Did Lloyd hang on to some people he maybe shouldn't have? Sure.
But, WindyCityBlue, why isn't it Cronyism when RR brings McGee, Barwis, etc. etc. with him from WVU?
In less than a week, Michigan will run under the banner a team directed by Rich Rodriguez and the Bo Schembechler era will finally, permanently belong to the past.
It’s a change that most Michigan fans feel was too long coming after the tribulations in recent years: losses to Ohio State, Rose Bowls that end the wrong way, national embarrassment and the infamous picture that will stand as one half of the Carr era denouement:
It lived in the past and now it is of the past and it can stay there, to be memorialized in song and commemorative DVD. Amen.
But this is the other half of the Carr era denouement.
This picture makes me happy.
Over the past three years on this blog I’ve chronicled my endless frustration with Michigan football; I’ve also chronicled just how important it is to me. Carr is at least partially responsible for both these things. It has been a deeply schizophrenic existence, and the Citrus Bowl was everything about that existence wrapped into one three-hour summary.
You can check the UFR after most games for an explanation of the first. The second has something to do with Carr’s tireless scorn for those who deserved it, primarily the money-changers cramming into the temple of the game, his obvious devotion to his players, his desire to read things more stimulating than a playbook.
This latter item about reading is weird and useless—who cares if the football coach knows who Keats is?—but it’s also indisputably true. Former Daily sportswriter J Brady McCullough indirectly touches on it in his excellent article on the changeover:
“I’m studying up on it,” Rodriguez says. “Reading books. I got 500 books sent to me. I got four or five of the same book, ‘Bo’s Lasting Lessons,’ and it gave me some perspective on things.”
Rodriguez has realized Michigan is unique. Fans and former players who want their football coach to spend his time reading?
Yes. When I was editing Hail to the Victors 2008, space requirements forced me to cut down Craig Ross’s article about his experience at a Scot Loeffler quarterbacks meeting, and when I had to cut a small but telling paragraph about Lloyd Carr it lingered with me. This is it:
After a few minutes Carr appeared. He was relaxed and fresh, even though it was mid-evening and he had worked for the entire day. We chatted for a few moments about a book, The Long Walk, the story of a WWII prisoner of war who escaped from a Gulag and then trekked across Siberia, through the Gobi desert and then through the Himalayas to India.
I didn’t want to cut it but it was either that or something directly relevant to Ross’s odyssey so out it went. I wanted people to see it, to get the little glimpse into how odd Lloyd Carr—football coach, friend of Russell Crowe, strident Democrat—is. He reads books! About things! This is important.
There is something to the sometimes annoying “Michigan Man” thing. There is a mindset, an attitude, some characteristics that are shared by enough people that they characterize a program and a fanbase. (The annoying part is when people pretend all these things are positive.) Carr was of this and in more than a decade came to define some of it. Kipling and Into Thin Air and The Long Walk were part of the fabric of the program.
Few outside of Michigan fandom understood this or anything about Carr. How could they? Opposing fans took the opportunity provided by Carr’s cantankerousness at press conferences and one inopportune photo after a loss against Oregon to label him classless. Neutrals just thought he was a crab, because they experienced him as a crab. A month after the Bo memorial service at which Carr spoke, I found myself in a conversation with Orson Swindle of EDSBS fame. At some point I forwarded the video (part one; part two) of Carr’s speech to him. The response: “It's enthralling, actually. Lloyd is downright eloquent.”
The surprise was evident.
It was November when they memorialized Bo but it was nice enough out, I thought, and I thought the thing to wear was a suit so I did but I left the coat at home and this was fine for a while. But when the sun started setting the warmth leached out of the air and people kept talking and it was cold. And I wrapped my arms around myself as Bo’s son talked and kept talking and God bless him, I know he just lost his father but it’s cold and I’ve been here for hours. And he kept going.
So I’m cold and in a suit and my mind is wandering back to what Carr said to wrap up his speech. I recorded it with my MP3 player but old obscure-brand MP3 players being what they are and having no external mic the recording was nigh useless and when I discovered this later I was a little shattered but still posted the nigh useless thing on the blog.
Carr said this: “Bo will be remembered as the Michigan Man.”
No, not quite, I don’t think. Not “the.”
I’m happy that the empire of the fallen has finished its long slide into the sea. I’m happy it’s been replaced with something young and vivacious and very likely successful. But on Saturday something that lived for forty years sees the last shovelful of dirt on its grave, and I wish it hadn’t come to this.
People wish for a lot of things, though, and entropy always tells them to go to hell.
Did Lloyd hang on to some people he maybe shouldn't have? Sure.
