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Terry Foster Podcast s31 Thursday

Welcome back!

Terry is joined by JD ‘The Smak” and E.Lund

Terry has come up with a magical solution to the college football playoffs that includes your Michigan Wolverines, who we discuss their standing in all of this. We also try to determine where Smak should live and a whole lot more on a new Terry Foster Podcast.

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Trump media war is out of control

trump mediaDonald Trump is right. Some of the news reported by the press is fake.

It is not right. It never happened. But deep down he realizes that much of it is accurate and dead on. His problem is the way the media analyzes the news that it gathers. He also does not like that the press ignores much of the good news coming out of the White House.

That’s why we witnessed the unprofessional exchange between Trump and the media the day after the mid term elections.  CNN reporter Jim Acosta lost his White House press credential because of it.

I’ve never witnessed a more hostile media-source environment than the one between Trump and the media.

Much of it is Trump’s fault. He created the environment and people who work for him are fueling it. Here is why I believe some of the news never happened. Most of it comes from unnamed sources. Sometimes those sources are wrong. Sometimes those sources only know part of the truth. Sometimes those sources have an agenda.

The reporter must trust that the source is telling the truth and knows the entire story. Most of the time they do. Some of the time they don’t.

From my years as a reporter I’ve found that leaks begin when people inside an organization don’t believe in the leader or in the product. There are people inside the West Wing who disagree with Trump’s policies and the way he is running the country.

I was not allowed to used unnamed sources most of the time. During the rare times I was allowed I had to name the source to my editor. That always made me nervous because if the source’s name got out they could lose their job and I could lose access.

The White House sources believe that they are doing what’s best for the country when they leak stories to the press. If Trump talks about something privately they deem to be bad for the people, they leak it in hopes that public pressure causes Trump to change his position or soften his view.

I do not believe that reporters from the Washington Post or the New York Times wake up in the morning looking to make up stories about Trump. But I do believe they look for dirt on Trump.

Trump created this environment by being rude to the press and his Republican opponents during the primary. Trump can’t be a bully and then when things blow back in his face plead for everybody to be civil. That’s not the way it works. People go by the  motto of I will treat you like you treat me.

For example. If you invite me over to your house and I am polite, how are you going to treat me?

If you invite me over to your house and I complain that the drapes and carpet are ugly and I grab the wife by the ass, would you treat me differently? I would guess yes.

Trump has been that rude and drunk guest for two years now. What does he expect?

Trump stirred up the hornets nest during the latest press conference by talking about the dishonest and fake media for the billionth time. That set the tone for a hostile meeting.

CNN reporter Jim Acosta did some grandstanding and should have relinquished his microphone after his first question. He brushed aside an interns attempt to take the microphone away. His actions were wrong but not enough to have his credentials revoked.

However, he should have backed down no matter how mad he was. The media is not supposed to be part of the story.

On this day I am calling a double technical foul on Trump and Acosta along with two minutes in the penalty box.

 

 

 

 

CMU visit encourages me to new ventures

CMU in FlowersThis may sound corny, but I fell in love with my alma mater Central Michigan University all over again last weekend.

I felt love and self worth and ran into a bunch of people that wanted to remind me of what a great career I had in journalism and they want me to embrace a new journey during the golden age of life.

I’ve been encouraged to teach journalism, which I did to a little bit of this fall during a month long mentorship with the Detroit Police Athletic League at the old Tiger Stadium site.

After returning from my trip I heard from a doctor at Henry Ford Health System who wants permission to pass along my story and treatment to other physicians. My story might help push along a Wellness Center that the hospital wants to add to its West Bloomfield location.

By the way Doc, you have my permission to pass along my story.

I attended the Central Michigan University journalism Hall of Fame dinner in Mt. Pleasant and ran into current students and old pals during the weekend. No stop is complete without a trip to The Bird Bar and Grille downtown where we swapped tales both real and fabricated over beer and bourbon.

One young man grilled me for nearly an hour on my legacy. He said that I must know that I influenced a lot of people during my career in newspaper and radio. He was one of those people indirectly influenced because his journalism professor spoke highly of me and passed things I did to his students.

“So you must know how many people you influenced,” he said over and over again.

