Friday, September 29, 2017

Lions Monday Night Secret

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
PHOTOS BY CANDICE EBLING

I have to hand it to the Detroit Lions, they certainly knew how to stay quiet about Coach Jim Caldwell's contract extension.

In Detroit's 24-10 win over the New York Giants on Monday, September 18, ESPN Announcer's Sean McDonough and Jon Gruden could have acted as agents to get Caldwell a contract extension. They were emphasizing to management how necessary it was to keep him.

Going into the contest, Caldwell had a 29-21 record.

What McDonough and Gruden didn't know is that prior to Caldwell, only four Lions coaches since 1951 had winning records.

Buddy Parker had a record of 47-23-2 .667 mark from 1951-56.

George Wilson led Detroit to a 53-45-6 .538 record from 1957-64.

Joe Schmidt had a successful tenure from 1967-72 leading Detroit to a 43-34-7 .554 mark.

In an interim role in 2000, former Michigan Wolverines Coach Gary Moeller led Detroit to a 4-3 .571 record only not to be retained by new CEO and GM Matt Millen the following season.

One Coach who nearly compiled a .500 record but holds the most wins in franchise history which dates back to 1930 when the team was the Portsmouth Spartans, is Wayne Fontes.

Fontes was 66-67 with a .496 winning percentage and his team, led by Hall of Fame Running Back Barry Sanders produced the squad's last playoff triumph over the Dallas Cowboys in 1991. Fontes piloted the team from 1988-96.

But Millen's tenure turned out to be a disaster in many ways.

Under his leadership from 2001-07, Detroit compiled a 31-81 record and a .277 winning percentage. The Lions compiled nine losses in each season and he hired Rod Marinelli, who would be the only coach in NFL History to record an 0-16 season.

Moreover, in 2003, the NFL fined the Lions $200,000 for failure to Interview African American candidates for the team's vacant head coaching job. The Lions immediately hired former San Francisco 49'ers Head Coach Steve Mariucci.

This would ultimately lead to the formation of the Rooney Rule.

But who would have thought that the only African-American Lions Coach in franchise history would have a 29-22 .569 mark going into Sunday's road game against the Minnesota Vikings?

Caldwell's body of work is equivalent to his classy demeanor as he never made a big deal about his contract and never wanted to be a distraction.

The guy has guided Detroit to a pair of playoff appearances, and has led the team into the post-season overcoming the retirement of future Hall of Fame Wide Receiver Calvin Johnson.

His QB Matt Stafford earned tremendous praise from McDonough and Gruden in the Giants game because of his scrambling ability along with his ability to extend plays with his feet, let alone a quick release.

Is Stafford worth the $135 Million contract that he recently inked which amounts to $27 Million Per-Season, which is the highest at the moment?

Judging by the sound of McDonough and Gruden's compliments, the answer is yes.

More importantly, there are a lot of teams that are having issues with their signal callers, but the Lions aren't one of them.

Former Florida Gators QB Tim Tebow is 1-1 in the playoffs and there are many signal callers that have been to the tournament many times that don't have a playoff victory.

A lot of Caldwell's wins are coming from the foot of kicker Matt Prater, who drills game winners and 50-yarders with tremendous frequency.

Against the New York Giants, Prater nailed a 56-yarder that dribbled over the goal post. I expect him to have a solid game in Minnesota, playing in a dome.

After the Lions win over the Giants, things would not get better for a team that actually plays in New Jersey.

New York Coach Ben McAdoo blamed Eli Manning for his sloppy play and also took responsibility for the Detroit loss.

Pro Bowl Wide Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. made an idiot out of himself by celebrating active status with team handshakes.

He also tried to draw attention to himself by wearing gold cleats for the MNF Warmup.

McAdoo looked bad by ripping Manning. Eli was 22-32 for 239 yards, but was sacked five times by Detroit.

You don't throw the franchise QB under the bus, especially one that has won two Super Bowls.

As for Beckham, while he didn't get hurt, he did deliver a hit on Lions rookie first round linebacker Jarrad Davis, formerly of the Florida Gators. Davis would go on Concussion Protocol and missed the Lions 30-26 loss to the Atlanta Falcons at Ford Field.

Detroit dropped to 2-1 but came a yard short of yet another comeback win for Stafford.

Against Detroit, Beckham caught four passes for 36 yards.

How did Manning and Beckham do in week three against the Philadelphia Eagles?

