Unverified Voracity Condones Sea Mammal Abuse

Submitted by Brian on September 17th, 2009 at 10:37 AM

BOX FTW. That's right. He does. I think he even enjoys it.


"Terror." It's terror. Weird press conference interlude via Angelique Chengelis:

My favorite moment from Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez's press conference Monday was when my esteemed colleague, Larry Lage of the Associated Press, asked if Rodriguez was on the field before the game when the Wolverines do "the circle of death"?

Rodriguez smiled uncomfortably and then replied.

"Oh, yeah, circle," he said. "I speak politically correct here. What are you talking about? That's our team unity circle that we have. Wow, Larry. You can get in trouble for saying stuff like that.

"It's our team unity circle. We're out there for that."

Apparently Lage pressed it, claiming "Circle of Death" sounds more intimidating, for which he gets 46 points, only to get shot down. But it's not "circle of death." It's Circle of Terror, as coined by MVictors. And it is terrifying. Never forget how terrifying it is.

Stop looking at the cheerleaders for a second. I've given Gregg Easterbrook the business before, but never has so much ignorance about college football been encapsulated in a single sentence:

As TMQ noted last month, going no-huddle all the time is just another way to be predictable, plus leads to rapid three-and-outs that send the defense back onto the field; but going no-huddle once in a while creates the element of surprise. … Michigan surprised Notre Dame by going no-huddle for the entire game, but the key word is surprised.

Michigan, of course, hasn't huddled since Rodriguez's arrival, and virtually every spread team in the country eschews the huddle. Gregg Easterbrook is either that guy from memento or hasn't watched a Michigan game in over a year, which means he should probably not talk about them.

Wait, wait. Yesterday I noted the Mouton punch-type action and opined that I thought he should miss Eastern Michigan, but that if previous similar actions didn't draw sanctions he wouldn't. I forgot about these twin Irish incidents:

The latter was flagged, the former was not, and neither player was suspended by Charlie Weis. I don't recall any media attention in the aftermath of either, probably because the opposing coach didn't specifically note he wasn't complaining about it.

There's zero precedent for suspending a guy who didn't even get flagged, AFAIK, and Mouton would be rightly pissed off if he was the first. This from Mike Rothstein…

Whether it was a punch or not, Mouton should sit against Eastern Michigan

…seems out of all proportion to established precedent. And also what? If it wasn't a punch, Mouton should sit? Third-party opinion is decidedly meh, FWIW.

Advertisin' note. The M-Den has a twitter. They give away things on it regularly if you follow them. So you should probably follow them.  Also, the M-Den is fantastic.

Etc.: Maple Street has placed the Tate Forcier article from Hail to the Victors 2009 up if you want to read it. Also, CONSUME. Michigan is #12 in Brian Fremeau's fancy FEI ratings.



September 17th, 2009 at 10:41 AM ^

Gregg Easterbrook was taken completely out of context. His next sentence was that Notre Dame's schematic advantage was thrown to the wind and overmatched by the surprising demonstration of a spread offense that Michigan chose to play all game. While the spread offense throughout a game often leads to 3-and-out, doing it as a surprise, all-game, caught ND off-guard.

matty blue

September 17th, 2009 at 11:04 AM ^

here's the entire paragraph:

"Why Tactics Matter: As TMQ noted last month, going no-huddle all the time is just another way to be predictable, plus leads to rapid three-and-outs that send the defense back onto the field; but going no-huddle once in a while creates the element of surprise. Taking the ball after the kickoff which began overtime, Pittsburgh went no-huddle and surprised Tennessee, marching down the field for the winning figgie. Overtime is also a good moment to go no-huddle because by then the defense is tired. Starting a game no-huddle, as Buffalo did at New England, doesn't accomplish much because the defense is not tired. Michigan surprised Notre Dame by going no-huddle for the entire game, but the key word is surprised. Buffalo's bumbling Dick "Cheerio, Chaps" Jauron over the summer elaborately announced his intention to play New England no-huddle. When is the last time Bill Belichick elaborately informed the rest of the league what tactics he would use?"

where, exactly, is the "next sentence" you refer to?

easterbrook loses all credibility when he refers to michigan state's pasting of montana state as the product of a "football factory."


September 17th, 2009 at 11:00 AM ^

And he was suspended a game. I realize what he did was much more serious, but it is, technically, an example of a player being suspended without having been flagged.


