Get over it already.
I Thought Real Friends Would Have Stayed
This is clearly not part of the 2011 football preview, except it is. It was not possible to write this year's "The Story" without closing the door on the Rodriguez era. Thus this.
I meant to, but never got around to, writing one of the Rich Rodriguez obituaries that sprouted across the Michigan blogosphere in the aftermath of his firing. At the time I was busy panicking about Les Miles, the lack of Jim Harbaugh, and the possibility someone with as thin a resume as Brady Hoke would get hired.
By the time I'd stopped railing about The Process and the hire it begat, Rodriguez's corpse was cool. People were already complaining about how I wouldn't let the last three years go. So I dropped it. They say things happen for a reason, though, and usually say so at press conferences.
A couple months later I was at show at the Magic Stick. We had no knowledge of any of the bands that were playing; we'd been encouraged to see the headliner by a friend of the MGoWife. Whatever talent the headliner had was overwhelmed by the impression she was the worst person ever*, but the second opener was this quirky trio from Ypsi called Lightning Love. Lightning Love is a twee indie band whose drummer (now) looks like he was acquired from the Megadeth surplus store. Most of their songs are about being a miserable discontented loser surrounded by people just like you**. MGoWife adored them, bought the album and all that, and eventually I came to think of one of their songs as The Ballad of Rich Rodriguez.
This is it. Yes, you're going to have to do this obit multimedia style:
Lightning Love - Friends
Thirty Josh Grobans agree this is more in the spirit of the Rodriguez era than Josh Groban songs. And that's hugely depressing, isn't it?
It's his kid that kills me. Scattered amongst shots of Rodriguez emoting like a mofo are pictures of his son Rhett doing the same. At this point he must wonder why the universe hates his dad. Three years ago Rodriguez was promising his son as a member of the class of 2017. A few months ago this was happening after the Illinois game…
…a few months later it was this…
…and some heretofore innocuous sports photographer got a terrifying glimpse into life as a paparazzi.
The universe's capper:
The universe has watched your gladiatorial antics, Rich Rodriguez, and it is not impressed. Thumbs down.
In retrospect the downed thumbs were inevitable. I mean… the Groban thing. Come on. It was always something. It was Groban or another fake controversy about how people need to "get a life" or his inability to "get it" about rivals. Rodriguez wasn't subsumed by the overwhelming Michigan-ness of Michigan. He either failed to understand the need to throw himself at the shoes of the Great Tradition or just couldn't be anyone other than the guy who grew up in the "holler" and married someone my mother would certainly refer to as "that woman." You know how mothers do.
So the legacy program and local media rejected the organ transplant. The program started throwing t-cells at Rodriguez on day one. Rodriguez chipped in with stormy sideline antics and pouting. When he swore it was weakness; when he choked up it was weakness.
All of that was unambiguously negative for a football coach, but an offshoot of that was having your kid with you in a genuinely touching way. For a human this is the definition of low expectations. You publicly express your affection for your son. You are not a grim military object; you are capable of squeezing emotions other than rage out of your gray heart. Congratulations for not being a one-dimensional character straight out of American Beauty.
But I can't recall ever seeing the kind of father and son shots Rhett and Rich Rodriguez feature in before. Coaches aren't humans. They are walking soundbites wrapped in great swirling cloaks of mythology. Rap on one of their chests. You will get a hollow clang and a statement about senior leadership. Kick sand in one of their faces. You will get a lecture from Peter the Great. Peter the Great will be confused and incensed that he cannot sentence you to hang. Tell one his aunt has been dismembered by bikers on PCP and you will get a statement about senior leadership. Seniors don't do PCP and rip aunts limb from limb, because they have leadership.
Rodriguez was human. He was just this guy. He wasn't supernatural or metallic. If you rapped his chest he would probably get a little weepy. He did not seem like a great leader of men, or a colossus astride anything, or even a dude fully in control of his shit. He, like most of us, was doing okay but sometimes—too often—he was not. When Michigan instituted "The Team The Team The Team" as its official pregame hype theme it drove the point home: there is God, and there is man, and Rich Rodriguez is not God.