Manning was 35-47, 366 with three touchdown passes and two interceptions. His numbers were better because he wasn't sacked.

Mr. Hotdog Beckham caught nine passes for 79 yards and two touchdowns, but once
again created drama for all the wrong reasons.

He took an unsportsmanlike 15-yard penalty and was fined $12,154.00 for pretending to urinate like a dog on the field.

Philadelphia won the game 27-24, thanks to a 61-yard field goal by rookie Jake Elliott, who is filling in for veteran Caleb Sturgis as the Giants dropped to 0-3. I wouldn't be surprised to see Elliott in another uniform once Sturgis returns.

One other thing that stood out in the Lions vs Giants game was when McDonough made a mistake as he said Lions Offensive Lineman Taylor Decker was from Michigan and Not from Ohio State.

I understand that Decker's very passionate about the rivalry, but everybody makes mistakes so get over it Taylor and focus on helping your team return to the playoffs and getting a tournament win, something that hasn't occurred since the 1991 Season when the Lions played at the soon to be demolished Pontiac Silverdome.

Since the Lions rarely appear on Monday Night Football, I rarely watch McDonough, 55 and Gruden, 54, but I have to admit these guys do a nice job together.

I'm looking forward to seeing them again on Monday, November 6, 2017 when the Lions visit their Wisconsin nemesis, The Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

This is a contest that I'm looking forward to writing about and I've seen these clubs meet numerous times both in Wisconsin and in Michigan.

I learn a lot from Gruden because he's a guy who won Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego as his Tampa Bay Buccaneers pounded the Oakland Raiders 48-21 with an average QB named Brad Johnson.

There will be no shortage of Honolulu Blue and Silver appearances as Detroit has five nationally televised contests this year including their annual Thanksgiving Game, so the Lions will be spread around all the networks.

This will save my pocketbook in the Sports Bars and I'll actually be able to hear what these commentators are actually saying.

One story line that could come up is whether Detroit will win a playoff game and perhaps more, under 92-year old Owner Martha Firestone Ford, who hired Caldwell and therefore, both have a 29-22 record.

One thing is for certain, there will be No Secret about Caldwell's contract the rest of the year when the Lions appear on another Nationally Televised Game, since his contract was just recently extended.

But Caldwell's success on the field will be decided by his Gunslinger Matthew Stafford and as I mentioned earlier, the leg of kicker Matt Prater.

While Prater will be kicking against the Vikings, ironically the Detroit Tigers will conclude their season in Minneapolis at Target Field against the playoff bound Minnesota Twins.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at www.scottsports33.com and is a member of The Detroit Sports Media.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Monday Night Game Worth Watching

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

I can't remember the last time that I wrote a story on a Monday Night Football Game but this time I had a vested interest.

The one application that I use as a reliable source of information is called "The Score."

On Tuesday Morning, the application had 15 Headlines after the Detroit Lions defeated the New York Giants 24-10 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.

I'm going to list all of them and then comment on the ones that standout.

1. McAdoo rips Eli for 'sloppy quarterback play'

2. Woeful offensive line destroying Giants playoff hopes

3. Giants offensive struggles gift victory to Lions

4. Giants McAdoo takes blame for dismal loss to Lions

5. Beckham had no setbacks with ankle after season debut

6. Lions rookie Agnew jukes his way to 88-yard return TD

7. Giants get booed off field after dismal 1st half

8. Watch Lions leave Giants Engram wide open for 1st career TD

9. Giants gift-wrap INT 1 play after fumble

10. Stafford opens the scoring with strike to Jones

11. OBJ celebrates active status with team handshakes

12. Beckham makes season debut vs. Lions on MNF

13. Look: Beckham wearing custom golden cleats for MNF warm-up

14. MNF brings huge implications for one Las Vegas parlay bettor

15. Giants Marshall laments 4th-quarter drop: 'I let my team down.'

How does one digest all of this?

First of all, New York is the No.1 Media Market in the Country and the Giants have won Super Bowls.

Second, the last time the Lions won an NFL Championship was 60 years ago, have one playoff victory and have never been to a Super Bowl.

If these headlines don't give the Lions much positive publicity, at least there was some with the ESPN Announcers.

Sean McDonough, 55, and his partner Jon Gruden, 54, do a nice job and appear to have good chemistry.

