Maize n Brew Dave has posted a nice piece comparing RichRod to a tired boxer.
When I look at Rich Rodriguez these days I see a tired man. Not tired in the sense that he is broken, resigned, or half asleep. Tired like a boxer at the end of the fourth round, stung by a right cross he didn't see coming, and covering his noggin as he absorbs shot after shot to his mid section, waiting, praying that the final four seconds on the clock tick down and allow him a moment to collect himself. Looking at him, I get that sense. Not that he's out of fight. Far from it. He just needs a breather. A break from the constant stream of questions about CARA forms, stretching time, and his future as Michigan's head football coach. Each one a repeated jab or hook he's glanced off time and time again, but each one costing him something.
But he knows that bell is still a long way off, no matter what the clock says.
But what kind of fighter is RichRod? Will he get off the mat when he's laid low? Will he answer the bell after he's taken a beating? How will he respond to the most bleak stretch of his career?
Not too long ago much was made of the Lloyd Carr's use of Ron Howard's adaptation of [the James Braddock] story, how Carr and Russell Crowe became friends because of it. But the real story is how Michigan in 2007 resembled Braddock. How they got up off the canvas and fought back. Now, the story is how Rodriguez will respond. And perhaps after three years of bitter complaints that Rodriguez and Carr have nothing in common, maybe now those complainants can find a link between the coaches.
I see a lot of Braddock in Rodriguez. He's been hurt. He's been written off. But his best fights are still ahead of him. Right now he needs a moment to gather himself, much like Braddock did. Whether Rodriguez falters like Fraizer or succeeds like Braddock remains to be seen, but he is capable of both.
Either way, come August, he will come out swinging.
Watch out UConn, watch out ND, watch out Big Ten: you're about to experience something that hasn't been seen in these parts for what seems like an eternity.