Nice breakdown. I can proudly say I don't fall in any of these categories. Small factions of a couple of these I can mildly agree with to a certain point.
I didn't vote for Obama. He is now the leader of our country and I want him and our country to succeed, so I've got his back. Same goes for Michigan football. Rodriguez was not my first choice, but I liked the hire, and I'm "all in" for him from the get go.
It would be interesting to see the different groups of the RRod supporters.
Nice post. I enjoyed it.
Know Your Anti-RR Factions: A Taxonomy
"The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man, and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of activity", James Madison, Federalist #10.
When Madison wrote about the dangers of faction, he was concerned that competing interests would destroy the nascent American government. If we turn to Michigan football and its current coach, one might think that there are only two factions: the pro-Rodriguez and the anti-Rodriguez. But these are not monolithic factions. Members of the anti-Rodriguez group have all sorts of motivations: some overlapping, some singular. Some are personal, directed at Rodriguez. Some have nothing to do with Rodriguez himself and everything to do with his job.
It’s important to know who you’re dealing with. So when you encounter a card-carrying anti-Rodriguez person in the wild, please refer to the guide below. Your combatant may have one, some, or many of these motivations. Disarming them is nearly impossible; it’s best to walk away.
The Just Win, Baby
This is the most legitimate type of Rodriguez basher. They point to his 8-16 record, his 3-13 Big 10 record, the end of the bowl streak, the end of the winning season streak, etc. They just want the team to keep winning like it always has and can’t understand why it’s losing now. For this group, any losing record is unforgiveable, and two in a row is a death sentence. Almost every Michigan fan is a member of this group to some degree; the difference is between those who see progress out of a deep hole vs. those who think a good thing was driven into the ditch.
The Devout Nostalgic
Somewhat similar to The Just Win, Baby but less pragmatic and more unrealistic in expectations. Believes Michigan has a divine right to have a winning program, and anyone to divert Michigan from that divine right must be Satan himself.
Maybe more realistic than the Devout Nostalgic, yet still upset about any change to the football program. This includes the spread offense, piped in music, the handling of the #1 jersey, the lack of season-starting permanent team captains, etc. For this type, Rodriguez is not a ‘Michigan Man’ and never will be.
This group has problems with Rodriguez because he can seem like a glib gladhander. They are put off by the way he left his alma mater, the lawsuit (whether it was encouraged by U-M or not), the golly-gee press conferences, the failed real estate deal, the GPA claim, the Lion King quotes, etc. They don’t fully trust Rodriguez and likely never will. They also know that this feeling is somewhat irrational. [Full disclosure: I'm an occasional member of this group]
The Football Hater
This person hates football. They hate big-time sports. They may have tolerated Lloyd Carr because of his emphasis on character and academics and charitable work, but now that Carr’s gone this group is out in full force.
Rodriguez swears. Therefore, he’s a bad coach. Anything that any member of the program does is wrong and further proof of Rodriguez’s evil core - regardless of similar things happening under previous Michigan football coaches or at other programs. For this person, a minor NCAA violation would be the equivalent of a double homicide.
The Media Elite
Perhaps after years of getting dressed down by Lloyd Carr, the media elite is exacting his revenge on the Michigan program. While Carr intimidated the press, Rodriguez does not. And rather than repay his humanity, they take advantage of it.
'I Wanted a Different Coach'
These are legion. For whatever reason, they wanted another coach (Miles, Ferentz, Kelly, Harbaugh, English, Hoke), and since Rodriguez is not that coach, they want him out.
The Vengeful West Virginia Hillbilly
DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE! West Virginia is a beautiful state and West Virginians can be beautiful people. BUT THEY DO NOT GIVE A SHIT. They have elected a crotchety former KKK member to the Senate for 50 years. West Virginia is also the state that gave us the Hatfields and McCoys; long-running feuds are nothing new to these folks. They feel betrayed by native son Rodriguez, and they want nothing less than the nuclear annihilation of Rodriguez and anything associated with him – including the Michigan football program. They would think nothing of sowing discontent wherever possible. So, every word you read, every voice you hear, everything you see, you must ask yourself - is a pissed off West Virginian behind it all? Maybe yes, maybe no.
