This is maaaaybe premature there, ESPN. Maryland #1 FWIW.
Alright, folks, calm down. Cal-... No. I said relax. Stop... will you stop screaming? Okay... good. Now come out of the corner. Good. Now lets have a bit of a history lesson, okay. Just a little.
In the early 20th century, the wealthiest man in America, without question, was one John D. Rockefeller. The name associated with so many good works and warm, fuzzy thoughts of a better time was a rich son of a gun, as I'm sure you all knew. What you did NOT know, however, was that, prior to 1914, he was also one of the most hated men in America. He was regarded as selfish, materialistic, out of touch, curmudgeonly, grumpy, old, ugly, and an easy target for the media.
Being an older gentleman, he only had a partial knowledge of the exact goings on of his companies, and being christian, he chose to make all of his philanthropies private. He also did not make himself available to the press because they insisted on lampooning him. This personality and style of living carried on to his children, most notably John Jr., who was just as lampooned.
In 1914, things got their worst, when Miners at a Ludlow, Colorado mine owned by Rockefeller organized a strike due to the extremely poor conditions and pay at the mine. I won't go into great detail, but eventually the National Guard arrived, and though reports dispute the specifics of what happend, it is known that 19 people (including two children) from the strikers and their families' were massacred.
After this, Rockefeller Jr.'s already horrible reputation dropped like a rock to the point that people were calling for him to be brought up on criminal charges, and all of his companies, which employed many, many thousands, were at risk.. It was only this horrific turn of events that caused Rockefeller Jr. to take care of his image. He visited the mine site after this, met with the miners, improved their conditions and pay, made public the information regarding all the money he gave to charity, and worked with specially selected press and media to cultivate the right image. In a short time, he transformed his image to a genial, kindly, giving, worldly gentleman with a soft spot for the public interest.
This is generally known as the birth of Public Relations. Here's where this ties in to our story today.
He only did so much image work because his livelyhood and those of all his thousands of employees were at severe risk. He did not care, one whit, what the public thought of him. Simply put, he was too important for that. He didn't read articles that insulted him, his person, or his choices and get upset that people might be thinking poorly of him. He didn't worry that he was a discussion of negativity at dinner tables around the world. Important people do not care what you think. They don't, and they shouldn't. You, your friends, your local newscasters and their bosses don't matter to important people.
Rich Rodriguez is our coach in 2010. It's a fact. He will do everything within his power to ensure it stays that way in the future. He doesn't care if Drew Sharpe insults him. He doesn't fear that somebody in the Admissions department has it out for him and is keeping his recruits out. The only man at his workplace more important than him does not have it out for him, and therefore, his livelyhood is not threatened. Dave Brandon and MSC aren't going to let somebody mess with the rules just to mess with RR. They want him to succeed. If they didn't, they'd not be defending him. Then he would care. Here's what he cares about, wins and losses.
So the next time you worry that our coach is staying up nights worrying about what the papers will print tomorrow, or that somebody in cubicle 12 in admissions wants to put a knife in his back, stop. He is too important to care what they think. He cares about wins, and losses. Be a fan. Support him, and help him win. Then, it won't matter if he cares what the detractors think. Because their won't be any.
Edit: Since some people have been unclear on the point of all this, let me respecify. Quite simply, the point is to show that it takes a boondoggle of EPIC proportions before important people care what the less important people think. It takes something that is truly, truly threatening to them. Nothing to that level has yet happened. A couple of bad years and a recruiting/admissions snafu, with the support of Brandon, aren't leaving Rodriguez feeling threatened.
First, I assume that MSC was the final word on Dorsey because I assume something this important would find its way to her desk. Agree? If so, do you think that Brandon had RichRod's back and was pushing MSC to let Dorsey in, and MSC just shot it down? Or do you think that, once Brandon became aware of the details of Dorsey's academics (maybe some of the LifeSkills stuff), he just deferred to Admissions, leaving RichRod hanging? I guess the gist of my question is whether Dorsey's admission was argument between RichRod and UM policies in general, or between the athletic department and Mary Sue Coleman/the Admissions Office? I'm curious to hear what people think about this...
First off, I happen to think the 2010 defense will be, in many ways, a better and more consistent unit than we saw last year- even having lost DW and BG to the NFL. I look at the depth and consistent talent across our line, our experienced LB core* and the presence of Woolkfolk on the back end as legitimate strengths. Although it may be difficult to see past the horrific secondary play we've seen the last couple years, I truly believe it had a lot to do with our equally-horrific LB play and an inconsistent line, void of any depth, that relied too much on BG and an undersized true freshman (Roh) to make plays on every down (compounded by the fact that our offense couldn't stay on the field, but that's another story).
With that said, I am rather bummed that Demar will not likely make it to campus this fall because I remember the impact Jai Eugene had on Michigan football by landing in the SEC. Had he not been scooped up by Les Miles, he would have been starting opposite Leon Hall against Ohio State in '06. He would have been on the field in the second half of the Rose Bowl when USC decided to pass on every down. He would have been defending one of Armanti Edwards' myriad targets against App. State. The list goes on...
Of course no one player will ever make-or-break Michigan Football, but it would be foolish and revisionist to pretend his absence is anything but a huge blow. The kid is a special talent despite being a product of the ESPN/UA hype machine and he would have been playing for us against UConn in some capacity. Hopefully Denard will continue to have success, thus keeping UM on Demar's mind and showing him the benefits of working to make it to Ann Arbor.
The last thing I want to see is some SEC school swoop in and show him how much quicker he'd see the field if he didn't have to worry about... anything... but game day.
* I cannot believe that Obi and Jonas will continue to regress. Each has shown enough potential, and GR has such a proven track record of coaching LBs, that expecting a noticeable leap is quite reasonable IMO.
I ran into Myles Wade this morning at a local coffee shop. He is a Junior JC defensive tackle transfer to Texas Tech with 3 years of eligibility left. I talked briefly with him and his dad. What a solid young man. I came away extremely impressed. He has a compelling story. This guy is going to make waves, and I wish him the best.
Michigan is ill served by not reaching out to players like this at and in positions of need. We have gone through hard times that could offer kids like this opportunity. There is more to these men than grades and test scores can document.
I've heard that Michigan does not look at JC players (the exceptions prove the rule) mostly due to transcript problems. It has been a revelation seeing Football interact with Admissions with some pushing and pulling going back and forth recently. This is definitely less an issue as the talent level rises, but JC transfers deserve more of a look than the current policy seems to allow.
- "With all of our guys the goal is to get them to Division 1. The plan is to get Demar to Michigan, period. Whether that's right now, or next year, our goal is to get him there."
- "He wants to play at Michigan, and he wants to get right. If he can't get right in the next couple months, then our goal is to get him to Michigan as fast as possible. We're all trying to succeed, and he's doing this the intelligent way. No one picks us over Michigan."
- "He's working very hard to be a Wolverine, but he has to be ready just in case, to recover if he doesn't get in. If he comes here, we'd love to develop him, and get him to his goals. WE ARE HIS BACK UP PLAN. He may never end up at our school. If he can't get qualified, then he needs to know that he has a backup plan, and that's us."
- "No one picks us over Michigan, but we're here if he can't get in. We told him that we want to try to develop him, and get him to where he needs to be, if he needs us."
So, this is a backup plan in case he doesn't get qualified. We'll just have to wait and see what happens from here.
Waka Flocka (who was the rapper for "O Let's Do It") was made famous on this board by Demar Dorsey and was arrested on March 16th. Such a sad day.
I searched but I did not see if this has already been posted..if so whoops :)