But, WindyCityBlue, why isn't it Cronyism when RR brings McGee, Barwis, etc. etc. with him from WVU?
croynism is when you hire and/or keep people on your staff when they are either not qualified or should have been let go awhile ago.
I would say that RR's staff has been better and more qualified than Michigan's old staff. Maybe RR will be the same, we'll see.
However, I don't think you will see such a large change in look, philosophy, and preparation that you will see in our transition, even compared to ND, GT, and Florida. This is clearly manifested in the types of recruits we are getting, many of which LC would never recruit or get.
I'm feeling pathetic that I know that's Achewood.
Very well done, sir. Kudos.
That was just a stupid pun. My take was that Carr retired because there were other important things in life and he just didn't have the same old drive to coach football. He felt that it was time to move on and let a younger guy step in who had more fire for the game.
I for one liked Lloyd, but he had let the game pass him by. He was very loyal to his assistants (about to the point of cronyism) and his players (much to his credit) and it seemed like he could only coach his team out of or into a rut i.e. coach his team up from a low spot but struggled to maintain momentum when he got the team to the top. I think I know what he did in the game against OSU: he kept the injured seniors in because he was giving them one last chance to beat the Buckeyes. (I don't know what the hell Mike Debord was doing.) That was huge of Lloyd. He was able to put other things above winning. I don't know if I can think of other coaches who would do the same thing. Perhaps he realized at the same time, however, that he was a rare bird in today's coaching game and that you need someone who will attach more importance to winning (someone who will be a liar to his QBs and not adapt the system to them...).
I hope that makes sense. Obviously, I don't know Lloyd personally but that's what I think may have been going on; I don't profess to know the truth. Next time I'll just use a lot of ellipses. Don't get me wrong. I think that RR is a great choice b/c he is a fantastic coach who fosters a family environment (despite what Boren says) and keeps his players under control. I just think that in the end Lloyd wanted to be more of a father figure than a coach.
I do not know if this is the best place to post this question so please let me know a better one BUT I have been attending home games for the last 30 years and have always tailgated at the University Golf Couse off of State Street. Unfortunately, after the experience I had at the tOSU game last year I vowed I would never park there again especially if I have my kids. So, any suggestions? I parked at Yost once because the course was closed and that was O.K. Any help would be appreciated-email me petew at fpoint.com--Thanks!
So you're parked there for 30 years, have one bad experience due to tOSU game, and now will never go back? Am I missing something?
We had the pre-OSU blood orgy at the golf course last year, instead of the usual den of sin. Must have turned some people off.
Break your vow and bring a stun gun.
Or a sick stick.
Seriously, what happens in the parking lot that small children would not be exposed to walking to the game from campus or in the stadium itself?
I agree with virtually all of what Tim says.
For the record, the man was also an extremely successful actual football coach, as well.
This reminded me of the kind of post that would be on RBUAS. It was a superb post. Thank you.
Watch as men who once won national championships fall like rebel angels.
what else can i say that hasn't been said already? well, besides this: enabler!
I started at UofM in 1995, so I've only ever known Lloyd as the head coach, and never witnessed bo or moe. I grew up outside of Lansing and all my relatives were spartan fans. Shortly after I got accepted the news broke about moeller. Some of my less classy acquaintances and relatives took a lot of pleasure in that.
And then a funny thing happened. Lloyd was hired. And he was mad. I know Moeller was upset that lloyd took it, but what else could he do? It was in the best interest of the program and, probably more importantly to lloyd, it was in the best interest of the players. That will always be the lasting image I have of Lloyd Carr. That very first press conference.
There are other things mixed in, but it's all a blur. That first impression told you everything you need to know about the man. He's stern, he stands up for his principles, and he cares about his players. Yeah, he coached offense like he was a defensive coordinator, but he brought about the greatest sports moments I have ever been blessed to witness.
In 2005 he lost my respect as a football coach. it was definitely time for him to step down. But he never lost my respect as a man, or as a role model.
And so Rich Rodriguez, whom I have a lot of hope for, has some big shoes to fill and a 'tremendous' standard to aspire to in those aspects.
Good points all of these.
I still don't understand what happened in 2006. In retrospect that was like a glimmer of hope sandwiched in between two years that defined Lloyd's [coaching] demise quite aptly.
I think that it may really have been the universe's way of giving Bo one Last Hurrah followed by an epic OSU game and traditional Rose Bowl let down (since in Bo's days the team spent their steam on OSU and usually didn't have enough to finish the bowl strong).
But I agree, I was convinced after 2005 that Lloyd didn't have it left in him to go any farther. '06 was a glimmer of glory, and '07 the final word.
