If this was an editorial cartoon, Steve Martin would have "Michigan" written all over him and the phonebooks would say "alumni." Also it would be terrible.
You know, my immediate reaction to this AnnArbor.com headline…
Former receiver Braylon Edwards impressed by one Michigan coach, down on another following busy Friday
…was "great, more people talking crap about Rodriguez." Turns out Edwards was just talking crap about Mike Hart. Well played, Bigelow. It's good to know that we've stopped taking hardly veiled shots at Rodriguez and are ready to move on—
“Just more about the tradition,” Edwards said of Hoke’s message. “And he appreciates the alums, and he definitely wants to get us involved and do everything we can to educate the players who play there now.
“Because it’s sad to say, a lot of them don’t know the tradition at Michigan. Back in the day, players knew the former players. They knew the countdowns, the titles, Hail to the Victors. I’m sure if you ask some of the kids on the team now, I guarantee there’s a couple of kids that don’t know all of the words in full.”
Son of a bitch. People are talking crap about Rodriguez not respecting Michigan's tradition at the alumni flag football game he started. In related news, this year's Tunnel Of Victors will feature a special version of the MGoBlue banner that says "F.U. RICHROD."
Meanwhile… Braylon Edwards. He should probably stop talking and doing things. When you punch some dude or say your DUI for blowing twice the legal limit was because of tinted windows or that Cleveland "has nothing" while you have a "New York-type essence" or that your teammates quit and the starting quarterback should be different and your OC is bad or that people on the football team don't know the fight song, that doesn't reflect well on yourself or "Lloyd Carr's" University of Michigan. It's one thing to take swipes at current players who might not be great at football collectively. It's another when they're awesome dudes and you're someone people euphemistically dub "controversial" or "outspoken." Because bitching about Charlie Frye makes you Malcolm X.
Mike Hart also said some things about how Rodriguez didn't value the tradition but prefaced that with a statement about how he always felt welcome back; Breaston dismissed the "he wasn't accepted" bit and focuses on winning games; meanwhile, Ron Bellamy:
“We are ecstatic,” Bellamy said. “We know it’s a process. You can’t build up the program in a year or two. You have to give him a chance to bring his guys in the right way and play football in this conference the way it is supposed to be played.”
"He has to make it work," Edwards said. "If he can't -- me being one of the alumni guys -- I want someone that can make it work. We've been patient. If it doesn't go right this year, we'll have to find a guy that can make it work with that winged helmet."
Since Michigan's tradition quickly became "screw you, Rich Rodriguez," I can't imagine why there was a disconnect there.
Who cares? We just watched a bunch of guys who essentially never beat OSU and/or quit en masse once they didn't like the head coach blame Rodriguez for the program's decline. Yeah, it declined. Yeah, Rodriguez had a lot to do with it. So did they. Jim Brandstatter of all people:
"He had a lot of strikes against him when he walked in the door and that was sad," Brandstatter said.
Whatever Rodriguez's failings were they were amplified by a culture that immediately rejected him. There was a rebellion the seniors on this year's team are pointing to as a Bad Idea. Someone sold him out to the Free Press. He was treated like garbage at alumni outings.
Meanwhile, the complainers were the reason Michigan had to go outside the family. The Great Tradition of Michigan had recently devolved into a 1-6 record against OSU and The Horror. The Great Tradition had produced zero plausible head coaching candidates to continue it. The Tradition is blaming it all on a scapegoat instead of manning up and looking in the mirror. They are collectively Edwards blaming his 0.16 BAC on tinted windows.
That's not a good way to run anything. Without a serious analysis of what you did wrong other than "hire that outsider," with how your culture is messed up, you become Notre Dame. Someguys were willing to be active with the program over the last few years and plenty more didn't sell it out publicly; the decision not to speaks to the player, not Rodriguez.
Carr's former players aren't the program. A subset of them think it's about them, but it's about Denard and Molk and Martin and Kovacs, the ones who stayed and worked hard and were emphatically not champions thanks in some small part to people like Edwards. Van Bergen:
"You know, it's just kind of unsettling that there's … it's great that they're back, but it's kind of, where have they been the last two or three years?" Van Bergen said. "We've still been wearing the same helmets since they were here."
