Main BannerJuly/August 2016

Dear fellow members, it has been a full summer and it isn't about to slow down anytime soon. On July 11th we held our 30th Annual DSBA Charity Golf Scramble at Cherry Creek Golf Club. The day couldn't have turned out better weather-wise. On top of that we were able to raise $16,000 to help continue to fund our educational mission. We also crowned Roary as champion of the Chip Champion Challenge, recognized past presidents, Ray Lane and Will Tieman, and honored Jennifer Hammond with this year's Ty Tyson Award. It was a special day, and my thanks to all those members and non-members who volunteered their time and energy to make it all come together so successfully. Your hard work and attention to detail is noticed and appreciated.

Immediately following our golf event was the Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race and the Pro-Team Challenge organized and executed by the DSBA. This year there was an added element - Set Sail for Autism. We were most pleased to add four young adults impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorder as honorary crew members to the Lions, Pistons, Red Wings and Tiger boats. This was a life changing experience for them as they were recognized at the media luncheon, visited team facilities, received a shirt and hat from the team, and then participated in all of the pre-race festivities with their boat crews. In the future, we'll be supporting Set Sail for Autism and the educational initiative at Oakland University's Center for Autism. Our last board meeting was extremely productive. With the final pieces now coming together, we are inching closer to launching our new name change, unveiling our new website, and announcing plans for a summer social for our members to connect, network, and celebrate our successes. We also have a very exciting partnership with Cornerstone Schools to help them implement and develop curriculum for a new broadcasting program in their school. That is something many of our members will have an opportunity to be a part of as it unfolds.

So as the summer winds on and winds down, you can expect more announcements and plans for social and professional activities that are in the works. Please bear with us as these plans and dates become finalized in the very near future. But as you can see, these are indeed exciting times for the DSBA! So stay tuned... There's much more to come!


Trevor Thompson
DSBA President


Al Ackerman, was a former Sports Director of WDIV Channel 4 and WXYZ Channel 7. Al was a staple on Detroit television as sports director/anchor/reporter in the 1960s, '70s and into the '80s. Famous for his tough, hard-nosed journalism and his "Bless You Boys" 1984 Detroit Tigers theme. Host of Detroit Tigers pre-game shows. Mentored and worked with numerous sports reporters and anchors such as Jim Brandstatter, Fred Heumann, Larry Adderley, Don Shane, Bob Page, Eli Zaret, and the late Don Kremer. 
Ackerman was 90 years old, retired with his wife, and was living on Florida's Gulf Coast. Al was named a DSBA Honorary Lifetime Member in December 2015. 
"The Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association lost a giant today. Al Ackerman was a sports/news reporter and sports broadcaster par excellence," said DSBA Executive Director George Eichorn. "Al was a 'tell-it-like-it-is' journalist who often rubbed the local sports teams and athletes wrong, yet he did it to portray his opinion and his side of a story. The DSBA sends his wife and family - and his thousands upon thousands of fans - its deepest sympathy."
Executive Board
Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association


July 13, 2016 - DETROIT - The Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association is proud to announce Jennifer Hammond of WJBK-TV Fox-2 SportsWorks as its Ty Tyson "Excellence in Sports Broadcasting Award" winner for the 2015-16 sports season.

The organization has honored excellence in sports broadcasting since the first recipient Josh Lewin in 2000. Hammond is a first-time winner and the first female to receive the award, having worked at WJBK-TV, WDFN Radio and radio stations in Chicago, during her outstanding career.

Previous recipients include the late Ernie Harwell and late Budd Lynch, and current broadcasters Frank Beckmann, George Blaha, Jim Brandstatter, Mark Champion, Ken Daniels, Dan Dickerson, Mario Impemba, Ken Kal, Dan Miller, Trevor Thompson, and Will Tieman.

Our 2015-16 season award was presented July 11, 2016 at the 30th Annual DSBA Charity Golf Outing at Cherry Creek Golf Club in Shelby Township by DSBA President Trevor Thompson of Fox Sports Detroit.

