Two Items, And Then Into The Breach

Submitted by Brian on November 21st, 2008 at 3:11 PM

First: McGuffie. As recently as last night I was getting corroborating information about McGuffie's intended departure; today it's different. I'd really like to go back and un-post that first thing and then I would just have all this crazy stuff about McGuffie in my inbox, but I started this so I owe you the information I have: two different sources indicate to me that there's been a change of heart, McGuffie is at practice, will play Saturday, and, at least for now, intends to stay.

Chambers is "officially not a Wolverine anymore" according to his facebook status, FWIW, and you will probably see a few more players leave the team after the season.

Also FTR: there are a lot of issues completely unrelated to the team McGuffie is dealing with, for anyone wishing to criticize him.

Second: this has been a trying season for everyone from the coaches to the team to the fans and the bloggers. It figures to be trying for another four hours tomorrow. Everyone got mad at someone; those of us who got mad at people tearing at the program in newspapers or on message boards had the same bile and took the same opportunity for release. Targeting it better doesn't change the emotion.

The best example of this was an ugly exchange between Johnny and the WLA this week. Johnny started it off by posting something that ended with "This was Michigan. They used to exist." And that was about the tenor of the post. Raise your hand if you saw a full broadside from the WLA coming and okay that's everybody. Response, attempt at reconciliation, possible lingering rift.

Schism and dissent plagues the program top to bottom, and you, as a fan, have a choice. You can loudly voice your anger at the program, you can disconnect and give up and regard Rich Rodriguez as an interloper and regard the players as weak or lazy or whatever. No one will remember this if and when the program turns around. You'll switch hats and no one will know. Except you.

My advice: do the things now that will allow you to fully bask in the glow of victory later. Let's say Mike Rosenberg was actually a big Michigan fan. Now he's spent a full year publicly hating Rich Rodriguez, and anything positive Rodriguez does will be poisoned to him. He'll be rooting for him to fail a little bit so he can be right.

Being right isn't that great. My brother and I spent a large portion of the 2005 Penn State game—the New Math game—making sarcastic comments to each other about the state of the team and the game. As it turns out, we were basically right about the team. But as we were jumping up and down at the end of the game someone who had clearly been annoyed by us earlier turned around and said something like "what can you say now, jerks?"

He was 100% right, and I was shamed, and it took something away from that moment. That moment does not come along except once in a very long while, and what a shame to have done something to spoil it.

And now, someone directs their child to destroy Jim Tressel:

Go Blue. See you on the other side.

Comments

MichFan1997

November 21st, 2008 at 3:25 PM ^

making fun of your team and then suddenly cheering for them makes you look like a dick. i've done it when i was younger (i.e. teenage years) and i'm glad i've changed. The Lions is one thing. They've given me no reason to hold faith. Michigan is another thing. Rich Rodriguez has NOT forgotten how to coach since 2007 (despite what some asshole on youtube has told me). He IS a good coach. This team perceived talent coming in was greatly exaggerated by the fanbase (what fans don't do this?) and the players aren't right at all for this system. But you can't see there and tell me that this team isn't 5 times better than it was 3 months ago. The offensive line actually has some small small glimmer of hope. The running game is starting to work. The D-line was awesome. The linebackers have gotten better, though they could stand to improve more. Brian, you were right about the safeties. They WILL trend up. I'm very confident of this. Whether it's Mike Williams, Justin Turner (unless he plays corner?), Mike Jones (who?) Mike Jones, or I. Bell (unless one or both are at linebacker), and most importantly...MARVIN ROBINSON. He will be a Wolverine. I am very confident of this. Guys, be patient. Listen to Brian's advice on how to root for the team. Stay the course. It will make it much sweeter in the end. Just ask any Tigers fan (like myself, who watched almost every inning from the age of 8 in 1995 up through 2005) how 2006 felt. It was INCREDIBLE. That's how Michigan 2010 or 2011 will feel. Of this, I am confident. GO BLUE!

cougar blue

November 21st, 2008 at 3:43 PM ^

You are correct. I hear it everyday from other M fans that just rip the program. I have been mad, disappointed, and confused this year but I have still tuned in, wore my M stuff, and been a fan. I was at the WI game and my emotions went up from the bottom like everyone else's BUT we stayed and supported- that is what WE need to do!