Despite what they think, the alumni are just fans now. It's hard to imagine a big chunk weren't the loathsome sort glorying in a season-ending blowout.
So you'll have to excuse the rest of us who stood in those stands during the Fandom Endurance III game and are terribly sad about how the last three years worked out: we've got a phonebook to care about instead of Braylon Edwards's glorious return to the program.
[ROTE DISCLAIMER THAT WILL BE IGNORED: This is not a defense of Rich Rodriguez. Rodriguez should have been fired. It is not a criticism of Brady Hoke. I wrote a big long post about how Hoke's three non-MAC coordinator hires constitute a real reason for optimism. Early indications are this staff is taking advantage of the opportunities placed before them in this year's recruiting class, and with what's going on at OSU the hypothetical ceiling on the program could blow off.
I look forward to this being interpreted as an attack on Hoke in the comments. Bring it, reading comprehension failures of America.]
Admitted it all blends together a little over time
But I do remember you sticking to your guns, and being anti-Harbaugh, and being clear about why. And as long as it was the off-field stuff, I couldn't really argue. If someone objected to that, there was good reason. I just didn't get the guys who were making fun of how Stanford performed on the field....up until about the 2nd quarter of the Orange Bowl.
Anyone who wanted to discount Harbaugh's job done at Stanford this past season is an idiot, but the fact remains that Harbaugh's record his 3 previous seasons at Stanford read 4-8, 5-7, and 7-5. Count me among those skeptical that Jim would've walked in here and given us the winning pill right off the bat. All Jim proved was that, given an appropriate amount of time, he could build a competitive BCS quality team. This is all the Rich Rod fans wanted to see for Michigan.
"...what do you say, is it the new Bluesmobile or what?"
Personally, I'm getting annoyed with Braylon and wanted nothing to do with Miles. As for JH, I may get slammed for this, but the worst thing about JH was that he was a hypocrite. Don't get me wrong, being a hypocrite is bad, but he did have some good points IME. His problem was only that he directed it at Michigan and not at college football at a whole. Maybe he directed it at Michigan because that's where he went. By making those comments, he probably should have made sure he wasn't to some extent doing the same that at Stanford.
But JH IME was and is a very good coach. I think he's grown up and would represent the university well if he came here. He has that potential.
Braylon seems Dazed and Confused, because I keep getting older but he keeps acting the same age. He doesn't seem to have that potential for growth.
Miles blames his players, negatively recruits, and seems like an all-around not good guy. The rumors about the things he did while at Michigan as a coach and the things he said about Carr are inexcusable if true. He doesn't seem to have the potential to represent Michigan well either.
Hoke has potential and has proven to represent Michigan well. If he wins, which is the big kicker, he will have been all around successful, as I believe JH would have been.
I was one of those hypocrites on JH. I didn't want him back after what he said and was on my high horse arguing with people about it, but when RR was fired, deep down I wanted JH back. I knew JH would get us to win right away and we all want instant gratification these days. JH is a great coach. I think Hoke can win, may take him more time.
JH made very good points but you never air out your dirty laundry. You keep that in house. IMHO, what he did was just as bad as Miles and Braylon. Braylon's drunk driving is worst, but in direct relation to Michigan, they were all bad.
I agree completely re: JH. I was so, so pissed that he aired that shit in the media, and it stuck me as betrayal/disloyalty for his personal gain ("see how great I am winning at Stanford? on top of the million other reasons- no tradition, not much of a fanbase, tough conference, small fry in my state- I'm not steering my guys to BS MAJORS like at MICHIGAN! Adore me!").
But then, after RR was fired, I secretly wanted JH. And then full-on, really thought we had to get him or we were fucked. So I did some internal rationalizing, bargining, what-have-you, trying to feel better about the possibility of a guy coaching us who had so blatantly disrespected his alma mater for no good reason, other than his own gain. I wish I were more principled.
