mesmerism! presidential assassinations! circuses on fire!
Lloyd Carr; Rich Rodriguez; Fans; Logic
Well apparently Michael Wilbon talked to "a player who played for Rich Rodriguez" who laid his wallet on a table saying that was the amount of money he was willing to wager that Rodriguez was done after this year.
This was about the third nonsensical thing that Wilbon said while talking to Mr. Tony today, but I am wondering...
Well, I don't know how to react. It's not like he's hearing it from Bill Martin. I would imagine Kirk Herbstreit had better sources than Wilbon, and he was wrong as well. This doesn't make any sense, but it's going to be making news, so I thought I'd put it out there.
I haven't posted much on the subject, but for the record I think it's absurd to give ANY coach less than three years unless he has dis-graced himself with moral or other non-football failure (say, Mike Locksley).
Source: My ears and Dan Levy's Twitter:
Mike Wilbon just said on Kornheiser's radio show that 'on pretty good authority' both Charlie Weis and Rich Rodriguez are both 'done.'
Check out Phil Callahan on The Big Show with Jeff DeFran on RR.
Great interview and Callahan talks about all the negative crap RR has had to deal with and how it may or may not affect this team. Sounds a lot like the ND situation. It's bullshit how this crap happens here.
I've pretty much already posted this once, but not nearly enough people responded to it, so here goes again. Also, this was going to be forum, but as usual, it got long, so go diary!
It seems to always come up, and I just don't know why:
"RR is no Lloyd Carr when it comes to integrity."
Listen, I sometimes miss Carr and his literature-referencing ways, but RR really has not done anything to indicate he is some sort of two timing backstabber.
This article has already been posted, but everyone really needs to read what they are writing about RR in Columbus.
Lloyd Carr always seemed to be a nice guy who represented Michigan with dignity, HOWEVA
>> LC used to love ot punish players by taking away their status as a starter if it was a non-MAC game (he might bench 'em for a MAC game). You'd see MM/AA on the field literally a few plays into the first drive after their various run ins with the law.
>> RR benched Stonum, Butler, and Grady for major minutes due to various problems.
>> I keep reading that Babb got kicked off, for violating rules, more than quit.
>> Remember Carty's article about MM's lack of responsibility when he got drafted? It was a little high horsin' for me, but I think the point that MM is still a kid who knows nothing about responsibility is semi-valid.
>> RR kept ADAM FRICKIN PACMAN FRICKIN JONES in line for his entire college career!
>> Brandon Harrison seems to think RR did the dignified thing, and even the Columbus dispatch described their bond as the kind "only Michigan men can feel" for one another.
Every time I get upset (each Saturday, that is) I feel like RR comes out and directly addresses every worry of mine in his PC. Sure, he speaks like a West Virginian. But man, he speaks like a West Virginian, you know? On some level, don't you appreciate the way he speaks to us? I guess I can't pretend to know him as a man from his press conferences, but let's look at some evidence:
>> Desmond Howard and many other alumni have mentioned how personable he is, and to me that seems apparent in his PCs.
>> His program is run as tight as a ship can be run. Curfews, strict punishments, etc. The men might hate him, but they will love him when they look back (most not all, of course). I really believe the way he seems to be running his program is the best way to prepare these kids for post college responsibilities.
>> The buyout/lawsuit business appears to be as much a financial decision of th University as anything. I highly doubt RR had any input, since it was largely not his money anyway.
>> RR is like any other competitor. He wants to win, and wants the resources to put him in a position to win. Michigan offered unlimited opportnity, West Virginia offered him nothing, and had plenty of chanes to keep him in the fold.
>> The Carson Butler case study is interesting as well. He was in and out of Lloyd's doghouse his whole career. He gets in trouble by RR, gets benched, and now has fought his way back to playing time through the defense. Carson Butler had nothing to play for. His starting spot had been given to some freshman, yet "Mr. Bad Attitude" decides to suck it up, try harder, and learn something new. RR seems to be able to motivate someone who we previously thought "unmotivate-able" to claw his way into the lineup through a position change. I believe this is the sign of a great teacher/motivator/coach.
Anyway, give the guy some slack, I believe he will be a tremendous (that was for you, Lloyd) winner at UM, but I also believe he will just as likely go down as a "typical, classy, Michigan man" in the end.
Sorry, I put the over/under on "tl;dr" comments at 5.
