John U. Bacon weighs in on Izzo & Dantonio

John U. Bacon weighs in on Izzo & Dantonio

Submitted by redwhiteandMGOBLUE on January 30th, 2018 at 8:07 AM


On the difference between Izzo and Dantonio's situations

"I would make a distinction between Izzo's situation and Dantonio's," Bacon said. "As far as I know, Coach Izzo's got three situations to answer for. One of course is Travis Walton, the one being discussed, also Adreian Payne and Keith Appling were both part of an incident with a woman that looks horrible, and what happened will be a question worth answering for sure. We don't know about that. In Dantonio's case, he's got a ten-year pattern of 16 players accused of sexual assault over this stretch.

"I'm not dismissing in any way Izzo's situation, but it seems to be at least contained. Now, how bad that is, we're going to find out. I don't see Dantonio's as contained. I see it as a pattern that has been rolling out for a decade, class after class, and that, to me, is a different situation."

I'm not sure why Bacon is stating that Izzo has his situation "contained". Contained, because from what we know thus far, he's only dealing with Walton and Appling/Payne? That seems like a strange choice of phrase since we just found out more info yesterday when it was reported that Walton was living with Izzo when both of his issues happened. And who were the other two basketball players involved in the gang rape with Walton?  That doesn't seem like a contained situation to me. I do know that Izzo was frazzled and lost after these last two games and now he can expect to get grilled about Walton's living arrangement with him going forward.

Dantonio clearly has a massive culture and image problem to deal with and I'm fairly confident that more damning evidence will come out on the football team. And this narrative from spartys that Dantonio was so upright because he booted four assaulters last year is nonsense. Those guys were only booted from the team because of the Nassar ugliness and ESPN snooping around campus. Unlike Izzo, Dantonio has the sad luxury of not having to go in front of the media 2-3 times a week until the end of March.

OT: John U. Bacon Book Launch TONIGHT, Rackham 7PM

OT: John U. Bacon Book Launch TONIGHT, Rackham 7PM

Submitted by Bando Calrissian on November 7th, 2017 at 10:04 AM

I had the opportunity to attend John U. Bacon's pre-launch book talk for the U of M Club of Greater Chicago last night, and wanted everyone to make sure to head to the official launch tonight, Tuesday, November 7th, at the Rackham Auditorium at 7PM.

Bacon's new book, The Great Halifax Explosion, is the story of what was the largest man-made explosion in human history until the detonation of the first atomic bomb, the massive, accidental detonation of over 3000 tons of explosives, airplane fuel, and the ship that carried it all in the port at Halifax, Nova Scotia on December 6th, 1917. The disaster killed some 2000 people, injured over 9000, and left much of one of Canada's major shipping centers in ruins. The sheer scope of this thing was off the charts. 

What makes this story so extraordinary is the response, both immediate and long-lasting, to one of the world's most significant disasters to date. The book emphasizes the speedy response from Boston with manpower and relief supplies, as well as the outpouring of support, material goods, and manpower from across the United States and Canada that streamed into Halifax in the days and weeks that followed the explosion--this is a story just as much about the world's first mushroom cloud (really!) as it is the human capacity for empathy and selflessness. And there's a bonus Michigan connection to all of this, which all of us fans of Michigan Hockey will all appreciate.

Information on the talk can be found here.

Hope everyone can come out tonight to enjoy one of our university's greatest storytellers, and to celebrate an all-around good guy who does great work in the classroom, in the community, and over the airwaves for this Michigan of ours.

U of M Club of Indianapolis Annual Holiday Reception - John U Bacon

U of M Club of Indianapolis Annual Holiday Reception - John U Bacon

Submitted by U of M Club of… on November 17th, 2015 at 7:30 PM

Hello Mgoblog Community!  The U of M Club of Indianapolis would like to invite all alumni in the Indianapolis area to our Annual Holiday Reception where John U Bacon will be our keynote speaker!  Details for the event are below.  Our apologies in advance if the links do not work (this is our first time posting to the Board) but we will try to get any issues corrected.  Feel free to ask any questions in the comments and we will respond as soon as possible.  Go Blue!