Let me try and answer your question: both Braylon and Harbaugh did things such as drunk driving, punching other people in the face, and speaking poorly about your alma mater to undercut the people currently there which makes me "down" on them. Braylon has put the cherry on top by acting like an entitled diva, on and off the field. I completely respect what they did at the school as players (both All-Americans), both have had success in their professional lives, and both have done great amounts of charity work - that still doesn't excuse their behavior and makes me 1) have Brandon return BE's money and say, "Thanks, we'll make the decisions on who gets the #1 jersey and what we think of the coaching staff" and 2) not thrilled at the prospect of Harbaugh as the UM head coach, even though he's obviously a good coach.
Miles is a different category: as far as I know, he's never done the DUI/punching/bad-mouthing the other guys did. His faults (as I understand them) are his general craziness as a HC (weird clock management; eating grass) and his shabby treatment of a few players through grey shirting. I don't care if he did or did not sleep with some other coach's wife 20+ years ago.
In short, if forced to make a choice, I would have taken Miles over Harbaugh, as I don't consider his faults (while crappy, and I would never want a UM coach to do that) as bad as Harbaugh (who I thought, even if took the UM job, would go to the NFL soon anyway). That said, it doesn't matter. We'll never have either of them as a coach. As for Braylon, I'd be fine not hearing from him for a year or two - go concentrate on the Jets.
It only ends once. Anything that happens before that, is just progress.
Good points. I lumped then into the same category because they all made mistakes and tarnished the image of Michigan to varying degrees. But, you are right, Miles hasn't directly tarnished the image. Not that he needs it or anyone else cares, I will never cheer for JH again until he apologizes for what he said. Growing up, I loved JH and I was an ND fan. Guess what, I am a Niner fan as well. If he came here, I would still love our team. Braylon, same boat. He didn't support RR and made it known. People jumped on board and gave themselves more reasons to dislike RR. Again, airing out dirty laundry.
My issues with Miles was more on par with what he has done runnning LSU's program. Is he a great coach, absolutely. I don't like oversigning and other practices. Just because everyone does it, does not make it right. So, I do agree with you. I guess my perception of Miles is about what he's done at LSU combined with the fact that of rumors about what he did here and on the recruiting trail against LC.
The main point in first writing my rant was that people were killing Braylon and seeming to give JH a pass.
An it appears as though the sad state of affairs of the program continues . . .
People (notably, the alumni football players) just cannot seem to move on. It's pretty darn depressing, actually. Instead of simply saying that they are excited about Hoke and looking forward to the season, they have to drop sound-bytes to the effect that Rodriguez played the wrong type of football and his players didn't understand the Michigan tradition.
Move on, people! I was one of the biggest Rodriguez supporters and would still like to see his offense run but its over. The past is the past (I was a history major). It was a sad past few years and there is no reason to force people to re-live them by mentioning it over and over again. I am not blaming Brian for writing about it - I'm blaming people big-mouths like Mike Hart and Braylon Edwards for insisting on talking about the Rodriguez era. I say to them: Shut your yappers and put your money where your mouth is - donate money to the program instead of bad-mouthing it and talking about how you wish things were different.
I am so sick of these alumni that all of a sudden came out of the woodworks to support Hoke. If they were true "Michigan Men" (if there is such a thing) then a dislike of the head coach would not have influenced their impact on the program. To me, they are lesser alumni of all of us that supported the program to the best of our abilities and spent money on tickets, etc. the past few tough years. I value our opinions much more than those of Mike Hart and Braylon Edwards. F- them.
At Michigan, unfortunately, the past is the present. And
the future. The past is everything. At least to some of us.
I am so completely sick of the worshipping of tradition, and the Michigan Man meme.
Yes, I was exceedingly disappointed with the ugly losses over the last few years, but I felt that RichRod, his coaches, and the players were all in fact living up to the true ideals of Michigan, which was all about hard work and humble pie.
I don't give a sh*t what Braylon has to say. I appreciate that he was a great player for Michigan, but I think he's been an embarrasment for years now, and I put zero value in his views. Eff him and the rest of those who were too insular to see that RichRod was carrying out the rebuilding work that itself should make people proud. What the hell do we value, just simple wins? Eff that, tOSU gets frickin wins, but at what cost? I value effing effort and integrity, and RichRod delivered those just fine. Maybe he should've been fired, I don't know, but he sure as hell never deserved the BS treatment he got here. I'm embarrased for the Michigan community at how it treated this outsider.
