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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

HBO Tackles Ohio State, Michigan

Even if you're not a rabid Ohio State or Michigan fan, HBO's "Michigan vs. Ohio State: The Rivalry" (10:30 p.m. today) is great fun to watch. Most everyone around here has at least heard of legendary OSU coach Woody Hayes, and he's the dominating figure of this hour.

HBO does a great job of quickly explaining the 100+ year rivalry with wonderful archival film, including the 1950 game in a blizzard which featured 45 punts. (Michigan won 9-3). Then it quickly jumps into the Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler years. Each had coached at Miami University, and Bo was an assistant under Hayes at OSU, before they became arch enemies. (Well, not really, as the show reveals their relationship after they retired from the game). HBO found plenty of old comments from Hayes, but the real gem is a long interview HBO conducted with Schembechler at Michigan Stadium two days before he died last year, right before the Ohio State game.

Along with great game video (including Hayes punching out a Clemson player in the 1978 Gator Bowl, which cost him his job), HBO has an A list of talking heads from both schools: Dan Dierdorf, Jack Nicklaus, Archie Griffin, Earle Bruce, Desmond Howard and players like Jim Mandich, Cris Carter, Rex Kern, Tom Skladany and Chuck Ortmann. It also includes a segment on Ohio players who crossed the border to be stars at Michigan. My favorite quote comes from Earle Bruce, the former Hayes assistant who replaced Hayes: "He's the meanest sucker you've ever seen."

And if this is not enough, ONN devotes two hours to "100 Years of OSU/Michigan" 10 p.m. Wednesday.


at 11/13/2007 1:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, this is off the subject of your topic and is also about radio, not TV....but, are you aware of any local stations who are planning to pick up Imus's morning program when it resumes,(albeit on another network)December 3rd?

at 11/14/2007 12:47 PM Anonymous Jason said...

John, to add to the Imus question. Now that it's been announced that RFD-TV is going to carry the simulcast, I read an article (published by The Tennessean) dated 11/5/07 that RFD-TV had reached a verbal agreement w/ Time Warner and that a deal was expected to be signed within a week. Any truth to Time Warner carrying RFD in the very near future?

at 11/14/2007 2:50 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a couple of Ohio State -Michigan stories foryou,Kies.
One involved the 'blizzard bowl' of 1950,and the only reason I know about it is because there are pictures of me(not quite a year old)in a box sled made by my dad and grandfathers happy as a clam, probably toothless at that age, and mugging for the camera just before my mom dumped me in the snow. The second is that a famil friend opened a bed and breakfast just outside of Ann Arbor, but refused to allow anybody from Middletown to come up for the WEEKEND. In fact she may have just closed it down to be safe
from the neighborhood

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