You mean Brian's going to get dumped by his fiance, only to end up shacking up with Rene Zelwegger and her giant-headed kid?
The New Phonebooks Will Save Us
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.”
Edwards before last year:
"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. Some guys 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.]
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.
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.
lloyd carr, the day after the hire: "brady hoke is a great choice for michigan." which is eight words more than he ever said in support of rodriguez.
i don't remember that video, at all. my mistake.
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.
It just went to the front page for me.
Who are da five best bloggers of all time:
can wipe your mouth, now.
Nice post, Brian. Agreed 100 percent
The folks who will kill you for this are the same type who think Bo ran a pro style offense the last half of his coaching career at Michigan
So, just dont pay attention to them
It will never happen, but I wouldn't mind seeing Hoke chastise the fanbase a little for its collective treatment and support of RR. Just a little "shame on you" and then move on.
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.
at least try. for once.
point a mistake out once, you're correcting. more than once, you're just being a dick. as usual.
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.
I'll take your viewpoints on common sense with a grain of salt.
And he may not have been a saint, but he's proven to be a better man than you are.
double post, my apologies.
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?
Sorry. I'm a dork.
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.
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)!
What was the state of "the tradition" when RR came in, or did you miss that part of the post in your rush to cryptically name drop?
Thank you schools of America.
...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.
my point exactly!!! dont put a disclaimer at the end when the entire article says the opposit.
like people using 'lol' behind everything they text..acting like what they said before that was a joke..when in reality, it was NOT a joke.
RR found a way to do the impossible..f*ck himself!
embarrasses us all.
But he has a lot of former players in his phone...or whatever...
so I can call him when I give a fuck about what he says?
tell me what you've done more michigan than him or any other player?
I tried to embrace Tradition once but she slapped me.
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.
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.
Rich certainly didn't seem to support Lloyd. Funny how that works....
That's one of many possible scenarios that wouldn't totally surprise me, since Lloyd could be appallingly small-minded at times (Todd Harris halftime interview, anyone?).
Still, I think that's low-probability at best.
How 'bout this one? Clumsy RichRod arrives, gets a good look at the "returning talent," and mouths off about it within earshot of a few incumbents (and friends of Lloyd). Word gets to Lloyd. Lloyd very unhappy.
Could've happened ...
You're right that we don't know all the ins and outs of this. That's why I'm trying to use a lot of "seems" and "gives the appearances". My comment is admittedly reasoned conjecture based on circumstantial evidence (and a pinch of hearsay). It's not meant as a statement of absolute fact.
And you're right also that RichRod's actions early on may have slighted Carr in a way serious or trivial. Or maybe in Carr's mind the administration pissed in his Cheerios by not choosing a Carr-recommended guy.
But in any of those scenarios, you still have Carr putting his personal animus against RichRod ahead of his loyalty to Michigan.
I hate you so much.
Sgt. Wolverine, who just wants to watch some sports and forget the inane bickering.
Though I would much rather shift the focus to important debates like "Who was the hottest Saved by the Bell starlet?"
...A couple of weeks research with each before I could get back to you plus a note from my Wife.
For not having already memorized every "Saved by the Bell" episode ever aired.
Ya see I was going to have “relations” with all of them and get back to you…ah hell…NEGGED.
Except that was after the series.