i like 'em both
I was listening to Detroit Sports radio for the first time on iTunes
today (I live in San Diego), and between talking about the Lions trade
they were putting Rich Rod on blast like nothing I have ever seen. They
were ruthlessly roasting his ass for his poor performance this season.
Of all the callers calling in there was only one guy who attempted to
stick up for RRod, and honestly this guy's argument was poorly
presented, appeared weak, and made him look ignorant.
disheartening. I am a fan of RRod and I believe he can do it, but it
looks like he is under serious fire in Michigan. I don't make
judgements anymore or open my mouth on the issue because I have learned
the hard way how idiotic Sunday morning quarterback fans are. In 2003 I
expected, as a Michigan fan, that UM would have a legitimate shot at a
NC. I stomached the loss to Oregon believing they still had a shot, but
when they lost to Iowa it was a backbreaker for me. In my drunken
stupor following the game, I did the stupidest thing I have ever done
as a fan, let alone one of the stupidest things I have ever done
period. I hastily looked up the UM Board of Regents online and sent
them an email. I COPIED EVERY ONE OF THEM. The subject of this email
was "Fire Coach John Carr." I. shit. you. not. In my haste and stupor,
I messed up the name of our head coach. One of the regents actually
responded, copying every one of the other regents, basically correcting
me, sticking up for Lloyd, and justifying their actions in the most
eloquent and cordial way possible. It was mortifying when I realized
what I had done. The Internet, both a blessing and a curse...
There is a lesson to be learned here. That lesson is that at least 80 -
95 percent of fans just need to shut the hell up because they have no
clue what they are talking about. They do not attend practices. They do
not personally know, or even talk to, the players. Most don't even do
anything more than watch a game on Saturday, and even that is done with
little understanding of the fundamentals of what is going on in those
games. It is one of the easiest things in the world to criticize
others, especially after the fact. As fans, we need to remember this.
There should be standards and expectations for any coach at Michigan,
but in the same respect, excercising diligence and restraint before
criticizing these coaches is absolutely necessary. That is all.
I meant to get an account before the weekend, but ran out of time. I videotape and take pictures for the toledo
marching band, and becasue of this i get to be in the press box for
part of every game the band is at. I have been in toledo's press box,
the cincinatti bengals box, Bowling green and now Michigan. I've been goin to michigan games
since 1994 and have been to at least one game every year since then, so
getting into the pressbox is probably the most exciting thing iv'e
experienced at the stadium (next to going down the tunnel, which i also
did at this game). Watching the the game from the field is an awesome experience, one that i will soon not forget. watching the game from the top is just as exciting. I was reallly torn in this game, rooting for michigan all my life, and going to school at toledo, it kinda sucks. I did however wear both michigan and toledo shirts at the game, to keep the band director happy. This is the part that i wanted to get out before the game but FWIW, i'llput it in now:
You can't look past toledo
We beat pitt a few years ago, destroyed utep and jordan palmer at the gmac bowl, beat kansas in overtime at home (who was supposed to go to the natilanl championship that next year, people seem to forget what happen a year prior) and we almost beat a ranked fresno state.We lost to arizona, FIU, and ball state. we haven't scored an offensive touchdown in 10 quarters, we were SHUT OUT by ball state.
We won because we aren't consistent. no one knows if we are on or off. you have to play us like we are actually a competition. and our kicker is pretty good too
This season reminds me of one of those books where the author attempts to bully readers with one gruesome plot twist after another, until you give up on a happy resolution and just pray the story only gives the characters a merciful end. As is my policy with such novels, I defiantly skipped to the end of the The Rebuilding Year to see how it ends...
"After torching Michigan for a total of 387 yards -- 180 on the ground -- and scoring all four OSU touchdowns, Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor revealed to reporters that he decided to be a Buckeye months before signing day, but was urged by coaches to hold off his commitment in order to keep Michigan from pulling in a Plan B.
...[skip part of article replaying key Pryor scores]...
INJURY NOTES: Running back Sam McGuffie (arterial cruciate ligament) did not play, and is not expected back until late next season. D-lineman Brandon Graham (leg amputated) was on the sidelines in a wheelchair providing encouragement to his teammates. Strength and Conditioning coach Mike Barwis was back with the team after a four-week hiatus to attend a court-mandated sensitivity training seminar. Quarterback Steven Threet returned from a shoulder injury that sidelined him since the Toledo game, but was replaced by Nick Sheridan after two plays in which Threet was in obvious pain. Defensive backs Donovan Warren and Boubacar Cissoko did not return after a 1st quarter collision that led to Ohio State's first touchdown.
