Column: Intrigue awaits

Published 6:52 am Wednesday, November 3, 2004

By Staff
With the election behind us, it's time to turn our full attention to college and professional sports.
The NBA opens its season Tuesday night with more intrigue than the Bush-Kerry campaign.
Will Shaquille O'Neal, once he gets on the court, make the Miami Heat the best team in the Eastern Conference?
Can Shaq's former team survive without the best player in the game?
Will Kobe Bryant, regardless of what he says, be able to lead the Lakers back to the promised land after driving the best coach (Phil Jackson) and best player (O'Neal) out of La La land?
Those questions will not be answered right away, but it will be interesting to follow the regular season for a change.
Personally, I hope Kobe falls flat on his spoiled little backside.
There has never been a more selfish person in the National Basketball Association than Bryant.
Not only did he kill the chances of the Lakers to win the championship last season, but he tried to implicate a teammate after being arrested for sexual assault.
This is the man the Lakers have put the fate of their franchise in the hands of?
I had really hoped that the Heat with the addition of O'Neal could capture not only the Eastern Conference championship, but the NBA title.
O'Neal appeared to be working extremely hard to make a point about his abilities and what transpired last season.
A hamstring injury, however, may just prove that he is coming to the end of his career.
All eyes will be on the Detroit Pistons this season.
Hopefully Detroit can provide its fans with another title run.
The Pistons appear to be better than they were a year ago, but once again the true power resides in the NBA's Western Conference.
I am still trying to restart my heart following Michigan's dramatic come-from-behind victory over Michigan State on Saturday.
I actually had given up on the Wolverines after they fell behind 27-10 to the Spartans.
I switched over to another game and missed one of the greatest comebacks, if not the greatest, ever recorded by the Wolverines in Michigan Stadium.
I was fortunate enough to turn the channel back to the game just in time to see Braylon Edwards haul in the game-tying touchdown pass.
I then watched, holding my breath on nearly every play, as the Wolverines and Spartans fought through not one, but three overtimes.
The win over Michigan State could propel the Wolverines to a share of the Big Ten championship with Wisconsin.
The loss could devastate the Spartans, who have to rebound quickly against Ohio State.
We will have to see which way the two teams will go over the final couple of weeks of the regular season.
Michigan gets a week off to bask in the glory of the victory, however, the Wolverines better get serious in a hurry because Northwestern is next on the schedule a week from Saturday.
The Wildcats have already proven they are capable of beating any team at any time.
With wins over Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio and Purdue last weekend, Northwestern is a team to be taken seriously.
I actually felt sorry for the Spartans, who needed a win like they appeared to be headed for against Michigan to get their program rolling again.
This season has been a roller coaster ride for MSU.
Having the victory ripped from their grasp on Saturday could send the Spartans into a tail spin from which they may not recover.
All this intrigue, however, should make for some great television over the next few weeks andmonths.