"Be it in her relationship building, professionalism, or her broadcasting of everything in the world of sports in this market, Jennifer Hammond has brought grace, humor and humility to all she has put her hand to," said Mr. Thompson. "She has also consistently delivered a standard of excellence that exemplifies the spirit our founder and past president, Ty Tyson, for whom this award is named. These traits make her most deserving of this year's Ty Tyson Award, along with the distinction of being the first female ever to be so honored ... a distinction that seems both long overdue for the gender, yet right on time given the recipient. Congratulations Jennifer. The DSBA is very proud to have you!"
2014 - Trevor Thompson/Fox Sports Detroit
2013 - Mario Impemba/Tigers Baseball
2012 - Dan Miller/Lions Football & Fox 2 Sports Works
2011 - Will Tieman/Spartan Sports Network
2010 - Ken Daniels/Red Wings Hockey & Fox Sports Detroit
2009 - Frank Beckmann/U-M Football & WJR-AM
2008 - Dan Dickerson/Tigers Baseball & WXYT-FM
2007 - Ken Kal/Red Wings Hockey & WXYT-FM
2006 - Jim Brandstatter/Lions/U-M Football
2005 - Budd Lynch/Red Wings Hockey
2004 - Mark Champion/Lions Football & Pistons Basketball
2003 - Ray Lane/Tigers/Lions/Red Wings/Big Ten
2002 - George Blaha/Pistons/MSU Football
2001 - Ernie Harwell/Tigers Baseball
2000 - Josh Lewin/Tigers Baseball & Fox Sports Detroit

DETROIT - It is with great sadness that the Detroit Red Wings mourn the loss of one of hockey's all-time greats, Gordon (Gordie) Howe, who passed away recently at the age of 88. The longest-tenured player in Red Wings' history, Howe's playing career spanned five decades and lasted 2,421 games until age 52, one of many factors that led to Gordie becoming known universally as "Mr. Hockey." Gordie is survived by his four children, Marty, Mark, Cathy and Murray, and nine grandchildren.

"Today is a sad day for the Detroit Red Wings and the entire hockey world as together we mourn the loss of one of the greatest hockey players of all-time," said Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch.

 "The Red Wings organization and the National Hockey League would not be what they are today without Gordie Howe.  There is no nickname more fitting for him than "Mr. Hockey."  He embodied on and off the ice what it meant to be both a Red Wing and a Detroiter. He was tough, skilled, and consistently earned success at the highest level. His achievements are numerous and his accomplishments immeasurable.  It is truly a blessing to have had him both in our organization and our city for so many years.  He will be deeply missed."

Born on March 31, 1928, Gordie was one of nine children born to Ab and Katherine Howe in Floral, Saskatchewan. Howe played his minor hockey in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, before leaving at age 16 to attempt a career in professional hockey. He was noticed by the Red Wings' scouting staff and signed his first professional contract prior to the 1945-46 season, which he spent with the USHL's Omaha Knights before making the Red Wings as an 18-year-old in 1946-47.

Howe's arrival to the NHL led the Red Wings to their most successful decade in franchise history, capturing four Stanley Cup championships in the 1950s (1950, 1952, 1954, 1955). Howe led the league in points in four consecutive seasons starting in 1950-51, part of a stretch of 20 consecutive seasons where he finished among the NHL's top five in scoring. Howe won the NHL's Art Ross Trophy as the league's top scorer six times (1951-54, 1957, 1963), won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's most-valuable player six times (1952, 1953, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1963), was an NHL All-Star a record 23 times and made the NHL's First All-Star Team 12 times and the Second All-Star Team nine times. Alongside Sid Abel and Ted Lindsay, whose jersey numbers hang near his iconic No. 9 in the Joe Louis Arena rafters, Howe made up one of the most well-known and dominant trios in hockey history, "The Production Line."

After 25 seasons with the Red Wings, Howe announced his retirement following the 1970-71 campaign. However, his retirement was short-lived, as the World Hockey Association's Houston Aeros offered him the chance to play alongside two of his sons, Mark and Marty, who were each beginning their professional careers. At the age of 46, Howe recorded 100 points (31-69-100), led Houston to the first of back-to-back WHA championships and was named league MVP. Howe went on to skate in six seasons in the WHA - four with Houston and two with the New England Whalers - before the WHA folded and the NHL absorbed several franchises. Howe skated one final NHL and professional season with the Hartford Whalers in 1979-80 and still holds the record as the oldest player to play in the NHL, playing his final game at 52 years and 11 days old.

