This topic is starting to overshadow the current team
Great quote from RVB regarding alumni
"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."
This echoes something similar to what Brian wrote last week asking the same question.
saying how annoying it was that some fair weather fans and alums "checked out" the last three years and now are back because Hoke/Michigan Man/Traditions etc... many agreed, but a few said I was addressing a non-existent issue. I think RVB just answered whether it was non-existent or not. If the players noticed it, then the "checking out" process was in fact harmful to team morale.
no, you are seeing whose fandom penis is bigger...yours or people you view as fairweather fans. Its an issue for the players, but what makes you worthy of addressing it and saying its not right what some fans, ex players choose to do...Some who are an integral part of the program from yesterday to today and into the future
Wow, so he can't talk about something he perceived and that at least some players perceived because he's not "worthy"? Not worthy to have an opinion? OK. Ready for a future in which negs matter again - I'll miss your "worthy" additions to the board.
He can state his opinion, but what he did was tell BE to piss off bc he didn't like the fact that he stated his opinion. Do I agree with what Braylon did...No, but he has the right to feel that way, especially after the program and future scholarship receipients (at this University and in urban public schools). Like I said...who are we, mgoblog readers or football fans, to tell them and others how to be a fan? Especially when this guy said it in a way that I am the end all be all fan.
I also wasn't saing VB didn't have a point or that HE couldn't state it
My point on that thread was not to criticize BE for stating his opinion. Feel free to read again and you will see I never said that. My criticism was that people stayed away the last three years--by choice, because they didn't like the coach--and did not lend the program support when it really, really needed it. Now they are back because we are running power football again and they like the new coach. Guess what, that is wrong, and I'll say that all day long because it's right. I don't care how people are fans, but your loyalty is to the school, and that includes when your school has a coach you don't like, or runs a system you don't care for. Your fandom is your own, but as an alum your loyalty is to the school--if you don't like the coach then say nothing like LC did, don't say "I'm from Lloyd Carr's University of Michigan." Donating lots of money doesn't make that act criticism proof.
Personally, I liked Rich Rodriguez and thought he was the best hire we could have possible made in '07/08. That being said, I am an Indiana University Alumni, a huge fan of the IU basketball program and I understand leaving a program over the direction a coach is taking it. I stopped going to/watching IU basketball games when Kelvin Sampson became the coach at IU. He came fresh off committing NCAA violations at Oklahoma and, to me, running a clean program is more important than winning basketball games. When Tom Crean was hired, I came back. I don't think there is anything per se wrong with not supporting your team when they do something you don't agree with. In fact, I think college sports would be a much better place if fans cared more about the reputation of their school than winning games. I was a fan of Bob Knight's Indiana Hoosiers, not the rulebreaking, chronic marijuana smoking group of thugs Kelvin Sampson illlegally brought to IU.
Sometimes coaches clash with people's core values, what they identify with about their school. UM, IU, etc. aren't like schools in the south where all you have to do is win and people won't care how you did it. While I liked Rich Rodriguez and think he got a bad rap, I have alot of respect for the former players that I know and all of them, pretty much to a man, did not like Rich Rodriguez and predicted his demise as a coach. Now, you can sit there and say they're not real Michigan fans or whatever, but they gave everything for Michigan football while we just sat in front of a TV/sat in some cold weather/got drunk to watch them. They won the big ten twice and were 2-3 plays away from a national championship in 2006.
Think they might know more about what makes a good college football coach than you do?
I think there's a big difference between RR and your Kelvin Sampson example. RR never had NCAA violations, and I think most (if not all) of the readers here would agree that RR's "violations" were bullshit, overblown, and not personally his fault. It just seemed like people stayed away because he wasn't a "Michigan Man" or he ran a spread offense, not because of anything he had personally done wrong.
First, as indyblue states, there is no comparison between Samspson and RR. Second, players stayed away not for any moral or ethical reasons, since it is fact that RR had zero ethical or moral transgressions. What "core values" or identity of M did RR "clash" with? None. Some former players did not like his system or the fact that he was not the mythical "Michigan Man." Neither is a legitimate reason to anonymously criticize the staff (yes, this happened) or the program. IF there had been moral or ethical problems, you are correct that they would be perfectly justified in withholding support. There was not. Lastly, none of the players knew a thing more than any knowledgeable fan about RR before he came here. None of them predicted he'd fail because of some supposed knowledge of what makes a good college football coach. Come on, you can't believe that.
Every fan has an investment in the team. They support the program by buying merchandise, buying tickets, and watching/listening/blogging about the team. I think we have the right to feel irked by the bewildering contempt of the past
Without the school, students, and fans, there is no football team to play for the University of Michigan. Fans have the right to ask why former players checked out for three years.
I seriously hope that's what Hoke said to them on Friday and why it was a closed meeting for former players. It's not like it's hard to notice this behavior. Glad alumni are coming back, but some of them have been real douches the last three years.
You were venting and addressed the issue in terms of who "deserved" to be a Michigan fan. It was designed to be a virtual pissing contest. Don't act like you had any sort of rational motive.
You really need to pay attention when you read. Whoa.
then since he brought it up?
Give me a break, this is a blog not the locker room.
I'm not sure who's more to blame for that one - RR or the players. Seems like quite a few still hung around during RR's tenure so it's not like they weren't welcome there.
said many times that they were not welcomed by the former staff. It seemed to be an attempt to separate that regime from the Bo era. Something like trying to create a new and different history. Whatever it was, it's over and let's all move on.
Who started the alumni game- RR. Which staff had numerous players working out with the S&C staff during the summer. Were the former players you talked to named Boren, Clemons, or the like.
to quit making things up
Even Mike Hart's sideline interview at the practice suggested that more football alumni are back than previously... he also suggested that he felt comfortable in 2008-2010, but others didn't.
I look at some of the pettiness in my own family and really it's usually over stubborness and miscommunication, so this rift doesn't surprise me. I'm sure something about RR set a few people off, but overall, no one can say that RR didn't reach out to alumni. As is already stated in this thread, the Alumni game was a RR contribution.
RR was a quality guy, he's a successful coach, and I wish him the best wherever he winds up. Michigan just turned out not to be the place for him.
Completely agree. You took the words right out of my mouth, but you missed one thing. RR is still a quality guy.
Random speculation from web posters is different then what is being mentioned above. In this case, it is pretty apparent that the players were more than welcome to visit by RR, and some chose not to. Quit being a douchebag for the sake of being a douchebag.
I know someone who is close to former players, too! Most of them said that they were welcomed by RichRod. How 'bout that!
Your post, reduced:
"ARGLE BARGLE SLANDER PRIOR REGIME."
Then (and this is really awesome):
"Whatever it was, it's over and let's all move on."
* * *
You know, it's probably true that RichRod rubbed a few former players the wrong way. PR clearly wasn't one of his strong points. But, you're ignoring the possibility that a subset of the subset was just miffed that one of Lloyd's boys didn't get the job.
Anyway, as 'blog readers are fond of saying "RVB HAS DONE MORE FOR THE PROGRAM THAN ALMOST EVERYONE HERE!!!" So, there. I think we should take his remarks seriously.
Alumni players need an invitation to come back?
Do they need a pat on the back saying "hey buddy, you're always welcome here, we love you, we want to kiss your ass and have your babies"?
That's crap and it's insulting to the fans.
They should be coming back and supporting the program because it's Michigan and it's much bigger than any former player.
You think Mike Hart came back because RR was calling him up asking for him to support him and the team? Hell no! He came back because he bleeds Maize and Blue, and no one was going to keep him from here.
I think Mike Hart came back because he still had friends on the team that he played with as much as for his love of Michigan football. I can understand why some of the alumni didn't not feel as welcomed back because for the first time since 1969, there was an almost entirely new staff (minus Coach Jackson). So...were they not welcomed back, not recognized when they did come back, did not feel as close to the program because they felt like outsiders that lost the inside connection, etc. I am sure it is a combination of things. To assume that we the fans are more invested in Michigan football then the men who gave their blood, sweat, tears, joints and limbs for the program is insane. Some may have been bitter due to feelings of betrayal because coaches they loved and had bonds with were not considered for positions (I know that RR interviewed them...but were they really considered?)...I would think that is a fairly natural reaction. Whether you agree or disagree with this sentiment, at least try to be empathetic and view it from multiple perspectives.
I should have said that it's insulting to the program.
