Never felt compelled before to write a diary entry. Probably never will be again, but I have to say that it makes me mad that the media coverage of the story (particularly ESPN) implies that during/after a 3 and 9 season, Michigan fans would be upset that their coach made their players work extra hard to get into shape and ready to play. I personally would be upset if he didn't. The NCAA rule is stupid. It doesn't matter if we are the only ones or if everyone does it (which is probably the case).
This is America. You think that we would have put a man on the moon if we didn't put in extra time. Where would we be as a country with that attitude? In America, you can improve your standing in life with hard work. It's why millions of people left their homelands for the promise land. The sports media loves stories of guys who got out of the ghetto by working hard and became great athletes. RR built programs with inferior athletes, probably by out working the "other guy" and people loved him for it. Now, though, at Michigan the idea is that it's wrong for him to expect hard work and extra time from his players? Does this make any sense? Does this upset me as a fan?
To me, that this for me is the most infuriating part of this whole thing. The idea is ridiculous, working hard is bad, like cheating on tests and getting arrested. Pathetic. Plus, where does it stop? Should a player be allowed to not participate in mandatory training because it's too hard? What about senior captains, can they mandate that everyone has to put in time and be critical of the guys that don't?
The implication here is that putting in extra time is wrong, and that's the shame of the whole thing. As a Michigan fan, I'll take penalties for a coach that asks his players to work extra hard for the team.
Sorry about the rant.
Dave, in the hopes that you are intellectually honest, I am going to try once and only once to persuade you (like I have a couple others this morning - they failed by the way) and then we'll agree to disagree.
RR made huge mistakes - football mistakes - in his first year. He hired the wrong D coordinator, he ignored how to work with the media, stepped on some traditions, etc. That was unfortunate, but those were football mistakes, and I would be an idiot if I threw him under the bus after one year and when he didn't have his players. I will reserve judgment until he has his system and his players, about two more years, although there will have to be stunning progress this year, and I expect there to be. Yes, I would rather have had Les Miles, but I have RR and so he gets a chance.
RR is a hard ass. Lloyd was like your grandfather. RR runs a spread. Lloyd ran a pro-set. RR is a West Virginia boy. Lloyd is purebread Ann Arbor-style elitest. You couldn't have picked a more stark change from one culture to the next. A rational man expects extreme fallout. Bo lost 65 of 140 players from his first training camp because it was grueling. That's what coined the "Those who stay will be champions" phrase. RR is a workout fanatic and we've lost a lot of players, as expected. Last year was a result of that discord. The interviews for the article are with former players, some transfers, some NFL, all Lloyd guys. The two freshmen had nothing but love for the program and were deceived into talking about hours worked as material for the story.
RR left West Virginia and they were pissed. Thus he shredded documents (later proven untrue) and was Satan. RR arrived in AA a culture shock, hated by the AA elite and the Free Press. The establishment does not like the man. In Columbus, like with this story from the Lantern, they hear of a problem, then go ask the staff what their thoughts are and everyone chuckles and concludes more violations means a more honest staff. How do you think this story would have been spun with the Free Press (Rodriguez Leads the Big 10 in Recruiting Violations: The New Era of Recruiting at All Costs at Michigan).
Despite RR having the highest team GPA on record (strange how that is supposed to be hand-in-hand with these "violations"), despite only ONE of his kids having any disciplinary issues, he is corrupt and evil and so on. The day before he dismissed his one disciplinary problem, spun as pure evil by the Free Press, the Free Press documented how a kid was reinstated with MSU who assaulted a hockey player with nary a bad word. I wonder how the Free Press would have viewed RR reinstating an ex-convict.
Dave, if you can't understand that there is a vendetta in the press against RR, you choose to be blind. That's your choice. You may think RR is a media dud (he is) or that he can't coach (his record speaks otherwise, but perhaps he can't at this level, we'll see), but to think he is corrupt and, for example, OSU is not is to live in a pretend world. If you have any intellectual honesty, you'd acknowledge bullshit when you see it. Don't be mindless.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Six Zero, everyone who voted, and everyone who called him a hack because they didn't like a design or two. The internet, as always, is unimpeachably wonderful. We'll do this again next year, along with a banner contest, and this time we'll let it linger over of the offseason.
This is the final entry of the 2009 MGoShirt Alert, a design project that allowed MgoBlog readers to vote for a design in the MGoBlogStore.
(NOTE: For all users who are currently or may one day plan to develop a design project, I would offer the following advice: a.) Beware of Photobucket, who has the near-whimsical ability to wreck your posts with little to no previous warning, and b.) if you want to build up suspense for the grand unveiling of the project winner, you might want to think about keeping the final poll results to yourself.)
SO, YES... with that being said, ladies and gentlemen, the final winning design of the 2009 MGoShirt Alert, as voted on by you, the collective MGoCommunity, is...
