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My New Project

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by Michael on September 27, 2014

I spent much of spring and summer 2014 in Spring Green, Wisconsin, following American Players Theatre‘s production of Much Ado About Nothing–researching what I hope will someday be a long immersion piece on the art and craft of theater. Meanwhile here’s a little taste, a profile of David Frank, the artistic director, who is retiring this year after a stellar run. Many thanks to my friends at Isthmus, the alternative weekly in Madison, Wisconsin, and to all the APT people who have been so kind and generous with their time.

Loyola Alumni Weekend

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by Michael on June 24, 2014

Jerry Harkness and I will be meeting and greeting and signing copies of Ramblers at two events connected with Loyola’s Alumni Weekend for 2014. This Friday, June 27, we’ll be at a reception for the classes of ’63 and ’64 and new alumni at the 63 Bar and Grill (formerly Hamilton’s), located at 6341 N. Broadway. That will run from 6 to 8 PM. Then on Sunday, June 29, we’ll be at the alumni brunch, which runs from 10-12  at the Mundelein Auditorium. Copies of Lew Freedman’s new book Becoming Iron Men will also be available. Please come around, say hello, and buy a few dozen books!


New Comcast Show on ’63 Ramblers

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by Michael on February 13, 2014

CN100, the Comcast Network, has produced a new documentary for Black History Month, “1963 Loyola Ramblers,” showing tonight at 7:00 and at various other times this month. Visit for upcoming show times. You can also find the program with Xfinity On Demand under “Sports Features” in the CN100 folder.


New Interview

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by Michael on January 8, 2014

Recently I was interviewed by New York podcaster Brad Bogner, a sports fan, history buff, and avid reader. We had a good chat about the Ramblers and their place in civil rights history. It runs about 27 minutes.

Mississippi State Wins One

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by Michael on December 2, 2013

Sunday Mississippi State beat Loyola Chicago in an overtime squeaker, 65-64. It was the Bulldogs’ first win in a rivalry that spans 51 years. Loyola leads the series 2-1.

Last year the Ramblers won in Chicago, 59-51, in the first of two home-and-home games played to commemorate the last time the teams met, in the Mideast Regional of the 1963 NCAA tournament. Loyola won that game 61-51 and went on to win the national title.

In order to play that 1963 game, the all-white Bulldogs had to sneak out of Mississippi, defying a court order forbidding them to play against black opponents. It’s an oft-told story, but a great one, and this may be the last excuse I’ll get to trot it out. So here’s a version I like, adapted from Ramblers, of course. more

Hall of Famers, 2

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by Michael on November 27, 2013

Here are a couple of photos from Sunday’s induction celebration at the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. (See previous post.) more

Hall of Famers

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by Michael on November 20, 2013

This Sunday, November 24, the 1963 Loyola Ramblers will be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. They’re the first team in history to go in as a group. more

President Barack Obama greets members of the 1963 Loyola University Chicago Ramblers NCAA Championship men’s basketball team in the Oval Office, July 11, 2013. Players from left: Jerry Harkness, Dan Connaughton, Les Hunter, Ron Miller. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.

Ramblers in the White House

by Michael July 11, 2013
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The Basketball Fan-in-Chief will honor the 1963 Loyola Ramblers in the Oval Office today at 12:10 eastern time, according to the schedule. It’s closed to the press, but afterward there will doubtless be interviews and photos, so watch the news. Please, somebody hand him a copy of Ramblers and take a picture! Take it on […]

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My Mistake

by Michael June 24, 2013
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Dean Smith, center, with his North Carolina team in 1967 after beating Duke for the ACC title. In chapter 24 of Ramblers, George Ireland’s son Mike tells a story about the 1963 final four. It was Thursday, March 21. The Ramblers had just flown in to Louisville and were ensconced in their hotel. Tomorrow night […]

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