It has been a difficult couple weeks for sports fans in Michigan. On the day of Muhammad Ali's funeral (Ali spent nearly two decades of his life in Berrien Springs, Mich.), it was announced that hockey legend Gordie Howe passed away at the age of 88. And on Monday, June 13, while the hockey world was still grieving the loss of "Mr. Hockey," Michigan State coaching legend Ron Mason died at age 76.
Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon joined Stateside to pay tribute to both men. Howe, who Bacon called the "best that ever was," was a Detroit Red Wings icon who helped the club win four Stanley Cups, and is still celebrated all over the world.
When Mason retired as Michigan State's men's hockey coach in 2002 and transitioned into a job as the university's athletic director, he was the winningest coach in college hockey history.
The sport of hockey lost two of its giants over the last week. You can listen to the full interview with Bacon to hear his tribute to both, and how each man changed the sport in his own way.
John U. Bacon is Michigan Radio's sports commentator