I hope this helps. Remember, Madison said that the causes of faction cannot be controlled, only the effects. So do your best, and please feel free to add to the taxonomy in the comments.
Nice breakdown. I can proudly say I don't fall in any of these categories. Small factions of a couple of these I can mildly agree with to a certain point.
In 10 years RR will be a michigan man and all you who had it out for him will say i was behind you from the start. Thank you rr michigan needed you i was sick of the attitude we had, we deserve to win because we are michigan. If i recall when bo came in he was a miami of ohio man alot of players transfered players said he worked them to hard look what happened. The attmosphere is so much better and we had 2 straight loosing seasons think of what it is going to sound like when we start winning. In rod i trust go blue
While a lot of players transferred after Bo, we also sucked before Bo got there. The Bump Elliot days were some of the worst in Michigan history. And Bo silenced his critics in his first year - on that fateful day against OSU. While I do not think RR should be fired this year, he sure as fuck better get his shit together next year. I fall in the first category of just win and somewhere in a subsequent category as I just don't really like him, but I probably will when he wins so again, just win baby. Just win.
As a whole, the Bump years were bad, but his last team in '68 went 8-2, and it was Bump who recruited most of the players Bo used to great success. There was a very talented nucleus in place when Bo took over, and he went 8-2 in that first regular season. Very importantly, scholarship limits were so much different in those days too, so that Bo could afford to drive nearly 50 players from the existing team and still have a very deep roster.
The losing bugs me (understatement). And the team captains thing bugs me too, but not that much.
His style doesn't bother me per se, but I think he could benefit from a little polishing in terms of what he says/implies about Carr; just a little. I think time is fading his ability to do this so we'll see what he says going forward. I still think he'll be able to say "told you so." Please?
Coach Rodriguez will be fine, but he needs to get it going; for everybody's sake.
A tip of the hat to you sir. This is just great work.
I personally kind of like those outspoken guys in SEC and wanted one at Michigan, part of the changing CFB culture. Occasionally the super genuine hill-jack thing gets to me (but in person it's very becoming and he's a great guy), but I think it also shows he's just being Rod.. a man from a simpler place... a place for lovers... a place called West Virginia.
The pragmatist. You reference it in one of your other descriptions, but it doesn't have it's own.
An amusing take though. I sure any but the most blindly supportive can find bits or pieces of themselves there...
Thanks; fixed that.
Cue to 1:12.
I thought we'd be bigger...
I am the patient Michigan fan who knows the new coach will need at least 3 to 4 years to revamp the program. I'm 80 percent confident that RR will succeed.
"...the patient fan who knows the new coach will need at least 3 to 4 years to succeed"... nice work
It's just common sense to let a new coach have his 3 to 4 years to get in his recruits and implement his system. If, after 4 years there is consistent underperformance *then* you can move on. That's a pragmatic approach giving the guy a reasonable opportunity to succeed with his guys and not the leftovers from the previous regime (hello Threet and Sheridan and 3 and 9).
It's the ALL CAPS writing crowd who find any losing at Michigan unacceptable who would off their coach after two years. Just what sort of *credible* coach would want to then coach in such an environment?
In other news, RichRod's not going away so maybe the anti-RR crowd can just shut the hell up for a while and we can move on to relevant things like recruiting analysis.
Happy thanksgiving all of you (American version)
I'm with this guy^
Which one is Tom Hagan, how do we stop him or if we can't change his mind how do we walk away?
Obsess much? Loser
You forgot the northern elitist who distrusts anything with a southern-ish accent. A subset of the Distrustful, these folks hated Rodriguez from the moment he stepped to the podium as Michigan's coach, and actually dislike the coach simply because of the way he talks. Note that these people will often use other justifications as to why they hate Rodriguez (i.e. arrogance and power hunger, as if these were unique to Rod among college coaches), but deep down it is the accent that irks them the most.