Howe left professional hockey as the NHL's all-time leading scorer with 1,850 points (801-1049-1850) and 1,685 penalty minutes in 1,767 games with Detroit and Hartford. Including his six years in the WHA, Howe amassed 2,589 points (1071-1518-2589) and 2,419 penalty minutes in 2,421 combined regular-season and playoff games. His numerous records and accomplishments also include the most NHL games played, most games played for one franchise (1,687 for Detroit), most goals and points with one franchise (786-1023-1809 with Detroit) and most seasons leading the NHL in postseason scoring (six). He was also the first to play in 1,500 NHL games or record 1,000 professional goals. He is the only player to play in the NHL after age 50 and play in the NHL during five different decades (1947-80). Howe was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972 and was the NHL's first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award winner in 2008.

Off the ice, Gordie met his wife Colleen in 1949, and they were married for 55 years until her death in 2009. Colleen handled the family's business affairs and was involved in helping grow hockey throughout the United States. The Howe family received the Wayne Gretzky Award from the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000 for their efforts in advancing the sport. Colleen founded The Howe Foundation in an effort to help those in need and allow them to enjoy, participate and learn about the sport of hockey, committing to enrich the lives of those who would not otherwise be able to share and experience the great world of sports.
"Gordie Howe was an incredible ambassador for the game of hockey," said Red Wings general manager Ken Holland. "He was as fierce and competitive as they come but away from the rink he was truly engaging and personable and always enjoyed his interaction with the fans. Gordie set the standard for this franchise during the Original Six era, winning four Stanley Cups, capturing numerous awards and setting an abundance of league records. We will miss Mr. Hockey, who was the greatest Red Wing of all time. Our deepest sympathies go out to Mark, Marty, Murray, Cathy and the rest of the Howe family during this difficult time."

DSBA Student Member, Griffin Schroeder, has begun a new gig writing and broadcasting for a sports reporting company.

Last Word On Sports Inc is a company that encompasses type media and radio.  Our aim is to provide the sophisticated sports fan with critical commentary, analysis and critique on a daily basis, while always looking to improve the value we give to our dedicated readers.
The site was established in August 2011 with a small group of dedicated writers who believed in an honest approach to writing. Our small site has grown immensely over the past several years, and we now boast more than 250 writers, an editorial staff of 50 and an administration who are industry leaders and very concentrated on always improving our website. We are proud to have a strong readership of over 200,000 monthly visitors, and thank all of them for their support.

LWOS began as a print-only daily news outlet, but since has also encompassed audio as well with a line-up of podcasts that includes more than a dozen shows from around the world including USA, Canada, UK, and beyond, with new shows being added regularly.

FOX Sports Detroit was honored with eight EMMYs on Saturday night by the Michigan Chapter of National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The awards were presented at the organization's 38th annual ceremony at Motor City Casino's Hotel's Sound Board Theatre in Detroit.

The FOX Sports Detroit winning entries included an EMMY for overall Station Excellence. FOX Sports Detroit has received 121 EMMYs overall since 2000, including 76 over the last eight years.

"All of us at FOX Sports Detroit are extremely thankful for the recognition by the Academy for our work in 2015," said Greg Hammaren, senior vice president/general manager of FOX Sports Detroit. "Sports touch every emotion and every age group in this community, and we're proud to play a leading role in serving the greatest sports fans in America. I am immensely proud of all the creative and dedicated people who make FOX Sports Detroit such an exciting and thriving place to work."