This is why they play the game! If you look at all the games this year... we have been there. The biggest thing I take from this year is that nobody has quit, they fight. That IS coaching, and good coaching. Coaching is more than what we SEE on Saturdays. Go Blue!

Mon-L The Magn…

November 21st, 2008 at 3:43 PM ^

I am steadfast in my faith in RichRod. It was peanut butter jelly time when he got hired, and nothings changed. No coach (Not even Bo) could erase the lack of depth, experience, and problems at QB that have affected this team.

There is a silver lining in this black cloud - Mgoblog has never been better. The flames of adversity make the steel stronger, or something like dat.

msoccer10

November 21st, 2008 at 3:44 PM ^

to be upset. Its OK to be pissed off. Its OK to be disappointed. But its not ok to talk shit about Michigan or our team.

GO BLUE!!!!! Go to Columbus give those bastards hell!

so bored at work

November 21st, 2008 at 3:51 PM ^

Does this apply to pessimism as well? I still watch every game (except the first half tomorrow when I have to be on a %#@#ing bus) and swear profanely, but I'm very gloom and doom heading into each game. But I still want them to win every game, and I still think Rod was the right hire and have never said otherwise. I'm not sure what my point is, I guess I just want to know if I should feel guilty or not.

gsimmons85

November 21st, 2008 at 4:04 PM ^

give a crap about eveyone getting along and all that stuff, and the mindset of the fans, except when it starts to effect the team i root for, and i have no doubt that posts about how bad someone sucks, or how bad the coaches are etc etc, are making their way back to the people that do matter to me... and that makes me angry towards the people that i have been very civil too and around for this past year...

STW P. Brabbs

November 21st, 2008 at 4:32 PM ^

I have serious doubts about the extent to which comments on MGoBlog are making their way back to the players, and especially to the coaches.

Honest to god, if the coaches are spending time during the season on MGoBlog - in the comments, no less! - that would scare the shit out of me. And if negative comments on MGoBlog somehow hurt their feelings to the point that their performance is effected, I'd say that's a flaw on their behalf.

All that said, I'm not in favor of Negative Nancies. I just think it's ridiculous when people spend enough time here that they think what happens in the comments Really Matters.

BostonWolverine

November 21st, 2008 at 4:14 PM ^

Brian -
Who do you expect will be leaving after this year? No one truly important, I hope. It's things like that that scare me and make me want to pull hair out with pessimistic anticipation. Just want some thoughts.

Ion

November 21st, 2008 at 4:35 PM ^

Or, er... Unto it.

Anyway, Henry V, Act 3, Scene 1:

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'

Like, was there really greyhound racing in 1415? Perhaps not, but the metaphor is apt... for McGuffie!

caup

November 21st, 2008 at 4:38 PM ^

Of COURSE they don't read the blogs. However, the MSM DOES, and has then repeatedly questioned the coaches in the pressers this week about McGuffie, others leaving, etc.
It's not a huge deal. Just another negative, albeit minor, distraction for the staff that they shouldn't have to be dealing with.

And just so another rumor doesn't get started: the staff does NOT think Brandon Minor is a negative distraction ;-)

gsimmons85

November 21st, 2008 at 5:34 PM ^

in fact read all sorts of things. its part of their job. The blogs have become intertwind with the media, and kids are going to look up thier names on the internet, coaches are going to see what is being said about them, to counter act it on recruiting visits.. why do you think RR mentioned it to begin with. I read the blogs all year long in season, its not like ht guys do nothing except coach, they are human after all, and yes i bet they even play solitare once in awhile, and check their emails... to think that all this negative crap doesnt get back to people, is to think that football teams live in bubbles. That was hard enough to do when it was just newspapers and magazines, now we CANT keep kids from getting online and seeing stuff...