[profit, this may not be coming through in my ramblings ... I agree with your post. I'm just venting about the idiots who call themselves Michigan Men and yet behave in ways completely contradictory to what the ideal actually means, at least imho.]
Still not sure what to make of Lloyd during all this. He stayed silent during RR's torture and has again remained silent during the Hoke party tour.
Is he to be commended for remaining above the fray and not being dragged in by all this mess or his he to be lambasted for not speaking up as the defacto heir to the throne of Michigan Football?
I would prefer if Lloyd spoke up and gave all the alumni a big proverbial slap like they were a sideline reporter or Jim Carty. I think he is the only one with enough juice as they say to get it done. Maybe it's pointless at this point, because Hoke has done a good job of rallying support, but I think Lloyd needs to fill that spot that has been missing since Bo left us.
I have the usual litany of complaints about how RR was treated from day 1 regardless of any actions he allegedly took or didn't take. But I think we can all move past blaming Lloyd for his treatment, can't we?
The only thing new here is the article and new quotes. Congratulations to Bigelow for generating eyeballs to the site. Seriously, anyone learn anything new lately on the subject? Anyone read anything that got them to say to themselves, "Hmm, I haven't thought of that before"? I''ll read Bacon's book. I wouldn't mind hearing what RR says on the matter. And, maybe Martin or Brandon have something useful to say about the leadership vaccum above. I'd consider those facts in the case. Otherwise it's a collection of opinions based on the same information set I have. So, I don't care.
what would have been REALLY great would have been if lloyd had said one goddamned word of support of rodriguez while he was still here. instead he sat in his private office, pouted...and endorsed ron fucking english at eastern.
i was as big a lloyd carr supporter as there was, even as the lunatic fringe complained about him. but i won't forgive him for not being able to put program above personal preferences.
You must have also missed the halftime radio interview....and the golf course comments...and any number of other times greater than "ONE"....but don't let the video above and your lying eyes tell you different.
I think one is being much more of a "dick" by spreading false rumors in a public forum, than correcting them, twice, and pointing out the truth. It wasn't like you were just making a statement, that needed some factual correction. You were doing it with venom. If you're around here I would hope you're enough of a Michigan fan to have seen not just the above video (which took all of a 5 second google search), but things like halftime interview, and other instances put on this site where he didn't "never said ONE word nice about Rich". Because if it's the case you really don't know about it, you've had your head in the sand following the program. And since I don't think it's because you don't pay attention to Michigan football, it just comes off as willfully ignoring it to continue to make Lloyd look bad in defense of Rich. Which didn't have much point 3 years ago, and has almost none now.
So I'd rather be a dick by correcting lies on the Internet than by libeling a good man for made up reasons.
Stop peddling this "Lloyd Carr is a saint" idiocy. The guy didn't support RR, no matter what bullshit video you want to post. If he did, he would have done a lot more that make a few generic and little-publicized comments in support. No one with any common sense believes that Carr wanted RR to be the coach. That you keep trying to portray Lloyd as someone who did everything appropriate shows you to be either dishonest or lacking in common sense. Based on everything else you write, I'll choose all of the above.
Hoke already did, in his introductory press conference, by thanking Rich Rod and his family for the 3 years he gave to Michigan, and then by (farting) and asking
WHO ARE US TO DIVIDE MICHIGAN?
We have little idea what he says to alumnae behind closed doors, and that's for the better. I would imagine he'd prefer the petty media crap to stop, and I for one will be happy that Fort Schembechler will probably be re-commissioned this year.
Do you think he uses less salty language when talking to alumnae then when talking to alumni, collectively, or only male alumni? Or does the fact that the alumnae are women mean that he uses less salty language when talking to alumni as a whole, and saves the cursing/blue jokes for discussions with male alumni only?
Should be the new banner at the top of the website. Also, while I would never wish anything bad on any former player, I just wish Braylon would stop speaking about the program at all, it isn't helping anything/anyone.
Founder and President of TDSETHPADS (Taze Drew Sharp Every Time He Pulls A Drew Sharp)
Sorry...Brian is wrong once again! And he obviously wont let it.
To say the former players are 'fans' just like anyone else is disrespectful and just wrong.