I do not empathize. Michigan is so much bigger than any friendship, coach, player or fan. You come back because you support the program.
Maybe I'm being naive about the politics involved, but that's no excuse to stay away.
with your post is that you felt necessary to throw in the possibility that they were not welcomed back. There have been several players who have said otherwise, not to mention the annual alumni FF game. It is absolutely ridiculous to assume that certain players were welcomed back, while others were asked to stay away.
It is most likely that they didn't feel a connection with the staff and so they stayed away, which was certainly their prerogative and even understanable to a point.
The problem that I have is that there are statements by former players circulating that would try to lead us to believe that a feeling that they weren't welcome was due to the current staff not wanting them around instead of their own insecurities.
I was not trying to say that they were told they were not welcomed back. I am talking about perception on their part. They lost their connections to the inner sanctum of the program. It doesn't matter if RR was wide open with the program, he could not welcome a player back the way a former coach could. If part of the aura of alumni coming back to AA was catching up with an old coach who helped develop them into the men that they are is gone...and when they show up to AA and everyone there is a stranger, they don't have an idea of who an alumnus is (by no fault of their own) then some alumni aren't going to feel the same about returning, or may feel disappointed that they lost a connection to the program. I was not trying to place blame on the RRs staff, simply give my insight as to the loss that some of the alumni might have felt and why it was so emotional for them.
To assume that we the fans are more invested in Michigan football than the men who gave their blood, sweat, tears, joints and limbs for the program is insane.
This is obviously talking about the Michigan football program and NOT the University as a whole. Also, I'd be interested in finding out what the graduation rate at the University of Michigan is, as well as what the average course of study is for students attending. Finally, screw the players because you don't have to cheer for them any more right? You have used them for what you needed from them and they are no longer required, so their feelings about the program that they represented don't matter. Does that about sum it up?
Not quite sure how I got a double blockquote
Nor did I state that you said screw ALL THE PLAYERS. You are obviously having difficulty staying on point. We are talking about Michigan Football and the players who felt like they were not welcomed back to the program during the RR era. I am not talking about the struggles and sacrifices students at the University of Michigan make to complete their degrees.
I would venture to say that most fans of The University of Michigan football team have virtually no knowledge of the University of Michigan as an academic institution. They have never set foot on campus, been to the Big House, etc. You hear recruits all around the country talk about growing up watching the football team, but they have no idea of how much prestige a degree from the University of Michigan carries. So I would say that most people can and do think of one without the other.
Unless you have all the facts, in every single situation involving alumni players and the Rodriguez staff, you probably shouldn't be using blanket statements to cover your sweeping generalizations. I think there is a large enough sample size of players who have made comments that they didn't feel welcomed back that we probably shouldn't assume they are all fabricating a story. To say screw them because you don't agree with them is irrational. They are not rooting against the team, they are not trashing the University, they merely made remarks critical to RRs staff...and I think they earned the right to do so. On the other hand RVB, if he and his teammates felt abandoned by those alumni have the right to express those feelings as well. I think all comments are better dealt with in private.
Next time you get your feelings hurt, just take your own advice, OK?
Actually, yeah, just about every player is more invested than a regular Alumni. Because almost all of the time when discussing their greater voice, we're talking about the team or athletic department. No one is saying that player consensus is how we should determine fiscal year funding for the Philosophy department.
And it's really not insane at all. Actually, the opposite, completely rational. To think otherwise comes off as "jock stole my girlfriend" mentality. I'm sure you think you put in blood, sweat, and tears...but you mean it metaphorically. Try running for three hours, then run into a brick wall a dozen times full speed, and then have to go take a midterm exam. Then, yeah, you've give your bleeding your own blood, actually broke a sweat from more than fighting over the last slice of pizza, and experienced real, tangible tears...where unlike when you screw up and no one knows about it but your professor and MAYBE you're parents, you don't have the whole campus saying YOU SUCK then next week.
You never read Bacon's Blog reference to what he learned in his new book, did you?
The coaches have to ask their players to work almost as hard -- not just on the field but in the weight room and in the classroom. I followed Michigan’s Big Ten MVP quarterback, Denard Robinson, for one day, which started at 7 a.m. with treatment for his swollen knee, followed by weightlifting, classes, an interview with ESPN Radio, more treatment, meetings, practice, a third round of treatment, dinner and study table. When he walked out of the academic center at 10 p.m., two middle-aged men who’d been waiting all night asked him to sign a dozen glossy photos. I went home exhausted—and I hadn’t done anything more than take notes. Conditioning, however, was even harder. I worked out with the strength coaches for six weeks, just to see what it was like. They doubled my bench press and tripled my squat – and also showed me I could throw up from running or weight lifting. I had not known that. After each workout I collapsed on my couch for an hour or two —not to nap, mind you, but to whimper in the fetal position like a little kid. How those players got any school work done at the end of those days is a mystery to me.
So yeah, going to college is tough, but almost no students have full time jobs where in the job you get the crap physically beat out of you while you're trying to do your classwork.
And I like your knock on "they're just dumb jocks, they don't, like, graduate", but really, it's not that different. Athletes graduates at a 79% rate over a 6 year period (http://www.michigandaily.com/content/u-par-national-student-athlete-grad...), whereas the student body (over the same time periods graduated anywhere from a 81-89% rate over 6 years, with them touting an amazing 3% jump the final year. (http://house.michigan.gov/hfa/PDFs/grad%20rate%20sub%20memo.pdf) So, it's really pretty comparable. And I bet the percentages of those who leave to go get a job in their field of study mid-study aren't really close. And the majority of Athletes are studying the same courses as the majority of non-athlete students. The minority are those in the truly more difficult programs, throughout the whole University.
So yes, players don't really have any more say than you or I (which guess what..in non-existant too) on how hospital construction is going to go. But a say in how the Athletic Department represents them? It may not be much, but it's a hell of a lot more than the average student or Alumni who just claps and buys a ticket (sometimes...I mean, do we give special say to the 20,000 who bothered to show up for the Spring Game? Because I wasn't seeing a lot of dedication there...). The fact that you think otherwise is immense hubris, blindly ignoring what a student-athlete goes through to be a student-athlete. It's nice that you worked hard too. But really, you didn't walk a couple of steps in their shoes, no more miles.
Your last paragraph could easily be put in the people who are unhappy now, and complaining about people not complaining anymore, and who are longing for the continuation of the last 3 years. But it's all relative....if "I" don't agree with it, it's justified, but if "he" didn't agree with it, well, "screw them". If you don't like how it is...well....your words....
Patently false assertion.
because when I was sitting in the stands during the Michigan State game this year, Lamar Woodley (a...get this...Lloyd Carr player!!) was on the SIDELINES cheering on a Rich Rod team with his face painted maize and blue.......
OK, so I am confused. Is it OK or not to bring up comparisons between this team and RR's teams? Or, is it only OK if the comparison defends RR? The same people that will chime in pisitively on this thread were slamming earlier threads for bringing up RR. How about we just stop all comparisons and move foward. I think it has been well established that some people are still pissy that RR got fired and feel the need to defend him. It is also apparent that some people never liked the RR hire and feel the need to blame him. Neither case helps get us all on the same page so lets give it a rest.
Eh, this is a quote from a very respected leader of our current team. I think discussion about a topic brought on by him is valid.
And yeah, I'd admit that you have a valid point; my great complaint has been that if anyone wants to attack Rodriguez at this ex post facto point, I am more than happy to defend Rodriguez. And the tone of the Rodriguez defenders (I am a proud and unabashed Clan member) needs to be toned down quite a bit if Rodriguez isn't being attacked.
But remember, there's no real corollary: Nobody (at least not me) is attacking Brady Hoke. I might be less than enthusiastic, but I'll be goddamned if I'd stand for a-n-y-b-o-d-y attacking Coach Hoke the way that Coach Rodriguez was.
And most of all, Ryan Van Bergen, bless his cotton-pickin' maize-and-blue heart, wasn't even remotely attacking any Michigan coach. Ryan made an observation of fact from his perspective; in the middle of a massive p.r. rush of "homecoming" type feelings, where were all of those former letterwinners three years ago? It's just a comment. It's clearly not universally true. Ron Kramer came back. Rick Leach came back. Larry Foote came back. There's three whole generations of ass-kickin' Michigan Men. Who made a public show of their support for Rich Rodriguez. But of course there were some real notable outliers. People whose disloyalty was historic, whether the coaching change involved Bump Elliott, Bo Schembechler, Gary Moeller or Lloyd Carr. And Number 1 on that list was... oh, never mind.