Annual Holiday Reception:

Private Reception at the historic Scottish Rite Cathedral Theater

When: Thursday, December 10 from 6:00-10:00PM

Where: Scottish Rite Cathedral, 650 N. Meridian, Indianapolis, IN

Details: The University of Michigan Club of Indianapolis invites you to hear our keynote speaker, New York Times Bestselling Author John U. Bacon, discuss his latest book, Endzone: The Rise, Fall, and Return of Michigan Football. The Club has books available to purchase that John has agreed to sign at the event. We ask that you please purchase books through the Club (via the registration link below), as a portion of the proceeds benefits our local scholarship fund.

Preliminary Schedule:

·6PM - Arrive/Guided Tour of the Scottish Rite

·6:30 - 7PM-Cocktails (Complimentary beer and champagne, cash bar) 

·7PM - Dinner (Buffet with 2 entree selections, TBD) and Keynote Speaker John U. Bacon!

Registration: TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE HERE! We have some fantastic door prizes and giveaways lined up, including gift baskets to local restaurants, a one night stay at the Ann Arbor Bed and Breakfast, and more!

Review of John U. Bacon Endzone Book Event in Chicago

Review of John U. Bacon Endzone Book Event in Chicago

Submitted by Bando Calrissian on August 30th, 2015 at 6:13 PM

Saturday, Michigan Man par excellence John U. Bacon kicked off the promotional whirlwind for his new book, Endzone: The Rise, Fall, and Return of Michigan Football at the Diag bar in Chicago at an event sponsored by the U of M Club of Greater Chicago.

To a standing-room-only crowd ranging from alumni to former Bacon students (like myself) to such luminaries as Will Hagerup and Carl Grapentine, the voice of the Michigan Marching Band and Michigan Stadium, Bacon explained the breakneck pace at which he completed his latest work on "this Michigan of ours." Though some (ahem, Buckeyes) are taking issue with the subtitle of the book (particularly, the part about Rise, Fall, and Return), Bacon's main thesis is that this book is not about wins and losses--it's about Michigan reclaiming itself from within.

This "Return," then, is one of values and traditions. While the losses the program has experienced since 2006 were certainly concerning, Bacon emphasizes that students, fans, and alumni were more concerned with the bigger picture around those losses: the rapid erosion of what made Michigan special, largely through the attitude and actions of former Athletic Director Dave Brandon. As a result, Bacon starts the story not with Dave Brandon, but Charles Baird, who pioneered the role of Athletic Director, building the foundation for Yost, Crisler, and Canham. As Bacon explained, this is a story of how Michigan built an unparalleled legacy and tradition for over a century, based on selling not a product or a game, but Michigan. By treating ticketholders, alumni, letterwiners, students, and fans with respect and a relatively remarkable degree of restraint and transparency, the Athletic Department built mountains of trust--and a waitlist for football tickets to show for it. When Dave Brandon eroded that trust, challenging the status quo at nearly every juncture for reasons that seemed petty or misguided, if not simply greedy, Michigan's core constituencies appealed to that same tradition and trust to unseat Brandon.

What makes this book so interesting, from portions I've torn through since I got my hands on it yesterday, is that this is clearly not a narrative about one big moment. While some may point to the Noodle, the Shane Morris incident, or the "quit drinking and go to bed" emails as points of rupture, these are just isolated examples that point to the fundamental reason Dave Brandon failed at Michigan: the slow accumulation of similarly small, seemingly innocuous changes and/or actions that in one way or another systematically ticked off yet another constituency within the Michigan family, from former M lettermen to Olympic sports coaches to alumni organizations to donors to the ordinary fan trying to bring their kid to a Michigan game. Ignoring many of the benchmarks of leadership Bacon highlighted in Bo's Lasting Lessons, Brandon found new and infinitely infuriating ways to turn every corner of the University against him, perhaps none more important than the Board of Regents, on which he had previously served with distinction. As a litany of miscues, it's truly breathtaking, and some in the crowd were only too eager to share yet more from their own experiences.

At the same time, Bacon was clear to point out that while we can all point to countless examples of Brandon's mismanagement and misdirected ego, he was also capable of going the extra mile for student-athletes and others within the department. Bacon emphasized Will Hagerup's story, with Hagerup in attendance, as a particularly poignant example to this end. It's clear Brandon cares deeply about Michigan, and often went out of his way to go the extra mile for those he considered his core constituencies.

