Five days before an undefeated Michigan team played undefeated Ohio State two years ago, a reporter asked Bo if he ever did anything special to prepare for OSU. Just a few days before his death, Bo shouted his answer, "EVERY DAY!"
Two years later, Michigan has just lost its 8th game for the first time in 129 years of playing football, it's Ohio State week again, and the media assembled in the Junge Family Champions Center are begging Coach Rodriguez to give them a headline like "Rodriguez embraces rivalry". What do they get instead? The Button Story. That's right, he's got a button right there on his desk. It says "Beat OSU" so he can never forget. Because he has a button. On his desk. Next to the phone. A button. Awesome?
Why not make up a story that he was down in Toledo for a meeting with his lawyer when he ran out of gas and him and Barwis had to push his car all the way to the Michigan state line to avoid buying gas in Ohio? Or just admit what everyone else on campus besides him seems to know, that this is, was and will always be the biggest game on our schedule?
This is an actual quote from Monday's presser:
"You ever see the movie [The] Lion King?" Rodriguez began. "That monkey hits the lion over the head, and the monkey says what did you do that for? Doesn't matter, it's in the past."
What? The monkey asks himself why he hit the lion? Why is it so hard to keep the monkey and the lion straight after 10 months of practicing this same line in front of the same reporters? Can you imagine that moment when he was there with Rita and the kids watching a cartoon and he learned something so important and meaningful about football and life? I can't wait until Coach Rodriguez wins 10 national championships in a row starting in 2010 and Coach Carr has to go out and try to rent that movie on Betamax.
Coach Carr wasn't nearly as accessible or open as Coach Rodriguez has been with the media but he did have a system that worked: scowl for no reason, tremendous Bo story, tremendous Kipling quote, scowl again, Bo, Yost, Churchill, scowl, Bo, Brown Jug, Bo, scowl, Woody, Bo, scowl, repeat. I know most people are disappointed with our record, bracing themselves for another loss to OSU or worried about transfers but sometimes I just miss Lloyd, the man.
I want to thank everyone who contributes to the Michigan blogosphere for helping me sham my way through the workday. That said, I hold Brian personally responsible for the 2005 season and now the WLA shows up and ruins RR's first year. Please! No more Michigan blogs!
This season has been rough for everyone. Water bottles have been thrown back and forth. Hopefully, a win against MSU will reunite the fan base for a while. Until then, I find myself somewhere between this strange divide. As a sarcastic asshole, the WLA holds a certain appeal for me, but then a few minutes ago I read that poguemahone, their token friendly and surprisingly literate OSU fan was born in 1989. I was at the '89 OSU game and I'm not sure that I have much to say to an OSU fan who has no recollection of the Cooper years or pre-Lloyd Michigan. I know there are a few oldsters who hang out in their clubhouse but this still made me feel like PC Guy.
The following are some differences I've noticed. Feel free to correct me or add your own.
Michigan football is...
MGo: A long and storied tradition.
WLA: A blog started by Brian like 3 years ago which featured Haloscan, a top-end commenting system.
“Watching the game” involves...
MGo: Avoiding familial responsibilities, drinking scotch, yelling at the TV.
WLA: Avoiding homework, drinking Zima, yelling at the live blog.
Lashes out violently when...
MGo: McGuffie, McGuffie, incomplete, punt.
WLA: Someone is wrong on the internet.
Favorite UM player
MGo: Willie Heston
MGo: Scarlett Johansson
WLA: Matt Damon/unicorns