John U. Bacon | Essay/Analysis: Sports Commentator

John U. Bacon has worked the better part of two decades as a writer, a public speaker, a radio and TV commentator, and a college teacher.

Bacon earned an honors degree in history (“pre-unemployment”) from the University of Michigan, and a Master’s in Education. He also was awarded a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship in 2005-06, where he was the first recipient of the Benny Friedman Fellowship for Sports Journalism.

He started his journalism career covering high school sports for The Ann Arbor News, then wrote a light-hearted lifestyle column before becoming the Sunday sports feature writer for The Detroit News in 1995. There he wrote long features about Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier, bullfighting in Spain, and high school basketball on a Potawatomi reservation in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, earning numerous state and national awards for his work.

Bacon is the author of the upcoming book “Endzone: The Rise, Fall, and Return of Michigan Football.” His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.


Stories from John U Bacon

  • Life after "The Hit"
    If you’re a casual football fan, or even if you’re not, you’ve probably seen The Hit: one of the most famous tackles in the history of the game. It was January 1, 2013, when Michigan played South Caro …
  • Well, kid, welcome to sports writing
    Sunday marks my third father’s day. I had no idea what I was doing for the first two and, it seems, little more this time around. But the kid keeps growing anyway. I don’t care what anyone says. The f …
  • The best basketball coach the University of Michigan has ever had
    University of Michigan men’s basketball coach John Beilein has probably reached his greatest heights – which is saying something. Since 2012 Beilein’s Wolverines have won four Big Ten titles and got t …
  • Why Shea Patterson may get to play his first year at UM
    Last season, for only the second time in Jim Harbaugh’s 14-year career as a head football coach, his team took a significant step backward. After leading Michigan to 10-3 records his first two years a …
  • This spring, Detroit sports fans won't have much to look forward to
    This is the Season of Our Discontent. Or it would be, if you attached your happiness to Detroit’s professional sports teams. Let’s start with the Pistons. When Bill Davidson bought the team in 1974, t …