How the hell do any of us fans (and alumni like myself) or a blogger think he/she knows more about what happens within the program than the players and former players who walk into the facilities, know the coaches, etc.
I know a lot of footballers personally NOW and PAST and have many greats in my phone book, and the truth hurts. It is what it is. RR came in and did it 'HIS WAY' and did NOT embrace the tradition. PERIOD!
This is not Maryland. This is not WV. This is the winning PROGRAM IN THE HISTORY OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL. And if you do not do those things, and listen to people / former players nad coaches to begin to embrace them , and be stubborn about it (RR), then you turn thosep players and former players off.
Stop crying about RR, and stop hating on the former players!!!
If you love RR so damn much start a new blog that loves his new school..which will be something like Tulane or NCState or Pitt.
GO BLUE, GO HOKE and I am a fan of all the former players (well..except Drew Henson who left us stinking that year)!
...but why is it when someone is an idiot that educated people blame the educational system?
Those of you who are so smart, remember your HS classes...you know, the ones in which you got a good education. Remember the idiot in those classes who chose to do nothing b/c his/her parents didn't motivate like yours did? Or maybe he/she just wasn't as driven to get a good education as you were for whatever reason?
Is it the schools' fault that you got a good education or that the idiot got a bad one, despite the fact that the exact same resources, instruction, and learning environment were provided to each of you?
No, the reason there are a bunch of idiots in this country isn't the failure of the schools. It's because idiots procreate together and produce idiotic offspring.
Perhaps you feel that schools should be making these kids study. Well, that's not America. This is a democracy and we have freedom, including the right to pass on a quality education.
It seems to me that a lot (not all) of the blame falls on Carr for giving Rodriguez the 0 degree Kelvin shoulder throughout Rodriguez's tenure. Sure, RichRod could have done a better job, allowed his DCs to choose their own assistants, kowtowed to the alumni more, and recruited defense. But it wasn't like he purposely injured Michigan.
Lloyd Carr (who I supported throughout his tenure) seemingly purposely undermined Rodriguez, offering him precious little support while continuing to draw a paycheck. In doing so, he lost a lot of my respect. It appears that many of Carr's players were following his lead (similar to the divorced parent who subtly undermines the other divorced parent, and the kids pick up on it).
BTW, this is the rare post anywhere that I agree with almost 100% (and the "almost" doesn't account for jack shit). Including Brian's disclaimer.
And while it seems like we're beating a dead horse here, folks like Braylon and (God bless him) Mike Hart keep bringing the issue to the foreground.
"Of course I care about that stuff. To the point of irrationality. It will always be Michigan first, cancer second." Jim Mandich (RIP)
If you think Brady is keeping Lloyd at arm's length, you're ill-informed, crazy, or both. If there's any lack of playing up Lloyd, it just because of whack-a-doodles who would start screaming "conspiracy!", and not giving them any fodder. Lloyd doesn't like talking to the media, and doesn't want to overshadow whoever is in the job. It was true with Rich, it is true with Brady. Is Lloyd probably proud one of his guys took over? Sure. But the fact that he hasn't done the hour long 20/20 interview everyone seems to have wanted him to do for Rich for Hoke either just shows he's being consistent.
Cutting through your sarcasm you seem to be saying "Lloyd hated the media, so how can you read any ill-will into him acting consistently with prior practice?" Problem is that you're setting up a straw man, and then beating the crap outta him.
To clarify, I never limited my "lack of support" criticism of Carr to his relations with the media. Lloyd could have interceded on RichRod's behalf on several fronts. With alumni, former players, and others (including the media). Instead, he drew a salary from the Athletic Dept. without doing any of these things. And it gives the appearance of him putting his disdain for RichRod and crew ahead of his love for Michigan.
Let me put it another way. If you're in a position of power and step down, you have a choice. You can work hard to make your successor succeed (like Bo did), or you can sit back and do nothing. Carr appeared to have chosen the latter. And many of "his" players seemed to follow his lead.
I still admire many things about Carr. I think he ran a clean program, won a lot of games, and supports many worthy causes (esp. Mott). But he sure didn't seem to support RichRod.
"Of course I care about that stuff. To the point of irrationality. It will always be Michigan first, cancer second." Jim Mandich (RIP)