MT. PLEASANT — It felt like a homecoming Friday during my tour of Central Michigan University. I was the keynote speaker for the opening day of the Sports Management Association’s Professional Management Conference where students looking to get into the business picked up tips from sports professionals. I met some fine students from CMU, Grand Valley and other schools who will do well in our business.
However, the real reason for this blog is to tell you how much CMU has changed. CMU is really nice. It has new buildings, new theaters, new athletic facilities and new reasons to come here if you are a student. It was a lot different then when I attended here. One of my stops was at the CM Life newspaper office where I chopped it up with some of the sports writers.
Our office was cluttered with yellow paper all over the place. The new place in Moore Hall looks like the New York Times. Our place had pop bottles all over the place covering dead bodies from the previous night’s bar tours. Their place is spotless. I stopped by the basketball offices during a coaches meeting. There were basketball logo’s action photos and a lot of Chippewas pride. The basketball offices I remember featured desks and chairs from The Gomer Pyle Show.
But one of the more stunning changes was one of my old haunts The Bird. There were pretty women dressed liked hookers. There were tall stylish women in tall boots and an engaging bartender who pushed doubles and chatted with customers. It was also expanded and nicer looking with a nice back bar.
The Bird I remembered featured women who looked like Olive Oyl dressed in flannel shirts and work boots. The bartender was usually some dude who worked the morning shift at Saginaw Gear. Or there was some old hag who would scream: “What ya want honey? I ain’t got all day.”
I remember The Bird when a 500 pound guy would splash cologne over his Led Zeppelin T-shirt and felt like he had a chance with that night’s talent. The sad thing is he actually did.
I remember a Bird where a woman with 8 teeth would ask if she could come home with you after last call. And I remember a Bird where brothers would roll in saying “Where the white women? and then immediately leave after 10 smiling UP faces would turn saying “here we are.”
It was quite the experience, but my school has changed for the better. I just wonder what happened to Olive Oyl?