AFCA recognizes Michigan State and Ferris State trailblazer from Virginia

PHOTO: Gideon Smith with the Ferris State football team in 1912. This story is reposted from Jan. 12, 2015. By TOM SHANAHAN A century later, Gideon Smith finally received just recognition from a national organization. Smith broke barriers throughout his life. He was the first Black college football player at two Michigan schools, Ferris State and Michigan State. Later he blazed trails in coaching at what is now known as Hampton University in his then-segregated hometown of Hampton,…

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Army-Navy Game never disappoints; three old Big Rapids friends at 2018 Philadelphia game

PHOTO: Rex Schuberg, Morgon Bolden, Seth Boldn, (Ret.) Col. Rick Steinke and Tom Shanahan By TOM SHANAHAN The Army-Navy Game never disappoints. That’s what two of us told the other as three old friends from Big Rapids, Michigan, gathered from our places in the world for the 119th Army-Navy Game Saturday in Philadelphia. One flew in from Germany, one drove from our Michigan hometown and I flew from Raleigh, N.C.  For me, it was my fourth Army-Navy Game but…

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The dumbing down of American and Dick Vitale

By TOM SHANAHAN Mercifully, another year enduring Dick Vitale broadcasts has wrapped up. Why is he so popular? He reminds me the dumbing down of America is a cultural trend that similarly foisted the Kardashians upon us. Yes, he draws ratings, but does he say anything besides the obvious and then repeat it? There was a time when Vitale was a capable analyst, but that was before he pursued his financially rewarding TV persona. He has aged into…

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