IT’S WAY TOO EARLY FOR U-M VS. MSU

Attention, please: Whoever came up with the bright idea of starting the Big Ten season with Michigan vs. Michigan State, you can go back to your cave now.

By making it both teams’ conference opener, the schedule-makers have killed the hysteria normally associated with this game. The hype has been so tepid, I need black coffee just to start talking about it.

Maybe everyone is busy with Sammy and Mac.

Or Monica.

Speaking of the home run chase, it’s too bad Mark McGwire won’t be in the playoffs. But he needs to get back to his off-season job, defending the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings, under his hockey alias, Kris Draper.

By the way, if McGwire ends up losing this thing by one home run, that Milwaukee fan who interfered with his ball last Sunday had better change his address.

Let me get this straight: Evander Holyfield praises God with every boxing match, then has three children in one year — one with his second wife and two with two women he just happened to sleep with. This gives him nine kids from six women, four of whom he never married.

Hey, Evander. I can invoke God’s name, too: What in God’s name are you doing?

Raise your hands if you’ll miss the NBA exhibition season.

I’m waiting.

If you think things can’t get any worse in sports, check out what happened in the football game between Prairie View A&M and Southern University. At halftime, the bands attacked each other, and eventually, both were given two-game suspensions.

They suspended the bands?

Anyone who thinks death is a way to escape criticism should watch what’s happening to Florence Griffith Joyner this week. The same questions that hounded her around the track are hounding her in the grave.

I watched the Country Music Awards this week. Since when did they all start looking like Victoria’s Secret models?

Speaking of singing, can you imagine sales for Sammy Sosa’s next CD, due out next year, under his recording name, Al Jarreau?

Back to U-M/MSU for a moment. When Bo Schembechler used to preach against playing for a national championship, many fans rolled their eyes and said
“he’s so old-fashioned.” But in seasons like this one, when both teams have two early losses, isn’t it better that the Spartans and Wolverines still have a Rose Bowl to try for? Otherwise, why bother watching?

Steve Yzerman saying he plans to play five more years made me feel a lot younger.

I see where Buddy Bell has joined the Cincinnati Reds’ organization. Poor Buddy. First he gets axed from the Tigers, and now he works for Marge Schott.

If you ever wanted to know how desperate NFL coaches are to win, you need only have watched Dick Vermeil actually consider bringing back Lawrence Phillips after the Rams lost Greg Hill to injury.

That’s like President Clinton bringing back Dick Morris.

Assigning Mike Tyson a psychiatrist is like giving an elephant a pooper-scooper.

AND NOW, SOME FOOTBALL PICKS

Lions 23, Tampa Bay 17: If you don’t pick the Lions on Monday Night Football, when do you pick them?

Dallas 23, Oakland 14: The Raiders draw so many penalties, they should be the silver, black and yellow.

Michigan 0, Michigan State 0: What the …? Are they playing?

I really like Charlie Batch. And Lions coaches insist that he is “wise beyond his years.” But of course. In another life, he was the wise man Po, from “Kung Fu.”

To leave a message for Mitch Albom, call 1-313-223-4581.

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