AND ON THE SEVENTH DAY … NO MORE REST

As I was saying 17 years ago …

Welcome to another Free Press Sunday sports section. Sorry for the interruption. Back in 1989 everything was going fine, and then came the first week of December and poof – we were gone. No more Free Press sports section on Sundays. Bunch of weird people in our place.

I can explain.

We were kidnapped.

By aliens.

Actually, we’ve been LOST on this island, after our plane crashed …

OK. We have no idea what happened. One Sunday we’re putting out a sports section, the next Sunday the whole paper looks like the cat got into it. They called it the result of a JOA, which I believe stands for Joint Occupational Accident.

The Detroit News printed some sections, we printed some sections. Bad idea. But that’s over now. We’re one big, fat, self-contained Sunday Free Press.

All is well.

What’s 855 Sundays between friends?

Besides, you think it was weird for you? How about me? One Saturday, I’m in a press box, writing about a Michigan game, the next Saturday, I’m sleeping in.

And the next Saturday.

I slept in the entire ’90s.

Actually, now that I think about it, there were some plusses …

Did I mention the aliens?

Mike Tyson did what!!!???

Anyhow. We want to thank the folks at the News for handling Sundays while we were in the Witness Protection Program.

But now there is much catching up to do. Since 1989, I have been unable to write on a single Kentucky Derby, World Series opener, Wimbledon women’s final, Final Four semifinal, most heavyweight fights and the Red Wings’ 1997 Stanley Cup clincher – all of which took place on Saturdays.

I’ve missed every U-M football Saturday since Bo Schembechler was coach.

Is he still coach?

When Saturdays came, we at the print part of the Free Press had to sit around watching, as neutered as, well, the Detroit News staff on Fridays.

It is not natural. Not in this business. You don’t do news six days a week and rest on the seventh. Only God does that.

But now it’s fixed.

So, let’s get you up to date.

Here are my thoughts for every event I missed over the last 17 years:

Good game! Bad game! Bo should retire for health reasons. Of course I knew Unbridled would win the Derby. How about that opener for Gary Moeller? Steffi Graf probably can win this Wimbledon thing. Hey, Michigan State, way to trip Desmond Howard. Wow, did you see that Christian Laettner shot! This Philly pitcher Mitch Williams makes me nervous. How about that opener for Lloyd Carr? I’m thinking the Spartans can win this championship. Red Wings get the Cup! Red Wings win the Cup! Did you see that: Mike Tyson bit his ear! This Smarty Jones horse is going places. Pudge Rodriguez is the face of the world champion Marlins – I wonder where he’ll play next season? Notre Dame beats Michigan! This Venus Williams – pretty good, huh? Great game! Bad game! It was the pitching! It was the hitting! Notre Dame beats Michigan. I blame Barry Bonds.

There. All caught up.

A double shot of opinions

From here on in, if it happens on Saturday, you can read about it Sunday – from us. We once again have calendars where every seventh page hasn’t been pulled out.

The world makes sense.

Well, almost. There is one more issue for me. From that fateful day in ’89, I parachuted to another section to write a non-sports column. This, my bosses said, was supposed to keep me in the Sunday paper.

But now I’ve parachuted back.

Except I’m still there, too. In the Local section. Same face. Same name. A two-headed monster. And you probably want to know, “Well, how does that work?”

I told you.

Aliens.

Contact MITCH ALBOM at 313-223-4581 or malbom@freepress.com.

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