I was surprised this faction of Michigan fan existed, but I've seen it first hand. As stated above, there is no way to reason with these types, and it is best to simply walk away or change the subject.
Yep. I didn't want to get into it in my post. And frankly there's a (very small) group that wishes the Michigan coach didn't have a name that ended in z.
I thought a few people wanted FerentZ despite the Z
I think he meant hispanic (racist bastards). :) and I know you were just trying to be funny...
Considering how irrational some of the comments are about RR, this has to be true on some level, unfortunately.
The biggest irony for this group is that no less than Fielding Yost, (hallowed be his name) had a West Virginia accent so thick that it gave rise to the term:
For that was the way he pronounced it. In many ways, there wouldn't BE a Michigan Football program with the storied history were it not for that man!
RR's accent explains it all. That's why these same fans despised and disrespected Lloyd Carr for every minute of the 13 years he won for UM -- because of his pronounced Tennessee hillbilly accent. [Sarcasm off]
Traditionalists who simultaneously revere Lloyd Carr and pine for Les Miles as the only legitimate continuation of the "Michigan Man" tradition, ignoring the fact that there is (allegedly) seriously bad blood between the two men.
You don't need to throw in the word "allegedly." I don't think either man would even deny it.
I'm not anti-RR, but I am anti-SUCK and, right now, UM SUCKS. I guess that puts me squarely in "The Just Win, Baby!" category as I don't believe that UM's program needed to be completely rebuilt so I am unwilling to accede to RR's request for "patience".
all in for rich and want to see what another year does, but a part of my brain keeps saying it just might not be the right fit. this happens in the real world. you might have a great organization and a very talented professional, but they just don't align. couple that with the fact that it appears our ad never really assessed the situation before the hire-expectation were not set, he never taught his guy the culture, leaving him to learn it the hard way, need for d improvement from day 1, etc...
even the strongest rich followers have to admit he was not set up for success from the start, has not been able to demonstrate the ability to maximize talent, or be flexible with talent he was given. the core strategic advantages michigan offers do not align with his vision. it may just be a bad marriage, no knock on the program, the coach, only the stakeholders who brought him here...
If you want to win now, staying with RR is the quickest way. You can bitch about the losses the last two years, but we all know that it takes awhile to modernize and rebuild a program.
So, Einstein: would you give the players their fourth DC in four years? That would be a brilliant move. Would you hire a coach to run a power-I when the team is now almost thoroughly refitted as a spread option team? That would be incandescently intelligent.
I think they should fire RR and make Anti-Suck the new head coach. Anti-suck will have us to the National Championship next year. He'll just walk right in, show everybody who's the boss, snap his fingers a few times, and WIN RIGHT NOW. Because, as we all know, the current performance is UNACCPETABLE.
Anyway, anti-suck, please just have a few more beers and chill for awhile. You can jump on the RR bandwagon in another year or two; it will still be there for you. And you can tell everyone how you "knew it all along" when the fruits of RR's current labor manifests itself on the field.
And that's UM Alumni Players. There are alum players solidly behind RR, and others not really in his camp. The most outspoken alumni guys in favor of RR seem to be older, Bo-era guys, while some Carr-era players have made comments somewhat more critical of RR, perhaps in reaction to the persistent Carr-bashing that's indulged in by some strong RR supporters, and to comments about talent and recruiting made by RR himself.
Out of all the groups mentioned in the diary, this is the only one that has the potential to influence decisions inside the AD regarding the head coach. If things ever got to the point where a significant majority of alumni players wanted RR gone and were speaking their minds to the AD and upper administration, I bet that could play an important role in a decision, given their direct connection to the Michigan football tradition that everybody from MSC on down pays reverent homage to.
(See Ross and Henne comments)
Actually, I think there's a lot of variance. Some of the older pre-Lloyd Bo guys were very outspoken Les Miles guys. And recently there's been some talk here that the Dierdorf crew aren't sold. And OJ's buddy shot his mouth off in the paper not too long ago...
So I think they could fit the categories too.
Or is that the athletic departments decision?
