Chuck Klosterman, a writer for Esquire and Spin magazines as well as an author of several funny books, has most recently written a book called Eating the Dinosaur. I'm not sure what the book is about, but the excerpt included on ESPN's Page 2 uses Coach Rodriguez's read option play as a prime example of why football is the ultimate "modern" sport whose speedy adaptation of new technologies makes it much more "liberal" than "conservative." The best part is that he is using Sheridan's performance against Minnesota last year as his prime example of the read option. Enjoy . . .
Klosterman uses Rodriguez's read option play as mirror for modern society
Wow that looks really interesting. Reminds me of the Markovitz (sp?) class I took at UM.
Thanks for posting.
I was really struck by him saying, and I paraphrase, "As I get older I lose interest in a lot of things I liked when I was younger, but my interest in football is the same or maybe even greater..." I am a huge sports fan, but things I used to LOVE like NBA basketball for example aren't too important anymore, but I always watch Umich footbal every saturday.
My interest in Major League baseball, the NBA (and even the NHL, to a lesser degree), have waned significantly over the last decade: I watched the Tigers' World Series run in '06, but beyond that . . . not so much; however, I always watch Michigan Football every Saturday and at least one NFL game every Sunday.
The observations on the willingness of football to adopt new technologies, while other sports resist change (looking at you baseball, soccer), were well stated.
It's interesting that the author saw so much more during that game for the little brown jug than I did. All I was was thinking was "WTF! Did our guys grasp this system all of a sudden? Did the barwis effect suddenly click in? WTF!"
"I had always believed teams could not succeed by running the ball out of the shotgun formation. I thought it would never happen. But I was wrong. And I suspect the reason I was wrong was not because I didn't understand what was happening on this specific play; I suspect it was because I felt like I already understood football. I had played football and written about football and watched it exhaustively for twenty years, so I thought I knew certain inalienable truths about the game. And I was wrong. What I knew were the assumed truths, which are not the same thing. I had brainwashed myself. I was unwilling to admit that my traditional, conservative football values were imaginary and symbolic. They belonged to a game I wasn't actually watching but was still trying to see.
Over time, I realized this had happened with almost every aspect of my life."
Great read for football fans... I like that he hints that the spread will seep slowly into the NFL, which I believe it will. I think the state of college football is always a bit ahead of the NFL, as backward as it sounds.
Perhaps, but if it does it will do so with a wildcat-type shift of RB behind center; otherwise it will have the same fate as the option: the persistent pounding from NFL DBs and LBs will destroy the QB.
I can't recommend his books "Fargo Rock City" and "Sex Drugs & Cocoa Puffs" highly enough, truly fantastic reading.
It's true, but it's not necessarily a knock on NFL teams. Much like state legislatures were branded "laboratories of democracy," I think CFB (and HS football as well) benefits from a greater dispersion of talent, a higher number of overall participants, and inevitably a greater amount of ideas making innovative play more likely.
Chuck Klosterman started out as a music columnist, but his scatterbrained writing style branches him out into random subjects such as sports, Hollywood, philosophy et al.
He's a damn good writer, though. I'ma let you finish but Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs is one of the greatest books of all time. All time!
This is one of the best football articles I've ever read.
He had me long before he started ripping into Woody Hayes.
He really nails it here:
"Football allows the intellectual part of my brain to evolve, but it allows the emotional part to remain unchanged. It has a liberal cerebellum and a reactionary heart. And this is all I want from everything, all the time, always."
Intellectually, I know Alabama will probably win any given game. Emotionally, I want them to LOSE LOSE LOSE! I can't bring myself to bet they will win. I have a liberal cerebellum and a reactionary heart.
Thanks for passing that along. Klosterman is one of my favorite authors and this excerpt doesnt disappoint. Killing Yourself to Live is a also great read for any music aficionados out there (or for anyone who loves pop culture).
Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs made me want to punch anyone in skinny jeans for the next three days.
That UM scored just over half the number of points DSU experienced in the beating they took to Portland State (105 points)? The hew and cry must have been deafening. Or not.