Yet just as Lloyd Carr's true motivations were somewhat obscured in Three and Out, Bacon's book on Rich Rodriguez's tenure at Michigan, I think there's a similar complexity here about Dave Brandon. Just as Carr did with 3&O, Brandon declined Bacon's request for comment--even though, as Bacon explained yesterday, he was offered a nearly endless timeline to answer a series of questions (via email, which we know is a medium Brandon knows how to use) at the conclusion of the project. We're left, then, with a picture of a man whose actions usually didn't measure up to the better angels of his nature, inexplicably working to destroy a legacy Brandon was raised to uphold from the moment he committed to Michigan at the foot of Bo's hospital bed in January 1970. We're left with the frustration that Brandon knew better, yet seldom acted as if he did.

Which brings us to Jim Hackett and Harbaugh, which Bacon explained was a result of yet more small and seemingly innocuous events and coincidences that culminated in the perfect storm for Michigan to hire the right interim AD, and in turn to the right coach. And it was all made possible because Michigan's alumni, students, letterwinners, student-athletes, and coaches rallied around each other to reclaim what they knew to be Michigan, something which was far too important to let die away.

The event at the Diag was wonderful, as is the norm for the UMCGC, with lively discussion and questions (including one from Carl Grapentine himself, which, as Bacon commented, was "ear chocolate" for those of us who love Carl's dulcet tones), and a line out the door for signed books. For many of us who studied with Mr. Bacon at Michigan (as I did--a Baked Potato extended to my fellow Bacon alums!), it was just like being in that auditorium at Angell Hall.

For those in the Ann Arbor area, there will be a similar event on Tuesday, September 1st, at Rackham Auditorium at 7PM. There's room for a thousand people--tell your friends, bring the kids, and buy a book!

"Bo's Lasting Lessons" Revisited

"Bo's Lasting Lessons" Revisited

Submitted by Fhshockey112002 on January 19th, 2015 at 10:36 PM

Over the past week during a vacation I re-read "Bo's Lasting Lessons" I hadn't read it in probably 5+ years.  If you haven't read it I think I wouldn't be alone in reccomending it.  If you have read it, but like me its been years I hope this will encourage you to pick it back up. 

I was struck by how certain names that are very relevant today were picked out of a distinguished crowd by Bo almost a decade ago. Below are a couple short clips that stood out:

Brad Bates

"Today Brad bates is the athletic director at Miami of Ohio- and they love him, there, too. They love him! He's done a marvelous job, and I'm sure you'l be hearing his name wherever a big job opens up. I would not be surprised if he becomes Michiagan's athletic director down the road. If he doesn't, it'll be our loss."

Jim Hackett

"Years later, Jimmy told me he leared a lot from that meeting, that you can have a tremendous impact as a leader just by taking a little time. Your people have to know that their value to you and your organization is not determined just by what they do, but by who they are. I cant make it any clearer than that."

Jim Harbaugh

"Jim ended up being twice as good, in my book, as the Golden Arm- Harbaugh was the Big Ten MVP his senior year, beating the other guy by a mile- and Jim's teammates liked him. Maybe Harbaugh didn't have half the arm of the Golden Boy, but he had twice the brains and ten times the heart. Give me those specs, anyday."

Jerry Hanlon 

(Jerry's words in response to a question from Jim Harbaugh "what kind of team will we have next year') "Jim, come back in twenty years, and I'll tell you. Only then will we know how you and your classmates turned out. Did you get good jobs? Are you hardworking and honest? Were you good husbands and fathers? Did you contribute to your community? Did you make the world a better place?"


I couldn't believe how well this book held up in the quick changing sports landscape.  It shows how much character Bo saw in these individuals and how much they learned and valued their time at Michigan.  (I know cool story bro).

Uh, I THINK John U Bacon confirmed the Gregg Henson rumor on WTKA this morning.

Uh, I THINK John U Bacon confirmed the Gregg Henson rumor on WTKA this morning.

Submitted by LSA Superstar on September 26th, 2014 at 12:49 PM

I know nothing - NOTHING - about Gregg Henson's credibility.  Nor do I know anything about Bacon's sources, although I do know that he wasn't on Brian's ad hoc "certified source" list in the Mailbag post from earlier this week.  But during Bacon's regular segment on WTKA this morning, he slipped in a detail that didn't get a lot of hype and didn't seem to get mentioned in the Henson thread below.