Good for Van Bergen. This is the type of thing that leaders address. I wouldn't be surprised if he's a captain when the season rolls around.
The coaches have been talking about his improvement in terms of being a vocal leader. He's one of my favorite guys on the defense. I'd love to see him become a captain.
Agree completely. I believe this team is very close and has great leadership. Everyone checks their ego at the door.
All of the recruits are saying the same type of things regarding how down to earth they are.
The players will play for each other. The Team The Team The Team!
I distinctly remember that he called himself out on the long Indiana TD run 2 years ago.
Those who are critical of the previous staff need to remember that nearly every member of this team originally committed to play for that staff. While I appreciate the excitement that former players have for the future of the program, it would be nice if they would keep this fact in mind when they decide to be overly critical of the previous coaching staff.
Van Bergen committed to - and played for - Coach Carr, so I think his word carries a little more weight than guys who committed from 2008-2010.
that the admin itself seemed to be trying to turn a new page with RR--and many in the media (including some who speak out of the other side of their mouths now) were saying that the program was full of dead wood, etc. It's CYA coming and going. . .
I was an RR supporter, but you can't blame some old players if they took a wait and see stance. Considering all the BS the former players might have been hearing, also coming from both sides. (Better than those herd animals who simply slammed Rich, tho it's also not so surprising he threatened some people.) Now everyone is trying to clean up the mess which. . . tends to throw more light on the mess, but is also laudable in many ways--if the debacle showed anything it was the old "house divided" message.
I'm just not sure we get a winner any time soon. We'll cross that bridge, of course, but I wonder where all these people are two more years down the road, when and if Hoke is where RR was the last few years. . . begging for patience, etc.
it is easy to "turn the page" when you whiff on your first three choices
We have a coach, his name is Brady Hoke. We had a coach, his name was Rich Rodriguez. Two facts. They are not changing. Can we get off of this topic please and focus on, as Bo would say, "The team, the team, the team?"
i think you are misunderstanding me - the idea to "turn the page" was a band-aid for previous AD martin not getting any of his first choices and being forced to make a big splash by getting a fancy name, regardless of "fit"
its ok to talk about history in a productive manner, after all, you are quoting a speech from four coaches ago.
Since when do we want to revisit our past? History is old news. Why on earth would we want to relive any of it. I mean, who cares about 132 yrs and 42 conference championships. Michigan has never been about the past, so to bring up the last three years is rediculous.
On a serious note, I think RVB has an excellent point that no matter who the coach was, the players are still Michigan Men that wore the winged helmets. You'd think former players brotherhood would go past some of the petty disagreements in support of the team. I think Mike Hart was trying to tread lightly in his interview, but I felt that I could see the disapointment in the lack of support.
Despite this, I think Brady Hoke is a really good guy and coach, and has brought in some great support staff who will do him well. And, thanks to our previous staff, we have a roster full of great student athletes who represent us well on and off the field, and are easy to support.
Although I am a little irked by the lack of support over three years, I am not going to refuse it now. Alumni support, and past player involvement is a huge plus to our program in particular. My hope is by fall, unity will be back among fans (minus the down in fronts vs stand ups and create noise crowds).
Excellent point. We need to put an end to this stand-up vs. sit-down crowd divisiveness. This is what Van Bergen should be addressing:
I'm tired of being told to sit down. I'm gonna stand and be loud. I get excited at football games so deal with it, sit-down people. Watch it in beautiful high-def and give your tickets to your kids of you can't stand up for exciting parts of the Michigan game. ARGGGGH!
that the down in front/ make noise Michigan split will never end. For it seems that alumni with money continue to age, and with that age, brings an unfounded right to sit during a game (except for quarters and halftime when they want to stretch their legs).
I'm all in for RVB. He is spot on with his comments.
That is fine if these crybaby former players did not like RR, but you still support your team, and you still support the current players. They had no say in choosing RR, and RVB was one of the one's that was there/committed before RR.
The team, the team, the team. Period.
but the thing that pisses me off is that I've been here defending people via posting on the internet, and these comments make it sound like I'm sitting on my butt doing nothing.....
Is this sarcasm? Because this is really weird otherwise.
The guy is a leader.
A-freaking-men Van Bergen!
Several former players I know have stated they felt the previous staff was ambivalent towards them. That RR and his staff tolerated them but never embraced them or what they consider Michigan to be. More than one stated (and I paraphrase) that they were made to feel passe by RR and his staff.
It is not the "break from traditions" that was RR's mistake. No, it was the loss of continuity that permeated the program with each passing day of RR's tenure. RR's decision-making in this regard isolated his program from what is the very strength of the Michigan program.
Hoke has worked hard to bring the boys back to town and not only that, he wants to integrate them into the program. He has embraced the former players in a manner RR was not interested in doing. These recruits talk about the current Michigan players and how they are genuine, humble and sincere. Pay attention because some of them also talk about seeing the former players and how they act the same way.
Continuity. Tradtion, Family. These are the things resonating from Hoke's program and coaching staff. Not just Hoke, Mattison and Mallory,but the entire coaching staff. This is what is being embraced by the former players.
Now, you should not interpret my comments as being anti-RR. While I do feel RR made a poor decision in not educating himself about Michigan and embracing its rich and storied history on a level he might of I also feel Michigan never embraced RR as it might have. The truth is RR is a good football coach, a good man, but a terrible fit at Michigan.
If blame must be assigned for RR's failure it needs to be laid at the feet of Bill Martin (and MSC) for hiring him and placing in him an untenable position. Bill Martin should have known better and might well have. To his credit, I believe BM recognized and became caught up in the growing rift within Michigan that swirled about Lloyd Carrs management of the program, but instead of acting decisively as a leader should he allowed that coaching search to turn into a fiasco leading to the cop out hire of RR. And, yes, that is exactly what it was.
However, what needs to be addressed and promoted and even revelled in is this - Michigan is being reunited under Hoke (and Brandon's) leadership. There is a positivity about the program that has been absent since the latter part of the Carr era. The energy is coming back into the program and that bodes well for all of us.
This was an awesome post. You hit the nail on the head - RR is a good coach, good man, etc., but ultimately was a lousy fit at Michigan. I concur that some of the blame lies with BM but RR is not blameless either. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to arrive at Michigan and realize that we are just a bit obsessed with our tradition, past, Bo, etc. RR should have realized this and made more of an effort to bring the former players into the fold.
I don't get the whole "fit" argument. If RR had gone 39-0, Braylon would be having snowball fights outside Fort Schembechler and drinking coco in RR's office afterwords. "Fit" is a nice way of saying "not winning enough".
Further (and this isn't directed at you, just in general) why is it that M is the only school to think this way about tradition and connections? I don't follow closely, but I don't see anywhere near the controversy about Florida bringing in Muschamp; I don't see OSU wanting to hire "an Ohio Man" if Tressel gets canned. It seems like every other school just wants the best coach they can get.
Playing devils advocate with your argument:
If RR had come in and only lost 5 games in his first three seasons he would not have felt so threatened by what the former players represent.
I believe RR felt tremendous pressure to live up to Michigan. He came in confident of his methodology and went about molding the program into his vision for it. That was to be expected and was for the most part accepted at first.
RR was also naive and overconfidence, some might say arrogance, can have that impact.
Most, including former players, recognized that change was needed in Michigan football. It is important to remember the change most were advocating -> Les Miles, Urban Meyer, Mike DeBord and even Brady Hoke. What BM gave us was drastic change.
RR was doomed from the moment he was hired in some regards. Being the one to usher in such drastic change he was never, and I do mean never, going to be fully accepted at Michigan. Had RR and the spread enjoyed a bit more early success, had RR been able to field even a mediocre defense, the result would have been positive change in the sense that his successor could have been of his mold. That RR failed and did so on such a grand level gave Dave Brandon no choice but to move the program back towards where it was before.
Will the spread ever make it's way back to Michigan? Only if Hoke fails on the same level as RR failed will there be a chance for that to happen.
But leave no doubt, RR did not fail because of the spread offense. RR did not fail because of not being able to establish a healthy relationship with former players - he would have overcome that with winning seasons. RR failed because he fielded the worst defensive teams in 130+ years of Michigan football. The one thing he never embraced is one of the two things that have permeated Michigan since Bo arrived - Defense Wins Championships.