There was no clearer evidence of that than his answer to a question posed days before the Wisconsin game. Michigan was 7-3 but a teetering 7-3. The question was something about "how he projected the third season at Michigan." A coach would have blustered something about senior leadership. Rodriguez told it like it was, and though it was already kinda over this seems like the moment when Rodriguez accepted his fate:
"I thought we'd be further ahead.
"I thought a lot of things when I got here."
*[The chorus of every song was functionally "I'm sorry I don't care about you or any of the things you care about, except I'm not sorry."]
**[Or they've been arranged for marimba by a Michigan State fan… which… wow, internet. Vast and deep are your reaches.]
This looks like him finally "getting over it." I hope, at least.
Unfortunately, we were subjected to one final au revoir that was totally unnecessary. The new era starts in a little more than a week and we're still spending time rehashing the past failed administration?
It's his Blog and he can write whatever he wants whenever he wants about whatever he wants. And if wants to wax poetic about the tragedy that was RichRod's tenure here non-stop until his fingers bleed you have the same option all of us do. Don't visit the site.
And yet I can express my opinion on the content he chooses to post. See, that's how a blog works.
Your "opinion" appeared to be that he shouldn't write it at all given the proximity to the start of the football season - not that you had issue with his message.
Unless you've contributed enough to make the Beveled Guilt tab go away you have zero right to tell the person putting up the time and money for the site what content they should post and when it's acceptable to be viewed.
And it makes no difference how much money, if any, someone contributes.
But you boys keep crying about dear, departed Rich while the rest of us get ready for much bigger and better things.
Really? Makes no difference how much money, if any, someone contributes?
So in your world you feel it is perfectably acceptable to tell someone who IS contributing both time and money what they should write about for YOUR pleasure? You are getting a free blog and you can read it or not - your choice. But make no mistake - you have no vote at the table of content timing unless you own that responsibility and my guess is you don't.
And, for the record, I was absolutely in the RR camp and beyond pissed at the Hoke hire. Initially. Over the past several months I've gone full circle and now believe he will be a great coach here and I agree with you that we are headed for bigger and better things.
So I'm not crying (anymore) about RR's departure and I wish him well in wherever he lands.
The content of this message combined with the Ayn Rand signature is possibly the most consistent confluence of signature and content I have ever seen.
Why thank you. I came ever so close to pointing that out to the person I'm debating with but hoped someone else would notice for me.
It is not without more than some comedic irony, however, that you were the one to do so!
Hey, I'm neither endorsing or arguing the POV, I merely doff my cap to the intellectual consistency.
Oh I understand. As a matter of fact, I would expect you to violently oppose my POV given your avitar and screen name.
But that's why I love this blog. Where else can a Libertarian & a Marxist engage in a spirited debate over the merits of spread n shred vs manball?
LOL Ayn Rand.
Except he does have a say at the "Table of Content Timing" or whatever because blogs survive off their readership and loyalty. If (and this is a hypothetical, take a deep breath people) people stopped enjoying the content here, whether because of timing or tone, the blog would cease to be profitable.
I hold the radical opinion that it is "perfectably" acceptable to question not only the content, but also the timing of a post on a blog. It serves no purpose whatsoever to throw this old crap (content) at the fan less than a week before the season starts (timing). Sorry you don't agree. And glad to hear you support the current coach of your University of Michigan Wolverines.
Stupid guy with his stupid website posting his opinions about something relevant to him.
Sheesh, if you don't want to read it, then move on. The internet doesn't force people to read anything they don't want, yet people have the burning desire to read it and complain about it.
DUDE YOU'RE SO FUCKING AWESOME CAN I GET YOUR AUTOGRAPH OR MAYBE JUST A LOCK OF YOUR HAIR SWEET I'M SO FUCKING PUMPED!!!!!
It's Brian's way of getting closure, before moving on the next phase of Michigan football life. Something like that. I think this really is the last goodbye.
