VanBergen's quote is dead on. Their absence and lack of loyalty has been noted and won't be forgotten.
I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
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.]
VanBergen's quote is dead on. Their absence and lack of loyalty has been noted and won't be forgotten.
Up vote for the Frisian flag avatar.
You're absolutely right about all of this. Let's see how the season plays out. Maybe things have changed, maybe not.
At the end of the day it is not the goal of this institution to have a football team that wins national championships. The Big Ten and more specifically tsio is it. Hopefully we at least get back to that and people shut up a bit.
I supported Lloyd Carr. I supported Rich Rod. I support Brady Hoke. I support the players who played for all of those coaches and wish them well. It would be great if there weren't people who undermined other people (no names needed, insert your own as you like). Unfortunately this is not always the case.
Moving forward, I will continue to support our coach and our players. Everything else is just stupid. Nice post, Brian.
Here is my issue with Brian's view on the former players:
If it were 1 or 2 players who made comments that could be interpreted as anti-RR, it would be easy to dismiss it. But, there have been many players who have made comments of this ilk. As the number of players start to pile up, you have to ask whether this is all on the players or if there was something that RR did to piss these guys - who all undeniably love Michigan - off. Sure, some probably duid not like RR just because he was an outsider. But, I also believe that RR did not embrace the M traditions as much as many of the former players - and many alum and fans - would have liked.
On another note, I don't really like the whole trashing Braylon because he expressed an opinion that can be construed as anti-RR. Braylon played for Michigan, and played damn well. He has shown a love of all things Michigan, and haseven put his money where his mouth was with his #1 Jersey endowment. (disclaimer: Braylon is far from perfect. I know that).
I just don't understand the constant defense of RR on the "traditions" / "former players" issues. These guys have far more access to the program than any of us. If they feel that RR didn't really embrace the traditions and the former players, then I tend to believe them.
They should be ashamed of themselves for not supporting the program first and foremost. Fuck each and every one of them.
You want to know who I tend to believe? People like Ryan VanBergen. People who were ACTUALLY AROUND THE PROGRAM during the three years of RR's tenure. Not people who bitched from a distance. I believe the players that stuck around even when things weren't going right (Stonum, Martin, etc), the alums like Rick Leach, LaMarr Woodley, etc who were actively around the program and came to games whenever they could, the players who actually came back and worked out with Barwis (Foote, etc). These are the people I tend to believe.
The countless players who flat out said, "Rodriguez always made it easy for any former player to come but I just CHOSE not to," These are former players who put the onus on themselves, even at the risk of damaging their own "Michigan Man" reputation, to state the truth. These not-interested parties are the ones I believe. They aligned themselves in support of Rodriguez when there wasn't any real benefit to doing so other than stating the truth.
That is the purpose of the post, if people would bother to read it.
Braylon says RR made him feel unwelcome. Mike Hart says the opposite. RVB says "where the hell have you been?" Why should we take Braylon's words as truth just because some other guys also have a bad opinion of RR?
It's all personal, and all of these guys have egos, most of them large. Personally, I prefer to listen to the guy who has been a team player in the NFL and never prefaced the name of the University of Michigan with the possessive form of an individual's name.
We should take Braylon's word as gospel because he's such a classy guy.
It's easy to "love" Michigan when it's winning. Just say'n. Oh I deny they "ALL undeniably LOVE Michigan." Some do, such as Mike Hart and Rick Leach who return and support the program unconditionally, even if they disagree with decisions (that was Hoke's message right?). But "All the players" you refer to? They may think they love Michigan. They probably love themselves more. So much so they stay away when there isn't enough winning.
Here's mine. This was the problem with Rodriguez at Michigan:
Rodriguez wanted out of West Virginia and understandably so. His stated desire was to go to a national program where he would have the resources and support to win national championships without the inherent limitations of WVU. Thing is, though, he was happy to go to any program that offered him this; in '06 he came thisclose to Alabama before a last-minute change of heart. The next year, once relations with his WVU superiors had irrevocably broken down, he was ready to capitalize on his blue-chip status as the hot up-and-coming coach in college football, and the biggest job available just happened to be Michigan, and Michigan just happened to be in desperate need of a new head coach after Bill Martin's bungled search. It was, and I think I am paraphrasing Doctor Saturday here, like two drunks meeting at a wedding and deciding to get married themselves.