The other thing, of course, is The TEAM, the TEAM, the TEAM. RR failed here too. This is really where the former players enter the picture. You might need to have been closely associated with the program to fully appreciate what I am about to write - once a member of The TEAM, always a member of The TEAM.
"RR was doomed from the moment he was hired in some regards. Being the one to usher in such drastic change he was never, and I do mean never,going to be fully accepted at Michigan."
I really don't understand this line of thinking. From my perspective, if Hoke comes out playing single platoon football snapping to the halfback and brings back the Yost-era pickle salesman, I would be ecstatic if he won the B1G and the MNC and would support him playing that same style next season. I think that says more about the people who would still dislike hypothetically-awesome record RR than it does about anyone else, and I think what it says is that they're very petty. Every instance I can think of leads me to believe that winning = fit.
By the way, if what you're saying is that you lettered in FB, that's really awesome. Hope to see some more good posts like in this thread, because that's really cool.
"The other thing, of course, is The TEAM, the TEAM, the TEAM. RR failed here too. This is really where the former players enter the picture. You might need to have been closely associated with the program to fully appreciate what I am about to write - once a member of The TEAM, always a member of The TEAM."
With respect, I disagree.
The TEAM x3 is 99.9999999% about the guys on the field, that team. Read through the speech, it's about the players, here and now. The players under RR, who stayed, were very close. DR, Mike Martin, RVB have all talked about it.
Former players have little to do with it. It's lovely to see them on the sidelines, makes for a nice TV spot, but has little impact on the field. Sure they can offer up their experiences, but when it comes to game day, those doesn't matter.
all these people who suddenly feel so at home (which to my mind carries more than a trace of revisionism) are going to be two years from now when M is still not on top.
I assume Hoke can make the team a contender again--his humility is a virtue in this regard. But I don't think it happens quickly.
It's quite possible the thing had become so ugly under RR, on all sides, that he had to go. But otherwise, a long wait for Hoke (to my mind) will only strengthen the argument that RR should have had another year. And since even aholes tend to get behind winners, we will always wonder whether RR would have magically become a Michigan man once he started winning.
I for one am not epecting a great season from Michigan football in 2011.
There exists a belief that had Michigan fielded even a medicore defense to go with last season's offense that the team might have contended. Now that Mattison is back and a defensive minded head coach is in place there seems to be an expectation that Michigan is back.
What we saw in the spring game was very much a work in progress. I anticipate a winning season next fall but not a great season. This team will continue to struggle until the roster is rebuilt.
BTW, rebuilding the roster is the primary reason I was skeptical of the RR hire and yet pulled so hard for him to succeed. For if RR washed out, I knew it would mean another roster makeover and perpetuate the "rebuilding" of the program.
Hoke has a 6 year contract and I fully epect it to take at least 3 years to return to consistently contending for Big 10 and national honors.
If you're note expecting much form this team this year, in 2011, it might not get much better with our brutal 2012 schedule, with or without a brilliant recruiting class. And then that makes Hoke's year-3 a make-or-break, because like we all know you only get 3 years, right?
I was waiting for you, Section 1 :-)
We all know Hoke will get more than 3 years!
The only thing that would preterminate Hoke's coaching tenure would be some kind of front-page scandal; the kind of thing that would lead to an NCAA invetigation, and make the most loyal of loyalists think, "Ooooh, this is not the Michigan Way..."
That, and a losing record. But with the talent that Hoke is lucky to have on hand, I don't expect any losing seasons.
Just frustration that he'll get more than three years, pretty much, no matter what.
I know where you stand and, most of time, I'm there with you.
If for something on par with the "stretching/monitoring" "major" infractions, (but not those, specifically, because we/he ought to be EXTRA attuned to those issues) the answer is an unqualified "no, he wouldn't be fired after year 3 because of said 'major' violations."
Stop making strawmen arguments.
And I don't need to be rude, but you must be extremely naive to think stretchgate made a huge impression on anyone other than those who already wanted RichRod out, considering the findings showed a large part of what we were doing wrong was also done by the previous regime
You are incorrect
The beauty of your citing the full text of the NCAA report, is that it is devoid of any allegation, or any proof, of any active wrongdoing by Rich Rodriguez, other than a single mention of a "failure to supervise" a couple of graduate assistants, who were themselves accused only of the astonishing NCAA-crime of insisting that some players, who missed summer-term classes, push a weight on the practice field.
And so, compare, to the original newspaper story that implied an abusive atmosphere, endangering the best interests of student-athletes, and which prompted Drew Sharp to ask Michigan's Athletic Director, "You were cheating, weren't you? Isn't all of this cheating?"
Just wanted to chime (back) in. I guess I don't think the violations played as much of a role as you do. I'm not sure either of us can or does really "know." FTR, I didn't think you were being rude using "naive." Perhaps I'm underselling the role of the violations, but I got the idea from DB that he thought it was utter crap, mostly, and a witchhunt due to the Freep's exagerrations.
while I would have preferred a dynamic spread attack to manball, if it works out that way--and Hoke is on track to success--I will pull for that fourth year for him, too.
This kinda crystallizes my feelings about the coach change: if Brandon honestly felt the atmosphere had become so poisonous that a change was necessary, cool. If it was just to get a Michigan man back in, play to the stodgy alumni, or get his old boy network back in place then. . . woe betide us. Because this thing is likely to be another slow build.
P.S. I should stop calling it manball; the whole meme is wrong. We didn't play manball under Lloyd, either.
1) Hoke wants to play "man ball" or power football and this roster has been built for the spread.
2) Depth along both lines is very thin. A significant injury or two in either of these units, but especially the DL, would be disasterous. And unfortunately injuries are common in football.
3) We were 7-6 last season and our best win was probably over UConn. Looking at the 2011 schedule I believe we should win 7 with a couple of games being toss ups and probably 3 losses minimum. I would take 8-4 going into the bowl game. A good season, but not a great one.
I'm glad RVB said this, we have all known that *some* fans/alumni/former players were just looking for a reason to say FU to RR.
Probably 2/3 of my friends who are M fans did the exact same thing, before the '08 season started it was oh yea! I love RR and as soon as we started loosing it was fire him right away he sucks and that attitude prevailed through his tenure.
I do not have any inside knowledge of the program or know any former players but I find it hard to believe any college coach would turn down former players that wanted to stop by and say hi/watch practice. Why? because when you have Chuck or Mike Hart standing on the sideline, it gives you more motivation to become that 100% badass that both of those players were.
RR's record and style of coaching made it easy for everyone to check out, which they did. The players like Hart that did show up seem to have gelled well with the staff.
Saying none of this stuff happend and saying move on is just pulling the wool over your eyes. If the players noticed it then it indeed became a problem that is worth talking about.
Absolutely. Fans from different schools have varying levels of patience. I remember this quote RR said (please correct me if i heard wrong, but paraphrasing) at the airport when he was leaving WV for Michigan : RR said fans at the airport in WV told him he better not start the same way at Mich that he did at WV and that Mich fans will not have the same level of patience. RR said something along the lines of I know I won't have the same leeway.
leadership by RVB. I am happy that he said what clearly was on some of the team's minds.
where is the link to this quote? When did he say it, to who? where? etc.
Overall I think everyone is placing too much of the recent good PR on the coaches. David Brandon is a marketing expert and is ramping up this kind of awareness. Rich Rodriguez didn't invent the spring game. The spring game open to the public in The Big House didn't happen his first season, it happened after the locker rooms were upgraded and enough of the stadium was constructed to make a visit impressive.
If I were a player who had worked hard during three years of a fired coaches tenure, I would be feeling very similarly to Ryan. Even the most neutral comment is being cast in the context of "everything sucked last year but now it's awesome". How else could you take that as a member of the team if not very personally?
Watching all the interviews of Spring Practice I think the present coaching staff is tired of these questions also. Even Brandstatter's questions are not answered directly, and just given the, "these guys are working hard, they need to keep working and there is more time to practice in the summer/fall before the season starts", "Oh and also, Water is wet, Go Blue!"
Anyone who wants to create a discussion about how the increase of support now for Hoke is crap and the non support of Rodriguez is crap is just as annoying as the simple minded press casting this coaching staff change as "the rebirth of tradition" and all the fair weather fans chiming in.