Actually I don’t. I was so busy with life that I never had time to take a breath and think about what I was doing and who I touched. And secondly social media does not allow you to think that way.

I’ve been called every shade of scum over the years for the transgression of rarely believing in the Detroit Lions. Or for saying that Michigan State played better football over the last decade than the University of Michigan.

Detroit sports fans are passionate, which I appreciate, but people make it personal. When you attack a team, people believe you are attacking them. So when people use four letter words to describe you, you don’t think about being this great guy spreading the word.

It stung a little bit a couple years ago when I became ill with a stroke. I did not read social media for six months. Doctors said that I needed a positive frame of mind to get through some tough stretches. They feared that depression would put me in a state of mind where I might not recover.

My childhood friend Lamont suffered a stroke two days after I did. He did not have the right frame of mind and died last winter.

After a while I began to read messages and was overwhelmed by the positive and supportive messages. They really made me happy and put me in the right frame of mind. But there were some creepers.

Some wrote that they hoped I had another stroke. Normally that would not bother me, but I went through some dark days where I was not certain I’d be able to talk and walk like a normal human being. I was not sure I’d ever be able to go out to dinner and laugh and talk with family and friends.

I was not sure I’d even be able to write a blog. And one doctor said that if I had another stroke that he believes I’d either die or regress so much that life might not be worth living.

But some bastards wants me to have another stroke? Nice.

At CMU I bummed around with my old pals from CM Life Gibby and Mickey Finn. We reminisced about the fun days of being a student. We enjoyed walking the campus and touring new spots in Mt. Pleasant. We restocked our supply of CMU sweat shirts and met with current students.

The Hall of Fame dinner was filled with friends and no one mumbled a discouraging word. That was encouraging.

Terry Foster Podcast 30

Welcome Back!

Terry is joined by JD “The Smak” and E. Lund

It’s U of M vs State week. We dive into the game. Including the pregame dust up and trashing the logo.  We also talk traditions in college sports and the pros.

There was also a Lions game. Terry tries to figure out why The Smak still cares about the Lions.

Those topics and much more on the latest Terry Foster Podcast.

Harbaugh places cone of silence around humbled Wolverines

michigan-vs-michigan-state.jpgI’m a bad husband.

I picked out the biggest Michigan Wolverine booster I could find and waited for him to be within listening distance of my wife Abs. Just to let you know,  Abs is a die hard Spartan. She is always nervous during Michigan-Michigan State week for fear that Michigan might beat her team by a ridiculous score of 82-0.

Any way this guy is strolling around Kroger with the biggest, boldest Michigan Wolverines shirt in history. I waited until he was near Abs to ask: “Who is going to win the big game this Saturday?”

In years past the Wolverine would pause for effect, take a stance like they were John Wayne before proclaiming: “We are going to kick some Sparty ass.”

This guy didn’t. My Wolverine friends at the gym didn’t either.

“Well you can tell who I am rooting for,” he said. “I think we should win but you just never know. I am worried.”

He went on to proclaim MSU coach Mark Dantonio to be some kind of magician who spins wins out of thin air. The Wolverine was nervous.

A Michigan writer asked Coach Jim Harbaugh can his team muster up enough energy to face a Spartan team who makes this game their Super Bowl and World Series all rolled into one.”

That is no longer true. The Spartans do not make this a life or death situation any more even though beating Michigan is important to them. They get riled up when Michigan players bombard them with “little brother” talk and other disrespectful terms. Harbaugh, who once guaranteed victory over Ohio State as a player, has put the cone of silence around his players this week and they followed his lead.

Harbaugh has won the week by his players not talking a lot of noise. MSU is already fired up about this game. Why add fuel to the fire?

Do your talking on the field.

And you know the media is dying for a Michigan player to utter the term “little brother.” So is Dantonio.

The Spartans have finally humbled the Wolverines. They’ve won eight of the last 10 meetings, won two Big Ten championships and been to the BCS national championship semi final.

Michigan, who used to rule the state, hasn’t even played in a Big Ten title game.

MSU also wins games it has no business winning. That is why the Michigan program is being more respectful and silent.

I’ve spent years snooping around the Spartan program as a journalist. MSU players would give us the standard “we hate Michigan” sound bites. Calm stuff. Then someone from Michigan would talk about little brother and suddenly State players had razor blades piercing from their eyes with anger.