A learning experience for all. I'm okay with that. It made some of us snobs realize that we weren't bullet proof. Also, more important than wins, Rhett has a FATHER in Rich, not just a father figure. This is just a game.
I would much rather have the respect/love from my family than be a legend in coaching. Urban was able to do both but finally something had to give.
Here's hoping Brady can do both! GO BLUE!
More than anything I'm hopeful that he has a relatively stable situation at his next job. The past couple years had to be pretty tough on him and his family.
who actually needed Lloyd to negotiate a free years salary, and actually needed LC to help them in their quest to become Assistant Tight End Coach (looking at you, Debord and Moeller), most of RR's guys already had jobs by the end of March. Sucked for them, losing their jobs late in the musical chairs cycle, but don't pretend to actually be concerned for Magee, Tall, Gibbons or any of the other assistants. They didn't need it.
You conveniently leave out the guys who went to places like Florida (any of the last staff get jobs that good?), or became head coaches, or got other Big Ten jobs better than Indiana, some guys who have gone on to be coordinators now. Where were all the promotions for the last staff? I guess Tall did get to become Defensive Coordinator. At Charlotte. In April. But don't let the facts get in the way of your screed.
I beg to differ.
You're right. Scot Loeffler went to Florida.
Name the rest, and how soon they got scooped up.
And why their HC had to negotiate a full years salary beyond the actual end of the season.
You're Mike Debord, you were OC for a NC winning team, had HC experience. What happened?
You're Andy Moeller, coached O-line at U-M for years. What happened?
Don't let YOUR screed stand in the way of facts of the 2007 staff, and where they ended up in January 2008, June 2008, June 2011, etc.
Have you read the posts of just how thin the LC coaching tree was? Or chose to ignore that, to the benefit of maintaining your screed?
Are you serious?
Vance Bedford immediately got the same job at Florida, where he won a national championship. He is now a BCS conferece DC at Louisville.
Ron English immediately got the same job he had previously at Louisville, and then was promoted to a HC job (admittedly, at Eastern). (promotion)
Scot Loefler got the same job at Florida (lateral)
Erik Campbell got the same job at Iowa (lateral)
Mike DeBord has been an NFL position coach for 3 years. (lateral?)
Steve Stripling became a DC at Central (promotion, maybe lateral?)
Andy Moeller is an NFL position coach. (promotion?)
Steve Szabo is the only person in a "worse" position - LB coach at EMU. (demotion)
Contrast that with:
McGee - OC at Pitt (lateral)
Robinson - Dead (demotion)
Gibson - Lateral to Pitt (lateral)
Tall - DC at a D-II school (demotion)
Rod Smith - lateral to Indiana (sort of demotion)
Tony Dews - lateral to Pitt (lateral)
Greg Frey - lateral to Indiana (sort of demotion)
Braithwaite - DC at a community college somewhere (demotion)
These are, at best (for RR's group), roughly equivalent.
Thanks for saving me looking all it up.
I'd only add-
Scott is now an OC.
Szabo is a journeyman at the tail end of his career, and is probably not likely to be on a fast track for promotion.
And Rich's offensive guys got jobs (at mainly two schools, but whatever), but no one was snatching up the defensive ones. Except, inexplicably, Gibson. Who, I don't know, is that a promotion? He was assistant head coach here, but he's not at Pitt. So I bet he's not making as much money.
Just because Brian's repeated it a lot of times people take it as fact that Lloyd's guys struggled to get jobs for months, when most of them had jobs before their buyout was done, and Rich's guys all had jobs within a week...which, some of the guys on O got snatched up pretty fast (like, a month) the defensive guys were not highly coveted. The guy who was the most well thought of took four months to find a job in Div. 2.
And there wasn't really a big difference in time they had to find jobs. Rich fired Michigan's staff on December 21st, but then reinterviewed them all, to end up only hiring one of them. If not before, certainly after the bowl game if Rich's staff wasn't freshing up their resumes, that's on them. Frankly, they got lucky the Pitt hire imploded.
