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John U. Bacon

Mackinac Bridge
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, an environmental law expert breaks down the legal questions involved in a lame-duck session-approved plan to replace a section of Enbridge's Line 5 twin pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac. Plus, Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon weighs in on the University of Michigan’s hiring - and subsequent firing - of a consultant who left USA Gymnastics amid fallout from the Larry Nassar scandal.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

John U. Bacon

The latest college football bowl season might have gone worse for in-state teams, but it’s hard to imagine how.

First, the good news: four state schools were invited to bowl games this year, while Ferris State got to the final game of the Division II playoffs.

I first met Pat Rode in the summer of 1980. I was a 15-year-old kid who’d just broken 100 pounds.

He was 51-year-old former Army captain. He was built like it, and acted like it: a tough, no-nonsense guy you didn’t want to disappoint.

I was a rookie at Camp Hayo-Went-Ha, while Pat was on his way to becoming the director.

John U. Bacon

The people who run all 39 college football bowl games recently picked the 78 teams they want to showcase this holiday season – even though there are only 130 teams to choose from. In other words, they have to dip into the bottom half of teams to fill the bowls.

football
Bill Couch / Flickr / https://bit.ly/2Ejgq34

Last Sunday, the Peach Bowl in Atlanta invited the Michigan Wolverines to play Florida. But is that good news for Michigan fans, or bad?

Morgan McCaul
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, General Motors is set to keep receiving tax breaks from the state of Michigan until 2029. That's in spite of the company's recent decision to cut thousands of jobs and shut down production at two plants in the state. Plus, a co-author of this year's National Climate Assessment shares how climate change is projected to impact Michigan and the Midwest in coming decades. 

football
Kaveman743 / Flickr / https://bit.ly/2KKaWih

After Michigan football finished a disappointing 8-and-5 last year, most pundits figured the Wolverines wouldn’t be much better this year. Worse, they had one of the toughest schedules in the country.

box office neon sign
Photo by @CVDOP Limbocker on Unsplash

Today on Stateside, a Michigan State University economist weighs in on what General Motors' decision to lay off workers and shutter factories means for the Michigan communities and workers involved. Plus, what to expect from the Michigan Legislature as it enters its lame-duck session. 

A white car with a sign atop it reading "driver education student driver."
Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today on Stateside, General Motors announced that it will end production at several facilities across the nation, including two here in Michigan. Plus, the editor of a new collection of Joni Mitchell interviews talks about the singer-songwriter’s rise to fame and her musical debut in Detroit’s folk scene. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Image of coding on a computer screen.
Unsplash

Today on Stateside, a BBC journalist tells us what Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn's recent arrest for financial misconduct could mean for the future of the Japanese automaker. Plus, after being diagnosed with a sleep disorder, an Ann Arbor high school student started a nonprofit to address the issue of sleep deprivation among teenagers.

Plenty of pundits have raged about the soaring salaries of college coaches, and rightly so. 

Over the past three decades, the average football coach’s salary increased tenfold to $2.5 million. That’s about 25 times more than the average college professor earns, whose salary has merely kept pace with inflation. Today the highest paid public employee in 39 states is either a basketball coach or a football coach.

Image shows a physician taking someone's blood pressure.
Unsplash

Today on Stateside, how the Affordable Care Act has impacted public health in Michigan in the five years since it was enacted. Plus, a conversation with the director of the Great Lakes National Cemetery, one of two national cemeteries in Michigan where the state's veterans are laid to rest.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Michigan v. Penn State
MGoBlog

Looking at this year’s Michigan football schedule, everyone who plays, coaches, covers, or follows the team knew it would be a tough run, maybe the toughest in the country.

Michigan’s schedule included five ranked teams almost half the schedule. Three of them sat right in a row, in the middle of the season: Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Penn State. The players called that the gauntlet, until defensive end Chase Winovich renamed it “The Revenge Tour,” because all three teams had beaten Michigan last year.

Today on Stateside, a voting rights expert with the ACLU shares what Michiganders should know ahead of tomorrow’s midterm election. Plus, a conversation with actor and comedian Marc Evan Jackson who plays Shawn, an all-knowing immortal judge, on NBC’s The Good Place.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

John U. Bacon

D.J. Durkin coached for Jim Harbaugh at Stanford for three years, and at Michigan for one. I liked him, but I didn’t play for him. Among the Michigan players I know, some liked him, some didn’t, but I never heard any of them say they thought he was dangerous.

In 2016, Durkin accepted the head coaching position at Maryland, which was entering its third season in the Big Ten. The year before, the Terrapins had finished dead last in the Big Ten East Division.

Photo courtesy of Trinea Gonczar

Today on Stateside, we hear the first episode of Believed. It's a podcast series produced by Michigan Radio and NPR that explores how former sports doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused patients for more than 20 years. Plus, an interview with the series’ co-hosts, Michigan Radio reporters Kate Wells and Lindsey Smith.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

John U. Bacon

Michigan and Michigan State both faced highly ranked opponents last weekend.