Go listen for yourself.  Download today's Bacon segment on the WTKA website.  The whole thing is worth a listen, but the back third is what you REALLY need to hear.

At around 10:35, Webb discusses how various players have spoken out for or against Michigan in "many different facets."  Webb asks if there are new factions emerging between players for and against the current football regieme, or if those factions never left and have always been there.

Bacon answers - this part is paraphrase - that there aren't any factions at all.  Pretty much all former lettermen are against the Athletic Department, but NOT Brady Hoke.  Bacon says it's not like Rich Rodriguez, were there were people for and against him.  Bacon then says - quote - "If you want to find one group that is most uniformally opposed to the current direction of the department, it's the lettermen. I mean, they've got to be 95 to 99 percent negative right now."

Webb counters that Billy Taylor defended the department; Bacon defers gracefully and says "give the reverend his due."  Bacon then says that many more would come out but "can't for political reasons."

But here's the kicker.  Go to 14:00, right after Bacon's phone goes off.  Bacon says that there are "two approaches," but not pro and con.  The two approaches are "do you speak up or do you not speak up," meaning against the athletic department.  Then Bacon says - again, quoting at 14:31 - "But they [the former players] don't get a vote.  They're not on the board.  They're not, you know, in the president's ear in the normal way.  They are writing him a letter, obviously, and they - many - I think hundreds have signed it.  What it does tell Schlissel is this.  I can't imagine president schl taking action based solely on the lettermen's letter.  But I can see him thinking if he decides to make a decision, 'Well, one problem I will not have is obstruction from the lettermen.  They're not going to defend the current direction.'"

This does not confirm that the letter Henson presented is the actual letter.  But if what Henson is saying is true as it pertains to Harbaugh...

Take for granted, take it with a grain of salt, or don't take it at all.

John U. Bacon article on decreasing student attendance and game experience at Mich. Stadium

John U. Bacon article on decreasing student attendance and game experience at Mich. Stadium

Submitted by BRBLUE on June 6th, 2014 at 6:32 AM

Thought this was a pretty interesting read, makes some vaild points on why students are frustrated and not showing up and why the game day experience should be more for what the fan pays. What are your thoughts?

Excellent article on President Ford, Willis Ward, and Yost's Racism

Excellent article on President Ford, Willis Ward, and Yost's Racism

Submitted by StephenRKass on February 24th, 2012 at 4:43 PM

There is an excellent article over at the Detroit News by John U. Bacon. It is about President Ford, Willis Ward, and Yost's Racism. Bacon highlights some of the best and the worst of Michigan Football. The best?  That UofM was a leader and trendsetter, standing against racism on the gridiron. Coach Kipke recruited and welcomed Willis Ward, who roomed with Gerald Ford. The worst? That Coach and AD Fielding H. Yost was flat out a racist. Yost was apparently furious that Kipke had recruited Ward, possibly coming to blows with Kipke. Yost brought things to a head by scheduling Georgia Tech, a team from the south, and thus a team that refused to be on the field at the same time with blacks.

Many, perhaps most of you, have heard of this story. Sometime, I hope to see the recent documentary movie on the subject. There were several things that were new to me.

  • I never knew the extent of Yost's racism, a black mark against Michigan.
  • I never knew that Ford went in to quit the team over the matter, showing courageous and tremendous conviction.
  • I never knew that the University of Michigan community stood so clearly against racism, with public protests and letter writing.
  • I never knew that the University President Ruthven didn't have enough courage to stand up for Michigan's ideals.
  • And I never knew that the whole incident cast a shadow on the entire football program, bringing the program the worst year ever, and bringing it down for a good half decade.

We can be thankful for Michigan, for men like Gerald Ford and Willis Ward. We can be thankful for current men like John U. Bacon. And we can be thankful that there is indeed a Michigan way, a right way, to do things. Or, as Coach Hoke quipped, "This is Michigan, fergodsakes."

Some will suggest this is ancient history. But the more things change, the more they stay the same. We see these discussions again today, with regards to Jeremy Lin, with regards to the irresponsible and offensive use of twitter and other social media, with regards to slurs that reflect well neither on those who make them nor on institutions that give them a pass. I'm glad that this story is part of our history at Michigan, and hope that it sets a pattern for years to come.