And yeah, Lloyd's coaching tree hasn't been awesome yet. Though one of the coaches under Moeller and his tenure is now the head coach of the University of Michigan. And Rich has been a head coach about as long as Lloyd was now, and the land isn't filled with head coaches who were his assistants either.
FUCK HIS FAMILY THEY'RE JUST A BUNCH OF FUCKERS YEAH DUDE AWESOME SWEET WANNA HIGH FIVE ME?!
"What a Shame" - Shindown
Shindown sounds good. Probably way better than shinedown.
and you find my typo....
Anyone who's telling me to "get over it" can go to hell. Am I not supposed to write a wrap-up post for the last three years? Am I not supposed to try to put a coda on Rich Rodriguez's tenure? It's like you've never read this blog. Assholes.
I despise what these messages boards have become and have often wished that you would throw in your 2 cents. Of course, I have interpreted your silence as being the same contempt for this place as my own.
This is awesome!
And this is why blogs are the way to go. I don't see anyone in the newspaper or other media calling its readers A-holes. Good work, Brian.
Damned if you don't.
Either you can Start 2011 by saying "Here's how 2010 ended, analyze it, share your feelings" (what you've done) and it becomes "GET OVER IT"
Or you say "well here's 2012" and it becomes "WHAT ABOUT THE END OF 2010, HOW DID WE GET HERE".
Brian even said this is how he's starting the 2012 Season Preview, and telling the story. This IS Brian getting over it, what's the big deal? Does anyone NOT wish the last 3 years went better? RR tried hard, he failed, now it's Hoke's turn.
And just like that, dahblue's got his new tag line.
this blog and posts/articles of your for a long time....this one is my favorite! lol
Mayor Quimby: "You people are nothing but a bunch of fickle mushheads!"
Crowd: "Hey, he's right! Give us hell, Quimby!"
Because I just find it delicious how many people don't get what you mean at all.
Brian, you can certainly write what you want, but for your own sanity, I'd advise you to let other people's criticism of RR (and there will be plenty) not get under your skin from here on out. His won-loss record, and the fact that we're on NCAA probation, pretty much guarantee that he won't be fondly remembered by most.
It doesn''t read as if Brian's upset about people criticizing RR, it reads that he's pissed at people telling him what he should write and what emotions and ideas should underlie his words. Given what's occurred with Tim and Tom (and Holly Anderson at si, etc), Brian's certainly had opportunities to go to places that would have told him what to write, would have edited it to meet their format, and would have paid him very well to do so. Control over content obviously matters a lot to him, and anyone who doesn't get that doesn't get what Brian's trying to do here.
And they're pretty much assholes.
Am I not supposed to try to put a coda on Rich Rodriguez's tenure?
Yeah, 7 months ago. Douche.
Brian, ignore them. For someone as snarky as you are, you're really thin-skinned at times.
Your wrap-up post was very appropriate and the timing of it was perfect. Closing one door while another one opens . . .
But I'm sure you knew that it would stir up a hornet's nest. So let it.
Best. Comment. Ever (by Brian). I don't think I've ever seen him so pissed. Awesome.
And yeah, you can just, you know, not come to the blog and read it anymore, Indy. Or, you can read the blog, make posts about how you're pissed, and then when confronted with the logical ridiculousness of the fact that you are apparently taking time out of your day to read stuff you do not enjoy or find mentally stimulating, yet continue to do it and even take more time out of your day to talk about it in comments (multiple)...you still don't get it. I don't go to places on the internet where I know I don't like what I read; certain political websites, for example. I certainly don't go to those sites and then comment on how I didn't like the viewpoint expressed by the author. You're a consumer. Your clicks, pageviews, and time on a site are your currency, as is your personal time. Why spend it on something you have such a problem with? It would be like me hating some random activity, such as, say, fishing, and then going fishing, repeatedly, and bitching about it the whole time. Which is why I don't go fishing.
that is really one of the better sports pictures I've seen. I've almost bought the print before, but I'm not sure it's the kind of thing I'd want on my wall. Nevertheless, sums up three years in about 10 million pixels.