Here are the EMMY-winning entries for FOX Sports Detroit, recognizing excellence in productions originating in 2015:
  • Station Excellence: FOX Sports Detroit (Greg Hammaren)
    FOX Sports Detroit is honored for excellence in overall station operations, including serving its viewership through local programming efforts.
  • Sports - Program Feature/Segment: NU74, AM16, DB34 (Chad Schwartzenberger, Mickey York)
    This EMMY is for an emotional segment from MHSAA Football Friday Overtime that visits Chippewa Valley to remember the lives of three players - Nick, Alex and Duncan.
  •  Sports - Daily or Weekly Program: Spartan Hockey All-Access: A Place to Go (Justin Garant, Michigan State University Athletic Communications)
    This EMMY is for the in-depth feature on senior Travis Walsh.
  • Sports Program - Program Series: Spartan Football All-Access "The Road" (Ryan McPhail, Michigan State University Athletic Communications)This EMMY is for the feature on senior wide receiver Aaron Burbridge.
  • Sporting Event/Game - Live/Unedited - Program/Special - MHSAA D2 Finals: Detroit MLK vs Lowell "An Angel in the Endzone" (Jason Dizik, Mark Iacofano, Brady Clyma)
    The network was honored for its coverage of the MHSAA D2 Finals game between Detroit MLK and Lowell.
  • Sporting Event/Game - Live/Unedited - Series: Pistons Basketball (Christopher Wasielewski, David Rhoades, Jason Dizik, Brady Clyma)
    The network was honored for its coverage of Pistons basketball.
  • Director - Live or Recorded Live (Mark Iacofano)This EMMY is for a compilation of directing by Mark Iacofano.
  • Craft Speciality - Makeup (Janelle Thomason (The Makeup Loft/DPTV)
    This EMMY is for the makeup for the actors involved in the features Living for Two and Bobbleheads that were featured on
The Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (MI-NATAS) is the most recognized non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of excellence in television. The EMMY is a distinct honor awarded to TV professionals. Judges, representing EMMY selection committees in other parts of the country, scored the Michigan nominations based on content, creativity and execution of work. For a complete list of winning entries, visit
FOX Sports Detroit is delivered to 3.2 million cable and satellite households throughout Michigan and portions of Northwest Ohio and Northern Indiana. The regional network is home to more than 350 live, local events per year, including the Detroit Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons; college hockey; and Michigan High School Athletic Association football and basketball championships. We are the cable TV home of the Detroit Lions.

DETROIT - The board of directors and planning committee for the 2016 UAW-GM Spirit of Detroit HydroFest are pleased to announce Fred Alter as honorary chairman of this year's milestone race. The announcement was made by Detroit Riverfront Events Inc. President, Mark Weber.

A legend in the powerboat racing circuit, Alter earned the name 'Fearless' Fred for his showmanship and skill that thrilled crowds. During his career spanning the '50s, '60s and '70s, he raced 19 Unlimited hydroplanes in competition, more than any other driver.  He was inducted into the Unlimited Hydroplane Hall of Fame in 1983 and, in 2013, was inducted to the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame.

"The City of Detroit and hydroplane racing have always had a special place in my heart," said Alter. "Being named Honorary Race Chairman for the 100th running of boat racing on the Detroit River is a special honor and I know it will be special moment for me when the hydroplanes race for the Gold Cup that weekend, reminding me of the days when I competed and challenged both the river and competitors."

A native of Detroit, Alter grew up racing sailboats, then Limited Class Hydroplanes before moving on to the big leagues in 1955 when he piloted Bill Stroh's Unlimited Miss Detroit in the Silver Cup. Alter retired from competitive racing in 1975 but continued to be involved in the sport in several capacities including becoming American Power Boat Association's Unlimited Racing Commissioner and bringing substantial sponsorships and national television coverage to the sport.

"Fred has been and continues to be a champion in the hydroplane world and has done more to promote and move the sport forward than anyone else," said Weber. "We could not have selected a more worthy person to serve as the honorary chairman for our 100th anniversary than 'Fearless' Fred Alter."

The 2016 UAW-GM Spirit of Detroit HydroFest kicks off with the "Classic Shore Dinner" race preview party on Thurs. August 25th at The Roostertail in Detroit, tickets are $75. Race weekend begins with "FREE Friday" on August 26 at 1 p.m. and continues on Saturday, August 27 and Sunday, August 28, 2016.

PAWS and DSBA Executive Director George Eichorn join the crew of It's A Zoo before the 92nd running of the Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race. As part of the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association's PRO TEAM CHALLENGE, Tigers shirts and banner was presented to the crew by Tigers Great, Willie Horton. Photo by Bill Eisner.

The world lost Muhammad Ali on June 3 when the former boxing champion died at age 74. Dr. Stuart Kirschenbaum lost a longtime and dear friend."We knew each other for 38 years. I called him, 'Champ.' He called me, the 'Great White Dope,' but with affection and a twinkle in his eye," said Kirschenbaum, the Michigan boxing commissioner from 1981-1992 and boxing commissioner emeritus and special adviser to the governor on boxing affairs since 2013.