What excites me about this quote, if it's true, is that it demonstrates the bonding that still exists in this team, and the leadership that Ryan Van Bergen will be showing next year. That is a statement meant to own whatever success or failure happens next season.
You are as good as your last game, and the game is played by the players.
Yay DetNews. Boo Freep.
Because someone read it at the Freep. If I were you, I would occasionally go to the Freep & Detnews websites and click on their Wolverine coverage. While people are free not to like a particular writer or editorial board, sometimes, you need to let things go and move on. (Hopefully Section1 doesn't read this post.)
I don't. Even more than taking stock of what appears in the local papers for informational purposes, we (the Wolverine cognoscenti) need to take stock of the fact that the local papers drive the Michigan football narrative for everybody who isn't a member of the MGoBoard. Particularly in an internet age wherein 800 papers, websites and news services across the country will pick up something like a completely erroneous Mark Snyder story about how "Rich Rodriguez compared the team's season to Hurricane Katrina." And how local sportstalk radio mostly just echoes the sports writers and the conventional wisdom.
Undoubtedly, some of the former players felt they were being pushed aside or ignored.
By the same token, it is obvious that some of the current players (the team, the team, the team) feel that they were abandoned by some of the very people whose images adorn Schembechler Hall.
At this point, the why hardly matters. They do need to come together and hopefully learn from this.
I have heard from more than one person I deem credible that Rodriguez' staff had no interest in Lloyd Carr being around, and were openly disrepctful to much about his tenure. I find it hard to believe that RR could really have been disrespectful (or so stupid to say it aloud) -- to someone who put as much time and effort into the program, kids and the University as Lloyd. If true, tho, it's certainly not hard to predict that former players of Carr wouldn't go out of their way to show up.
Mike Hart was one of the players that came back when RR was here. He said as much in his interview and Mike loved Carr.
Lloyd Carr "being around" is ambiguous and possibly loaded - did RR ignore him completely and act rude? Or was Lloyd too intrusive, trying to run things? Maybe RR was irked players were going to Lloyd instead of him. Having the old guy around if he's not 100% supportive of the new guy can definitely be a huge and insidious negative influence in an organization. Lloyd never said anything bad about RR but he was never openly supportive either - maybe it's RR who really felt unwelcome.
Not saying that's what happened, but it could be an explanation for RR giving Lloyd the cold shoulder.
Unfortunately we'll never know, since there are no unbiased observers. Someone like RVB, who's on coach #3, is probably as close as we'll get, and he probably didn't see the whole story either.
I find it hard to believe that any newly hired head coach would embrace the former coach "being around" all the time. Any time new leadership comes in (be it business, coaching, whatever) they try to establish their own values and ways to do things. If the old leaders are still around, there's a conflict and more resistance to change. Lloyd probably tried to stay away from the program for this very reason. I don't know what was said by RR and crew, I was not there. However, joking about "the way things used to be" or "that used to be ok, but it's not anymore" can be seen as disparaging to the former regime.
Unfortunately it's a moot point. Now we have Hoke, who has all the support in the world from former players and the majority of the fanbase. It's great that things are (seemnigly) coming back together. However, it's too bad that these current Michigan Men had to go through all this BS.
at least with respect to Lloyd "being around" (although Carr was not around on football team on a daily basis that I have heard). However, as a person who wants to succeed and embrace the tradition of Michigan, it would be a very large mistake indeed to diss publicly (ie. to anyone other than his immediate staff) the former, successful coach who just retired on good terms.
And I think that was part of the bind RR was in - on the one hand, Lloyd retired on good terms with a lot of loyal former players, and RR needed to respect that tradition. On the other hand, RR was brought in to improve, not just continue, Michigan football.
So he had to talk about improving and doing this better and working harder here and being smarter there, but there were loyal former players naturally quick to take offense at that suggestion that things weren't great. This is the dilemma of all coaches replacing a respected but not dominant retiring coach.
Imagine if you will that Brady Hoke was hired in 2008 and said exactly the same things he's said now - we need to return to Michigan football, we need to be tougher, etc, etc. Ultimately, the sentiment's the same - we always need to improve, nothing less than championships is acceptable. There would likely be those who bristled at the implicit repudiation of the old regime.
any reason for staying away from UM football is too petty for me to understand.
I'm glad he said it. I like the feeling that we have positive energy back with all the former players/media.. But at the same time I can't help but being cynical because most of it seems petty. I'm still pissed that we had so many people down on the program and talking bad. It's easy when things are not going well, but it should have never become what it has. I had a guy work for me - on his 1st day I asked what he thought of the football team (I knew he went to UofM by his resume). He said he hopes we lose 'em all because he wants RR fired... Needless to say I've had some pretty good debates with him and in one case a good shouting match. It's all good because he wanted what's best for the program, but the means to get there was just completely 180 from mine thoughts.
I'm a bit scarred that I had to defend why I still supported them over the past 2 years while all the negative people eventually won out. I don't ever want them to be happy. I will and have supported the team through it all and was there at OSU this year, survived the N'Western game a few year back...always have always will.
I'll get over my anger towards the people who didn't defend the program, but I'll never forget it. I hope we've all learned a lesson about never taking anything for granted. I'll take a blow-out of a MAC team any day now! I'll take seeing a 4 star commit and thinking..cool but what about the 5 star?
Anyway, I'm glad RVB said it and I hope others notice. But I do like that at a minimum, we have a united fan base again. The results over the next 2 years will show who's on board for real, but it feels better.
As for those who get annoyed when others bring this up - relax. It's the internet and obviously people have opinions on it and strong feelings.
All-in as usual..
You missed my point and maybe I didn't communicate it well, but I am not claiming to be a better fan. I have a grudge, yep - but I'm going to grin and bare it man. I saw what happened and it needs to end.
What has this blog talked about for a while? That all the negative media are now all positive and rosy...that's what I'm talking about. It makes me laugh.
I'm not apologizing that I'm not loving the fact that the majority of people who talked negative about the program are now happy...sorry man. I want to be in the stadium with people who support the program and not picking and choosing when it's convenient.
It's over and I'll be happily spending my money on tix again this year as usual. Can't wait, but yep I'm not going to be high-five'n the people who were booing the team the last few years. Sorry bro. As far as I'm concerned, they already turned in their fan card in my mind.
You don't think RVB comments were the same? Like Where The HELL were all of you before? That's what I'm talking about - on a thread talking about this topic, not starting one and being negative.
All-in is dumb, but whatever man...so were the last 3 years.
The program "won" as we now have a coach who is more likely to bring the program back to a high level of performance.
I know of no metric that supports you on that. We can disagree, sure. But you cannot presume that you are correct. I think you are incorrect.
One advantage that Brady Hoke seems to have going for him is a supportive, if not fawning, local press. Another advantage is the lack of any massively-distracting NCAA investigation. And finally, a supportive "extended football family." There is no good reason for all of those things to have been denied to Coach Rodriguez, which is why people like me, with very long and very good memories, are still pissed off.
Cmon man, 15-22. The press didn't field that defense. The press didn't start 3-9. Trust me, if Hoke goes 3-9 the press will be all over his ass, too. For me, RR's demise as coach and his negative perception in media, with former players, and otherwise is due to play on the field, wins and loses, nothing more. I see there is still a large amount of delusion about the causes around here, though. RR has the lowest win % of any Michigan coach, and perhaps that is why some members of the M community didn't show him the upmost support? And before you retort, yes I supported RR big time, but on the other hand I understand where some people are coming from, and I really don't blame them, or think they are any less a fan. Also, for the record, how could the program not win? The product was weak sauce the last three. Now the product will probably be better. But if the product gets better it will no doubt be attributed to RR more so than Hoke, at least for a while, and incorrectly. But that's that delusion I was talking about before.
It amazes me, when mgobloggers can't grasp the fact that RR was fired for what happened on the field, in particular this past November and the Bowl game. Those were 3 absolute putrid games to end the season. Also last years pitiful November was the best of the RR era, we actually won a game, something we couldn't accomplish in 09' or 08'
I think the exact opposite will happen—virtually all the credit will go to Hoke, especially if we manage to beat MSU and OSU. The near-unanimous consensus will be that such success only proves that RR didn't know what the hell he was doing, and that Brady Hoke does. RR will receive little credit for the guys he recruited either in terms of character or talent. That's the way it goes at any school; UM will be no different. Fair or not, coaches who are fired are almost never given any credit for future teams' successes.