Rich Rodriguez didn't pursue the Michigan job because he dreamed of leading the winged helmets out of the tunnel and under the banner to play Ohio State or MSU or Notre Dame, of singing The Victors in the locker room after clinching a Big Ten Championship; Rodriguez took the Michigan job because it fit his own personal criteria. It could've been any other elite job; it just so happened to be Michigan. This, I think, is the subtext of what many of our former players (and alumni and fans) mean when they say things like "he doesn't get our tradition." Maybe the sentiment could have been articulated better, but there was truth in it. The perception among many was that Rodriguez was something of a mercenary hire--and it's not that he was an outsider, it's that he was an outsider with no particular affinity with Michigan. And when he got here, he was very much the lone wolf. Once the shit started hitting the fan with the Freep investigation, it became him against the world, no matter how hard the Brandon-led Athletic Department fought to clear his name. Rodriguez gave himself no margin for error at Michigan. It was always going to be win or get out.
Identity matters in athletics, and yes it matters more at a places like Michigan. It's what Bo called upon to resurrect the program in 1969, it's what Hoke is doing in 2011.
The entire premise of your argument and the subsequent points that follow, that RR only came here b/c it was a big time job in need of a big time coach, is one big assumption. Until you can prove that reasonably (and I personally don't think you can), the entire argument is moot.
As for the inherent limitations of WVU, apparently you missed the fact that WVU was closer to getting to the NC game than UM has been in years ('06 not withstanding - we got killed by USC and would've gotten killed by UF, and frankly OSU too had they not turned the ball over unforced 3 times- Overrated). His WVU program and the Big East was an easy ticket to the NC game. You want to talk limitations, come to the Big Ten.
Prove to me that Rodriguez wanted to be the Head Coach of Michigan, rather than the Head Coach at Michigan that he sought it for reasons beyond it was simply a better job than the one he had. According to wikipedia,
"Some insight into the discontent between Rodriguez and WVU is evidenced in a compendium of emails that were released to the Associated Press on January 23, 2008. An Associated Press story indicated that Rodriguez's agent Mike Brown was threatening to take his client elsewhere early in the 2007 season."
And yes, while WVU came close to a national championship appearance (once), for a Big East team to reach the national championship game, they not only have to go undefeated, but hope that teams from stronger conferences (the Big Ten among them) falter. Michigan offered Rodriguez better recruiting capabilities, better facilities and resources (in a word, money). It was simply, like Alabama the year before, a better job.
You already gave me all we needed to know: He could have easily taken the Alabama job. A team down South with a fan base obsessed with the school, resources galore, SEC team...yet he didn't take it. Why? All of the WVU people he wanted to get away from were there at that time, too. The same issues he was not content with were there for a long time...these issues weren't new in 2007.
Of course we also have his explicit statement about why he chose Michigan above all of the other places he could've gone and how special Michigan is. Yes I'm aware he has to say things like that, so his own statement about why he took the job is not proof enough, but it can't be ignored either.
Anyone getting a job needs an opportunity to go there. He seized the Michigan job because he wanted the Michigan job. Citing him wanting to get out of WVU does not prove that this was the reason he chose Michigan any moreso than him saying Michigan is special makes him sincere about that statement. The countless other things he did to embrace the Michigan tradition and everything he did after he became head coach at Michigan proved to me that he desperately wanted to be a part of the tradition at UM.
"All of the WVU people he wanted to get away from were there at that time, too. The same issues he was not content with were there for a long time...these issues weren't new in 2007."
Michael Garrison became WVU president in October 2007. He and Rodriguez did not get along and their frayed relationship was the final straw for Rodriguez at WVU.
From this article: http://www.nj.com/rutgersfootball/index.ssf/2008/06/wvu_president_mike_garrison_ad.html
- "Garrison also revealed he had a testy exchange with sports agent Mike Brown in the summer, before he'd assumed the presidency, in which Brown vowed to "shop, as he put it, Product Rodriguez on the open market.""
- "Rodriguez had unresolved demands involving assistant coaches, a personal Web site, free passes for high school coaches and other matters. He says Garrison unequivocally refused to meet them."
Rodriguez "didn't think the place was necessarily any more special than anyplace else," Garrison testified, "and I was angry about that."
If that's how he felt about his alma mater, how did he feel about Michigan? Can we dismiss Garrison's sentiments after seeing the manner in which Rodriguez left Michigan, where he was reportedly flirting with the Maryland job before he had even been fired? Where he went on CBS and moaned about how unfairly he had been treated, how Dave Brandon doesn't know football like he does?