September 17th, 2009 at 11:12 AM ^

it's hard to compare a damaged trachea and vocal cords to a knock in the jaw that the guy barely flinches at. further, to set a precedent of public penalty for something only found in tape (aka not laying on the ground and suffering during live tv) would allow future opponents to call RR out to "maintain his system of punishment" and penalize bs EVERY time.


September 17th, 2009 at 11:36 AM ^

Another difference, if I recall correctly, was that the Reynold's play caused Sorgi to go out of the game and hurt Wisconsin's chances of winning. That deserves a suspension everytime in my opinion, preferably multiple games.

I'd be ok with Mouton getting up to 1 game to set the right tone, regardless of what other teams do. I also thought those ND players should have, as well as the Wisky douche that twisted Breaston's leg (more serious due to the potential to end a career).

That said it's borderline, and certainly doesn't make me think RR is loose or condones dirty play. Hopefully he at least addresses it with Mouton and tells him that's not needed or smart (lucky he didn't get caught and 15 yards or ejection).


September 17th, 2009 at 12:18 PM ^

The crucial point for me is the fact that there was no reaction/scuffle/fight/etc. after this alleged "punch." I know thats subjective and sketchy. Without a flag and/or super-convincing video evidence, however, that's what we're left with- just sketchy judgments that rely solely on context.

Anytime there's a retaliation, that says to me something dirty happened. FWIW.


September 17th, 2009 at 11:01 AM ^

man, the ND nation board linked from Dr. Saturday's twitter is the sourest grapes I've ever seen. We're not that bad here when we lose a game, are we?


September 17th, 2009 at 12:14 PM ^

We're not that bad here when we lose a game, are we?

Our fanbase booed the kids going into halftime of the Wisconsin game last year. A googleplex squared amount of "OMG UNACCEPTABLE!!11!!" diaries were posted throughout last season (which were full of games in which we lost). We bitch and moan and question the character and ability of recruits that decide not to sign with UM.

So...yeah, we are that bad. We're just as bad as anyone else.


September 17th, 2009 at 11:09 AM ^

Shouldn't he be pointing out how Michigan will ultimately FAIL for hiring a disloyal mercenary like Rich Rodriguez? He was quick to point to this last year as an example of all that is wrong with college football and using the 3-9 record as an example of Michigan reaping what it had sown.

Apparently, a few wins and some highlights featuring really talented freshman will change that assessment.


September 17th, 2009 at 11:17 AM ^

...that Easterbrook's insistence on being dumb with respect to Michigan football must arise from some sort of grudge. Chait, perhaps? I mean, the Gregg's brother is Chief Judge of the Seventh Circuit, so you gotta figure he's about as smart as an anti-Semite can be.


September 17th, 2009 at 11:29 AM ^

While the Sharp sign was a nice continuation of the theme, I felt their flying a replica of the Gonzales Flag from the Texas Revolution was just top notch.

If there are any BOX house peeps here, please keep the flag flying until someone does, in fact, come and take it from you.

Eye of the Tiger

September 17th, 2009 at 11:45 AM ^

Generally, he combines a tenuous grasp of football with smug self-righteousness, which makes him highly irritating.

But he's also prone to occasional bouts of baffling stupidity. Last year this "NFL expert" opined that the Patriots' 11-5 record (and missed playoffs) with Matt Cassel proves Brady had nothing to do with their success, even though just one year prior, with almost exactly the same personnel, they were 16-0, went to the Super Bowl and broke most offensive records.

So if he can be that stupid about the NFL, you can basically throw everything he says about college football out the window.

The King of Belch

September 17th, 2009 at 11:50 AM ^

The way the phrase was highlighted, I thought at first it was an attempt at sarcasm by him. But then a poster above notes the entire paragraph, and I'm all, "Are you SERIOUS?"

This is how a comedic genius such as myself might have written about UM, ND, and the (If the Freep spins it) rule-breaking No Huddle:

"...as Michigan must have surprised Notre Dame with the no huddle, since they've only been doing it for 13 games in a row now. There's no fucking way the Irish could have seen the no huddle coming. Somehow, they almost beat Michigan in spite of that. The Irish have proven, once again, why they are the greatest team of all time year in and year out."