And if the season is disappointing, you can also be assurred that RR will still get the lion's share of the blame; Hoke will largely be given a pass for his first year, at least by the majority of Michigan fans, while the diehard remnants of RR supporters will be apoplectic about what David Brandon ruined.
While I agree that the larger fan base will probably give Hoke most the credit, more than he deserves, I am mainly addressing this blog and its tendency to ride RR's jock like a bicycle, and I am just guessing that if Hoke is successful much of that immediate success will be attributed to RR, and will be more than the former coach deserves, as a means to justify the ongoing apology thon.
It's funny how some people think that the program won out...Brady Hoke may lead this team to a big ten title, but what do you honestly think the chances of him leading us to a national title are?? Its clear to me especially over the last 3 years now that a lot not all of Michigan fans are completely fine with living in mediocrity. I'm not one of them, if you think the program won out you are wrong. What does competing at a high level mean to you?? You mean for a big ten title and then getting your ass handed to you in the rose bowl? You mean playing for one national title in 60 years?? People, wake up. Neg me all you want, but Its reality.
You're a bigger man than me because, while this is my argument in the comfort of my own home, I'm too afraid of the "neg" to post it here. This is probably my BIGGEST issue with all of this - what do "expectations of winning" even mean to this fanbase?
So you live in the future right? And in the future M football is mediocre. And they keep losing in the rose bowl. And never win national title. Interesting. Hey, while you're there, who should I bet on for the 2014 NBA playoffs?
He does make a valid point, though: the whole idea of hiring RR was, at least in my mind (and in Brian Cook's mind) to break the mold, and break through the "glass ceiling" that the team has had for quite awhile. It was the concept that, to truly get to elite status, we had to go to a different way of doing things: one which would be painful to enact, but would hopefully have a higher risk/reward ratio. The theory was that we may have more variance as a team from season-to-season, but we'd hopefully have a higher ceiling. Well, change was far more painful than anyone imagined, and we gave up on it midstream. I realize that this falls on RR: the defense was terrible. I'm just pointing out that there was a mindset that some people identified with, including myself and the poster you are responding to, that said to truly "break through," we needed significant change, and folks like us have a worry in the back of our minds that the AD and many other fans would rather win 8 or 9 games a year, maybe get some bounces and win more, and be consistently good, but never truly elite, as it is "safer," and easier to stomach year-in, year out.
I understand what you are saying, and I also had high hopes for a new, elite Michigan look and team, and ultimately subscribed and believed in that theory. I just don't like the inference that because Hoke is from a supposed mold it will be more of the same so-called frustration from recent years past. There is no definitive proof, as a game has yet to be played, that the Hoke era will be awash in mediocrity. It is a glass half empty mentality that is based on nothing, and it's unfortunate.
I hear you and must say that I can't disagree. You're right- it is a bit of a "glass half empty" mindset, and it shouldn't be that way. I will root like hell for this team, and perhaps the "breaking the glass ceiling" will happen under Hoke. Either way, judging Hoke and his regime before they've played a down is asinine and unfair, and I shouldn't do so in re: "glass ceiling" until there's enough data to form an opinion one way or the other, definitively, which honestly should take at least 3 seasons.
I don't understand your solution. So when a senior leader brings up a topic that is important to him (and I'm guessing the rest of the team as they are nearly all RichRod guys), we should just not comment on it and forget about it because Hoke has done a good job so far without coaching a game?
It is a legitimate criticism from a current player about former players ignoring the program when RichRod was the coach.....I'm not sure why you think we should just stop talking about him being treated unfairly. As posters say on here all the time when defending Braylon Edwards, RVB has been on the team and saw how RichRod and the program were treated firsthand, I'm pretty sure he knows better than the rest of us.
You have no fucking idea if the program is headed in the right direction. In your own words, getting full support from everyone isn't what led to RichRod's demise, his won/loss record did, so how can you point to anything at all that has happened so far that tells us the program is better off? Because Hoke has picked up some recruits? That can't be it because to date, RichRod has picked up more in his first full class than Hoke has. Because everyone likes him? Since that didn't hurt RichRod, only his record did, how can it help Hoke? Just wondering why you can live in the real world where you make things up to prove your own point.
The first full recruiting class? You mean the one that has been around for two months?
That's exactly my point. To say the football team is better off and that we are on the right track, at this point, is ridiculous considering all Hoke has done is pick up a couple recruits and have the MSM and prior players love him, which dahblue has said doesn't matter much. I agree it is good why he has done so far, but no one knows if the football team is better off
You have no fucking idea if the program is headed in the right direction. In your own words, getting full support from everyone isn't what led to RichRod's demise, his won/loss record did, so how can you point to anything at all that has happened so far that tells us the program is better off? Because Hoke has picked up some recruits? That can't be it because to date, RichRod has picked up more in his first full class than Hoke has. Because everyone likes him? Since that didn't hurt RichRod, only his record did, how can it help Hoke? Just wondering why you can live in the real world where you make things up to prove your own point.
When RichRod came in, he pretty much kept the entire class together and added a couple recruits. If I remember correctly, he started off pretty well in recruiting with his first full class also. Basically, Hoke did what RichRod, and most other good coaches, do when they get on the job. We have no idea if we won't lose more people because we have only had 15 practices. I tend to agree Hoke has done a better job at keeping the current players happy, but only time will tell as being a freshmen or sophomore, or most of RichRod's guys at this time, have plenty of eligibility left so they can easily transfer if they don't like the way the new regime uses them.
So what we are left with is full support from everyone, including ex players and coaches, which you have said numerous times in the past didn't play a part in RichRod's performance. So, considering this is the only definitive thing we have to go on right now, how can you say the program is moving in the right direction? How do you know that will lead to more wins?
You don't. You are basically saying that people supporting and loving the coach had very little to do with the past coach succeeding but everything to do with why we should be excited for the new coach. That isn't logical. At all
Honestly why does everyone hate on the phrase "All in for Michigan"? Is it a little cheesy? Of course, but so is calling Ohio State "Ohio".
It's a good sentiment, saying you don't put in a little support as long as things are going well, but rather put your whole stack in play and work with the cards you're dealt.
The phrase turned into a referendum on support for Rich Rod, but that's not his fault. It was meant to be uniting, but turned divisive when we started losing and RR became a pariah among the old guard.
Umm that's your perception of it. I seem to recall it being printed on student t-shirts.
But presumably that was orchestrated by this blog to place worship of Rich Rod over Michigan football.
Besides, you're just as guilty of using "all in" as anyone else - sure you don't say it, but you still have the attitude of "anyone who doesn't agree with everything Brady Hoke does or even hints that Rich Rod might not have been the bastard love child of Satan and Brutus the Buckeye is ALL FOR THEMSELVES AND RICH ROD ABOVE THE TEAM"
So, no I don't see calling them Ohio as being cheesy.
Well generally they call themselves "THE Ohio State University", I doubt the band could spell all that, expecting OSU cheerleaders to remember more than 4 letters is a stretch, and we don't call ourselves "MICH" even though that's what they show on the TV coverage.
But anyway, no one (other than the team now, apparently) calls MSU "Lansing" - it's a turn of phrase used to diss your rival, and in that sense is a bit cheesy. That's all I meant.
If ever there was an appropriate and much-needed rallying call during the Rodriguez era, it was "All in."
Because clearly everybody was not All In. And things could have been better if everybody had been All In.
But if it bothers you so much, dahblue, I won't say it anymore. I am not All In. Feel better now?
But instead, we got "Lloyd Carr's University of Michigan." That's what I'm talking about. I still don't understand why 500 Michigan football letterwinners didn't call Braylon's ass out on that one. As it was, a hundred or more did (sort of), led by Rick Leach and Jim Brandstatter, at the Michigan Theatre, and they got ridiculed for it by the smart asses on sportstalk radio.
And that is why "All In" had some relevance.
Without bullet-point listings of Braylon's character flaws, I find it hilarious that you use Rich Leach as a character reference.
There WAS a meet-n-greet when RR got to town (just like there was Friday with Coach Hoke and his staff). RR was very personable and did what he could to endear himself to the former players. RR had an up hill battle from the get-go; first, there was a group who felt Miles should have been the coach, and second, nobody was familiar with RR and his staff. So from the very beginning, support was fractured. To RR's credit, he was all business, worked his ass off, and remained positive despite the mounting pressure.
