With their second weekend at home in the books, the No. 1 University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team victoriously slid past the Bemidji State University Beavers, sweeping them 5-0 and 6-0.This weekend’s sweep was predominately due to the efforts of Wisconsin goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens. Desbiens not only earned two more shutouts this weekend, but with her 44th shutout Sunday, officially clinched the NCAA career shutout record of 43.Desbiens blocked 36 attempts at goal this weekend, helping her team remain scoreless through six intense periods of play. She also managed to hold down the net while the Badgers killed nine penalties between the two games.Women’s hockey: Desbiens, Cogan earn awards as Badgers climb to No. 1Although the Wisconsin women’s hockey team is off this weekend, the Badgers are still making noise in the rankings, on Read…This accolade for Desbiens will complete a phenomenal series of accomplishments that the Badger goaltender has made since coming to Wisconsin. It is not something that Desbiens had planned from the beginning, and it is still something that shocks her when she looks back at it.“It’s kind of impressive,” Desbiens said. “It not something I would have thought about when I got here four years ago.”Desbiens’ team couldn’t be more proud of her at this moment, especially her head coach Mark Johnson. Johnson took a few minutes to compliment his star goaltender on her efforts.“Last year was a real special year for [Desbiens] as an individual,” Johnson said. “She did things that I’ve never seen in the game of hockey from a goaltending standpoint. Again, I credit her for not living on her laurels this past summer and continuing to work. She’s got bigger things ahead of her, and so she continues to work and continues to stay focused, she’s got a bright future.”Of course, Desbiens had a tough road to get to this accomplishment. Just this weekend alone, Desbiens defended nine penalty kills, which isn’t the usual number that she is used to facing on a weekend, and made it tough to secure two more shutouts.To help secure her net, Desbiens relied on both the Wisconsin penalty kill unit and on her defensive unit to help her out during these intense times. With penalties becoming more common in women’s hockey this season, senior defensemen Jenny Ryan knows that penalty kills are one of the most important things the Badgers need to work on.Women’s hockey: No. 1 Badgers take on Bemidji State without Pankowski in WCHA conference matchupFor the first time in a month, the University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team will be skating on their home Read…“We take pride in our penalty kill, and we’ve worked really hard on it,” Ryan said. “We try to play off each other, and we know where the other’s going to be. Ann takes charge back there, and we can count on her to do more things than a normal goalie would do.”The No. 1 ranked team gets to take a break from playing for a week. Their next series against the University of Minnesota-Duluth is Nov. 18 in Duluth. Until then, the Badgers have a lot to celebrate.
Johnny Majors’ reinvention of Pitt still resonates, as a memory for fans and target for today’s Panthers
“The locker room was dank. It was just in bad shape,” he told radio station WESA in 2016. “They didn’t have any sign of a weight room. They had one universal machine in the middle of the dressing room floor that three or four people could work on at one time.”MORE: College football predictions for 2020 bowl gamesHe landed Tony Dorsett, anyway. He got tight end Jim Corbett, quarterback Robert Haygood, linebacker Arnie Weatherington, center John Pelusi and defensive linemen Ed Wilamowski, Al Romano and Gary Burley. There were no restrictions regarding the number of players a program could sign; legend always had it there were 90 recruits in the 1973 Pitt class, but then-assistant Jackie Sherrill has said the number was 76. And four seasons later, Pitt football claimed the 1976 national championship.In the modern history of college football, there never has been a turnaround so dramatic.This achievement was not all Johnny Majors left behind, though, when he died Wednesday at age 85. He coached Tennessee from 1977 to 1992 and won three Southeastern Conference championships. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1987.He was described by former Panthers quarterback Matt Cavanaugh, during an interview with Pittsburgh radio station 93.7 The Fan, as a “master motivator. He had an enthusiasm, a sincere enthusiasm,” Cavanaugh told “The Cook and Joe Show.” “He could be a tough character, but when the curtain was down, he could pull you aside and make you feel pretty good.”Majors was an All-American tailback at Tennessee who excelled in the single-wing offense and finished second in the 1956 Heisman Trophy voting to Notre Dame’s Paul Hornung. Majors’ Volunteers completed the regular season 10-0 but lost the Sugar Bowl to Baylor.The 1976 Panthers avenged both of those defeats, in a sense. Dorsett became Pitt’s first Heisman winner with his magical 2,000-yard season. And the Panthers won the Sugar Bowl over Georgia to finish 12-0 and ranked No. 1 in the nationPitt Stadium was so much different that year, not even a decade after I’d watched the team be shut out by Army in a hopeless November 1968 defeat.With Dorsett the featured weapon in Majors’ veer offense, fans were electrified by such results as a 36-19 destruction of Miami, a 23-13 escape of Syracuse, a 37-7 runaway against Army and, on Thanksgiving night, a 24-7 victory over rival Penn State that broke a string of 10 consecutive losses and firmly established the Pitt-Penn State rivalry as a fixture on the college football landscape.That game was played in a deluge at Three Rivers Stadium, with an icy rain pouring from kickoff to the final whistle and Dorsett struggling at first to get loose against the Nittany Lions defense. The score was 7-7 at halftime. Majors and his staff had the brilliant idea to switch to an unbalanced offensive line and move Dorsett from his tailback position to fullback, nearer to the line of scrimmage. He carved through the PSU defense for 173 yards after halftime.