3&O: Just Mortals

3&O: Just Mortals

Submitted by CRex on December 5th, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Okay, we'll do the disclaimers first.

  • Yes, this has spoilers.  If you haven't finished 3&O, close this tab now.
  • Yes, I realize 3&O has been out for awhile.  I wanted to sit on it for a bit and gain perspective though.  3&O carries a rather heavy emotional payload, so I read it.  Set it aside, watched us win 10 games, and then reread it.  I was less suicidal the second time I read it.  If you want to complain about this kind of diary reopening old wounds, close this tab now.  
  • I'm not going to cite things with page numbers or whatever.  If I miss use a quote, call me on it.  Consider 3&O to be a heavily cited work that gets the credit for most facts.
  • It's long and doesn't have any pictures.  I'm sorry.

Now then, why am I writing this.  Because we're not entirely over RR.  We have people who still are up in their caves, wearing their turbans and engaging in the Freep Jihad.  We have people who scour every word written on the blog's mainpage and ranting at anything that might be critical of Hoke.  We have people who take praise of Hoke to be an attack on RR.  So I want to talk about the three years of sadness.  If you feel an angry rant coming on, last chance to close the tab.

Right before Bo passed he said that once he died, we'd find out whole the real Michigan Men were.  We did and it was damn ugly.

In the wake of Bo passing and RR being hired, we had three major players in Michigan football.  Lloyd Carr, Bill Martin, and Rich Rodriguez.  It would expand to 4 after MSC got involved and later Dave Brandon would replace Martin.   However the tone of the era was set by the actions of the first three.  

Lloyd Carr is the engima here.  He was successful at Michigan.  The only two coaches who had his number, Tressel and Caroll, ended up fleeing to the NFL one step ahead of the NCAA sanctions committee.  He also won a NCAA title and 78% of his B1G games.  He never lost more than 3 B1G games in a season and only finished below 3rd in the conference once.  At the same time he took a lot of heat form the fans.  Claims that he only won his ring with Moeller's players.  Heat over his Rose Bowl issues and issues handling the spread.  I still remember walking into the stadium one game and seeing an anti-Carr fan holding a sign.  It read "Osama Bin-Lloyden is destroying Michigan football".  The dude had a megaphone and was ranting.  I just had to shake my head.  Every year Tressel took him down, the fanbase got bitchier.  

Since Carr has been silent (no comments in 3&O or anywhere else for the most part since he retired) it's hard to know what he felt at retirement.  The evidence suggest he was burned out in 2006, but Martin had no replacement plan so he stayed on.  The Horror happened and the heat on Carr was turned up.  At the end of the day the best insight I have into Carr's mind comes from Bacon, who writes that Carr wanted to name his successor.  

Here I'm going to make a leap.  Carr felt like he'd accomplished a lot here and he definitely had.  However the fanbase was pretty bitchy by this point and a lot of people were happy to see Carr retire.  Basically it was a "Thanks for your service, here's your award, door is to your left" kind of retirement.  No one exactly went into mourning when Carr hung it up.  I see a potential situation where Carr felt bitter, underappreciated and not properly compensated in terms of legacy for his work.  In 3&O, Carr tells Martin that someday a MAC team was going to beat us.  Basically saying college football was getting tougher, more parity, and yet Michigan fans want to see the 100-0 scores that we'd manage in the early 1900s and when we didn't, we got bitchy.  Carr did a lot for us and we photoshopped his face on Bin Laden's body.  I can understand why the man might be bitter.  Carr ends his career wanting DeBord or English to replace him, but after his last few seasons the fanbase would go nuclear if either of them did.  Martin wisely says no to that.  Carr's legacy ends him him kind of coming close to getting run out of town, despite his body of work.  We all laugh at Minnesota for firing Mason despite his body of work, but we were dicks to Carr desite his.  (As a side note I'm using we here because we're all part of the fanbase, even the retards).  

So Carr is retired.  Burned out, but not going since he was an Assoc. AD.  Martin comes forward and coaching search begins.  Miles is ruled out early (Carr says "Hell No" and MSC backs him on it, insert various rumors about why here).  Martin screws up on a bunch of offers, Miles kind of becomes a hail mary option, Martin goes sailing and can't work his damn phone.  Carr meanwhile reaches out to RR as kind of an end around on Miles and so he is kind of naming his own successor.  Suddenly we have one of the top offensive minds in the country, a guy who won BCS games with WVU (while we lost ours), and a hot, young name in coaching.  