I don't really think that that's an anti-rr thing because a lot of the RR supporters (myself, Brian, etc) don't like it. (although i do like it like once or twice a game in important spots where the crowd isn't too into the game)
RR was pushing for a more exciting and active environment at the Stadium, and seemed to be the driving force behind it, but we'll never know if he was just towing the company line.
To get the fans into the game
Hire John Mason ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Mason_(announcer) ) to pump up the crowd
One category missing from your post is the "Muck-raker"
These douchebags typically have last names that start with an "R" and end with "-Osenberg"
Another noisy faction is the "let's attack RichRod and get him out of there because in reality we fear him" crowd. This is mostly complrised of MSU and OSU fans and MSU shills like Valenti and Caputo who are at least smart enough to know that if RR sticks Michigan will be kicking their asses regularly in a few years.
While I think there were definitely MSU and OSU fans last year who truly feared what RR could do here, I seriously doubt there's more than a tiny handful of them at this point. Most fans are "what have you done lately" when it comes to evaluating coaches, and I'd bet a big box of money the vast, vast majority of Sparties and Buckeyes have concluded that RR has no clue at this point, a conclusion that has been reached, erroneously or not, by a good number of Michigan fans.
If RR thought 2009 had a lot of pressure he doesn't know the half of it. Next year is going to be murder on him stress-wise, at least until they get to 8 victories. I wish I felt more optimistic that's going to happen.
Jeff Defrans falls under these:
The Media Elite
'I Wanted a Different Coach'
Check out his rant yesterday. He passed his opinions off as fact.
What the heck, are ratings down? Nobody is pleased with how the season went, but to use the radio platform to shamelessly promote views with little to base them on, I don't understand that. That's just propaganda is what it was; there was no sense of 'callers, what do you think', it was more like, "I got the mic so you will listen to me'. I wondered if some 'bigwigs' from the aforementioned groups were in his ear and he feels like one of them. I was on the road at the time and I recently lost my cellphone; I was tempted to hit a sprint store I passed to buy one and call in to the show.
The only thing that drove that ridiculous rant was RR saying that the last 3 or 4 Februarys hurt Michigan in the press conference after the OSU loss. Since DeFran is in love with LC b/c LC used to give him a lot of access to the program, I'm sure he felt the need to go on the offensive. The entire show was inappropriate. His attacks were as nonsensical as they were baseless. I think everyone needs to boycott WTKA, with apologies to Sam and Brian. It is getting worse and worse everyday. You expect these moronic remarks from Dave from Phoenix and Ron from Ann Arbor. But you don't expect the hosts to join in too, or when they don't, just sit back like Copey did and [edit: let the other hosts] talk all kinds of bullshit. It's obvious that DeFran was just pissed like a little bitch about RR pissing on LC's recruiting efforts toward the end of his tenure. I've said this before, and I'll say it again. I love LC and I think people were way too hard on him throughout his tenure, especially the douchebags who now hate on RR. But the facts are the facts, and the house was falling apart under LC, and it is entirely appropriate for RR to say that. Sorry DeFran. You lost this battle. RR is here to stay, so stop whining like a bitch. You quote a bunch of facts that everyone knows to support and argument that is illogical. STFU and if you don't like what you see, go root for someone else. I don't like what I hear, so I am going to go listen somewhere else, and I hope all of the sensible people who read this blog do the same.
Excellent job. I'd add one more: the lazy groupthinking journos on deadline. Every week there will be a pile of writers for ESPN, etc who save time by just bashing out a column saying what they see everybody else saying. Once there is a critical mass of people in the assembled anti-rrod factions, these hacks will be writing "RRod sucks and Michigan will build a time machine just to be able to fire him yesterday" columns. If (when) RRod and the team turn things around the same people will be writing "boy aren't you glad you didn't fire him" columns.
This is the group that really bothers me because they no have purpose other than to get something out someone may read - it is the stupid, ignorant laziness that bothers me most. If you have a reason for not liking/wanting the guy okay, articulate it.