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.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve spoken to a number of people
who’ve been wanting to place blame on the success – or lack thereof – of Michigan’s football team
this season. Those who are casual football fans or network pundits blame Rich
Rodriguez – his spread offense is too big of a change for a pro-style team.
Those who know a bit more about Michigan football blame Lloyd Carr – he left
the cabinet dry with only two starters returning on offense and plenty of
out-of-shape players. But who is really to
blame? To take a logical look at the situation, let’s start from a novel place.
Check who exactly makes up the Michigan
offense, and then let’s start looking at blame.
Capital One Bowl Starting Line-Up:
Skilled Positions: Mario Manningham(jr); Carson
Butler(jr); Chad Henne(sr); Mike Hart(sr); Mike
Massey(sr*); Adrian Arrington(sr*)
Line: Jake Long(sr); Adam Kraus(sr); Justin Boren(so); Steve
Schilling(so); Alex Mitchell(sr*)
* Still had remaining eligibility
Initial 2008 Starting Line-Up Before Transfers and Early
Departures (accounting for 3-receiver set):
Skilled Positions: Mario Manningham(sr); Carson
Butler(sr); Ryan Mallett(so); Brandon Minor(jr); Greg Matthews(jr); Adrian
Line: Jeremy Ciulla(sr); Mark Ortmann(sr*); Justin
Boren(jr); Steven Schilling(jr); Alex Mitchell(sr)
Actual Starting Line-Up For Toledo (Using 3-receiver set):
Skilled Positions: Greg Matthews(jr); Kevin Koger(fr);
Steven Threet(fr); Sam McGuffie(fr); Toney Clemons(so); LaTerryal Savoy(jr)
Line: Perry Dorrestein(so); Mark Ortmann(sr*); David
Molk(fr); David Moosman(jr); Steve Schilling(so).
Okay. So screw “returning starters” – of which we only
started one. Let’s look at “projected starters” – players who were in the
pipeline to start but never ended up starting. Three. Three. That’s it. Yes, those who aren’t here all have their
reasons, but the fact of the matter is that we had one returning starter on offense in the Toledo game, and three people starting who would have started the day after the
Capital One bowl.
So who's to blame? You can't fault Rodriguez and his staff for coming into a program which has a roster looking like that of a low-tier Mountain West team. He's doing his best with what he has - which, as we can see, isn't much. You can't fault Lloyd Carr because although we wouldn't have had the Hart, Henne, and Longs of the world returning, we would have had a blue chip QB, a decent (read: non-sieve) offensive line, and some legit playmakers at the skilled positions. It would have been a down-ish year anyway. You can't fault the players - they didn't ask to get put in a starting position without the experience, skill, or surrounding talent to succeed. They're getting their asses busted by Barwis as the toll to merely strap on the winged helmet.
So who's to blame? Blame yourself. If you're looking to place blame here, blame yourself for taking your school's football prowess for granted, for having out-of-this-world expectations for the first year of a regime change, and for not studying your team enough to know that your expectations were out-of-this-world. We have a starting quarterback who backed up Reggie Ball at Georgia Tech (who had a 44% completion percentage in his senior year). Half of our skilled players were playing in their high school homecoming games at this time last year.Our line... it's porous at best, filled with inexperience and a lack of top-notch skill.
I've quoted Bo before in this space, but I'll do it again, "When your team is winning, be ready to be tough, because winning can make you soft. On the other hand, when your team is losing, stick by them. Keep believing." Stop being soft. Take some lumps. Keep wearing your Michigan apparel. Keep loving our tradition, our University, and our team. If you want to jump ship, I'll pack your bags for you, but don't come back when this team - and this program - rights itself. Don't boo this week when you were cheering after the Wisconsin game.
To sum things up, I turn to Mike Hart on how it feels to represent a team during tough times:
"I don't regret anything at all. I'm glad I'm on this team. This is my team. I'm the leader of this team. It's crazy to say, but deep down at the end of the [Oregon]
game, I was telling myself, 'I wouldn't rather be on any team right
now. I wouldn't rather be getting paid.' It's going to test me as a
person, a player and a leader. I've never been a part of something like this in my life. It's going to test me, and it's going to make me a better
person. I know we can turn this around. At the end of the season,
when I look back and we come out with a great record, I'm going to say, 'Don't ever quit."'