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posted: 12/4/2012 2:30 AM

Majerus found a way to enjoy life his way

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  • College basketball coach Rick Majerus was always a great interview, and his life his life exactly the way he wanted, says Mike North.

    College basketball coach Rick Majerus was always a great interview, and his life his life exactly the way he wanted, says Mike North.
    Associated Press/2009 file


Legendary college coach Rick Majerus, who passed away at the age of 64, was a guy who seemed to live the life he wanted to live. Unfortunately, his lifestyle probably contributed to shortening his years.

When Rick would come on the radio with me throughout the years, he was an entertaining guy -- extremely informative and a great talker.

It was a tough interview because you could hear him having difficulty breathing on the phone. He seemed to be panting -- almost struggling for air -- and talking appeared to take a lot of effort. When the interview was over and we said our goodbyes, I always worried for the guy.

Yet, he was upbeat and happy. He lived his life doing two things he loved -- coaching and eating. Rick always said he loved coming to Chicago and would even bring up some restaurants in town he visited while he was here. He wrote his autobiography, called "My Life on a Napkin," in 2000.

In a time when everyone is telling you what to eat and how to look and live, Rick Majerus was living life on his own terms.

He was one of the top college coaches of all time, compiling a record of 517-216 with two 30-win seasons and fifteen 20-win campaigns in his 25 years.

He loved to coach and loved to eat -- I can think of worse things.

A nation divided:

We can now focus on Notre Dame and Alabama playing in the championship. Don't be surprised if it's the most-watched college football game in history when it's all said and done.

The allegiance should be split down the middle in this game. People who love the Irish and dislike the SEC match up against the folks who love Alabama and the SEC and have no love for Brian Kelly's guys.

I know it's been a long time, but its North versus South again. The North won the Civil War, but in football there is no doubt the South has been the dominant winner over the last seven years.

Let's hope the trend changes in January.

Sticking with his man:

The San Francisco 49ers, with Colin Kaepernick as their quarterback, lost to the St Louis Rams. I went on record saying Alex Smith would be the starting QB eventually, and I thought it might be as early as this week.

Nope. Head coach Jim Harbaugh, who previously said he wanted to stick with the hot hand, now says Kaepernick showed a lot of "positives" in the loss.

Well, sorry coach, but when you only score 13 points, you don't have a hot hand.

Program note:

Catch me on Mancow Muller's show at 6 a.m. Friday and against next Monday on Ch. 50 WPWR-TV.

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at For more, visit

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