Kirschenbaum couldn't make it to Ali's funeral June 10 in Louisville, Ky., because he underwent vascular surgery the previous day. But he was there in spirit.

"I did some radio and TV interviews about Muhammad. They gave me some closure," he said. "I received condolences from across the country because so many friends and patients knew about my relationship with the Champ. That made my heart feel warm. Almost like the feeling I would get receiving one of the Champ's hugs."

Kirschenbaum said Ali was his inspiration to enter the New York Golden Gloves competition in 1967. They met 11 years later in Detroit after Kirschenbaum had opened a podiatry practice in the Motor City and was judging boxing matches.
The meeting was suggested by one of Kirschenbaum's patients, who was Ali's personal cook. The cook thought the two would hit it off because each had a great sense of humor.

Kirschenbaum has many stories to tell about his friendship with Ali. All show their close bond.
It's 1984. Kirschenbaum was attending a news conference with Ali in Detroit when he noticed Ali was hobbling because he had fractured his big toe at the Los Angeles airport.

Kirschenbaum met Ali in Ali's room in the Hotel Ponchartrain in Detroit and treated the injury. From that day, Kirschenbaum was known as Ali's foot doctor.  More importantly, Kirschenbaum said, Ali asked that day if he could put Kirschenbaum's name and phone number in his address book.

"Back then, we had to write down people's names and phone numbers," Kirschenbaum said. "The Champ wrote my name in his little black book with loose papers that was secured by a rubber band."

Ali came to town in February 1989 to meet with Kirschenbaum and others about establishing a world boxing hall of fame. After spending a day with Ali talking in Ali's room at the Radisson Hotel in Southfield and holding a news conference about the hall of fame the next day at Ginopolis restaurant in Farmington Hills, Kirschenbaum told Ali he was going to watch his son Storm play hockey at the Southfield Ice Arena the following morning.

Ali came to the arena, sat on teams' benches, did magic tricks for players in locker rooms and left three hours later.
"That was the Champ. He made everyone he met feel important, at ease and as though you knew him forever," Kirschenbaum said.
Ali often traveled to Detroit for boxing shows and sat with Kirschenbaum. They were joined by people like Mayor Coleman Young, Leon Spinks, Thomas Hearns and Aretha Franklin.

In fall 2002, the Michigan Jewish Sports Foundation presented Ali with its "Book of Life Award" through Kirschenbaum at Ali's home in Berrien Springs, Mich.  "Muhammad and his wife, Lonnie, were thrilled to accept an award from a Jewish organization to a Muslim following the 9-11 tragedy," Kirschenbaum said.

After the serious business was completed, Kirschenbaum and Ali playfully sparred in a boxing ring at the home.
"We were a couple of kids," Kirschenbaum said.

Kirschenbaum's office at the New Center One building in Detroit features the Muhammad Ali Conference Room.
There are four original Andy Warhol paintings of Ali in the room, and Ali's famous saying, "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee," is inscribed on a wall.

By Steve Stein | Contributing Writer

Written by ESPN:
John Saunders, one of the familiar on-air faces of ESPN for nearly 30 years, has died. He was 61.
Saunders hosted studio and play-by-play programming. He covered college football, basketball and the NHL for the network, in addition to anchoring SportsCenter. He was also host of The Sports Reporters.
Born in Canada, Saunders was an all-star defenseman in the junior hockey leagues of Montreal. He played at Western Michigan and Ryerson Polytechnical in Toronto before becoming one of the most prominent broadcasters of his time.
Saunders was a founding member of The V Foundation for Cancer Research and served on its board of directors.
"John was an extraordinary talent and his friendly, informative style has been a warm welcome to sports fans for decades," said John Skipper, president of ESPN and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks, in a statement. "His wide range of accomplishments across numerous sports and championship events is among the most impressive this industry has ever seen. More importantly, John was a beloved and devoted family man who cared deeply about people and causes, as evidenced by his long-standing efforts as a passionate board member for The V Foundation for Cancer Research.
"He was one of the most significant and influential members of the ESPN family, as a colleague and mentor, and he will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this extremely difficult time."
Saunders joined ESPN in December 1986 to anchor SportsCenter. But he became a voice on college basketball and the WNBA and hosted ESPN's coverage of the Stanley Cup playoffs from 1993 to 2004. He also worked on coverage of the World Series and Major League Baseball's All-Star Game.
"We are deeply saddened by the passing of John Saunders," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. "As the studio host of NBA Shootaround, a play-by-play announcer for nationally televised NBA and WNBA games and one of the Toronto Raptors' first television voices, John was a vital member of the NBA family for more than two decades and was a friendly and familiar face to our players and fans.
"His achievements in journalism are matched only by his commitment to his community, particularly his service as a founding member of the V Foundation. We send our deepest condolences to his wife, Wanda, their two daughters, Aleah and Jenna, and the entire Saunders family during this difficult time."
Dick Vitale, a longtime colleague of Saunders and former U-D Mercy and Detroit Pistons head coach, said his friend "represented everything that was good in a human being."
"He was all about family and helping people," Vitale said. "He was as good as it gets and he had deep loyalty and love for others. His work with The V Foundation was so special -- he loved Jimmy V and poured his heart and soul into the cause. He was always willing to share and give, and he played a vital role in the success of helping so many. I can't believe this stunning and horrible news. He will be forever in our thoughts."