I've always admired Gruden's knowledge and has won a Super Bowl as a head coach with Brad Johnson as his signal caller.

Not the prototypical Hall of Fame signal caller, but Gruden got the most of Johnson as Tampa Bay routed the Oakland Raiders 48-21 in Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego.

There were some things that stood out about what these commentators had to say.

There has been a lot of talk about Matthew Stafford's $27-Million Per-Year Contract, the highest in the NFL at the moment.

There was no Stafford bashing on this telecast and by listening to Gruden, I even picked up some things about Matthew since I was watching the game at home and not in a loud sports bar with no sound of the Lions contest.

His calls in the huddle were Arkansas and (Clayton) Kershaw, his high school friend and star pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He must have liked hearing Peyton Manning using Omaha in the huddle when calling plays.

I've always been an admirer of Stafford's different arm angles as to how he releases the ball depending on the situation he's in. Plus, he does have a quick release.

He's also started in 99 consecutive games.

On Monday Night, Gruden mentioned frequently about Stafford's scrambling ability and his ability to extend plays with his feet.

The duo also let the National Audience know that Lions Coach Jim Caldwell is in the final year of his four-year contract and it hasn't been extended yet.

They said Caldwell didn't make a big deal about it and he's financially secure.

Perhaps he is, but don't think for a minute that Caldwell would like to be rewarded for his success. But Jim is too classy to make a big deal out of things and become a distraction.

Lions General Manager Bob Quinn, who has done a masterful job remaking the roster and led the Lions to a playoff berth in his first year, knows he has some work to do to keep his coach.

This is a coach that Owner Martha Firestone Ford has tremendous admiration for and also hired.
Ford's 92nd birthday was Saturday and after the win against New York, the coach invited her into the Lions' winning locker room and the team sang her Happy Birthday.

Detroit is 29-21 since Mrs. Ford became the team's principal owner in 2014.

In Caldwell's time on the job, he's led the team to a 29-21 record with a .571 winning percentage plus a pair of playoff berths and has assembled a coaching staff that has led to Stafford's development. Caldwell is also winning without Calvin Johnson.

In addition to Stafford's performance, after going through numerous field goal kickers, Detroit found a good one in Matt Prater, who kicks game winners and 50-yarders with incredible frequency. On Monday Night, he pulled the trick again nailing a 56-yarder that dribbled over the goal post.

But let's go back to the headlines.

It's easy for Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo to rip two-time winning Super Bowl Winning QB Eli Manning for sloppy play because when New York's offensive line is playing poorly, what do you expect a signal caller to do when he's sacked five times?

Manning was 22-32 for 239 yards and one interception.

McAdoo should take blame for the dismal loss to the Lions because his QB is running for his life while Detroit actually had success with its running attack amassing 138 yards as a unit. Gruden wasn't shy about this crediting the Lions for staying with the ground game.

As far as the Giants' offensive struggles gift victory to Lions: give me a break. The Lions pass rush deserves credit for part of this as Gruden also noted.

While Stafford's 15-21, 122 yards and two touchdowns despite being sacked three times won't impress fantasy football owners, it's good enough to give Detroit a 2-0 record.

Add the 88-yard TD Return by Jamal Agnew which sealed the contest, and the Giants simply had a bad night on The Big Stage. Agnew won this week's NFC's Special Teams Player of The Week.

The Giants deserved to be booed after their dismal first half which wouldn't get any better the rest of the game.

The Giants can be thankful that franchise receiver Odell Beckham Jr. didn't suffer any setbacks with his injured ankle in his season debut.

But Beckham delivered a hit on Lions rookie first round linebacker Jarrad Davis, formerly of the Florida Gators, and he's now on Concussion Protocol. Davis status for Sunday's game at Ford Field remains uncertain.

Granted catching four passes for 36 yards does nothing for Beckham's fantasy owners, but please tell me this, who the heck cares that OBJ celebrates active status with team handshakes, and is wearing golden cleats for a MNF warm-up?

Seriously?

Giants newly acquired wide receiver Brandon Marshall should be aggravated with himself for dropping a key pass in the fourth quarter.

This is a guy that as McDonough and Gruden pointed out is on the down side of his career and in the past few years has played for the Chicago Bears, New York Jets, now the Giants after starting out with the Denver Broncos.

His shelf life is shortening by the drop.

I have no idea when I'll write my next Monday Night Football Story.