DAY FIFTEEN'S DESIGN -- MASCOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
CLICK HERE FOR A DETAIL OF THE SHIRT GRAPHIC
This shirt is sure to be a smash hit at tailgates, alumni mixers, frat keggers, or just sitting in front of your home theater on Saturday afternoons. Wearers are advised to exercise caution while rocking the shirt in Columbus, East Lansing, State College, South Bend, Iowa City, Madison, West Lafayette, and any official conference gathering. Don't worry about getting hurt in Minneapolis... after all, it's a gopher.
Over 800 votes were tallied for the final deathmatch between our four finalists, and to the surprise of many the MASCOTS shirt garnered 44% of our tallies. In light of the weekend's events, perhaps it was Sparty missing the eyeball that made it so darn voteworthy. Final poll results can be consulted here for the curious.
|Shown here displaying the shirt is
our featured model, who we'll casually
refer to here as Richard, in an effort
to protect his anonymity.
Richard finds that this shirt goes
great with whistles, half-completed
stadium facades, and barrages of
obscenities. It's also great to wear
when cleaning up urine stains
Richard endorses the MGoShirt and
would like to add that it's a perfect
shirt for the inevitable Maize Out
that never seems to catch on.
They also go great with the
new Michigan Towels!
This design will be tweaked as necessary and the final vector artwork will be prepared for the print shop, and you can expect to see this design available for purchase soon in the MGoBlogStore.
I'd like to thank everyone for the interest and attention that made the MGoShirt Alert so much fun. I sincerely hope I helped get you fired up for the upcoming season, and I hope you all enjoy wearing the design for seasons to come. If I have any personal wish for this entire project, I'd like to challenge you-- any of you, all of you-- to get this shirt on national television!! I want to see Michigan Student screaming like a madman with his mascot shirt in the student section just before ABC cuts to commercial! I'd like to see Blazefire booing Herbstreit on College Gameday while wearing my shirt! I'd love seeing all of you mob the field with my shirt after a dominating win against Western on Saturday. Hell, I'll be satisfied with just the dominating win on Saturday!!
Gameday is Saturday, boys. It's time to bury the ghosts. Let's go get 'em.
As the upcoming season approaches, there is much excitement surrounding our shiny new offensive weapons. We return an experienced and talented offensive line, a pair of game-changing QB's, five amazing running backs, ninja slot receivers and a handful of reliable split ends. But wait, there's more! Left over from the Carr recruiting era are also two freak athletes that play tight end. But wait, Rich Rodriguez's spread option offense historically doesn't use tight ends, you say? Will our best athletes be rotting on the sidelines?! NOT so fast my friend.
How are we going to involve these awesome athletes in our offense? I think the TE question is a good measuring stick for RR as a coach. The ability to adapt your scheme to your personnel, the ability to innovate and adjust, I think separates the incredible coaches from the very good ones. Pete Carroll and Urban Meyer have proven themselves as elite amongst the coaching ranks for this reason.
It is largely regarded that this year, the TE position is one of the most deep and talented on the squad with Koger and Webb. With QB's in the fold who can now get our TE's the ball, as well as two dominant athletes at TE, the responsibility for our TE success, I think, cannot be blamed on lack of personnel; this year it lands solely on the scheme. RR has been consulting with offensive coordinators in the Big 12 in the offseason, and will be implementing a new "Trojan" quick passing scheme this fall, so a new look is already in the making.
If RR is able to feasibly adapt his scheme to effectively use our TE's this year, it will be a matchup nightmare for defenses. I expect to see the tight ends line up in the slot a fair amount this year in our 4 and 5 receiver set formations. As an opposing defense, needing to prepare for having enormous quick humans as well as tiny lazer-powered electron athletes in the slot will be tough.
So I'm just saying, friends, that the involvement of tight ends will be a great subplot to keep an eye on this upcoming football season. Reports are that we're getting the TE's the ball in practice occasionally. Since, according to Calvin Magee, the entire offense is already installed, let's hope that we'll hear that the TE's are getting the ball more as we get closer to the season.
RR has innovated at every stop that he's made on the path to coaching at U of M. I expect Michigan to be no different. If the TE situation works out, hopefully we'll be seeing more of this (1:30 in the video).
All of the Michigan fans who lived down in Michigan land loved Michigan football. Oh, how they loved it all.
The Champions and Best. Every game day test! The Maize and the Blue! They loved it, it’s true.
Yes, it’s safe to say, every Michigan fan felt this way.
On Saturdays they would gather, sit around, talk, chatter. Then the anthem would play, and “Oh say can you see”, they would say. The kickoff ensued, and victory pursued, their minds of just one focus! The players left it on the field, and the fans’ resolve with each win was steeled. They didn’t need a lot of Hocus Pocus.