Great job at capturing some very conflicting emotions. Although I have no inside knowledge of the man, as the father of two teenage sons, I would feel quite confident entrusting them to a Lloyd Carr run program. He seemed to take a special interest in truly educating young men, holding their feet to the fire when needed but allowing them to work themselves out of trouble to grow from the experience. Braylon and Griese seem to be two examples of this. Obviously when you are responsible for 85+ there will be some failures. (Hell, I still worry about my 2).
To be able to do this while winning a national championship and 75% of his games is impressive. To be more than just a narrow, cliche spouting typical football coach, I believe, made the University look better.
But as always, it was a double-edged sword. I believe that there are few coaches who could have kept from losing that team after the start last year. However, the predictability and lack of fire coming out of the gate was a major factor in that start.
He was loyal to a fault, and it truly was time for a change. He was a good guy, a class act and won a lot of football games. However, I am ready to crush teams that we should crush, to regularly at least be in the discussion among the top teams at the end of the year, and for god's sake, beat that inbred, trashy, mouthbreathing, buckstache wearing pile of stinking human filth from Ohio. (I said Carr was a class act, I didn't say I was.)
If we do this, we will be considered a success. Will we give up some warm, fuzzy intangible that makes us Michigan? I don't know and I don't know how much I'll care.
I'm thinking the tailgating question was referring to the fact it took about 3 hours to get to the Briarwood mall area after the OSU game last year if you were parked on the course. And I really wish I was kidding.
I'm sure that's happened in the last 30 years and also would have nothing to do with bringing his kids. After all, if they were bitching in the back seat about having to wait 3 hours you always have a backhand.
In a year, i'll also have 2 degrees from Michigan. also, my grandfather started at michigan in 1898. thus, when i say LC is a doofus, it's the truth, bitches.
... is that 10 pound lump of fear in my stomach when UM is up less than 7 points with 8 minutes to go.
What I will miss is pretty much everything else.
Saturday will be a weird, weird day for sure.
Tacopants, I'm not sayin' I am, I'm not saying I'm not, but there's a good chance myself and about 500 other people are wanted for things I don't recall from that tailgate. I'm guessing not (as I didn't wake up in jail), but then again you never know- maybe I'm just really fast when inebriated.
Bo is THE Michigan Man, but no one embodies what a "Michigan
Man" is better than Lloyd. Not one of us here will know what it's like
to wake up every single day, for 20-30 years, and lead 100+ young men
onto the field at Michigan as the head football coach. It takes a rare
individual who can handle the pressure, remain unwavering in character,
and always put the program FIRST.
Lloyd did our school proud.
I don't think anything is more important than that. It's easy for us
to stare at the TV or watch from the stands and yell about the play
calling or the game plan. Lloyd remained ROCK steady throughout the
Moeller fiasco, the national championship, the Rose Bowls, Bo's death,
and the hiring of his successor.
Lloyd chided some reporters
one time, asking them if they were some sort of "paradigm of integrity"
while they criticized his players and their effort. First of all, I'm
proud that I have a coach at my alma mater who even knows what a
paradigm of integrity is. I'll bet there's a vast majority of major
college coaches who couldn't use the word paradigm in a sentence.
Secondly, thank God I had a coach who was able to keep in mind that,
although we find winning football game the most important thing, the
real goal is to turn out men of character, captains of industry, and
honorable "Michigan Men."
Leaders and Best.
Posts like this are the reason this Ohio State fan reads you before he reads any blogs about his own team. Nice work.
I think Titanic.
follow the link, it's a website where people make poetry by redacting large segments of a newspaper article. it's kind of like haiku, or that anagram game, where you try to distill something meaningful and concise.
Exceptional work, Brian.
Rich Rodriguez may be a better coach than Lloyd Carr, but he will never surpass him or Bo.
Why do people feel compelled to slight Rodriguez when they praise Carr? I think they're both good guys.
lets at least let the richrod era get underway until we start to compare men.
It's like saying, " I like beer, but it will never surpass pizza." Both have a place at the table of satisfying comestibles, but not the same place.
Bo, Lloyd, and RichRod are all Michigan football coaches, but their approaches and places in the history and tradition are so different I'm not sure how they can be compared.
I was actually looking for some blog or sites to help me in <a href="http://www.squidoo.com/writing-a-eulogy">writing a eulogy</a> or funeral speech but since I come across this, might as well write something about it....Yeah, they all do look happy in that picture and I hope they will be that happy for all the years to come!!!!! Thanks for sharing this happy picture! GO GO MICHIGAN!!!!