I moved up ...

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 ...