i may have altered the title
Sam asked him directly about his interview on a Columbus radio show. Jamie cleared it up. He said he is 110% behind Rich Rodriguez.
He explained that during the interview, he had to take a long pause when asked about Harbaugh becoming the Michigan football coach and he tried to avoid saying something he might regret. He said it made him angry. He completely supports RichRod and he hope Jim H. does well and goes to the Rose Bowl, but he is absofuckinlutely behind RR.
Phil Steele's blog had an interesting tidbit today comparing RR to Bo Schembechler:
"Under Rich Rodriguez Michigan has allowed twelve 30+ pt games in 2 years while Bo Schembechler in his 21 years had just five 30+ pt games allowed…"
Like most of the people who might be reading this diary entry, you probably thought the term, "Michigan Man", was coined by the late, great Bo Schembechler. Most of us believe Bo invented this term when he found out Bill Frieder had accepted an offer from another university (Arizona State University) during Michigan's run for a national championship back in 1989. Ostensibly, Bo was so annoyed with Coach Frieder over taking the job at ASU that he fired him on the spot stating, "A Michigan Man will coach this team!”, or something along those lines. Steve Fisher was promoted to interim Head Coach, Rumeal Robinson made those free throws against Seton Hall, and we were cutting down the nets. Everyone was happy. Well, except for Seton Hall, that is.
Thus was born the term, Michigan Man. Or so we thought.
When I Googlestalked the term, Michigan Man, this was the first result: DNA Tests Prove Michigan Man, Searching for Origins, Was Not Kidnapped Toddler. Although the gentleman in question was a man, and did reside in Michigan, I do not believe he is the quintessential Michigan Man I am seeking at this point.
Hmmm. Googlestalking was not proving to be entirely helpful. The Googlestalk images showed a wide array of rather interesting images including a gay Michigan Man. MVictors followed with the fifth listing, but they just announced that former U of M Quarterback, Jim Harbaugh, is not a Michigan Man. The listings go on, yada yada yada.
Imagine my surprise while reading Jeffry D. Wert's biography on George Armstrong Custer (Custer: The Controversial Life of George Armstrong Custer) when I found perhaps the true originator of the term, "Michigan Man", Republican Senator Jacob M. Howard. I know--Lucy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do.
When the Civil War broke out George Custer was a student at West Point and had not quite finished his studies there. (He was a terrible student with a plethora of disciplinary and academic problems—he even flunked his Calvary class.) But, war being war, the army needed men and Custer was a man, so off he went. Eventually Old George fell under the command of this Alfred Pleasonton guy who saw to it that his charge got elevated to the rank of General. (long story) However, this was kind of a interim or temporary assignment, kind of like what Steve Fisher got. In 1864, when it came time for the Senate to confirm Custer’s Generalship, a problem arose. Now, George Armstrong Custer was actually born in Ohio, and he was a Democrat just like his loud mouth father. Apparently, this did not sit well with the Republican Senator Howard. To quote Wert’s book, (page 132, second paragraph): “About January 5 or 6, Alfred Pleasonton confided to Custer that he had heard a rumor that Republican Senator Jacob M. Howard of Michigan, a member of the Military Affairs Committee, opposed the nomination because of Custer’s “youth” and of the fact that he was not “a Michigan Man.”
Custer subsequently wrote some letters to some influential people and sucked up enough to get his Generalship confirmed and he and Libby Bacon (his new wife) lived happily ever after. Well, until those Indian guys butchered him up, at least.
So, the true origination of the term, Michigan Man, did not come from Bo. He unwittingly (I am sure) stole it from Republican Senator Howard.
And, just in case you are wondering, Custer did lead the Michigan Wolverines. It says so right there in that book. The more you know!
My co-worker, a good number of years older than myself, witnessed Bo’s Michigan personally. Meticulously drilled offensive linemen, who needed to know only one thing. If they could drive their defensive counterparts back four yards, they had done their job. Under Bo, he says, if you weren’t good enough to do that successfully four quarters out of every game, then you simply weren’t good enough. Perfect execution meant 3.4 yards per play, and anything less on any given play meant a good chance of a failed drive.
Under Bo, he says, if an opposing team went up with just a few moments remaining, well, evidently Michigan wasn’t good enough on that day. This isn’t to say that Michigan was perfect under Bo, he says. No, actually, far from it. But Bo’s teams’ victories were usually known from the start, and their losses could be tasted on the air before the opening coin flip had landed on the field. Deserving to win meant execution on the field. There was little playmaking, because there was one play. There was one rule. Dominate, or lose.
I, being a little younger, and only having the vaguest memory of the Moeller years as my earliest Michigan recollection, have a little different perspective on the nature of Michigan football. I know Bo ran more than one play, and so on, but it’s hard to argue with my co-worker’s overarching theme. During a five year grouping assembled randomly from Bo’s career (scores courtesy Wikipedia), the following data points emerged.