Michigan players wore maize wrist bands and dedicated the game to Shavodrick Beaver and Tate Forcier, two highly regarded Michigan commits who are suffering from nondescript upper body injuries after a tragic accident Thursday when a Beaver canoe carrying Forcier and Virginia Tech commit Kevin Newsome crash-landed on Beaver's pool deck in Wichita Falls, Texas. The Wolverines held a get-well-soon service for all three players on Thursday, similar to the service held two weeks ago for the entire offensive line, which sustained lower body injuries in a freak water balloon accident earlier this month.
Dammit! Seriously, who told Arthur Miller he could write this?!?
How Michigan fans have dealt with losses through the ages:
- 1900’s – Michigan didn’t lose in this decade, I checked.
- 1910’s – We lost once. People shrugged at that game and said, “hey, Yost had to lose sometime.” They went back to building Model T’s.
- 1920’s – Losing became something Michigan did once in awhile, and most people simply read the score in the paper on Monday, shrugged, and started drinking moonshine to drown their sorrows. Not about the Michigan game, but about living in Prohibition. Then Red Grange happened, and people took notice by selling every stock they had. Which was none, really.
- 1930’s – The first actual losing season (!) forces one forward looking gentleman to write an underground newspaper called www.firekipke.com. Someone responds with www.geraldfordcantblockandwillneverbepresident.com. Just kidding, actually the Great Depression meant the average fan was trying to do basic things like eat and survive and such; that really took the edge off Michigan losing a football game.
- 1940’s – “This newspaper’s like 3 weeks old, but it says Michigan lost to Ohio State. That is not swell at all and… hey, that looks like a crapload of Japanese planes.”
- 1950’s – After many, many losses in this decade, men in dinner jackets write strongly worded letters to the Michigan Athletic Department decrying such bizarre notions as “double-platooning” and “the forward pass.” They do not approve!
- 1960’s – Losses were dealt with like so in the Sixties: Leave the stadium, get a little high from the haze of pot fumes hanging over Ann Arbor, feel instantly better, go home and get seriously tore up. Say a little thank you prayer to whoever made The Pill. This was also the same as if Michigan had won.
- 1970’s – People would catch big games on television, and generally tell Bo he’s supposed to blow the game in the 4th quarter. (There’s direct evidence of this, see The Big Chill. Or don’t, it’s not Kasdan’s best work.) Then they would calm down for a few days, go to work on Monday and commiserate with coworkers, as everyone had seen the big game.
- 1980’s – Because people could see most games on television, everyone began to assume they could do better than the actual coaching staff. I mean, they’re just glorified gym teachers, right? Plus, on TV I can see everything but the pass coverages. How complex can those be? So after losses, everyone says the same things. Michigan should pass more. Michigan defense isn’t aggressive enough. The program is too stodgy. Bo is too attached to the past. He’ll never get better than winning 80% of his games if he sticks to this crap. If I were in charge, things would be different! Of course, you mostly say this stuff to yourself, but on the occasion you say it to family and friends they agree with you because they have to live with you.
- 1990’s – People notice that better players tend to do better on the field, plus they are mesmerized with Mel Kiper’s hair. Losses in this era tend to get blamed more and more on “poor recruiting.” Television now covers virtually every game, so people tend to get very, very invested in Michigan Football. We used to see half wins, half losses because only the bigger games were covered on television. You’d read the box score in the paper while Michigan crushed some scrub school. Now watching every game means you get used to seeing wins a lot more often. Weird schools not named Notre Dame, Alabama and Oklahoma are winning National Championships, and you start to get a “why not us?” mentality. In the latter half of the decade, after a loss, you’d just think about Charles Woodson, smile, and go about your business.