He endured the worst season of Michigan football in its 130 year history. That's going to alienate a lot of people, most especially former players who feel like they are the rightful owners of Michigan football. The more the defense faltered the more it distanced him from everybody. I am confident RR would be here today and we would all be excited as hell for the upcoming season if he could have avoided one thing: the worst Michigan defense ever in 2010. He made a fatal decision for not taking as much interest in his defense as he did his offense. He gave the keys to a guy who simply was not capable of producing. That cost him him any remnants of support from the former players, and ultimately his job.
"... there was a group who felt Miles should have been the coach ..."
This possibility is a head-asplode one for RichRod haters.
This is a great point... for intstance, Braylon's MNF introduction where he says "Lloyd Carr's University Of Michigan." Yes, kind of a dick-ish thing to say and doesn't help at all, but how many players would go to that much trouble to publicly express how they feel regarding the situation at their alma mater. Helpful/tactful/classy? No. Shows he cares? Yes.
I just sincerely doubt that all these former players decided "Hmm the new coach is from West Virginia? Screw it, I don't care about Michigan football anymore."
I sincerely doubt the new staff decided "screw these alumni guys, we're from West Virginia!" either.
Actually, I wonder how much of this may have had to do with a sense that Lloyd was forced out, or that his system was being repudiated? That's something related to the hiring of RR without really being Rich Rod's fault. Bill Martin probably could have done more to help here as well.
As much as I appreciate all of Bill Martin's work as AD, I really think he could have helped RR a lot more. I know he's not the marketing guy David Brandon is but I really wish he would have helped RR navigate some of the bigger issues like traditions, alums, etc. Seeing Brandon's Brady Hoke-PR train full spead ahead makes me wonder how it would have been if RR had benefited from the same thing.
By the accounts of both Carr and Bill Martin, Carr talked about leaving before Bo died. Carr talked to Bo about leaving. Martin asked Carr to stay on longer than Carr had thought he would. Just as Martin stayed much longer than he had planned.
So; no. Wrong. Fail. Carr was never "forced out."
Not saying he actually was, but it's undeniable that Lloyd's support was eroding in his last few seasons. And to hire someone so much outside of the Lloyd mold had to look like a repudiation to some of the former players.
My only point is that some players may have been "defending Lloyd" rather than "attacking Rich" - in other words whoever got hired would have faced resistance. Not that that justifies anything, but we're talking personalities and egos, not justice here.
I can't say I see what's so great about this.
I've made it very clear how I feel about RR and how much the entire coaching search/change took out of me, but all of that aside I'm really happy that RVB had the balls to say something that many, many others have also observed. I went to Braylon's charity hoops game on Friday night and noticed that the very last page in the game's program is a "Welcome home, Coach Hoke!" full-page "ad" from Braylon. I'm happy the family's back together, I fully support Hoke but it's almost like the awkward holiday dinner with your extended family where everyone smiles and forgets the underlying domestic drama from the recent past. Like I said, I completely support Hoke but I really, really hate our fanbase and am not sure I'm ready to play nice just yet.
While it's difficult to say what the response would be had DB not hired a "Michigan Man" to "return us to glory", the language was clear throughout the search. I remember seeing folks in Stanford gear in the Big House as early as the Iowa game. A vocal division of the fanbase who was vehemently anti-RR did not just want a replacement, they wanted Jimmy Harbaugh, a "Michigan Man" who could "return us to glory". (PS: I have always hated that term. Always.)
The point is we have a coach we're (hopefully) all ready to get behind and rebuild with. Angelique just tweeted this at me: "I asked RVB toward the very end of interviews and was surprised. I'm sort of sick of the 'how's it better than last 3 years' storyline." She also tweeted at me that RVB's eyes flashed when he said this, that he was fired up. He will totally be a leader of this team!
Thanks for this. I couldn't have typed it better myself - it's like you were reading my mind!
As is often the case with family, it takes time to heal after something like this. And I'm not healed yet, despite everyone telling me that I should be.
I don't know if I'd go that far. I think the fanbase having an expectation of winning is a good thing. I don't think you want Michigan football turning into the Detroit Tigers fanbase. I realize there were petty, superficial things going on which reflected poorly on the fanbase and some of the former players. That being said, at the end of the day it was about wins and losses, and I don't hate the fanbase for expecting winning conference records and not accepting excuses.
I don't want to open up old wounds, but just to clarify: wins and losses aside, I hate that our fanbase had a division who did not like or accept RR from day one. There are many fans with whom RR never had a chance, before he ever even stepped foot in Ann Arbor.
Frankly, regardless of how much $$ they've donated, I'd consider them to be borderline bandwagon fans.
They fully support the team only when they are getting their way. Bandwagon fans only support them team when they are getting their way, in the normal case: winning.
I realize this is a loose definition, but it does apply.
OK, what do you mean? Because as a diehard Tigers' fan, I think I might be offended :-)
Jen. Gets it. Bandwagon losers like Braylon do not.
Loved the guy when he was here, but all of his actions since he left, from the drunk driving in freaking Manhattan, to his attitude about Michigan's former coach, has just rubbed me the wrong way. Total prima donna. DENY IT.
Are you fucking kidding me?
If you read the entire article, he adds:
"It's good to have them back but at the same time, it's new all of a sudden, which is a good thing. It's good to have alumni back supporting us."
It's definitely understandable to see where he's coming from but overall it sounds like the players are happy to see the the former players and alumni more involved, even if there's been an absence over the last few years.
I don't think anyone would deny that alumni support is a a good thing. Some people are just wishing that good support existed 3 years ago - nothing we can do about it now, but it's an understandable feeling.
It's completely understandable, I just think that if you look at the first paragraph by itself (like in the original posting) it sounds a little more devisive and negative. I liked the honesty by RVB, I just don't think it's as polarizing a comment as some people think. Plus Hoke seems to be doing a great job at smoothing out some of those little dysfunctional wrinkles that have formed over the last 3-5 years... whether you like him or not, there is definitely more of a positive buzz around the program lately, but that will quickly disappear we don't produce on the field.
Angelique clarified per Twitter that RVB did not say this unprovoked--he was answering a question she directly asked him.
And props to RVB for giving a straight answer. A damn good answer. I have lots of respect for Angelique. And Van Bergen.
Regardless of whether the alumni's treatment of the program during the RR era was fair or not (clearly commentators are split on this), it gives me the warm fuzzies now that everybody seems to be significantly more "all in" than they have in recent history. It reminds me of the good vibes I felt when I first enrolled (fall of 2006).
Chicken-or-the-egg question. So some football alums maybe felt they weren't properly welcomed by RR. Who was the newcomer, anyway? What did those alums do to welcome RR to the family?
I ask this all the time. As the new person, isn't it nice if people welcome you? Isn't that common courtesy? When we moved into our neighborhood, most of our neighbors stopped by to say hello and made us feel right at home. We have one neigbor that STILL has never even said hello. I can't waste my time on that neighbor.
If there is a new member in your "family", are the existing members supposed to go out of their way to make the new member feel welcome?
RR needed the support of the alumni in 2008 even more than Hoke in 2011.
If he brought their alienation on himself, so be it. But if it was just a matter of him being an outsider, then no respect on Braylon and co.
It's like the popular clique ripping on the new kid for not making them feel welcome.
I keep hearing that "former players felt ambivalent/not welcome". Two questions:
1) What does that even mean? I doubt RR told any fprmer players to f off, so what is ambivalent? Is the problem that RR was unwelcoming, or that these players felt entitled to star treatment? Were they truly ignored, or are they like the high school girl that freaks out if her crush doesn't call after exactly 2.5 days? I've heard a lot of rumblings but no firm examples of what "unwelcome" really means.
2) Why didn't these players who felt unwelcome proactively reach out to help and be involved with the program? It was clearly possible, as with the alumni game, the workouts with Barwis, and Mike Hart. I mean its one thing if they tried and were flat out rebuffed, but I get the sense that at least some players checked out and didn't try to mend/create a relationship and blamed the failure on RR. In a perfect world, they would have helped RR become the Michigan Man they wanted, instead of getting mad that he wasn't one on day 1.
