Chrysler hit rock bottom in 2009, plunging into bankruptcy and succumbing to a takeover by Fiat, the Italian brand American drivers used to call “Fix It Again Tony.” It was a dismal time for the iconic U.S. auto maker, but it wasn’t the end of days some had predicted. The unified company recovered financially and this year unveiled its most significant new product: a spry compact designed to help Americans learn to economize with style and zip.
Designers called it the Dodge Dart, after the company’s 1960s stalwart, and backed it with a burst of bold advertisements. The car is Chrysler’s phoenix moment. If you are human, it’s hard not to root for the Dart.
This weekend, as 20th-ranked Michigan State takes on No. 14 Ohio State, the Spartans football program also has emerged from decades of tailpipe-dragging performance. A team that hasn’t had a Rose Bowl season since 1987 or a national title since 1966 is cruising along nicely. The Spartans shared the Big Ten Conference title in 2010 and just produced their first-ever back-to-back 11-win seasons.
They are gaining cred, too, losing the quarterback that led them to a 2012 Outback Bowl victory over Georgia, Kirk Cousins, and still entering this season ranked No. 13. A glass-fronted addition to the football building and a handsome players’ lounge with obligatory pool table show a willingness to keep pace in facilities. The acres of empty seats are filling in. The Spartans have banished the rattles and squeaks. … Read More