Time will tell how this NCAA violation story plays out, but I think that the stormclouds are beginning to break a bit, given the backtracking of the Freep following RichRod's emotional press conference, as well as the beginning of Martin's investigation. Realistically, this was a tempest in a teacup, and hopefully the team captains and coaching staff will work this all out, but we really won't know until the season is in full swing.
It's a shame that this non-story has been sucking away so much attention from the talented young corps of players that will take the field for the Maize and Blue this season-- but that will soon be remedied. In spite of it all, the season ahead remains bright and begins anew Saturday, when all the punditry and editorials will become meaningless with the first BOOM of kickoff at 3:30.
If it's true that who you keep as enemies says at least as much about you as who you keep as friends, it's nice to know that OSU and Michigan at least have significant respect for each other off the field, even with both devoted to such a vicious rivalry. I firmly hope that we can bring some respect and parity back to our end of this rivalry and annihilate them in November, but I'll remember their comments this week as I root for us to do so. I hope ya'll do as well.
We flash back to August 29, 2009. Rosenberg has a smug, sinister smile. He has finally done it. His article; “Michigan Program Broke Rules, Players Say” will surely end forever this thing that he hates most. We see the clips of the Rodriguez press conference and the pundits bashing Rich. Ahhhh, sweet satisfaction!
Then it starts going badly for Rosenberg. First, MGoBlog (and other bloggers) start to point out the holes in the story. Then, more and more sportscasters and writers start calling the article a “witch hunt” and a disgusting piece of writing.
Very shortly, the official investigation ends. The conclusion, “We have found no evidence that the University of Michigan violated any NCAA rules concerning allowable football related hours” was unequivocal.
Michigan finished 2009 better than many had expected and has continued to improve.
We return to present day.
“How could this happen?” Rosenberg agonizes. It’s bad enough that Rich Rodriguez is still the coach at Michigan. But, now this!?” What haunts Rosenberg most is that now it is universally agreed that his article in the Freep did what no one thought was possible. It brought the entire Michigan community (players, coaches, students, alumni, fans, faculty, and even the athletic department) to be “All In For Michigan”. That article, his article had become the critical catalyst in the success of the team.
Rosenberg knows he was the primary reason that the thing he hated most, the thing he tried to end in flames did not just survive but prospered beyond all expectations. All this in less than 4 short years.
Rosenberg takes a small key from his pocket and opens the bottom drawer of his desk. For a long time he just stares at the dark object it holds. Finally, he reaches down ……..
So, what was the headline and how does it end? I’ve written my ending (which I will post tomorrow) but I would like to hear how everyone else would end the episode.
EDIT (around 3:44 PM): As those who have answered figured out, everyone was supposed to come up with unusual endings. If anyone remembers the Twilight Zone, nothing was ever what it appeared to be.
EDIT; The Ending
Finally he reaches down, closes and locks the drawer, and returns the key to his pocket.
We flash forward about 8 months. It is a glorious fall day. Rosenberg is pushing around a shopping cart collecting bottles and cans to pay for his next bottle of cheap wine. He is in a parking lot filled with thousands of cars. All around him people are laughing, eating, drinking, and having the time of their lives.
In the background is the most beautiful football stadium on the planet. There is a huge banner hanging from the top of the stadium which replicates the front page headline: "Michigan (13-0) National Champions"
I may be drinking too much blue kool-aid, however, I think that this Rosenberg incident may be what this team needed. We may even be thanking him for this article by seasons end! Because, if I was a player on this team, I would be angry as hell and would want to channel that to the field. This team will have a chip on its shoulder (like it didn't already need an excuse) and will play like it.
Just my 2 pennies...
Who's going to the game on Saturday?
Where are your seats?
When are you getting into the big House?
I'll be there in the House by 2-2:30 wearing Maize and waving my All In towel.
Seats: Sec: 44, Row 33, Seats 17, 18
It would be cool to meet any of the true blue faithful from the greatest Blog on Earth.
I figure that instead of starting a new thread every time some douchebag, POS excuse for a journalist jumps on the anti-Rich Rodriguez bashing bandwagon without actually thinking logically, we can just post here about who has dealt the most recent blow to journalistic integrity. In other words, if a sports reporter or writer has just said something that is off the wall, post about it here! When this whole thing ends and Michigan is fully exonerated and Michael Rosenfuck, Mark Snyder, and their editor find themselves unemployed, we'll have a list of which journalists officially suck.
King of the anti-Michigan propagandist assholes is Michael Rosenberg, of course. I just heard Woody Paige raving like a lunatic about how RR is a cheater. Congratulations, degenerate! You just made the list!
Also, in the preview for Sports Center, the reporter mentioned Herbie calling the whole thing a witch hunt. In Herbie we trust.
"Rich Rodriguez in tears is not exactly the rally-the-fan-base visual they were hoping for to start the season in Ann Arbor. (And thank goodness Bo Schembechler  wasn't around to see it; he would've choked on his gum.) "
Does Pat Forde ever do research before writing an article? He seems to be one of the few reporters (outside of Freep) who makes me pissed more than be interested. I for one, think he is useless. And the quote above is downright infuriating.