We also have a problem.  Carr is going off the reservation here and making first contact and from Bacon's work it carries the implication Carr did so on his own, at at the behest of Martin or MSC.  In the Bo era if you went behind Bo's back, you paid.  We're now at the point where a future Assoc AD is sneaking around behind his boss's back.  

Martin's cluelessness with personnel decisions continued.  When he interviews RR he tries to tell RR he has to keep Lloyd's entire staff.  MSC though is now taking a role in the process (post Miles clusterfuck) and shuts him down.  I want to break this down a bit though.  Martin asks RR to keep the entire staff in a meeting with RR and MSC jumps on him.  This wasn't something that Martin and MSC privately talked about on the way to the meeting.  This was the President having to slap the AD down in front of a potential new employee.  Way to plan ahead for interviews...

It also means something even worse.  Think about what Martin said.  "We love your spread and shred offense and want to hire you, by the way we want to you to keep DeBord on staff as the OC."  Think about that for a minute.  Bang your head into your desk.  Later in the meeting when RR says it will take him awhile to install his system and Martin says that's not a problem, you really have to wonder if Martin had any clue what RR's system was.  If Martin had any clue what he was getting into.  

Martin of course then lowballs RR's assistants and fails to secure Casteel.  So we arguably whiff on the second most assistant of RR's machine (I'd argue since RR is offensively minded, DC is more important than OC.  Coordinators of course are clearly more important  than posistion coaches).  We also screw up the whole firing of Carr's staff.  RR makes them wait in the hall and people like Gittelson (30 years here) are fired.  

This is a failure for everyone.  For Carr, for RR, and for Martin.  Carr's about to become the Assoc AD for football operations.  If he's so worried about his assistants getting treated fairly he should take a greater role in the process.  Martin should be finding jobs for people like Gittelson (there has to be come kind of generic title we can give him, keep him on the Michigan payroll, and reward his loyalty.  Barwis is now the man for football, we have dozens of weightrooms on the campus, we could have found Gittelson a place.  Same with the others, stuff them in some AD job until they find coaching work.  We're Michigan, we're supposed to be loyal.).  RR of course really fails at handling the firings well.  Carr of course ends up unhappy, somewhat openly advocating transfers, and the whole RR-Carr relationship goes sour.  

We know how it goes from there.  Freep columnists are harsh on RR, Carr era players attack RR in the media.  Martin does nothing public,  Carr does nothing public.  RR says the wrong things, loses games, and finally Grobans himself out of a job.  Plus of course getting bombed in the bowl didn't help.  

My reason for rehashing this 3&O content was to show the actions of people and compare them to Bo.  There was no "The Team, The Team, The Team". No concern for the players.

First off Martin flushed his legacy with the RR hire.  The man put us in the black, he built a beautiful athletic campus.  He set us up with the stadium suites that generate an amazing amount of revenue.  We have the world's largest indoor practice facility because of him.  Crisler doesn't look like shit anymore because of him (DB did it with his revenue).  We could afford to offer Harbaugh 5 million a year because of him.  We could pry Mattison out of the pros because of him.  We have a massive bank account, a massive revenue stream, and top shelf facilities because of him.  We also had the NCAA investigate us and a civil war because of his poor personal management.  If we had a comptroller hall of fame, he goes in the first round.  As it stands though he is remembered for going boating during a coaching search with a cellphone he could not operate.

I love Carr and anyone who bothers to read my posts knows I'm in the Carr defender category.  Carr has done a lot for this University.  On the field and off the field (namely his fundraising for Motts is really his greatest achievement as a human being since sick kids are a million times more important than kicking around an inflated pig's bladder).  Yet when the time came he wasn't a Michigan Man.  RR's teams were loaded with Carr's recruits.  Yet he turned down 8 chances to speak to RR's teams.  It's fine if Carr wanted to dislike RR.  RR did fire all his friends and talk a lot in public, the antithesis of Carr.  However when our fanbase errupted into a civil war it was the players, the players that Carr recruited who suffered as the program was ripped apart.  Carr must have promised these kids B1G rings when he recruited them.  Yet he shut up and didn't do anything when the program collapsed around them.  It's almost as if he told them "transfer, because I'm cutting all ties and won't be around to help you after the Bowl".  Bo was known for walking into people's offices and telling them "You need to shut up".  Bo would have been defending the kids and the program.  Carr was silent.  At best he did nothing, at worst he was using his players and contacts to undermine RR instead of help him.  I have no idea what Carr did during those three years, but he wasn't a Michigan Man because he definitely wasn't using his power to support the team.    