Honestly, I can see why you'd feel a loss of continuity. But the reality is that the staff was all new, and they didn't know these players personally. You can't expect Rich Rod to have a close relationship with a Carr player from the early 2000s, because he probably never talked to him (why would he?) prior to landing the job. I think the players were probably expecting too much, having been a bit spoiled by the extreme continuity of the previous regime. It was impossible for RR to have a close relationship with all of the UofM alums and a grasp of all of Michigan's tradition from day 1. RR was a very busy guy with a lot on his plate - it was asking a lot for him to go out of his way to build relationships with a bunch of strangers who used to play for Michigan when he had to worry about building relationships with 100 strangers who currently play for Michigan, all while building a new staff and installing a brand new offense.
coach hoke should not waste much more time figuring out ways to get guys who CAN'T PLAY ANYMORE back on campus and, i dunno, draw up a few more plays that smash left, smash right and overthrow 3rd down.
coach hoke should not waste much more time figuring out ways to get guys who CAN'T PLAY ANYMORE back on campus and, i dunno, draw up a few more plays that smash left, smash right and overthrow 3rd down.
I have been a Michigan fan since the mid 70ties. When I was a kid I had this old record that was a tribute to Bo's first season and would listen to it over and over. I appreciate the traditions that are Michigan. However, I am of the opinion that though useful to appreciate the present, traditions can get in the way.
I have always made parallels between R^2 tenure and the French Revolution. It is not a one-to-one and onto parallel as R^2 never was around long enough to win something. However, R^2 attempted to redo everything about how Michigan football was played. Unless you have a stacked team ask any good coach and they will tell you it takes 4-5 years to build a program. I do not see anyone blaming Beilein for not getting Haris & Sims to buy into his program. I think it can be agreed there was a sizeable minority that wanted him to fail and any setback would be blamed completely on him.
Back to the French Revolution there were many powers who desperately wanted to see it fail. When Napolean was finally deposed, the Bourbon dynasty was imposed and Europe had 30 more years of continuing tradition of King/Noble/Clergy before it all blew up. So much for tradition and hello industrial revolution.
What has annoyed me and continued to annoy me is this requirment that only an insider can be succesful at Michigan. For all those who live in the State of Michigan, they are aware of one of the greatest companies in the world that just went through chap11 BK. General Motors is a perfect example of what happens when you let your traditions get in the way of the present. GM unlike Ford became inbred as those who rose up did so because they said they liked fat butts. GM's size allowed it to put off change and keep doing things the same way for years. We know the rest of the story.
It seems to be that those who have power and influence over the Michigan football program want things done a certain way. Maybe I should call them the Mullahs. They want someone who conforms to their ideas. If you are not from the clique, you do not fit. The concept that if you had no ties to the program in the past makes you not qualified is arrogance without bounds. If Urban Meyer or Bill Cowher had come begging to be the next football coach at UM, would they be not considered because they were not part of the clique? Maybe I should learn hiring practices from HS.
As someone who attempts to use observation and history to deduce conclusions, the decay of Michigan football began long before R^2 was hired. In my opinion the origns was this obsession on inbred hiring practices. If one restricts their coaching search to just buddies and insiders, your talent pool is much smaller. In my opinion Carr made this mistake and his staff became mediore. This staff was less capable at identying good football talent and developing it. 06 was the last hurrah as the last of Herrmen's recruicts peaked. David Harris was replace by Obi Ezeh. Of course UM football was going to stink, precisely the reason why Carr retired when he did.
So now someone who tried to change the world is replaced by someone saying all the right things. Sometimes I wonder if the buzzwords of "Fat Butts" and full backs with shrinking spines and close head injuries are for the mullahs of the four towers. Does UM have a monolopy on tough man football? Did not a dozen players at Iowa have to be hosiptalized because they were pushed too hard? I don't remember Bo liking big boys with fat butts. And when Bo retired I recall 3 man Dlines. I though toughness was a prerequisite to play football. I thought teams won by discipline, execution, and scheme not by who can smash their face in the wall the hardest.
For all those who celebrate the restoration of the French throne, all the talk in the world means nothing. I remember us gigling about ND pushing out an unpopular coach after 3 years and replacing with a talker who said all the right things, and who brought in an allstar coaching staff. A Mr Weis won with someone elses players. Then when it was time to win with his own his way, it fell apart.
And lasty if coaches are some times not the right fit, whose fault is that? Cleveland Browns once had the best coach of football coaching their team. He had not figured everything out yet. But like many Pro franchises run by nonfootball people, the Browns were impatient. The rest is history as NE won 3 SB's. I am of the opinion that if R^2 had stayed, UM would have won 10 games this year. Fyi, I picked UM to win 7 last year and revised to 6 when Wolfolk went down. We judged a man based on how true sophmores and freshmen played.
Regardless of the spring game, the UM coaching staff will take advantage of R^2 players and UM will most likely win 9-10 games this year. Regardless of the success, I will always have a bitter taste in my mouth because it is someone else's team. I never pretend that it was ever my team. I just have to wonder how much of Hoke's talk is geniune and how much of it is to appease the real power, which is in the towers.
Maybe Hoke will be a good coach. Time will tell. What we do know is that many qualified coaches never will have a chance past, present, and future. Maybe this program has to truly fall flat on it's face to figure it out. I hope not as I like winning. I do not want a revolution of 1848. Because it still failed and for followers of European history it took several more decades even after that.
It's pretty simple. A lot of former players didn't like RR. Several of RR's players left; several more quit on him in the Gator Bowl. The message is clear: he wasn't a terribly popular guy. Maybe there's a reason for that.
Who quit on RR in the Gator Bowl? Specifically. I'll admit we were real bad but I would like to know who you are citing.
The alums in question sacrificed three years of Michigan football so they could get their own way. Welcome back to the bandwagon, guys. I hope you haven't broken it beyond repair.
I think its good RVB said what he felt I feel the same.
this subject is important enuf to ignore completely.
Nice to hear someone speak up and deliver this reality check...tell the Braylon crowd thanks for nothing
Clearly Rich Rod didn't embrace and carry on tradition like he should or none of this would have happened. He came on and switched everything up, he said games against O.State, Sparty, and Notre Dame were important but he didn't treat them like the hated rivals that they are. He took away the sacred #1 jersey, he switched up the captain system, ect. I can go on and on. He was just bad for Michigan. I'm not saying he's a bad person or coach. He just didn't know what he was getting himself into, and I'm pretty sure he would do a lot differently if he had the chance. If I was a former player I would respond the same way. And the fact that all the players are all of a sudden starting to come back around tells you everything. Case closed...Good Riddens Rich Rod!
Clearly Rich Rod didn't embrace and carry on tradition like he should or none of this would have happened. He came on and switched everything up, he said games against O.State, Sparty, and Notre Dame were important but he didn't treat them like the hated rivals that they are. He took away the sacred #1 jersey, he switched up the captain system, ect. I can go on and on. He was just bad for Michigan. And if your going to come into a program so rich in tradition, change everything up with total disregard, YOU BETTER WIN! I'm not saying he's a bad person or coach. He just didn't know what he was getting himself into, and I'm pretty sure he would do a lot differently if he had the chance. If I was a former player I would respond the same way. And the fact that all the players are all of a sudden starting to come back around tells you everything. Case closed...Good Riddens Rich Rod!
I believe it started a bit before Carr.
My 2 cents says that the whole "didnt respect traditions" stuff leveled at RR originated and then festered with the Lloyd Carr "guys" regarding their "standing" as upperclassmen/seniors.
Michigan, since Bo at least, has had a strong tradition of respecting and treating seniors who've paid the price and "done the time" a certian way. First class on airplanes, certian locker positions, seats in meetings etc. I've spoken to one former player from the NC team that felt RR not honoring & embracing this attitude towards the seniors was what really started the whole "divide".
If thats indeed true(or even somewhat true) whos to blame?? Its easy to point at those seniors and say tough shit, new coach, new rules now man up and deal with it. Yet I could see that if I was a guy who watched for 3 or 4 yrs the privilidges afforded those who towed the line, followed the rules and "stayed", modeling my own behavior after those guys so that when my time came I could enjoy that "standing" and it was swept away?? I don't think so.
Plus, in my own eyes, when we suffered our 3rd straight loss to tOSU and an embarrassing one at that. RR said exactly NOTHING about the seniors, about feeling bad for what they had to endure during the transition, not getting to beat tOSU, no big ten championship etc.
Conversely, when Lloyd lost his last game to tOSU, it was all he talked about.