Mike Lantry, 1972
I could be wrong, but the message I'm getting from several recent Dave Brandon interviews is that RichRod has done enough to merit another year. Is anyone getting the same idea, reading between the lines?
My hunch is that this has been communicated to the players, too, because I don't see how we get the likes of Dee Hart if it's not pretty clear that RichRod is staying. Mind you, I'm the guy who said we would go 6-6 and RichRod would be retained, anyway--for many of the reasons I think that now: too much invested in putting together a RichRod-style offense, too much evidence next year will be lots better. So maybe I'm looking at this with Rose Bowl-colored glasses? Anyway, the Brandon interviews are here, in Wojo's latest in the DetNews and a very good interview on the Huge Show:
The "Brandon's thoughts on the BCS" thread inspired this directly but I've been wondering for a while: what has Dave Brandon done to deserve the genuflection in his general direction on this forum and elsewhere? I think he's been competent in his capacity as AD so far if only just that. He's made no substantial hires, he's made no substantial retentions (having basically delayed, with good reason, the most important early personnel decision he's going to make). He has done some housecleaning, having apparently gotten rid of some of the folks in the department whose mistakes led to the sanctions. Maybe that's cause for celebration, though it could also be scapegoating competent bureaucrats for understandable minor errors uncovered in an investigation sparked by lies. But, at any rate, that doesn't make him "the best AD since Don Canham," as someone wrote on here today.
I mean, I'm not dissing at all. He seems fine. And I'll go ahead and say it: I'd Iike to not think of him as simply an empty suit who got rich selling coupons and pizza and as someone who knows a ton about how to make money money make money money money, but that's where I am. Nothing against pizza and coupons (i'm a fan of both, yo); he seemed like a safe hire and has been every bit as competent as I expected. I just don't get all the praise.
His first blog entry was underwhelming to the extreme — not very well-written with more old chestnuts than a Nat King Cole Christmas album (/Rick Reilly). Also, Special K. I don't want to read too much into the blog entry (as I assume his real reasons were something like "we get millions of dollars every year even if we don't go to a bowl" or something) and it's not like I expect him to be Slavoj Žižek (Žižek would make an awful AD), but when I saw he had a blog I was hoping it might be nearly as smart as, say, Mark Cuban's. And I expect him to do things like call himself the CEO of Michigan sports and talk about how much moolah the department can pull in. But these things don't inspire the superlatives issued toward him on here. But maybe I've missed something. Missed something huge. Maybe it's all in his demeanor. Maybe his coupon and pizza empires were the work of some genius that I'll never understand because I didn't go to Ross.
I just don't get it. Please explain, please — especially if you can do so without calling him a pimp. I've known pimps; they don't inspire my adulation either. (Long time reader, first-time thread-starter)
This is DB's first entry into his new blog on MGoBlue.com. In short, he thinks the system works well because every week is essentially a playoff game in his view. I don't agree with this because, well, what happens when you have multiple undefeated teams? And is the "hysteria" he says is created surrounding college football good when a lot of people aren't satisfied with the outcome?
These arguments have been hashed out a lot. Nonetheless, I think it's good to have an AD who will be this open about communicating his thoughts to the people that follow the program. This new blog combined with his new Twitter account (http://twitter.com/#!/DaveBrandonAD) are good efforts to communicate with fans in ways most AD's around the country won't.
Rittenberg posts Rich's statement that the rumors about defensive staff changes are false. He also includes this quote from David Brandon:
Athletic director Dave Brandon isn't ready to share his thoughts on the Rodriguez-led program that has won just four of 20 conference games and 13 of 32 overall.
"I'll comment on the state of the program after the season," Brandon said Monday morning. "I know the coaches and the players are working hard to get better."
That does not sound like "Rich will be here for a long time" ... It sounds like there is a crack in the steadfast support. (Rich didn't look too comfortable Saturday night either.)
My dad and I went to the game Saturday but somehow we missed the commemorative pin giveaway. My dad and I have gone to many games together but this one, a rededication, seemed to carry more significance. My plan was to frame the game ticket, a picture of dad and me at the game and the pin and give it to my dad as a gift, but I didn't have the pin! I wasn't sure who to contact within the atheltic dept. so I went for the top and emailed Mr. Brandon at 11 a.m. yesterday, he responded at 11 p.m.
Here is the exchange:
Dear Mr. Brandon,
My father (Class of '51) and I (Class of '03) were in attendance last weekend at the season opener/rededication and I must say the Big House looks wonderful and rejuvenated. Though I've moved to New Orleans I fly in at least twice a year to go to games with my father, a season ticket holder of 15 years. My dad and I have been to many classic games together but this one was extra special to attend together because of what it symbolized, the beginning of a new era of Michigan football. On the way to the game my dad told me about his Freshman year at Michigan (1947!) and the Mad Magicians and his road trip his senior year to Columbus to take in the Snow Bowl.
The reason I write to you is because I wanted to do something special for my dad, I plan on framing our tickets along with a picture of us at the game and the commemorative pin, however, we never received our commemorative pins! I'm not sure if the athletic department has any spares but it would mean a lot to me if the athletic department could send two pins to me (or my father) so that I may include them in my gift to my dad.
If you would be so kind, please send the pins to:
or if you'd feel more comfortable sending them to the address of the season ticket holder, my dad:
Sincerely, a proud Michigan alum (from a family of proud Michigan alumni),
I am sorry you didn’t receive your commemorative pins.
We will be happy to send you two pins….they will be sent out ASAP!
I am glad you enjoyed the game.
Best wishes to you and your Dad….
Many of us speculated that as AD he probably doesn't answer his own email or has canned responses (which seems likely re: hotly contested issues such as moving The Game), but it seems unlikely that the subject matter of my email had a canned response ready to go, it also seems unlikely that he has aides responding to admittedly "trivial" emails at 11 p.m.
Just wanted to put it out there that for a man with a strong pimp hand, he seems to be a good guy.