Don, there is also a group of alumni players that feel that RR wants nothing to do with the Bo era players. The "That's Part of the Past and I'm the Future of this Program" group.
I have heard rumblings that some Bo era players are not welcome. It comes from a very credible source to me, but I cannot give examples.
I'm not aiming this at you, but I think the notion that RR wants nothing to do with Bo's players is complete hogwash. It is certainly not the case from what I've been told in person by a guy I do business with who was a well-known multi-year starter under Bo. The only reason I don't want to use his name is because he's a businessman and I'd rather let him make his own statements as he sees fit. I had a long conversation with him just prior to the start of the season, and he had visited practice more than once with other players and mentioned absolutely nothing about being made to feel "unwelcome." In point of fact, he says it was Lloyd Carr specifically who did not want alumni players around, including those who played under Bo. Don Dufek came out in public and directly said the same thing in print for the Ann Arbor News during or just after the coaching search.
I haven't spoken to this business guy since the season got under way, and I can't say for sure what his feelings are now after another losing season. However, as of the time fall camp was ending he was an enthusiastic supporter of RR. Mike Kenn also came to Ann Arbor during the early fall and released a strong statement of support for RR. I find it very hard to believe he would have done so if RR truly didn't want to have anything with players from Bo's era. There were also plenty of reports that a number of former players had stopped by during training camp, and RR has gone out of his way repeatedly to emphasize how he WANTS to have alumni players feel welcome.
I think it's hogwash for this additional reason: who was it that made the alumni flag football game happen during the past spring practice? It was freaking Rich Rodriguez, for chrissakes! Are we supposed to believe that RR has put out the word that he only wants players from Moeller and Carr's tenure to participate?
I'm not saying that all Bo-era players are supporters of RR; I'm sure there are more than a few who are not in his camp, especially after the last two seasons. But to go from this to the idea that RR doesn't want them around is ridiculous, IMHO. It is contradicted by everything RR has done publicly.
I work with someone who told me about the situation. I have no reason to believe it or go along with it at all since I wasn't there, but he did mention several players' names from that later Bo/early Carr era. The thought of it is troubling because I believe in what RR is doing.
If it was a wide scale belief, you'd think there would be more talk of it, which makes it seem like a samll scale pocket perception.
When the "history of Michigan vs ??? comes up in pressers, RR always seems to say something about not thinking or caring about it, that it has nothing to do with the game at hand. I think those comments get people thinking he is not a "fan" of the history aspect of the program.
It's impossible to be the head football coach of Michigan and not be at least cognisent if not immersed in the history of the program.
Are you from West Virginny?
Great post! (I forgot to add this earlier.)
I'd change "devout nostalgic" to "demented/delusional nostalgic." These are the people who fondly remember Bo's five national championships (or, less seriously, the ones who believe that anyone outside the Midwest gave a @#$% about the "ten-year war" during which the Big 10 went 1-9 in the Rose Bowl). They're also the ones who insist that UMich has been Tier 1 / elite, right there with Florida State, for the past 25 years. You might see "Ufer Michigan" stickers on their RVs.
I'd also add a "Uzi Down" (rhymes with the name of the plush-bottomed alumna who famously scolded RichRod in a WXYZ interview after the "serious allegations" were aired) group. It would overlap with the other group here. These people really believe that UMich had the cleanest program in all of the U.S. all these years. (Sure, it was clearly better than Auburn, but it probably had quite a few peers. As well, it would likely rank beneath places like Stanford, NWU, and Notre Dame.) How *dare* that vulgar hillbilly tar our reputation! Many of them are upscale Moral Majority types.
Another: Townies. They just happen to live in Ann Arbor. They might not have much going on in life (coupled with low self-esteem). They *live* for UM football. They're having a hard time now and venting on all the boards.
Ultimately, if Rodriguez wins, all of the others go away, or become so marginalized that they no longer matter.
What the "Traditionalist" is really saying is, “If you don’t understand Michigan traditions, then you can’t win.” All of the other objections eventually boil down to, “I don’t think this guy can win.”