It might be Tuesday November 7, 2017, the day after Detroit faces the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Wisconsin.

We'll see what McDonough and Gruden have to say that night and if the Lions are still in playoff contention.

Regardless of what happens that night, the rivalry between Detroit and Green Bay is one of the best in the NFL.

Detroit has five nationally televised contests this year including their annual Thanksgiving Game so they'll be spread out around all the networks.

Winning games like this and having a gunslinger in Matthew Stafford will only give the Lions what Rodney Dangerfield didn't have, and that's respect.

But on a day where the headline writers gave the New York Giants more excuses and failed to give the Lions where credit was due, this was worth talking about.

But at least I came away that I might watch McDonough and Gruden because I enjoyed what they have to offer and learned some things.

The only mistake that McDonough made that I noticed in the telecast was when he said that Lions Offensive Lineman Taylor Decker was from Michigan and not Ohio State.

I understand that Decker's very passionate about the rivalry but everybody makes mistakes so get over it Taylor and focus on helping your team return to the playoffs and getting a tournament win.

In the meantime while the Lions victory over the New York Giants was ugly, they are 2-0 and know they'll need to play much better at Ford Field against the NFC Champions Atlanta Falcons to improve to 3-0.

Stafford knows his numbers must be better and he'll need a much better performance to earn the win against the Falcons, but he's no stranger to adversity while wearing the Honolulu Blue and Silver so nothing figures to change.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at www.scottsports33.com and is a member of The Detroit Sports Media.  

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Games Hurricane Irma Played

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

I've been through enough Hurricanes through the years in two separate tenures living in Florida, but I have to admit, Hurricane Irma was one nasty storm/lady.

How do you put into perspective about the damage a storm causes?

Is it property damage, the loss of power, deaths that result in a natural disaster, the media publicity that an area gets during such adversity?

I suppose that depending on who you talk to, you'll get a different opinion but there is one common denominator and that is these storms are extremely stressful!

My wife and I just returned from a two-week vacation from Hawaii and heard rumblings that Irma was going to be trouble.

From Paradise To Paranoia. The whirlwind was in full force. The 48-hour race to get out of town was on.

We went from people to roadrunners and through the years I've been a Road Warrior and this was a challenge I would be ready to tackle.

Luckily, we moved swiftly to keep our cats Bucky and Boots Morganroth at their veterinarian, then moved swiftly to get the Hurricane Shutters attached to our Villa in Deerfield Beach, FL.

There is no question that Social Media helped provide enough information to make a swift instinctual decision that was aided by my cousin Cindy, who told me there would be plenty of gas in Fort Pierce, FL., if we decided to evacuate.

When I heard comparisons that Hurricane Irma was being compared to a Category Five Hurricane named Andrew, then the decision was made for us.

Before I move ahead with what we did, here are the Top Five Costliest U.S. Atlantic Hurricanes.

1) Katrina 2005 ($108 Billion)
2) Sandy 2012 ($71.4 Billion)
3) Ike 2008 ($29.5 Billion)
4) Andrew 1992 ($26.5 Billion)
5) Wilma 2005 ($21 Billion)

Let's put these numbers in perspective.

Can you imagine 25-years later how much Hurricane Andrew would be worth to realize the severity of the storm? I get sick thinking about these numbers.

In Florida, Hurricane Andrew did $25.3 Billion in damage and almost all of the damage was caused by strong winds, therefore this storm has set new standards in building codes which exist now.

The extent of the damage was limited from Kendall to Key Largo and 99% of the mobile homes in Homestead, FL., were destroyed.

I've been told that the area looked like a war-zone.

Moreover, at the Homestead Air Force Base, most of the 2000 buildings on the base were severely damaged and rendered unusable.

The Cleveland Indians were planning to move their Spring Training Operation to Homestead but that complex was wiped out, therefore, they moved to Winter Haven, FL.

I actually experienced Wilma and there was minimal roof damage, but that was taken care of by My Association, but the real impact I dealt with was going several days without power.

So when I kept hearing comparisons to Hurricane Andrew, this decision was an easy decision.

I'm really happy that My Parents were able to get one of the last flights out of Fort Lauderdale International Airport headed to Detroit Michigan on Friday September 8, 2017 so they could avoid this storm.

As far as my wife and I were concerned, we evacuated on Thursday Night, September 7, at 10 p.m and decided to visit family in Nashville, TN.