FOX Sports Detroit announced its preseason Detroit Lions broadcast team: analyst Chris Spielman, a former NFL linebacker; play-by-play announcer Matt Shepard; and sideline reporter Jennifer Hammond.

Spielman, a NFL and college football analyst for FOX Sports, is an All-Pro Linebacker whom played eight seasons (1988-1995) with the Detroit Lions. He was selected to four Pro Bowls during his time with Detroit. He also spent two seasons with the Buffalo Bills, retiring with the Cleveland Browns in 1999. Spielman is a former All-American at the Ohio State University, where he was awarded the Rotary Lombardi Award in 1987. Spielman joined FOX Sport's lineup as an analyst for the NFL and college football for the network earlier this year after spending 14 years color commentating for ESPN's college football coverage. He began his career in sports broadcasting as a NFL studio analyst for FOX Sports Net, for two years following his retirement from the NFL. Spielman was also an analyst for Lions Preseason TV from 2001-04.
Shepard, a sports reporter, host and play-by-play announcer for FOX Sports Detroit, is also the host of the morning show on sports-talk radio WDFN-AM 1130. The 2016 Michigan Sportscaster of the Year, Shepard has served as the play-by-play announcer for Detroit Lions preseason games since 2008 and as the host of The Ford Lions Report during the regular season on the Detroit Lions Television Network. He has called play by play for all four major teams in Detroit. Previously, he has done college hockey play-by-play and MHSAA championships (football and basketball) play-by-play.

Hammond, the 2015 Ty Tyson "Excellence in Sports Broadcasting Award" winner, is a sports reporter for WJBK-TV FOX 2. The two-time EMMY Award winner has covered Detroit sports for FOX 2 since 1997. She returned to Detroit in 1994 to work for WDFN after getting her on-camera start on CLTV with the morning traffic reports and later as the morning sports anchor. Hammond got her start in the field in the Sports Information department at Western Michigan in 1983.

The trio will broadcast four preseason games on FOX 2: Aug. 12 at Pittsburgh Steelers, Aug. 18 vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Aug. 27 at Baltimore Ravens and Sept. 1 vs. Buffalo Bills. Check local listings for replays on FOX Sports Detroit.

"All of us at FOX Sports Detroit are excited to welcome Chris, Matt and Jennifer as the broadcasting team in our second year as the cable TV home of the Detroit Lions," said Greg Hammaren, senior vice president and general manager of FOX Sports Detroit.  "We've had the pleasure of working with Matt and Jennifer for a number of our other live events, and think Chris will bring his unique perspective as a former linebacker and energy to enhance our show."

DETROIT -- The Wayne State University Department of Athletics and Comcast CN 900 would like to announce the broadcast crew for the 2016 Warrior football home season.

Joe Abramson, a veteran on the Detroit sports scene for over 30 years, returns for his ninth year on the Comcast broadcast and second as play-by-play announcer.  A Birmingham native who graduated from Brother Rice High School and the University of Detroit, Abramson works on the Lions radio broadcast as the spotter for Dan Miller and Jim Brandstatter.  The Royal Oak resident also serves as the statistician for George Blaha and Greg Kelser on Detroit Pistons broadcasts.