StevieY19

November 21st, 2008 at 5:44 PM ^

This post 100% reflects my point of view toward my....point of view on the season. This is the kind of fan I am. Support the team through the tough times and you can enjoy the good times. Damn, it felt good in 2006 watching the Tigers go to the World Series.

I'm still waiting my reward with the Lions. Ha.

jmblue

November 21st, 2008 at 6:17 PM ^

I fully agree that: 1) fans should not stop rooting for their team when it has a bad season (as in, "Oh, those guys? They suck! I don't know what I was thinking following them..."), because that's just lame; and 2) that they should never, ever attack a coach or player personally. At the same time, a little venting when things go wrong is natural, and shouldn't be taken as a sign of being a "bad fan." Hey, if you're a hardcore fan, you SHOULD live and die a little with each game. Don't go ballistic at someone just because he/she happens to be upset because we lost.

Sgarv

November 21st, 2008 at 6:53 PM ^

This second item is not only dead on, but is beutiful writing.
What is a fan? "Those guys suck!" "The team no longer exists!". I believe a fan wears the colours all season long, no matter what. Are we fair weather friends of the team?
Thanks for the fine article and sharing you experiance at the Penn State game.

caveman.lawyer

November 22nd, 2008 at 12:15 AM ^

Thank you for this, Brian. This captures what I have been trying to convey to my 12-year-old son for a good part of this season, but much more eloquently than I could put it.

This rivalry flows through my son’s blood. My wife started having contractions when she was pregnant with him during the ’96 game. Consequently his birthday is always right around this game. He has watched every Buckeye game with me, but the hook was really set in 2006 when we totally got into the hype of the Game, and for the week before it we burned and smashed buckeye nuts while chanting “it’s great to be a Michigan Wolverine.” We ended up watching the 2006 Game with a bunch of Buckeye fans, and ultimately heard them chanting “O-H-I-O” in our frickin’ living room. For that alone, my son will always hate the Buckeyes.

He has taken all of the losses very hard this year and tomorrow will likely be particularly bad. I have repeatedly preached to him that, “You can’t get down on your team”—even when I’ve found myself struggling to stay positive. But this post reminded me why it’s important to stay positive and what the payoff will eventually be if we do. I made my son read the last four paragraphs of this post. After he did, he looked at me, nodded, and said, “I get it.”

This season has been hard, but when the victories do start coming, they will be so much sweeter because of it.

MaizeNBlueJ

November 22nd, 2008 at 8:57 AM ^

The video is awesome.

Now, with that said. I couldn't agree more Brian. "You're either with us, or you're against us." That's a quote from a movie or TV show, or something to that effect, that I've seen before. I think it fits rather well in this situation.

Support your team. Get through seasons like this civilly. It was bound to happen sooner or later. Going through seasons like this are just going to make it more sweet when we get back to competing nationally like we should. I'll never bash my team. I may not be happy with their play, and I may not understand some of the coaching decisions, so I reserve the right to hold my own opinion, and express it.

The truth of the matter is, I've watched every minute of every game this year. We're 3-8. I still wear my gear. I still support my team. I made two 3+ hour road trips to watch them play (3.5 hours each way to Purdue & 7.5 hours each way to Ann Arbor for the Toledo game). This is what a fan is. Brian, you captured it perfectly. We can't turn on each other. I don't agree with Johnny's original post, and was pretty upset by it, but everyone deals with adversity differently. Maybe this is just his way. We've got to stick together. He's to beating the Bucks and for the season to come: GO BLUE!

jim48315

November 23rd, 2008 at 12:23 AM ^

Rosenberg is an RR hater? A critic, yes. A hater, no.

I am looking forward to seeing a careful and detailed analysis of this season by someone who is objective and knowledgeable. Any suggestions as to where one may be found?

M fan in Cbus

November 23rd, 2008 at 11:35 PM ^

I had to sit through the game in a Columbus bar with 5 other M fans until halftime, then there were two of us. I proudly wore my gear, and I had a feeling the outcome wouldn't be good. But I cheered them on anyway, in enemy territory