The photo provided here was on our way back home. But on the way north, traffic was bumper-to-bumper.

What we expected and what turned out to be has enabled me to put together a story where the title of this post is very appropriate and the roles, games I had to play being the pilot of an All-Wheel Drive Black Subaru Impreza, which would handle a lot of rain and get exceptional gas mileage.

1.  Checkers---Bouncing from one gas station to another. You never know where there would be availability. The rule of this trip is make a lot more stops and try not to get near a half a tank.

2. Chess---Trying to plan every move on the road as to when to leave and return home and minimize traffic. That wasn't easy the first night because when you have a Category Five headed in your direction, there are only three major highways that allow you to leave Florida heading north.

There is I-75, Florida Turnpike and I-95. I usually have a lot of success driving late at night, however, this challenge tops them all.

We were going 5 mph on the Florida Turnpike and saw a lot of disabled vehicles many of which ran out of gas, overheated or had accidents. There were a lot of drivers, myself included that decided to take u-turns on the Florida Turnpike and decided to backtrack and take I-95 North. It may have been a longer drive but at least the chances of running out of gas and being stranded decreased.

3. NASCAR Driver---When the traffic was fast, it wasn't hard to pass other drivers in an attempt to get out of this state ASAP. When things were slow, I had a Spotter otherwise known as My Brother-In-Law based out of Racine, WI., named Todd, who was giving me traffic updates on his computer and alternate routes in an attempt to avoid problematic areas during Friday's Insanity.

4. Golf---That was the card game that my Niece Emily wanted to play while we were in town. For a person that doesn't play cards much, I took a liking to this game.

5. Boxer---I felt like I survived 27 rounds and 43 hours of no sleep with this insane traffic, especially in Atlanta, GA at 9 pm which drove me crazy. Atlanta is a tough place to drive but during a weather crisis, this town can age you much faster.

When I looked at My Sister-In-Law Denise and gave her a hug when we arrived at her home, she knew I was a fighter that was tired but went the distance, despite eating dinner at 11 pm Central Time. We went the distance to win this match with Irma by being safe.

6. Football---I needed College
Football on Saturday and the NFL on Sunday to wind down and totally decompress. Denise's black leather couch was one of my best friend's last weekend.

7. Marathon Driver---The total automobile time round trip was 47 hours covering over 2000 miles.

8. Indy Car Driver---Needed to have that mentality because on that circuit there are many road courses, but this time it was through hills and mountains.

9. Baseball---We had a curve thrown our way as we were planning to cover the Milwaukee Brewers vs Miami Marlins game at Marlins Park, on September 16-17, but that venue was switched to Miller Park in Milwaukee, because of the backlash of Hurricane Irma.

10. Runner---I had to do more sprinting on this trip due to more frequent gas stops than normal because of the constant concern to find fuel.

But the journey itself would allow us to take gas stops in college towns such as Gainesville and Tallahassee, FL., in addition to Valdosta, GA and Troy, AL.

I saw more U.S. Highways on this trip than any other through much of my travels where I've driven in all 50 states. But some of them are nice especially the ones that don't have as many traffic lights.

When we were in Tennessee, there was a lot of good sightseeing and saw the Home Estate of Andrew Jackson which came off my bucket list.

It was a neat place if you follow American History. It featured a Museum, Movie Theaters and where the seventh President and his wife Rachel were Buried which is where I'm standing.

Yet we still were glued to updates as to when to drive back to Florida.

We ultimately left Wednesday Morning at 8:10 am local time and made it home at 5:30 am the following morning Eastern Time.

We did take a different route on the way back since I had no desire to return to Atlanta as most of our drive was through Alabama. At the beginning of it, we encountered Tropical Storm Irma. Highway 231 in Alabama is one that I'll see a lot more in the future.

What we would return to when we returned to South Florida would not be a pleasant sight as there were billboards with signs torn off, signs knocked down, trees all over the roads, lots of folks with no power, no internet, living off of generators and an entire state that had adversity because nobody was getting off easy.

Irma was a Category Five at one point and I can only imagine what the cost of the damage will be when the numbers are counted.

In addition to the Marlins, another South Florida team that felt the impact of Irma was the Florida Atlantic University Football team.

FAU decided to play their scheduled road contest on September 9 against the Wisconsin Badgers in Madison while other Florida teams either cancelled or postponed their contests.