- 2000’s – That National Championship poster is fading a little bit. Losses start stacking up. HD allows you to see pass coverages when the cameraman isn’t a $%^#& idiot. The internet comes of age. It allows you to rant and rave in full anonymity about anything and everything, and also raises your investment in this pastime even further. Recruiting coverage specifically and coverage generally increases tenfold. Everything is analyzed to the nth degree. Nothing is too minute. If the coach doesn’t get the right kind of doughnuts before a game, three different comments are titled “Doughnutgate!” within ten minutes. Ticket prices grow to the point of needing a cosigner, making you feel even more entitled to winning. Mental investment has become literal $ investment. Then Appalachian State happens, which clearly would NOT have if you were in charge. Parity be damned, this is Michigan! You morph into the Colonel from Top Gun, “I WANT SOMEONE’S BUTT! I WANT IT NOW! I WANT SOME BUTTS!” Lloyd offers up his butt. The new coach, who you read approximately 64 billion articles on prior to the season, looks to have a losing season, which all of those 64 billion articles indirectly pointed toward. You go back to the little script you wrote about how this season should go, and find reality has definitely not matched the script! At this point, you realize how close you are to a Notre Dame fan, and come to your damn senses.
(at a closed door meeting with boosters and other highly placed supporters of the University of Michigan, RR gave the following speech which I transcribed. With all honor and respect to Abraham Lincoln because even a jaded, cynical Gen Xer like myself felt unclean bastardizing the sublime prose of Lincoln's second innagural address--especially the last bit about 'the headman's axe.')
AT this second appearing to speak before the Michigan Victors' Club there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of the offensive system to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of six games, during which public declarations have been largely limited to booing every point and phase of the offense which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the football team, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our offensive line, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, totally unacceptable to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.
|On the occasion corresponding to six games ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to the impending season. All dreaded it, all sought to avert missing a bowl game. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to making a bowl game, urgent agents were in Ann Arbor seeking to have a losing season—seeking to dissolve my coaching staff and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated losing, but one of them would hope for losses rather than let the my administration survive, and the other would accept missed blocks rather than let the bowl streak perish, and the war came.|
|One-eighth of the offensive starters, not distributed generally over the offensive line, but localized in the WR/RB portion of it, are decent players. These good players constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that the offense was interested in getting these guys the ball somehow in space. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend drives was the object for which the play calling was geared, while the coaches claimed no ability to do more than call good plays. Neither party expected for the losing streak the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the blocking might cease with or even before the fumbling should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph against Toledo, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same rule book and pray to the same God, and each invokes Michigan tradition against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to invoke Bo’s name while undermining Michigan’s rightfully chosen head football coach, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto Michigan because of no offense; for it must needs be that an offensive line come, but woe to that QB who waits while the offensive line recruits cometh." If we shall suppose that the spread offense is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, requires blocking, and that He gives to both Michigan Men and the WLA this terrible season as the woe due to those by whom the lack of decent offensive line coaching, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in Bo always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of losing may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the bowl streak compiled by the 33 years of winning teams shall be sunk, and until every missed block shall be paid by another busted play, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Football gods are true and righteous altogether."|
|With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right Bo gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the season we are in, to bind up the team's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the ball and for his blocker and his QB, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and all Michigan Men.|
Hello, since the internets are burning with flame wars and talks of firings, I don’t want to waste your time. This post is a recap of my Michigan Football experiences in my life and my opinion about being a student the past four years. It contains ideas on what the future holds for our team. It is also long. If you don’t want to read about this, stop now. Therefore no one will waste their time, have to tell everyone they don’t care what I think, or tell everyone that Coach Rodriguez is not the answer. I am fine with the fact that most won’t care what I think and have to say or agree with me.
It started a really long time ago, before I can remember. Fall days in Saturday either meant waking up and driving to Ann Arbor to watch football or watching the Maize and Blue on TV because we were on the road or I couldn’t go that week. Mom and Dad both went to Michigan and had season tickets so it was natural for me to cheer for them. I grew to love the Wolverines and there were some great memories over the years. Some of these included a lifetime hatred for Kordell Stewart, attending the parade after we won the National Championship, getting my picture taken with Woodson, Griese, the Heisman, and the national championship trophy, knowing that Jeff Smoker did not spike the ball in time, burning plastic gators on our January trip to Florida,triple overtime, and the 100th game.
All of that happened and the next year was different. It was senior year of high school and I wasn’t sure if I’d get into Michigan. I had applications to a bunch of schools, but I was specifically hoping for one response. Well on November 20th, 2004 I got a call at about 11 AM that I needed to get home as soon as possible to open a large envelope. Sure enough, I got into Michigan just in time to watch our 7th rankedteam fall to the Buckeyes. I wore that Michigan shirt to school Monday with pride, I got ridiculed of course, but man it felt good, I was going to attend the University of Michigan.
