I don't know why, but I am on your side. Every piece of logic tells me otherwise, but I agree. Blnid faith, I guess. Blind faith.
We’ve moved past the brink, boys and girls. Without even knowing that the edge was approaching, we’ve begun tumbling into the depths of winter and spring and early summer: almost a year without a meaningful football game. One moment, you’re making a postmodern commentary on a freak out thread after the Iowa game, the next you’re sitting on a loveseat wearing a box painted as a Rubik’s cube yelling at no one in particular to tackle because there is no one within 5 yards of Evan Royster and there never will be.
I am not writing to you about defensive fronts or about Greg Robinson or about linebacker play or even about Denard Robinson, who is, at least, one good thing about this season. I am writing about one Richard A. Rodriguez, how, no matter what happens for the rest of the season, I will want him to coach the Michigan Wolverines next year and probably the year after that, and, if Dave Brandon does fire him, how I’ll look wistfully after him wherever he ends up.
It’s strange to me that college football coaches hold over their fan bases an almost religious import. In the Kevin Smith movie Dogma, (which was strangely like every other Kevin Smith movie, despite being about Jesus) the lost prophet, Rufus, played by Chris Rock says about religious beliefs, “You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier.” We don’t have ideas about coaches, we have beliefs. When Rodriguez showed up here, I know there were many around who believed he wasn’t the answer, that his offense wouldn’t translate to the Big Ten, that he wasn’t a Michigan man, whatever that is. There were others who didn’t know what to believe, and this was either very exciting or exceedingly frightening. Me? I am no different than any other fan except I believe that Rodriguez is the answer, that given time, he’ll lead us to the glory we always expect, but which always seem to elude us.
But more than that, I love to watch Rodriguez’s teams play. This was the geneses of my belief in Rodriguez. I remember going out of my way to watch those West Virginia teams with Pat White and Noel Devine, and while those two certainly made for a dynamic scoring offense, the thing I loved more than anything else was the way Rodriguez’s teams played for him, how they never stopped trying to beat you, how every game, series, play was a war in and of itself. They say that a team takes on the character of its coach, and I’ve found that to be true of these Michigan teams, that, even if they are outmanned, they’ll fight with you until you knock them out. The first iconic image, for me, of Rodriguez’s tenure here was Steven Threet’s buffalo stampede against Wisconsin in 2008, a triumph of form and deception over power and speed.
When it comes down to it, I’m not really sure from where my faith in Rodriguez comes. Maybe it’s because I was born and raised in Rochester New York and have become accustomed to the language of losing; I point to two Buffalo Bills losses to mark the beginning and end of my childhood (Wide Right and The Music City Miracle respectively). There’s something comforting that comes from supporting a team like that, I suppose.
But, even I grow sick of losing. I grow tired of the endless close calls or not so close calls. And I recognize that he’s not perfect, that he’s at fault for our failures, but I also believe Rodriguez’s will is as strong as any coach in the country, that the leap is coming and coming soon. Beliefs are difficult to change, and I’m not going to claim that what I have here is anything but an article accepted on faith, nor do I have the idea that what I’m writing will change anyone’s mind, one way or the other.
So then what’s the use of this? I’m afraid I don’t have an answer besides saying that sometimes it seems important to state, for the world, what you believe and leave it there, something to mark your leap.
will you feel the same way if (God, I hope not!) we only win 5 games this year?
Can't really comment on that unless it happens, which I don't think it will.
Edit: I didn't neg you. I think it's probably a reasonable question.
like you just voiced the moderate view of this whole RR debate in one eloquent an concise post. Thank you.
That is all
I question his handling of the defense. If he were to hire a great dc and let him do his job, I think he should get this done. However, he has to leave the defense to the expert and not interfere.
Down with the Illini!
well, I agree for the most part. I really think a coach has to have his first recruits become seniors before you can fully judge him and we all know that is next year. I believe the offense will continue to improve to Oregoneon heights. If we can just get a middle of the road defense, just think. If we only had a middle of the road defense this year...probably are sitting at 7-1
...I, too, believe he has what it takes to lead Michigan football to another level. Why do I believe this - I observe he holds his players accountable in a way that Michigan football players haven't been since Bo? Ever? That accountability is a culture change - one we are still living through and one that may not be complete until he has had four-years to recruit and this team is 100% his.
Like you, win or lose, I have never been more excited watching a Michigan football team and RichRod creates this. Go Blue.