The Owls played Wisconsin tough by losing 31-14 and earned more than guaranteed money for the athletic department.

Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez demonstrated class by offering to pay for any accommodations to FAU such as hotels, food, practice facilities, etc... if the Owls came north to play.

To demonstrate his appreciation for Wisconsin's hospitality, FAU Head Coach Lane Kiffin made a classy move by taking out a Full Page Ad in The Wisconsin State Journal thanking Badger Nation, mentioning Alvarez and Head Coach Paul Chryst for their collective generosity sharing their home with FAU for six days.

How did FAU do the following week against Bethune Cookman on Saturday, September 16?

The Owls slammed Bethune Cookman 45-0 at FAU Stadium.

While there are other storms lingering out there, Irma was the first one that I've ever evacuated because I've toughed a lot of them out.

But evacuating definitely provides more anxious moments than one would believe because you never know what you will and won't come back to.

The Games Hurricane Irma Played go beyond what one can imagine and does put things in perspective. They can turn your life upside down as they did to this stop sign.

Enjoy every moment because you never know when it's the last.

That's called The Game of Life.

On a side note speaking of storms, former Badgers and current Houston Texans Defensive End J.J. Watt spearheaded a campaign to raise over $37 Million for those affected by Hurricane Harvey in the Houston Metropolitan Area.

Watt's a winner on and off the field.

After living in the north at the beginning of my life, there is no storm or ice storm that can compare to these hurricanes.

Adversity always play games with us but these storms take things to another level and Irma is a storm which will impact many of us because of the roller coaster ride it created.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at www.scottsports33.com and is a member of Detroit Sports Media.

Friday, September 15, 2017

This Summer's Main Event

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

I can't remember the last time I took a trip over seven days which didn't have a Sporting Event connected to it to cover.

But there is no better place to take such a trip than to Hawaii.

From August 23-September 5, I had the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

I went on My Honeymoon and saw My Niece Brooke Morganroth exchange vows with her new Husband Jake Schifko.

Brooke and Jake's Wedding occurred on Saturday, August 26, 2017 in Kauai in a breath taking beach ceremony in front of over 60 family and friends.

It was the same night of the Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor Fight in Las Vegas, NV.

I will talk about this fight later in the story.

Hawaii is an interesting place.

It was impossible for me to not look for Sports Updates of the Detroit Teams despite the six hour time difference. After all, we're in the Smart Phone age and with these little computers in our hand, My I-Phone 6-Plus gets a good workout.

For a Detroit Tigers game to start at 7:10 am local time is mind boggling.

During this time of the year, Hawaii doesn't switch because of Daylight Savings Time.

There is no doubt that it was easy to have jet lag and our travel time amounted to 12 hours covering four airports.

It's a different world in Hawaii.

I didn't rent a car for the first two days to get acclimated to the area.

But this Caged Lion managed to space out the rental to create a sensible schedule built around my tourist events and not get caught up in paying the outrageous food prices to the restaurants at the Grand Hyatt Resort.

I replaced Sporting Events with Ocean Rafting, A Trip To Pearl Harbor, Two Helicopter Rides, Ziplining and A Catamaran Ride, in addition to driving on Kauai and The Big Island of Hawaii seeing the Volcanoes and Black Sand.

But for those Subway fans, in Kauai, a six inch sub is $4, which is a treat for the area, but later on the trip on the Big Island of Hawaii, no such special existed.

As I mentioned before, a crowd of over 60 family and friends made the trek to this Destination Wedding and to the credit of both families, each invested to make this an incredible event as Brooke and Jake turned their six-year courtship into marriage.

Once again, it was an unforgettable beach ceremony with the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean and the reception was outstanding afterwards.

Brooke and Jake gave My Wife and I a priceless gift by posting a photo of themselves at our wedding on January 1, 2017 at Milwaukee's Miller Park at the table to pick up the seat assignments.

I was very proud in this photo to hold this picture up and my wife and I couldn't thank them enough by showing our appreciation to these great youngsters!

Jake was an usher at our event while Brooke overcame her nervousness of speaking in front of people to do an outstanding job reading a poem!

I joked with Brooke that this was good practice leading up to her memorable day.

I've always kidded around with Jake that at 6-8, if he ever moves on from his restaurant career, the NBA could use his services.

Take note Stan Van Gundy, Jake has the appearance of a small power forward.