To be clear, I was an ardent supporter of Rodriguez at Michigan. While 'mercenary' probably isn't the right word (since I think if he'd been successful here he would have stayed for a very long time) I can't shake the perception, after three years of being on his side, that Rich Rodriguez is, above all things, about Rich Rodriguez.
Lol yes Garrison is not an interested party at all. Take all of his quotes as a fact of how Rodriguez actually felt. He really knew into Rodriguez's soul, you know, because he was hired mid-way through Rodriguez's last season at WVU as university President.
He was reportedly flirting with Maryland?! Lol facts would be nice, please, not rumors from Twitter. Even if Maryland had contacted him, Maryland was the one putting feelers out to candidates all over the country. And you assume it was Rodriguez doing the flirting? I've noticed an affinity for assuming things, it's making this debate difficult.
The manner in which Rodriguez left Michigan? How would you describe such manner? I don't think he ever said anything that 1) wasn't true or 2) was at all inflammatory towards UM, our fans, our University, or the players. Obviously he was not happy with being fired and had hoped for a longer tenure, who wouldn't feel that way?
My problem with how Rodriguez left Michigan is that he refused to take any responsibility for the team's performance. It was always someone else's fault. Consider the Dennis Dodd piece from January:
- "What I am going to do to make sure the next job I get, we win the national championship and everybody is pulling in the right direction. Dave's been on the job -- what? -- nine months? He knows the business world. I did the best I could to tell him or show him what was going on in the football program. I tried to show him as best I could. He wasn't involved in athletics [before getting to Michigan]. I've been a head coach in Division I for 10 years and coaching for 25. I know college football."
This just rubbed me the wrong way, especially throwing Brandon- the AD who went to war for you with the NCAA- under the bus.
- ""We've been in the top 10, played in Sugar Bowls [as a coach], but it seemed like some of the other drama that occurred at Michigan was almost a nonstop thing."
True enough, you had to deal with difficult circumstance. That doesn't exonerate you from poor performance
Let me bold a different part of that quote:
"Garrison also revealed he had a testy exchange with sports agent Mike Brown in the summer, before he'd assumed the presidency, in which Brown vowed to "shop, as he put it, Product Rodriguez on the open market.""
Maybe, perhaps, it was the final straw because a job he really liked opened up? Perhaps Rodriguez found a job worth leaving for. Consider this: He didn't like Alabama enough to leave for Alabama. He liked Michigan enough to leave for Michigan. In both situations, he was unhappy with things at WVU. I have weaved my own narrative out of the same set of information you have, and came to a different conclusion: He chose Michigan because he liked Michigan, not because it was any old "big job."
I also included that once he did get the job here, he did much to embrace the tradition and always seemed to desperately want to be a Michigan Man. I don't know how you can say with such certainty he just left because it was any ole big job. I believe he came here because 1) there was an opening 2) he was unhappy at WVU 3) it's a big deal kind of job and 4) he really did like Michigan, above other programs he had had an opportunity to coach.
And while we're at it, why does anyone like Michigan? Why do you think Hoke liked Michigan? Why are those reasons any more sincere than Rodriguez's supposed mercenary affinity for UM?
"I believe he came here because 1) there was an opening 2) he was unhappy at WVU 3) it's a big deal kind of job and 4) he really did like Michigan, above other programs he had had an opportunity to coach."
I agree with you here. What I'm saying is, that to many former players and alums, these priorities are out of order. They want a coach who wants to coach Michigan because he thinks winged helmets are the bee's knees, that the Victors is a better song than Beethoven's 5th, that Charles White's phantom TD was a fumble then and a fumble forever. They want a coach who feels about Michigan the way Brady Hoke does, the way Bo and Mo and Lloyd did. If Rodriguez ever felt that way, he did a poor job communicating it. And that's just one reason why so many former players were wary of the Rodriguez hire.
Back to '07 for a sec: Had the Alabama job (or any other comparably elite job) been open in 2007, I believe Rodriguez would have pursued it just as ardently as he went for Michigan. The timing wasn't right in '06; RR had a top 5 team at WVU and Garrison was not yet the president.
any evidence of Bo waxing poetic about Michigan as his dream job, as opposed to an obvious step up from Miami of Ohio and an opportunity to test himself on the big stage, particularly against his mentor Woody Hayes? If another Big Ten school had come after Bo (or Brady Hoke, for that matter), do you think he wouldn't have listened? Under your logic, it hardly matters who we hired in 2007 -- if he wasn't from the (essentially non-existent) Lloyd Carr coaching tree, the former players had a built-in excuse to reject him.