Average Margin of Victory: 22.84 Points
Average Margin of Defeat: -6.86 Points
Biggest Victory Margin: 57 Points
Biggest Defeat Margin: -23 Points
Margin of Victory Appearing Most Often: 35/38 (3 occasions each)
Margin of Defeat Appearing Most Often: -2/-10 (3 occasions each)
Many people would point to this simply as evidence that Bo was a very good coach, and was always in games. This is probably pretty true, in that only one loss during that period (above mentioned -23 loss margin) was greater than two touchdowns (next nearest was -11)). However, I feel that it also shows something else. Bo had 44 wins during that period, and only 12 of those, or 27.2% were by less than two touchdowns. Furthermore, only six total, or 13.6% were by less than one touchdown. If Bo were going to win a game, he was going to win it big. He was going to play well, he was going to execute, and he was going to grind the opposition to dust.
I believe that Rich Rodriguez recent commentary that he would like to be good enough to play poorly and still win is good for the team. It’s a modern era, and Michigan isn’t the only powerhouse anymore. We are running a highly difficult to execute offense and we’re simply not always going to have the players to make it work right. Games are going to be 38-36 and 36-33. MAC teams are going to score on us, and keep us out of the end zone. Our average margin of victory might be one field goal instead of three touchdowns.
We’re not used to it because Bo played Bo football, Gary played Bo football, and Lloyd played Bo football. Execute or fail. Dominate or Lose. It looks scary. Sometimes it looks bad. But with a combination of playmakers, cleverness, and proper coaching, sprinkled with bits of dilithium, it will produce success.
So the next time somebody says a certain player, unit, or the entire team looks bad, you can safely reply that yes, that is true, but it doesn’t mean we won’t win. And it doesn’t matter how you get them, wins make everyone happy. Even Bo.
Well, it looked like the efforts of the good people at www.gofindbo.com bore fruit today. They're hiding Bo bobbleheads all over ND, MSU, & OSU to bring us luck - on down, two to go! Found one myself a few days ago, & he came to class with me all week.
One is Desmond’s tsumani comment during the ESPN Tulsa/Tulane half time show. Take away: While Desmond may be honest, Desmond is not doing Michigan any favors. Like mom said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Second is Reese Davis’s comments during the same half time show. Davis pissed me off at first talking about the workouts, the controversies and how RR was not a popular choice. Davis then flipped it on me and pointed out it is primarily a faction, specifically in the M Club, who do not like RR and mostly because he wasn’t from inside the program. Like one of the earlier Mgoblog entries, Davis pointed out Alabama’s problems the infighting caused as factions tried to get ‘their right man’ in place. After all the strife, Alabama finally got it through their heads the infighting wasn’t helping and the Alabama program got the right man period in Nick Saban. Then Davis pointed out RR’s pedigree suggests he is the right man period. He just needs the opportunity. Hat tip to Mr. Davis with a heartfelt thanks.
Third, I wonder the real reason why the M Club faction does not support RR. Is it because he came from a different background and does not fit into their society (smoking jackets anyone and is this the Michigan arrogance I’ve been hearing about?)? Is it because some of the wives do not like Mrs. RR? Don’t underestimate the power of the wife. Or is it simply because he is not an insider? I ask them, who, from inside the program, should Mr. Martin have hired? Les Miles was unavailable and, as I understand it, did not have Carr’s support. Was there anyone else worthy?
Fourth, if RR would be fired at the end of the season, who should be hired? Carrol? Saban? Meyer? What top tier coach is available? What coach from within the program is top tier?
I’m an M grad, BSE (Aerospace) 80. I’m over 50 and support RR (I point out my age as there seems to be an assumption in some of the other entries that only the ‘young’ support RR). Maybe because I was an RR fan before the hire and liked watching WVU play. Maybe because I remember attending ruthless Bo games in the late 70s (3 years with Leach and 2 years of Wangler&co). Bo did not hesitate to run up the score and use it to intimidate the next opponents. Maybe because I’d grown tired of gentleman Lloyd’s more conservative approach and attempts to not humiliate an opponent…which came back to bite us on several occasions.
I get tired of hearing about RR changing the culture along with how he is not from within the program. Yes, RR has changed the culture, but from Carr not Bo. While from Bo’s lineage, Carr was hugely different from Bo. Yet Bo is the one who has been nearly deified by the M faithful. Does the M Club faction remember Bo from the 70’s or just the Bo after coaching, after the Tigers, after the semi retirement in the Athletic Department? RR is an aggressive competitor and, I feel, is the Bo of this era. RR is like the refreshing change Bo was after Bump Elliot.
So, finally, my bottle is empty (tasty by the way) and the last thing I am contemplating is tomorrow’s game. For those able to attend, I’m envious. Do us proud! And here is to RR opening up a can of whoop-ass on Western forcing the penises-with-ears in the M Club faction to just shut up and support our current program.