That’s where the article above comes in. It describes the next four years as the most torturous for a fan base of any school in college football. It made me think, have my four years here been the worst four years for a University of Michigan football fan to be a student?
So I had to think back to my memories over the past four years.
- First game against MSU is at MSU, I go to the game, overtime win. Awesome.
- #8 Penn State touchdown with 53 seconds left. Silence. 0 seconds left. Bedlam.
- 5losses. Wisconsin, scores TD with 24 ticks on the clock. Last second tie breaking field goal to Minnesota. 24 seconds left again, this time Ohio State.Nebraska debacle.
- 11 Straight wins, which included a visit to Notre Dame in my favorite away game. Hot Damn!
- Seniors last home game, Balls out for Ball State (3-7), in which was the closest win of the year, unless you look solely at points (Penn State).
- The loss of Bo. Honestly the eeriest feeling I’ve ever experienced was felt on campus that day. Candlelight vigil on the Diag.
- 1 vs. 2
- A plundering in Pasadena
- Watching the remake of the Longest Yard’s most infamous scene for Michigan Fans and Hot! Hot! Hot! several times. The horror. The statue of liberty.
- 8 wins, 2 more losses
- Overcoming all the adversity, beating the speedy gators of the SEC, and watching Lloyd go out the way he deserved to go out.
- The coaching fiasco, and excitement in a good coach, a good offense, a new sponsor, a new stadium, a new quarterback, and the departure of pretty much everything I ever knew about Michigan Football, just in time for senior year.
- We don’t need a breakdown, as we all know what happened so far this year.
Wisconsin was the best game I’ve ever experienced in the Big House, although the win will probably mean nothing by the end of the season. And now with two home games left in my college career, I wonder if this will be the only savior of the season. In my opinion we will win two more games. But the last three years have taught me that anything can happen. We could lose all six or we could win all six. If we don’t make a bowl and all of our streaks and records are broken, it will be a true restart for our team. 2008 will be the ultimate restart of a year. Our team that consists of mostly freshman; they will have a new coach, new offense, new defense, new sponsor, new stadium on the way, new recruiting style, new records to set, and a new outlook on Michigan Football. It is weird to be a senior right now. We could be the first class in 40 years to see a losing season and 33 years to not make it to a bowl. Plus we are the first class of only three that will have experienced the old and the new. A full system reboot will take longer than 6 games, but it will happen so everyone will have to be patient. I believe Coach Rodriguez can take us there, with the raw talent he has this year and with the upcoming recruits Coach Rod is building the kind of foundation that we will grow from. With patience in our coach and our players, Michigan will return. As you may have heard, those who stay will be champions.
So are the past four years the most torturous for any college fan base? Depends on how you look at it. For me, 3 wins over MSU so far, Mario in the Penn State game, winning 11 straight games, being on campus to say goodbye to Bo, the Florida win and what it meant for Lloyd, and watching the beginning of the new era with the Wisconsin win have been plenty of ups to the many number of downs that I have experienced. Am I setting my standards too low, you may think so, I don’t, although beating Ohio State would be nice. Being a part of the University of Michigan and optimistically supporting every aspect of their football team is enough for me. Do the same if you can, support Rich Rodriguez, support Nick Sheridan, support Morgan Trent.
PS. The last four years were not a picnic, so here are few favors (last wishes as a student) I ask,
- Try the best you can to not sell your tickets to MSU fans. Be as loud as possible during this game. Wear maize.
- Don’t be a Negative Nancy. Don’t leave the game early. Don’t ever think like the guy that posted the above article. Asking if it is time to switch to soccer is not a joke, as that is not funny. Never give up on Michigan Football.
- Cut the student section a little slack. We got flamed for the wave last time because somehow a group of kids in the 30th row got it started. I hope we get to do it all the way through one last time for the seniors regardless of the score of the Northwestern game, plus the freshman still need to learn the correct thing all the way through. We will at least do it in the third quarter.
- I’d love to see someone organize something for the seniors. Whether it be the one time return of hot dog man, marshmallows, the 1,2,3 HIT HIM IN THE FACE on the kickoff cheer, etc. or something else. Ideas are appreciated.