“One of my biggest assets as a runner was to see things and react in a timely manner,” Dorsett told FSN in a documentary about the 1976 Panthers. “Man, I busted up there a few times and I don’t think Joe Paterno and that defense knew what hit them. It took us four years to beat them, but we finally got Joe.”Majors returned to Pitt in 1993 to great enthusiasm but less-glamorous results, after he’d been forced out at Tennessee following a season in which he’d undergone heart surgery and then struggled to a 2-3 record subsequent to his return. It was a rather harsh outcome for a university legend who’d compiled a 29-6-2 record in his three prior seasons, and his return to Pitt was no kinder.MORE: College football preseason top 25 rankingsIt was wonderful twice: On the day he was hired, when the athletic department handed out T-shirts that said, “Pitt Football: Back to the Future,” and when the Panthers came from behind to win on the road at Southern Mississippi in Majors’ first game back. He was hugged on the field at M.M. Roberts Stadium by some of the program’s big boosters, and so much seemed possible. Persistent defeat did not appear to be one of those possibilities, but that’s what Pitt got. There were four losing seasons in a row, so the university moved on. That wasn’t good enough at Pitt anymore. But it wasn’t good enough because Majors had raised the standard, had elevated the program from joke to force.Without Majors, no one would be wondering whether Pitt football ever could recapture its championship form. Without him there is no Dan Marino, no Hugh Green, no Bill Fralic and probably not a Curtis Martin or James Conner. All of them still would have been great football players, but they would have been great football players elsewhere.Majors made Pitt football. That the Panthers had been great once — with Marshall Goldberg, Joe Schmidt, Mike Ditka and Paul Martha — was entirely irrelevant by the time he arrived on campus. Panthers fans still long to reach that level of excellence again. They have Majors to thank for such nostalgia, for better or worse. Through examination of the team’s performance, one can try to understand how farcical Pitt football had become in the years before Johnny Majors arrived as head coach: no winning seasons in a nine-year period, eight losing seasons, four with just a single victory, a composite 22-68-2 record. It really helped to be there, though. The Panthers were like a decade-long slapstick routine, and few in the stadium took them seriously.Then Majors arrived in December 1972 and started recruiting. There was little to sell.
For the first few years that I freelanced, I did so in a ghostwriting capacity. It was an interesting, yet challenging, way to practice my writing skills without attaching my name to my work. Couple that with generous compensation, and ghostwriting is a form of freelancing that too many of us sleep on.And I think I know why. Ghostwriting is mysterious and to a certain extent, secretive in nature.To be honest, there were many things about it that I did not understand until I started and got a few years and a few projects, including books, in my metaphoric toolbox.Just the use of the word ghost in ghostwriting may sound scary to some of you; in fact, I have some freelancer friends who shun the idea of writing without getting a byline or attributed for their creative and intellectual work. This is fair. While I still think you should consider freelance ghostwriting, it is not for everyone, especially those who are building their brands as writers where name visibility is paramount.Since I have written as myself and done extensive writing as a ghostwriter, I actually appreciate both avenues. For those writers who are looking for additional streams of income and the idea of your name flashing in bright lights is less of a factor, this is for you.Here are some of the things that I have learned about freelance ghost writing over the years.Make sure that your personality is suited for ghostwritingPatience is a soft skill that ghostwriters need, especially if you are working on a longer project like a book. Because the person (or people) who you are writing with or writing for will have very diverse personalities, go into ghostwriting knowing that you may sometimes have to dilute your personality just to work collaboratively with your writing “partner.”If you tend to be strong willed and rigid in your approach to writing, this may not be a good fit for you. Unlike writing for yourself where there are certain levels of autonomy, ghostwriting can be restrictive because the creative process is being driven by someone else’s ideas, insights, and creativity.Never agree to ghostwrite academic papersUnfortunately, this is a growing trend that is sometimes marketed with glossy ads that are targeted at freelance writers. I was drawn to a company once, only to later realize that it was an online community of ghostwriters for academic papers. As soon as I realized that I had been bamboozled, I quickly left and NEVER wrote a single paper for them.As a former academic, the thought of this still makes me cringe. Make sure that you read all of the fine print. Even if your name is not attached to your writing, you need to be comfortable, ethically and morally, with what you are doing.Get everything in writingThere are numerous contract templates that you can find online that you can use (including from Freelancers Union). If you are serious about ghostwriting and plan to do so on a regular basis, it is worth your while to get a lawyer to look over everything.Or, if your client has a contract drawn up, make sure that someone with legal expertise reviews it before you sign it. This is particularly important as it relates to compensation. Some freelancers require their fees up front (fee for service) and other freelancers will agree to being paid after the book has been released and has generated sales (backdoor royalties). Whatever you decide, make sure that you are comfortable with the outcome.Need help finding a lawyer? Download the Freelancers Union app to search from a network a lawyers who understand the freelance life.Be willing to say noIf you are unfamiliar with a topic or if there is not a good connection between the writing task and your interests, it is best not to forcefully make it fit. I once did a short project for a client and by the time that I conducted research to figure out what in the heck the topic was about, I ended up making close to minimum wage. It was a valuable learning experience. Now, I am most inclined to only take projects that I have an intellectual, spiritual, or experiential connection to.Be clear that your time is valuable. Individuals who are serious about using ghostwriters know that the fees are significantly higher than other writing services because of the amount of time that the ghostwriter puts into the project. If someone is hesitant or tries to get a deep discount, it is probably a sign of things to come.When people don’t value your time or your skills then they may end up not paying you or sticking you with outstanding invoices. The last thing you want to do is end up in court fighting over intellectual property rights. Listen carefully during your early interactions to make sure that the person contracting your services is legit. (And a quick Google search does not hurt either).Remember that when you write anonymously, it is rare that you will achieve fame as a writer. However, you can still gain valuable experience, increase your streams of income, and engage in writing for diverse and broad audiences.