Jonathan Ericsson Is A Bigger Man Than You Are

When the Wings and Penguins kick off the Stanley Cup Finals tonight in at Joe Louis Arena, Detroit defenseman Jonathan Ericsson is going to feel like a part of him is gone. And he’d be right, since he had his appendix removed in emergency surgery on Wednesday. And, since that’s an invasive surgery that involves some recovery time, his doctors surely have told him that he’ll miss the series, right?

Jonathan Ericsson

Not exactly. In fact, Wings coach Mike Babcock said yesterday that Ericsson would be ready to go tonight. After all, he’s had two full days to recover from the invasive, organ-shifting procedure. Who wouldn’t be ready to play NHL hockey by now? Ericsson’s reply to Babcock’s assurance? Uh, we’ll see about that.

And speaking of the game tonight, it appears that good seats are readily available for much less than they would’ve run you last year.

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Pickpockets Steal Indy Mayor’s Phone At Final 4

Detroit’s gone through some tough times lately, so it’s perhaps not entirely shocking that there are some people trying to take advantage of the tourists that have descended on the city for the Final Four.

Indy Mayor Greg Ballard

One such tourist was Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard, whose city is hosting the 2010 Final Four. On the walk back to his hotel from Ford Field after Saturday’s games, Ballard saw a man who he thought was having a seizure, so he did the good samaritan thing and stopped to help. Well, you know what happens next. Seizure guy was actually just fine, and a second man walked up to Ballard and grabbed his cell phone and took off. Ballard isn’t happy with Detroit, and Detroit is now unhappy with Ballard.

Find out why after the jump.

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Dead Body Fails To Stop Warehouse Hockey Game

Playing a little pond hockey is a favorite pastime of folks who live in the more frigid parts of the country, but this might be taking the concept a little too far. An “urban explorer” in Detroit found an abandoned warehouse where the floor had been covered in thick ice, so he invited some of his buddies to come over and play hockey. That frozen dead body buried in ice with its legs sticking up in the air? Just a nuisance, apparently, because everyone decided the free ice time was more important than calling the police.

Dead body in Detroit warehouse

(photo credit: Max Ortiz/DETROIT NEWS)

I hate to pile on Detroit, but if I were to tell you this story without revealing which city it took place in, would there really be any other answer? Further investigation by the DETROIT NEWS revealed that the body had been in the warehouse for more than a month, and nobody had bothered to alert authorities until an anonymous friend of the hockey players called NEWS reporter Charlie LeDuff.

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UAW Losing Millions Keeping Golf Course Open

We all know what’s going on in Detroit. And no, I’m not talking about the Lions for once. The auto industry is in shambles, and has become the latest beneficiary of a “bailout.” Fortunately, the United Auto Workers union is being very frugal with its own resources right now. Or maybe they’re spending millions of dollars a year maintaining a golf resort.

golf course

(No word if losses due to scores of broken-down golf carts)

That’s right, the UAW has a $6.4 million golf course in Michigan that’s part of a larger $33 million “retreat” center that is losing money every year. The UAW claims that the center hosts important courses and seminars on leadership and political action, among other thing. Critics say the thing is just a fun getaway for union bosses.

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Springtime For Rodriguez? Probably Not This Year

There’s some ominous signs coming out of Ann Arbor that maybe hiring Rich Rodriguez wasn’t such a great idea. First, three high-profile Michigan players left the team, including freshman QB Ryan Mallett. Now, the Wolverines may miss out on having a spring game this year.

Michigan players Ryan Mallett running

(Ryan Mallett [#15] leading a group of Wolverines to freedom during an escape attempt at Michigan Stadium.)

The DETROIT NEWS reports that due to construction at Michigan Stadium, the Wolverines won’t be able to hold their intrasquad contest on campus. AD Bruce Madej says they may try to hold the game at Ford Field or some other venue - or possibly not have a game at all.

Michigan could always try the Pontiac Silverdome, but they better hurry.

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Detroit Columnist Calls Michigan ‘Bumbling Idiots’

COLUMNIST CALLS MICHIGAN CREW ‘BUMBLING IDIOTS’: These adventurous times in Ann Arbor, as the Wolverines continue their Quixotic quest for a head coach.

Terry Foster of the DETROIT NEWS is certainly amused by Michigan’s manhandling of their own coaching search:

Keystone Cops

The Wolverines have been exposed as bumbling idiots as they do their best impression of the Keystone Cops in trying to replace outgoing coach Lloyd Carr.”Foster cites the Les Miles muckety-muck and the Greg Schiano shunning as examples of the ineptitude at Schembechler Hall.

Athletic director Bill Martin and Carr and friends have bungled this thing so badly they can’t even hire a coach — Miles — who is 32-6 in the SEC, on the verge of a national title and practically is begging to come to Ann Arbor. Michigan has become a house divided, and that division is threatening to bring in a second-rate coach.”

Rich Rodriguez West Virginia thumbs up

But now the DETROIT FREE PRESS says the rates have gone up, as West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez has reportedly met with Martin and UM president Mary Sue Coleman about the vacant gig.Last year, the Mountaineers coach flirted with taking off for Tuscaloosa to grab the open Alabama job, but decided to remain in Morgantown - with an $800,000 raise.

If Michigan decides to strike it Rich, it’s going to cost them. Rodriguez has a $4 million buyout in his contract if he leaves West Virginia before the start of the 2008 season.

Then again, after Miles & Schiano, Rodriguez could just be strike three in the Wolverines’ coaching search.

Herbstreit Refuses To Report Anymore, Throws ESPN Executive Under The Bus

AT LEAST HERBSTREIT DIDN’T LET LES MESS BOTHER HIM: By now we all know about Kirk Herbstreit incorrectly reporting that Les Miles was going to take the Michigan job - and Miles publicly flogging him about the misguided reportage last Saturday.

ESPN Gameday Kirk Herbstreit Lee Corso Chase Daniels Eats Boogers

Missing on a story happens to the best of them, but apparently Herbstreit is now hanging up his reporter’s hat, but not before throwing ESPN executives under the bus.CONSTRUDA has this from Herbstreit while guesting on WDFN-AM this week in Detroit: “I would much rather talk about what teams are doing on the field. One thing I can assure you, you will never see me gathering news and reporting information ever again.

Honestly, the best way to describe it is by the time Friday came around I had some information that trust me on this it was very accurate base on not a source but someone that was going to be involved in the situation.

Kirk Herbstreit

I made the mistake, I guess telling the ESPN bosses it and in doing that they are journalists and they said you’ve got an obligation to talk about that and go with it. You guys know, I as a former player really pride myself on my relationships with coaches and players and just not real comfortable in breaking stories, leave that up to Pat Forde and the others to do that stuff.When they talked about that and really thought it over and over because it was going to happen they didn’t want to get beat on the story and they suggested that I go with it.

ESPN GameDay Kirk Herbstreit

We agree with Herbstreit on two fronts: ESPN executives deserve all the blame for the debacle - as do they for the weather in Bristol in February, the hiring of Jemele Hill, and the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage industry.And we also concur when it comes to him reporting news. Why risk providing provocative information that might make people want to tune in when you can make the same amount of money changing out Lee Corso’s bib five-times-a-GameDay?