Rod Beard enters his sixth year as a member of the WSU broadcast crew.  He is a longtime sports writer for The Detroit News and currently is The News' beat writer for the Detroit Pistons. A Detroit native, Beard is an alumnus of Renaissance High School and the University of Michigan and begins his fifth season as the host of the weekly Winters on Wednesdays radio show on The Patriot (1400 AM/92.7 FM) featuring WSU head football coach Paul Winters. The 2016 shows will air live from Tony V's Restaurant in Midtown Detroit, next to the WSU campus.

WWJ Sports Director Tony Ortiz is joining the broadcast crew this year. A graduate of Detroit Cooley High School and Specs Howard School of Media Arts, Ortiz spent the past 15 seasons providing sideline reports on the Detroit Lions Radio Network.

The 2016 home opener for WSU on Saturday, Sept. 17 will mark the beginning of the 13th season of Warrior football on Comcast.  The inaugural televised game by Comcast was when Wayne State faced Hillsdale at Ford Field on Nov. 6, 2004.  All six home games will be televised live on Comcast CN 900 and replayed the following week.  In addition, Comcast CN 900 will broadcast seven GLIAC basketball doubleheaders from the Matthaei starting with the January 12th contests vs. Michigan Tech.

Note from Bill Harrington 

The 92nd running of the Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race is in the history books and NAUTI BOYS, the J120 skippered by Ed Vermet and John Hughes, representing the Detroit Pistons, is the 2016 winner of the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association's PRO TEAM CHALLENGE.
"The race was good and bad" explained skipper John Hughes. "The ride to Cove Island was fast and comfortable. Once we rounded, the wind picked-up and we eventually sailed into a pretty heavy storm. We prevailed and ended-up being winners for the Pistons".
Evan Anderson, Set Sail For Autism's honorary crew member for Nauti Boys, was excited to see his boat declared the PRO TEAM CHALLENGE victor. Wearing his Bad Boys t-shirt at the June 7 media luncheon, he and Rick Mahorn drew Nauti Boys in a blind draw. BAD BOYS - NAUTI BOYS, it was a fortuitous selection.
Finishing second in the PRO TEAM CHALLENGE was the Detroit Lions boat, ALLIANCE, followed by FLASH, the Red Wings boat and IT'S A ZOO, the Tigers boat.

Photo courtesy of Robert Benko.

The 92nd running of the Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race featured the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association's PRO TEAM CHALLENGE. DSBA Marketing Officer Bill Harrington displays the new perpetual plaque to racing officials at a press conference in Detroit at Bayview Yacht Club.

Photo courtesy of Dan Graschuck.

Fans at Joe Louis Arena had the opportunity to sign a giant "Thank You, Mr. Hockey" wall card.

Photo courtesy of Dan Graschuck.

Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias celebrates with teammates after a game-winning hit that sealed a comeback win against the Houston Astros.

Members on the Go

George Blaha has anchored Spartan football broadcasts as play-by-play voice for nearly four decades. In addition to his Spartan Football play-by-play duties, Blaha hosts the weekly Mark Dantonio Show on the Spartan Sports Network, heard Thursdays, 7-8 p.m., locally on WJR-AM.

Former University of Michigan offensive lineman Jim Brandstatter, DSBA Member and Past President, returns for his 38th year on the Wolverines football broadcast team, locally on WWJ-AM. In addition to his U-M play-by-play duties, Brandstatter hosts the weekly "Inside Michigan Football" TV show on WXYZ-TV7 and Fox Sports Detroit, now in its 37th season, and the radio show "Inside Michigan Football Monday Nights" on WWJ.  Brandstatter returns for his 30th season as color analyst on the Detroit Lions Radio Network, heard locally on WJR-AM.

Dan Miller, DSBA Member, returns for his 12th year as play-by-play voice on the Lions Radio Network and WJR. In addition, Miller hosts the Lions hour-long TV pre-game show weekly on WJBK-TV FOX-2.

Former Michigan State All-Big Ten center Jason Strayhorn, DSBA Member, begins his 11th season with the Spartan Sports Network and his fourth as an analyst. Strayhorn previously worked as the sideline reporter for SSN for seven seasons

Will Tieman, DSBA Member and Past President, returns for his 19th year on the Spartan football broadcast team, serving as broadcast host. During home games at Spartan Stadium, Tieman broadcasts from the network's on-field set, located in the north end zone. His other football-related activities include hosting the daily statewide series "In the Huddle with Mark Dantonio" and hosting the syndicated "This Week in College Football" series, now in its 26th season. 