I'm going to be brief on RR since we've dissecting him a million times on this board.  He made a lot of mistakes on the field in terms of the defense.  Off the field he really failed to win the political battle that comes with being the head coach at a name brand football school.  Yes the deck was stacked against him, but even so he tended to make things worse, not better.  For example RR played under Nehlen, a Bo assistant.  He learned about "Those Who Stay Will Be Champions" from Nehlen and used it himself when he coached at Glenville State.  Yet he never told those stories despite the fact they instantly put him on the Bo tree and made him more acceptable.  More importantly is how quickly he broke down.  His locker room destroying rage, this "fuck you" ridden tirades over his headset when Tate made a bad play.  Yes it is projection, but you have to wonder if in year 4 or 5 he goes all Woody Hayes on a DB or Bob Knight on someone.  I don't believe RR as a person would ever do that, but people do snap.  At some level when you read how broken down RR was as Year 3 went from 5 and 0 to 2 and 5, you have to wonder if it was a mercy firing.  

What we see there are three people who aren't bad people.  Martin made us rich, Carr did a lot for the program and the school, RR wanted to make this his destination school and cared for his kids, and he did install the offense we hired him to install.  Yet everyone had their flaws.  Blindess with personnel hirings, a failure to support RR the way Bump supported Bo, and the inability to properly adopted Michigan mannerisms/fix the damn defense.  No one is the devil here or an incompetent, but no one is Bo either.

Then there is the fanbase, us.  That member of our fanbase who called a regent to complain that RR used "ain't" in a press conference (seriously, fuck you whoever that was).  The fanbase who the minute Bo died, demanded someone else become Bo.  Then when everyone showed they were mortal, not Bo, and could make mistakes we devolved into armed "Old Guard" and "New Guard" camps.  Communist football vs primitive saurian Llloydball.  We all agreed Martin was a moron who couldn't work a cell phone, picked a coach (RR or Carr) and tried to crown him as the new center of Michigan football.  We also didn't exactly cover ourselves in glory.

That's what we need to take away from the RR era.  Our dad died.  Uncle Lloyd turned out be a distant and cold paternal figure.  Uncle Rodriguez went through a rough time and had a melt down.  Uncle Martin was busy clicking buttons in excel.  So a lot of the fanbase regressed from Michigan Men into bitchy children who said mean things on the radio or wrote them, despite the negative impact they had on The Team.  

As we enter the new era, 10-2, now willing to pay top dollar for top coordinators, with a guy who gets Michigan, and RR has a new job in a BCS conference, I think it may be time to let it go.  At the end of the day we don't have a good guy and we don't have a bad guy.  Martin, Carr, and RR all did a lot for this school and they all failed it.  Any debate where you try to annoint one guy as the devil and one guy as the angel in this era is just going to generate a flamefest because each side has plenty of material to cite.  The actors here were all humans who were successful in some areas, but unlike Bo they weren't successful in every area.  No one was bad, they just weren't Bo and that is fine because being Bo is a high standard to live up to.  As we go forward we need to stop looking for a new Bo.  Bo's dead.  But a new one will emerge.  Just as it flowed from Yost to Crisler to Bo.  Don't try and place someone on that throne by force though.

We should also remember how a house divided cannot stand against itself and more importantly how we hurt the players on the field with the whole civil war.  We owe people like Graham and Moundros something.  They gave it all on the field on Saturday while the fanbase was busy having a flamewar.  

Oh and always remember Sharp and Rosenberg suck.  

If we're going to keep one thing in our mind as we move forward, it should be that comment from Bo about how we'd find out who the real Michigan Men were when he died.  We did and we need to remember what that cost us.  It's up to us to keep it together now, because we won't have Bo to walk into our lives and tell us "You need to shut up now".