My advice for Michigan players was to shut up and play the game. It looks like the humbled Wolverines learned their lesson and it is one of the reasons I pick them to win a dreadful, boring game over the Spartans.

 

 

TFP s28 Pop Up 2

Welcome back!

Terry is joined by JD “The Smak” and E.Lund

We discuss the passing of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, her memorable National Anthem performances, and the big concert that will be her funeral.

Sleeves get rolled up as we break down the upcoming Lions season. We get a story from E.Lund about a run in with Aretha Franklin. We reflect back on the absurdity that can come from number retirement. Enjoy listening to these topics and many more.

 

Terry Foster Podcast s28

Welcome back!

Terry is joined by J.D. “The Smak” and E.Lund

We get right into the lost bet dinner at Prime & Proper. Find out who really enjoyed the drinks more than possibly the steaks.

Urban Meyer has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. We talk about his possible future. We delve into the upcoming Michigan football season, and look back at football training camps from the past. Of course,so much more on this Terry Foster Podcast.

I miss my tennis road dogs

burwellWe were drenched in sweat as we trudged into an Atlanta Buckhead restaurant with tennis rackets in hand for lunch and a refreshing drink.

We’d just completed a couple seats of doubles tennis in the Georgia heat during an off day during the opening round of the 1991 playoff series between the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks.

I was enjoying an afternoon with my road dogs at the time. Later that night we’d create some devilish times also. Free Press sports writer Drew Sharp and Washington Post columnist Mike Wilbon sat across the table from Detroit News columnist Byron Burwell and myself.

I must have loved these guys because I never called any of them by their given names. Wilbon was “Bubbles” for reasons I can’t remember. I called Burwell Home Box Head because he had a gigantic head and appeared on HBO. Drew was Boodini.

We swapped NBA and newspaper stories and I’m sure Wilbon told Charles Barkley tale or two, which always cracked us up. Wilbon and Chuck were boys and worked on a couple books together. I’d had my funny moments with Barkley, including the time he allowed me to stay in the dressing room after the media was kicked out before a game at the Palace.

And there was the time Barkley went on a 20 minute filibuster on Manute Bol’s feet and ashy legs. I bent over in laughter as Bol, who stood a helpless 7-foot-7, tried to get Barkley to stop.

Between every joke Bol would raise his arms and say: “Come on Chuck. Stop it Chuck. Oh Charlie. You are not funny.”

He was.

Back to lunch. Wilbon, Sharp, Burwell and I ordered lunch and cold, refreshing home made lemonade. This was not Country Time or powdered lemonade. This was the real stuff with real pulp and real taste just like momma made.

The real lemonade was $1.25 a glass, which was worth every penny. After we sucked down our first glass Wilbon asked if we wanted refills. We all shook our head yes.

We flagged down the waitress and told here we wanted four refills. A petrified look flooded her face before she nervously told us it would cost 75 cents for a refill. We thought her reaction was strange but Wilbon quipped: “I think we got the money so fill us up.”

The Washington Post, Free Press and News were paying for these meals and lemonade.

“She probably thought four brothers were going to riot over a 75 cent glass of lemonade,” Burwell quipped.

That might have been the case. She later apologized for her reaction and said we seemed like good guys. If only she knew.

I miss those days of hanging with my boys on the road. And I miss my boys period. We could never recreate that championship doubles match. Burwell died at age 59 of skin cancer. Drew died at age 56 of a heart attack.

Wilbon is alive but suffered a heart attack in 2008 and I was downed by a stroke in 2016. We all had major health setbacks before the age of 60.

Being a sports writer is an exciting and rewarding profession. But the lifestyle is hazardless to your health. The food is too good, the drinks too plentiful and you don’t feel like working out at a Seattle hotel after flying in from Los Angeles that morning. Wilbon is still on the road for ESPN and admitted during the NABJ conference in Detroit that he has not been able to take care of himself like he wants because of it.

I miss my friends. I miss my life.  However, I am grateful because I am alive, walking and talking without assistance. I want to write again but you can have the road.

I’m just fine here in Detroit.

Tennis anyone?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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