But it was hard to not look for Mayweather vs McGregor updates which did generate over $55 Million in Pay-Per-View Revenues.

I did manage to get two dances in because that was all my 54-year old body would allow.

The Mayweather Fight began at 5:45 pm local time.

But two days before the event, Jake's Brother Robert Schifko and I got into an animated debate in the pool at the Grand Hyatt Resort in Kauai as to who would win the fight.

Robert picked McGregor while I remained consistent with Mayweather, a prediction I made two months ago.

Robert deserved an "A" for his passion but I told him in the pool that I've been covering sports for 38 years and Boxing has always been one of My Favorites.

Mayweather won the fight by technical knockout in 10 rounds of this scheduled 12 round bout.

After the fight, Robert, who is pictured with me, came up to me with a serious look and said, "Scott, You Were Right. You definitely described this fight as it happened. You got me this time and You know what you're talking about."

That was worth a hug to Robert but more importantly, he earned my respect because he possessed no ego and by coming up to me and owned this one.

After the fight we spent some time together and I told him that I've interviewed Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, James Toney, Chuck Wepner, Angelo Dundee, the trainer for Ali and Leonard, who was a dear friend of mine, plus Boxing Historian Hank Kaplan along with many others in Boxing, thus, I'd like to think I have enough knowledge and insights as to what's going on.

I've learned plenty from these Fighters and I enjoyed sharing these experiences with Robert.

But beyond the interviews, I've watched lots of fights and truly understand why Boxing is called "The Sweet Science" because the smartest guy who takes the least amount of punishment does win.

It sounds so simple, but it's not.

As the wedding continued, I spent time with Jake's father Jack.

During the couple days leading up to the wedding, I had the great pleasure of getting to know the rest of the Schifko family.

But during the wedding, I saw Jack wearing a pin on his shirt that Symbolizes Fighting Cancer.

We talked and Jack, who is pictured with me, told me his second daughter Kari Schifko, 31, was recently diagnosed with Leukemia.

He wanted to stay in Michigan and miss this event to support his daughter while she is going through treatment, but Kari convinced him to attend.

Throughout the years, I've lost some close people to this dreaded disease.

The Cancer victim that hurts the most is My Grandfather Sidney Morganroth, who passed away at age 55 in 1973 while I was 10.

He died of Lung Cancer, but in his memory, I vowed to be a nonsmoker and have kept his legacy alive by staying away from that expensive deadly habit.

Other deceased colleagues in Sports Media include Ernie Harwell, Bryan Burwell, Stuart Scott, Corky Meinecke, Shelby Strother, and former Detroit Pistons Coach Chuck Daly.

A very close friend and former colleague, who owned a restaurant in Michigan Gregory Nicholas was a victim of too much secondary smoke. Now Michigan has the Clean Air Act and doesn't allow smoking in restaurants, just outside of them.

In the past, I've bought autographed merchandise from My Friend Dick Vitale to support Cancer Research through "The V Foundation" and will always do anything in my power to support this dreaded killer.

I'm thankful that My Grandma Sophie Morganroth-Jacobs defeated Breast Cancer many years ago.

Recently, my own mother has beaten Lung Cancer because of her foresight to get a second opinion and took a proactive approach to go to New York University utilizing advanced medicine to her benefit. Although she's still dealing with breathing issues, she's been a trooper! I'm thankful she continues to plug away.

My message to Jack is I will continue to pray for his daughters recovery and I'm happy that he shared his information to me so that I can send prayers and hope my followers do the same.

But on August 26, 2017, the Real Stars of the night were Newlyweds Brooke and Jake Schifko.

In My Mind, Brooke and Jake were This Summer's Main Event!

I always knew Brooke would be a Beautiful Bride and anybody that has a different opinion needs to have their eyes checked!

It was nice to Not take a Reporters Notebook and Tape Recorder to be a fan of a personal piece of history.

Aloha to Brooke and Jake, and I Love These Classy Kids Very Much and it was a Privilege To Be At This Wedding!

Scott Morganroth can be reached at www.scottsports33.com and is a member of The Detroit Sports Media.

About Me

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My Super Passion: In 40-years in the Sports Media Business, I’ve been fortunate enough to experience some Great Moments with Championship People. I look forward to any feedback you readers have. I encourage you to look at the MOTOR CITY MAD MOUTH HALL OF FAME ON August 8, 2012 because these people have made the Journey in Sports Media as fun as it's been.

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