I did not make this headline up
When it is all said and done, there will be some public apologies handed out to Rich Rodriguez and his staff. Woe to the man who brings change! This has been the saying echoing through the eons of human existence. And last year, the University of Michigan Football program literally began a cycle of change that created a great upheaval. Perhaps one of the greatest the school has ever known, at least for many of its fans that is. To the Michigan fan, they know about the stadium renovations and the new offense. To the non Michigan fan they love to stoke the coals of a miserable season. Or to put it another more simple way, they just love to see Michigan fail. And for some people the emotional investment begins and ends with bragging rights, and not the process it took to earn those bragging rights. From the transferring of players, coaching changes, injuries, weight room time, bad officiating and so on the list of things facing a new coach is endless. And then when you silent the angry seething madness of fans they just want and expect more. Where does it end? Give Rich Rodriguez credit for taking the job because I am sure some coaches turned it down. Because to be the new guy at a storied school like Michigan, should it go bad, could mean the end of your head coaching career.
Building a community is a tough thing to do. You have to get people to build it and want to keep giving back to it while embracing the larger community at the same time. And this is tough to accomplish from a sales perspective if your community is not going so well. When you bring about change into an established community it is even more difficult. And at the University of Michigan last year the football fans showed a big time reason why this is. They were angry at the losses and confused as to what happened. The community was crumbling; opposing teams heckled and threw verbal elbows. The Michigan fan was surrounded it seemed and its old Big House was no place to hide.
Not to fear though Michigan fan, your coach did not exactly do too shabby in recruiting. He landed a 4 star QB in Tate Forcier and really accomplished something herculean. He kept a 5 star recruit in state in big time William Campbell. All in all a class of nine 4 and 5 star recruits after a season of low output. And it was also a season where kids committed, decommited and recommitted at record paces. The rocky waters navigated, the Michigan hater must now look on and wonder if Michigan Football is Bullet Tooth Tony from the movie Snatch. Through the rough transition Michigan found new legs and new life.
I for one know the struggles this team must embrace this coming year. And I hope that they do. It will be another year of forging an identity in the face of not being the great Michigan of old. But in the struggle to get there boys, you are becoming. I hope we as fans remember that as well.
See yah at the Spring Game,