The unranked Spartans suffered a couple bad losses, and entered last week’s game looking for a miracle against eighth-ranked Penn State at Penn State, no less, one of the toughest places to play. But the Spartans pulled the upset, earning them a 4-2 record and a return to the top 25.

Michigan kicker Jake Moody
MGoBlog

When we last checked in with the Michigan football team four weeks ago, the Wolverines had just lost to 12th-ranked Notre Dame, then crushed Western Michigan.

But the Wolverines still had more questions than answers, especially after coming off a disappointing 8-5 season the year before.

Gilda Radner in LOVE, GILDA, a Magnolia Pictures Release.
Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

Today on Stateside, a young activist in Detroit is appealing her conviction for pulling an unloaded gun on another woman in what she says was self-defense. Plus, the ups and downs of the family restaurant are the focus of Ann Arbor writer Lillian Li’s debut novel.

John U. Bacon

Two weeks ago, Michigan football was ranked 14th. Michigan State was ranked 11th. The Detroit Lions were supposed to improve with a new coach, and Eastern Michigan was expected to slide back to mediocrity ways.

a collection of glowing rocks known as "yooperlites"
Erik Rintamaki

Today on Stateside, why President Trump's tweets are unlikely to change Ford's decision to move small car production abroad. Plus, why rocks in the U.P. are giving off an alien glow. (No, it does not involve extraterrestrials.)

Listen above for the full show, or find individual segments below. 

Ford won’t be moving production of Focus hatchback to the U.S. Here’s why.

John U. Bacon

After a few low years, the Big Ten has been riding high lately. Last year, seven Big Ten schools won their bowl games, with only Michigan on the losing side.

Going into this season, five Big Ten teams were ranked in the nation’s top 14, with four from the Big Ten East Division alone: Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State, and Michigan.

Big Ten Preview 2018

Aug 31, 2018
John U. Bacon

I usually spend the Friday before Labor Day predicting what’s going to happen in Big Ten football. But this year, so much has already happened off the field that it threatens to eclipse whatever might happen on it.

Urban Meyer
MGoBlog on Flickr / Flickr

 


As summer begins to wind down, the fall football season is firing up. 

Michigan State will kick off its season this Friday at home against the Utah State Aggies. On Saturday, Michigan heads to South Bend for its season opener against Notre Dame. 

 

Urban Meyer
MGoBlog / Flickr / https://goo.gl/gGH3Hq

A couple weeks ago, I reported on the Big Ten Media Days, the annual event when every coach tells you what a great off-season his team had – in the weight room, the classroom, and yes, the community.

About the only news that seemed to come out of those two days of interviews was Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh’s short, simple answers to exceedingly silly or annoying questions.

But we didn’t realize the big story had just been planted under our noses. The first night of the conference, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer fired one of his assistants, Zach Smith.


Gary Shear / Unsplash

Michigan Radio’s sports commentator John U. Bacon is back to the grind after enjoying a much-needed summer vacation.

Bacon joined Stateside to talk about the long-awaited induction of Detroit Tiger greats Alan Trammell and Jack Morris into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, and much more. 

Coach Jim Harbaugh
Maize & Blue Nation / wikimedia commons

In the news business, a lot of what we do pops up unexpectedly, forcing us to drop whatever we’re working on to handle the breaking news.

Not so the Big Ten Media Days.

Like the swallows returning to Capistrano, every summer the Big Ten football coaches, players, and reporters gather in Chicago for the Big Ten Media Days. But if you had to choose between the swallows and the coaches, you’d probably take the swallows. Why? Because the swallows would give you more interesting quotes.

John U. Bacon

“Hot fun in the summertime. That’s when I had most of my fun.”

For me, the summer of ’76 stands out. I was 12.

It was the bicentennial, my family went to the Montreal Olympics, and everyone cheered for Detroit pitcher Mark “The Bird” Fidrych, the happiest ballplayer I’ve ever seen.

Life after "The Hit"

Jun 29, 2018
John U. Bacon

If you’re a casual football fan, or even if you’re not, you’ve probably seen The Hit: one of the most famous tackles in the history of the game.

It was January 1, 2013, when Michigan played South Carolina in the Outback Bowl. In the fourth quarter, with the Wolverines hanging on to a 22-21 lead, Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner handed off to Vincent Smith.

John U. Bacon

Sunday marks my third father’s day. I had no idea what I was doing for the first two and, it seems, little more this time around. But the kid keeps growing anyway.

I don’t care what anyone says. The first three months are hard. You’re not getting any sleep, and the kid isn’t walking, talking, or even giving you an occasional laugh or a smile. But then things pick up.

Teddy was an early talker and a late walker. Imagine that! The genes are strong with this one. Well, kid, welcome to sports writing!

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