He also could have been cooking onions that made him tear up. I don't have any evidence for this either but thought it merited a post.
Coaches' timeouts are worse. Basketball teams should get one, full stop.
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.]
He also could have been cooking onions that made him tear up. I don't have any evidence for this either but thought it merited a post.
This thread will not end well.
Also I has a sad now.
The Ann Arbor Places to Eat thread?
By the end my primary assessment was that Rich Rodriguez was a genuinely good man who found himself in a hopeless situation from the start. Not only was almost every facet of his tenure seemingly snakebitten from the start (tansfers, injuries, faux-NCAA violations), but he as a person was never accepted by a body that was looking for Lloyd Carr with an OC that was alive.
It will probably wind up being a good thing that Michigan hired RR when we did, even with al the losses. Every major program goes through one of these down periods, every single one. If it was going to happen to us then Rich was probabaly a good man for the job. That sounds almost sadistic, because how can I look at those pictures and think "glad he got shat on!", but I think his core decency as a person means that he did his best and will take some time to lick his wounds and move on to more success. Basically, I'm glad he was a good enough man not to take down the whole program when his ship was sinking. He even left phone numbers of recruits for Hoke and company, which, for whatever reason, always makes me a little sad and wistful.
....how this gets marked for "trolling" ???
Your comments are right on Mr RagingBean. He is a good man and probably was an excellent person for the transition. He helped purge the old and focused on bringing in a new approach. I do not like feeling sad or wistful so I'm hoping that Hoke makes me feel better . . . I'll give him three years.
Those who approved the move to RR as the spread and shred genius wanted to break out of the B1G mold and capture the spread offense lightning from other conferences that made B1G teams look bad in bowl games. We were going to make B1G teams look bad in conference and compete with or (due to our national recruiting base and Top 5 program's ability to get the top talent )even beat the SEC.
Turns out, to compete as Michigan, we need someone who completely buys into our "Michigan-ness" and understands it to the point where it is in his DNA and if he has to explain it, well you just won't get it ("This is Michigan!"). A very large part of Michigan-ness is B1G trench warfare and stifling defense. However, because of the RR experiment and the Denardening, and with an OC and HC that seem to recognize we have something special here offensively, we may see an evolution that combines B1G defense and line work with the spread option/West Coast hybrid. Wouldn't that be a dream come true? And would it ever have a chance of happening without RR's tenure and recruiting classes, together with Borges and Hoke's apparent willingness to keep the "good parts" creating an atmosphere for change?
On the day I link to the Concentratemedia story about MGoBlog.
On the day I write about Rich Rod on my own blog.
Is the day that you write a post mortem of Rich Rodriguez and lead with a lyric from a band that played at my house for my going away party in Ypsilanti. Yes, I got the reference from the title of your post but thought, "Surely he's not referencing Lightning Love!"
Small world, Mr. Cook.
"People were already complaining about how I wouldn't let the last three years go. So I dropped it."
If Brian 'dropped it' the last 8 months, I'd hate to see what Brian with an axe to grind is like.
Get over it already.
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.
No, no, no...You don't get it. This fifth final au revoir was totally necessary because Brian went to a show at the Magic Stick. That's way more important than everyone excitement about the upcoming season and reunited Michigan family.
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.
For sure. I bet collecting a giant paycheck without having to work was the toughest part.
WTF? People are talking about RR like he is a famished orphan boy when instead he is a head football coach who lost his job because he didn't perform up to expectations. The nature of big time college sports should not be a surprise to him or anyone else. If you want to feel for anyone, feel for the assistants (and their families) who can't rebound as quickly as a prominent head coach.
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?!
He is getting paid not to be our coach. He is getting paid to give television commentary. How exactly is that ALLCAPS "fuck his family". Coaches get fired. Their families move around a lot. That's a business, and that's why most don't complain about it. It'd be like a lifeguard complaining about a sunburn.
"What a Shame" - Shindown
Shindown sounds good. Probably way better than shinedown.
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.