There's the famous story of Bo and his father visiting Ann Arbor and watching practice in the 1940s.
"I can even remember exactly what I was thinking when I looked at all those players out there: Someday, that's going to be me! ... the rest of the way home I went on and on in the back seat about the great Michigan tradition... I was in heaven.
I always wanted to go to Michigan... but I wasn't good enough to play for the Wolverines, and I knew it. I guess they knew it too!"
and later, memories from his first season at Michigan:
"I got to know the tradition that is Michigan. I studied it, I followed it. I got to know the people that created it, young and old."
Sure, Michigan was a better job than Miami. But it wasn't just another job. More relevant passages here:
and I've negged myself accordingly. Still, though, you have to acknowledge that you've severely limited your hiring options (particularly back in 2007) if you consider only those who were "called" to Michigan. And I'd still put football coaching ability higher on my priority list than "affinity" -- but that's just my own opinion.
Bo wasn't a “Michigan Man” I mention that passage and try to explain that was the moment that Bo decided that his blood ran Maize and Blue. All the events that happened prior to him taking the head coaching job were stops along the way to the destination.
That was a great post that sums up what Bo's makeup was all about.
Are you a Michigan fan or a fucking Rich Rodriguez fan, buddy? It's ok to have respect for a former coach but alot of these Rich Rod blowhards seem to like him more than the damn University and it is making me sick!
What about the blowhards who like themselves, and their idea of what Michigan "should be" (perhaps hiring only from its own coaching tree) more than the University or Michigan Football, leading to them taking a 3 year hiatus from support, and even vocally speaking out against the team's coach? You know, the guys the OP was about, the guys RVB is talking about in that quote?
You're saying you wouldn't take the Alabama job over WVU if you were a college football coach and were given the chance? How many college coaches do have an "affinity" toward a program. It's like any other job. Nick Saban never had many ties to Alabama before he took his job, and he did quite fine with it (shadiness nonwithstanding).
The same with the UM job. It is one of the more prestigious coaching vacancies out there when it is available and I don't think you should be more qualified because you loved it here more than anywhere else. It's a nice feature to have from your football coach, but you wouldn't hire me over Chip Kelly (just an example!) just because I spent 8 years at UM and bleed maize and blue.
Loyalty is a 2-way street. If you aren't getting the same respect you are giving your beloved institution, then I see no problem in moving on to greener pastures for your own livlihood.
I in no way blame Rich Rod for leaving West Virginia. The politics at the school are beyond weird. To address some points:
"You're saying you wouldn't take the Alabama job over WVU if you were a college football coach and were given the chance?"
I would absolutely take the Bama job but then again I didn't go to WVU. Rich Rod didn't end up in Tuscaloosa because he was still at that time torn by his loyalty to his alma mater. It's when things didn't get better over the next year that he made the final decision to leave. Again, no problem with Rodriguez leaving WVU. The problem from our standpoint, as Michigan fans, is that he ended up at Michigan because by that point he was ready to leave for any job that was better than the one he had.
"How many college coaches do have an "affinity" toward a program"
Brady Hoke, Michigan. Among others.
As far as Saban, Alabama and its fans were so desperate after a decade of failure for a winning program they willingly signed up for a mercenary coach and made no apologies for doing so. They were willing to make a deal with the devil.
RR for taking a golden opportunity of a job? or AD Martin for hiring him?
Either way, it has nothing to do with the hypocrisy of the "Michigan Men" who talk about being a "Michigan Man" and "tradition" and "family" as though they have a clue what any of those things really mean.
Just a simple question: Which "match made in heaven" coach with an "affinity" for Michigan should we have hired instead in 2007? And how about another question: Is Brady Hoke's "affinity" for Michigan going to matter more than, uh, his ability to coach winning football?
I'm not saying this is why Rodriguez didn't win at Michigan; I'm not even saying Rodriguez shouldn't have been hired.
I'm trying to explain why so many Michigan players and alumni may were wary of the hire, and how Rodriguez did little to dispel the notion that to him, Michigan was just another job. Saying that Michigan Men don't like outsiders is an oversimplification.
I see your point and appreciate your effort to explain it. I do worry sometimes, however, that the Rodriguez experience will be used to justify "Michigan Man" hires well into the future, at the expense of other factors that (in my view) are more important in picking a successful football coach. I think this is what Brian is driving at with his references to "becoming Notre Dame."