Yes, It’s safe to say Michigan fans loved Michigan football a lot.
But the Rosenberg, who looked down on Ann Arbor, did not.
How he hated The Victors. How he hated the Big House! How he hated losing! He only liked to get soused. He only liked to go boozing. Yes, Rosenberg liked the green and white. Liked them so much that he stayed up all night. He wanted to help destroy the Blue. But what, oh what could he do?
“I don’t have anything,” he said with a cower. “Why, it’s been days since I even had a shower! I have no talents, no friends. I can’t rally an angry mob.” Then, with a start, he realized, “Hey! I have a job!”
It’s true, he did. Nobody knows quite why. It certainly wasn’t for the best. But the old Rosenberg did indeed write for the old Detroit Free Press. Well… writing is perhaps too kind a term, but he at least put words next to each other, the sniveling little worm.
So to work he set, no research done yet, and pounded his ugly, gnarled hands on his keyboard. He called old players, the ones who couldn’t hack it, and asked if he lied and acted stupidly, would they back it?And when they said yes, his spirit soared.
Why, he even called honest freshmen, after chewing his sweetest breath mint, and whispered sweet lies in their ear.
“I want to write, for your fans, about how hard you work, so they will know how hard to cheer.”
Then he went further, and set his pea sized brain against understanding, again and again! When he would stop? Even he didn't know when!
At last, he had jerked out a truly disgusting masterpiece! No fact was undistorted. Many just went unreported. And then he knew it was time to unleash his beast!
The season was close! Tensions were high! Michigan expectations ran from the ground to the sky.
“Let me release it now,” the old Rosenberg cackled, “and in discord they’ll be shackled! They’ll be mired in argument, controversy; they won’t win a game!” And he was sure, he was positive, it would be just the same. “The fans will abandon. They’ll yell and they’ll jeer! They’ll call for Rodriguez’ head, and definitely won’t cheer.”
And then came the season, and the 4th week. And Rosenberg was so nervous, he could hardly speak.
“I don’t understand! My plan isn’t working! Not even after I did all that pointless ego jerking! Well, it won’t matter. They’ll lose today. Yes, then everything will be okay. Then, finally, Michigan will go away.”
And then the game was played, under the harshest conditions. In the center of Spartan land, so remote and unfinished, it was like an expedition! Cattle wandered the town, with cows in the field. Obscenities were uttered, and cheap, cheap beer was spilled.
And then, oh what happened.
In Ann Arbor it’s thought, in Ann Arbor they say, Michigan whipped Michigan State 35 to 7 that day! And old Rosenberg’s boss, he could take it no more! Rosenberg was fired from his job, left utterly poor.
And the Rosenberg’s final indignity, as he sat on the curb, and pulled his feet back from the street sweeping machine, was just one thought:
“It must be great to be a Michigan Wolverine.”
I also work with an excellent columnist who I believe does his research and asks all the questions as thoroughly as anyone I've ever known. He is very good at what he does (this obviously rules out the Detroit papers).
I'm not a columnist or an investigative reporter, but I can honestly say that for the sake of journalism in general, stories like the one in the Free Press are incredibly frustrating. When I can look at the story and immediately say, "they're jumping to an incorrect conclusion about time spent, because some of this -- like meals -- obviously isn't mandatory," there's a problem with the reporting or the editing (or both).
I just don't understand how an educated reporter could look at that and not even attempt to figure out the breakdown of "required" and "voluntary" activities. Just because I often spent 12 hours on the Michigan campus on weekdays does not mean that I had 60 credit hours per semester, and that's basically what Rosenberg and Snyder are saying when they total up the hours and say that the players all spent "two to three times more than the NCAA allowed" on required activities.
The same holds true with the comments about "mandatory" workouts resulting in punishment. This could be the key to the investigation here if they would only ask the question, "What was the punishment?" If players were forced to come in for extra lifting or run stadium steps, that would be meaningful information.
But like Brian said, it would appear that they didn't ask these questions -- if they did, they simply left out the details and explanations because it didn't fit their version of the story, which is even worse (and obviously unethical).
I just wish more people were aware of research like what's been done here by Brian and the mgoboarder who dug into the NCAA rulebook (sorry, I don't remember the name).
I truly believe that most journalists do their best to report the facts and stay unbiased, but that doesn't always mean a whole lot by the time the story is written and gets to the general public. It's unfortunate that for most people, the news they receive (either from TV or a trimmed-down story in the paper) is often a very one-sided or poorly reported version of it.
* As for the bankruptcy issue, I don't know what it holds for my paper, only that I really, really hope I still have a job at the end of the week. I have a wife and two kids to support, and while there are other things I could do (PR, etc.), I at least feel some satisfaction in trying to accurately report things the best I can rather than spin them in favor of the all-powerful corporation holding a paycheck over my head.