I debated whether to post this in the Griese - Gittleson thread, or separately, and decided on the latter.
I was sitting at a golf club on Friday while my son took lessons. Of course I was in my usual Michigan shirt and hat, and reading War as they Knew it. (I know, what a homer ... and it galls me that Rosenberg wrote a compelling book.)
Anyway a guy walks up to me and introduces himself, and tells me he was a player under Bo. So I asked what years and he said on the '69 and '70 team (he injured his knees and was unable to continue). Obviously I was impressed. Here was M history standing right in front of me.
We talked for quite a while. His opinion of the current situation is a shortage in talent, which still needs to be filled by recruiting.
I asked him about the transition to Bo, and whether (wins and losses aside) he thought the transition was similar. He said Bo was very tough. After the first six months Bo really opened up on them, yelling at them a lot.
Bo was also and very detailed. This guy was a center, and Bo would ask him every day how much he weighed. He said they had him eating eight poached eggs, two steaks, and all the bananas they could eat a day (this was before Gittleson), and then have him running laps at 285 lbs.
The other thing he said was Bo would scream at you on the sidelines if you made a mistake on the playing field.
To me, the interesting thing is we all have this altruistic vision of Bo, and people (the press especially) make such a big deal about Rich's behavior on the sidelines. In reality, Bo and Rich show a similar fiery sideline demeanor, and if anything, it sounds like Rich may be more family oriented than Bo was (at least in Bo's earlier years).
P.S. One line in the book that I love:
But Schembechler had built a reputation for shutting out the media. He kept a file on individual writers—if a guy wrote something Schembechler didn't like, Schembechler would stop talking to him.
I can think of a few Freep reporters who deserve that treatment. Rich needs to employ that Lloyd stare: Sharp or Rosenberg asks a question—Rich needs to say nothing and just stare at them like Lloyd for a second, and then ask for the next question ...