I feel confident that any coach at a high-level job puts more "heart and soul" into his job than most people can fathom. So, no, I don't think "wanting to be at school X" (in this case Michigan) because it's "school X" really makes enough of a difference to matter more than at least 20 other attributes. When you're working 16-20 hour days, there isn't much more room for working "harder" or "pouring your heart and soul into it because it's MICHIGAN" left to expend. You're at capacity already.
I agree with a great deal of this post, however to assert that the alumni of the football program are merely fans is preposterous. How often do we hear of quotes from current recruits that sound like, "I'm very excited about Michigan's program. I grew up watching Jake Long and he is one person I have tried to emulate." The reality is that alumni are a huge draw to recruits. Their efforts for the program are the reason that Michigan is a premier college football program. To minimize that is ignorant and misguided. Don't be so quick to turn your back to the heros of yesterday.
Agreed. It's just like Army reunions. Any time guys make huge sacrifices and bond together under pressure, those relationships will last. The alumni tells recruits that at UM they are joining something bigger than themselves that will lend nobility to their entire lives. That means that they remain part of the program indefinitely. They just need to know the right way to remain part of the program -- passing on the legacy, telling the old stories, keeping the fire lit, etc. -- which seems to be exactly what Brady is trying to get out of them.
The fact is that alumni are a big part of a team - which is exactly why they should be held to a higher standard when it comes to their public actions regarding Michigan than some random Joe on a message board. And that's exactly what the OP is about.
Big Mouth Edwards also had a hot read fail in the 2003 Rose Bowl and ended up kicking the ball into air leading to a USC interception and touchdown. That loss outweighed the MSU win in my mind. I would have rather won the Rose Bowl than beat our THIRD biggest rival (yeah, third, since ND has been much more competitive with Michigan than MSU has. Keep this in mind, RR haters, when you constantly bring up 0-6 vs. OSU and MSU and completely omit the 2-1 against ND, our second biggest rival).
lloyd carr lost 4 straight to OSU before RR showed up. woot.
the only thing RR could have done differently is win more and win sooner. He couldn't survive the slings and arrows stacked against him from the outset without winning big early, which wasnt going to happen in 2008 or 2009. Part of the blame goes to those who brought the guy here and assumed he could work his "magic" here as he did in Morgantown.
I said it the other day and I'll say it again: Braylon Edwards is a fucking bitch.
Neg away again, folks...
[EDIT: This was a reply to a guy I ended up caving for his later posts -- Original text had Lloyd's record v. Sweatervest at 5-1, not 6-1, and the guy pointed this out. Later on he broke Godwin's Law.]
I caught that on edit too.
2001 - Dammit Navarre
2002 - Dammit Clarrett who shouldn't have been eligible
2003 - Woooo Roses (only time I ever rushed the field)
2004 - Troy Smith (and backing into the Rose Bowl)
2005 - Punt from 35. Infinite Pain.
2006 - that thing.
2007 - Rain, injuries, cold, sadness.
I remember one pass in the left flat on 4th down vs. OSU from Henne that, if not dropped by Braylon, might have turned one of those six losses. I can remember that like it was yesterday and it burns me every time he starts running his mouth about someone else.
I was sitting in the Horseshoe looking straight down the sideline where he dropped that one. Still bums me out and all, but then you put that against MSU earlier that season, and the fact we still went to a Rose Bowl against a juggernaut Texas team (and almost won), and all is not lost.
But, hey, it's easier just to pile on Braylon for everything, right?
If you're looking at the final score, sure.
If memory serves, Braylon dropped that pass on third down with Michigan down by 8 with about 10 minutes left in the fourth.
Seriously, did you watch Michigan football before 2006?
He would be petty, defensive, finger pointing, etc. But he really doesn't get the chance to say or do anything. He is shamed (which is partly his fault for various reasons, poor performance, ncaa violations and so on) and so far he is being gentlemanly or nice and keeping his mouth shut. But will he get provoked by Braylon or others and speak up? And would it be welcomed or justified given the alum and former players' ongoing criticism. I doubt it.
I get what Brian is saying or at least like many others interpret it my own way. Braylon either has some booze in his mouth or his foot and when anyone is listening, he is on tour to restore the Michigan brand as he sees or wants it. Braylon still wears his jersey and thinks he is #1. He does not and will not care what anyone thinks as displayed at his pro stops. So, he drops his verbal grenades and leaves town after a stop at Mott's.
Yeah, thats it he is not taking a shot at RR, "he hates these cans"