Trevor Thompson, DSBA President and FOX Sports Detroit anchor/reporter, wed Dana Clark on August 6th. Congratulations to the happy couple!

Bob Wojnowski, DSBA Member, Detroit News columnist & WXYT-FM talk show host, offers analysis and commentary on the Lions hour-long TV pre-game show weekly on WJBK-TV FOX-2.

Jared Adams
Montrose Digital Media

Camryn Blair
Montrose Digital Media


The following DSBA Members have joined since our last newsletter was published. They join 143 who previously paid their 2016 dues.

Jared Adams (S)
Bill Axtell
Matt Barnhart
Camryn Blair (S)
Deanna Caldwell
Bill Keenist
Ben Manges
Frank Manzella
Jon Paul Morosi
Eamonn Reynolds
Tom Skinner

(S) = Student Member

Al Ackerman
DSBA Honorary Lifetime Member

Gordie Howe
Friend of the DSBA

John Saunders
Friend of the DSBA


DSBA Presidents:
Ty Tyson, Don Wattrick, Paul Williams, Al Nagler, Van Patrick, Budd Lynch, Bob Reynolds, Fred Huber, Bill Fleming, Bruce Martyn, Fred Wolf, Joe Gentile, Dave Diles, Ray Lane, Don Kremer, Larry Adderley, Vince Doyle, John Fountain, John Cwikla, Bill Humphries, Chris McClure, Kurt Schneider, Dave Lew Allen, Gary Ratski, Paul Chapman, Mark Unger, Raymond Rolak, Rich Kincaide, Ken Kal, Jim Brandstatter, Jim Stark, Will Tieman, Vicki Foley and Trevor Thompson.

DSBA Lifetime Honorary Members:
Al Ackerman, Jack Adams, Larry Adderley, Edmund Barber, Kathy Best, Paul Carey, Jerome Cavanaugh, Jim Chapman, Jim Cornelius, Fritz Crisler, John Cwikla, Istvan Danosi, Hugh (Duffy) Daugherty, Dave Diles, Anne Doyle, Vince Doyle, Marvin (Sonny) Eliot, Les Etter, Dan Ewald, Roger Faulkner, Bill Fleming, John Fountain, Gus Ganakas, Joe Gentile, Steve Ham, Jim Hart, Ernie Harwell, Edgar Hayes, Jim Hendrick, Fred Huber, Bill Humphries, Bill Jamieson, Jerome (Buck) Jerzy, George Kell, Don Kremer, Ray Lane, Vito LoPiccolo, Budd Lynch, John MacInnes, Bruce Madej, Leo Martin, Bruce Martyn, Chris McClure, Hal Middlesworth, Johnny Mowers, Al Nagler, Bennie Oosterbaan, Paul Pentecost, Bob Reynolds, Jack Riggs, Glenn (Bo) Schembechler, Elliott Trumbull, Ty Tyson, Bob Ufer and Paul Williams.

For exclusive DSBA photographs by Mike Alberts, Robert Benko, Bill Eisner, Ben Eriksson, David Frisco, Frank Garza, Dan Graschuck, Bill Harrington, Mark Lewkowicz, Nick Martines and Janet Slabaugh, please go to:


Saturday, August 27, 2016
DSBA Night at Hazel Park Raceway
6:15 pm Arrival & 6:45 pm Dinner
7:30 pm Live Racing
Complimentary Dinner & Two Drink Tickets
First 20 DSBA Members and one (1) Guest
RSVP: or (586) 558-9103

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Scoreboard Editor:  George Eichorn
Graphic Design:  Steve McClellan - SMACK Graphics
Marketing/Printing:  Genesus Marketing & Communications
DSBA Address: P.O. Box 1222, Warren, MI 48090-1222
DSBA Office Phone: (586) 558-9103
DSBA Office Fax: (586) 558-9104
DSBA E-mail:
Mike Alberts            Robert Benko
Ben Ericsson                 Bill Eisner
Frank Garza          Dan Graschuck
Bill Harrington                L
aura Lovisa        Mark Lewkowicz
Nick Martines        Janet Slabaugh

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