September 17th, 2009 at 11:51 AM ^

Between all the ND complaining about refs and complaints about the Mouton thing (which is a difficult incident to decipher, IMO), I'm starting to forget what it was that we watched on Saturday. Was it a trial? Was it a performance of West Side Story? I had meant to watch a sport I grew up watching called football, or "American football" if you happen to be in Europe.


September 17th, 2009 at 11:51 AM ^

doesn't he logically think that Charles Woodson should have been suspended by Lloyd Carr for the '98 Rose Bowl for his confrontation with David Boston in the Ohio State game? What CW and Boston dished out to each other was far more violent and obvious than that weak tea "punch" that Jonas delivered.

I must say that Rothstein is off to a good start in the Jim Carty Memorial Award for Self-Righteousness in Sports Journalism. I wouldn't expect anything else from the carcass of the A2 News.


September 17th, 2009 at 11:56 AM ^

I have never, ever, ever seen a rivalry game where the cameraman didn't at least pick up a good pugilistic moment between cornerback and receiver. This LB on center exchange is by far the tamest. I remain amazed at the shear volume of mountains made of molehills this season. Again, I cannot wait for the shocking "Underage Drinking Rampant on UM Campus" article.

Other Andrew

September 17th, 2009 at 11:56 AM ^

Why did you link to Easterbrook? Now I'm, like, super fucking pissed off and I only perused about four of his paragraphs. Shame on me for bothering. But he actually says that what LeGarrette Blount did is "not hugely different" from what Serena Williams did. Yeah, other than the fact that it's assault, a cheap shot, and could lead to serious long-term health problems (unlikely, but always possible with a knockout punch).

Aside from having no understanding about college football (which, of course, makes him fit in perfectly at ESPN), the dude is going to cross the line again eventually. When an imbecile thinks he's brilliant, he's bound to screw up again.

Seriously, Brian, I'm arrrrghghghrrrsh.

Uhhh, like I said, shame on me for clicking. I'm a lot more mad at myself than at you. I'm gonna go smoke a cigarette for the first time in 14 years and calm the fuck down.


September 17th, 2009 at 12:02 PM ^

From Rothstein's opinion piece:

"But as Mouton got up, he put his left hand on Olsen’s right shoulder. He moved him over a little bit. Then his right hand connected with Olsen’s chin."

Watch the video, Rothstein. Mouton doesn't "move him over a little bit." In fact, it is Cissoko who shoves Olsen an instant before Mouton lands his "punch" (which is why I have a hard time believing that it was completely intentional).

Way to make up facts. The dude is from the RosenSnyder school of journalism.


September 17th, 2009 at 12:08 PM ^

Let it go.

We know you don't like Rodriguez, probably because he's got a weird accent and he's not from "your" class of people. We get it, you're a little skeeved about him because he's The Other. Fine (well not fine, not really, but let's put that aside for a moment).

But this is silly. There is no need to go hunting for the next big scandal with Rodriguez, because (and this is important) nobody cares anymore. Nobody cares about your opinion of the guy who's not part of the Kewl Kidz table, and nobody cares that this football coach doesn't quote Yeats and make the player look up a word in a dictionary before coming in to his office. It's irrelevant.

Nobody cares that you've lost your shit over a simple guy who just likes to coach and win at football. So please stop embarrassing yourself and LET.IT.GO.


The World Outside of South Bend and East Lansing


September 17th, 2009 at 12:13 PM ^

The Tate Forcier article is a great find, very thorough. I didn't realize how destined for UofM this kid was. Very happy the Shavodrick Beaver and Kevin Newsome decommitted, I'll take Tate Forcier and D-Rob any day.

By the way, I worked with the MBA recruiting when I was at Michigan and discovered that there is a hidden consideration to admissions for the program in that there is an evaluation of connections to Michigan. In this way they can better predict an offer/commit thus limiting (bettering the perception of exlusivity) because their ratio of offers/applications is a lower percentage. The other reason for this is that the persons most committed coming in also produce great results and work hard. There are numerous other benefits of selecting the persons who are most committed to Michigan. I expect this works the same way for football. Even if Shavodrick Beaver or Kevin Newsome were more highly evaluated than Tate (marginally), his connection to Michigan was the most direct and his success more predictable.

By the way are Kevin Newsome or Shavodrick Beaver even starting?


September 17th, 2009 at 1:27 PM ^

Newsome plays for Penn State, so no, he is not starting. He got a couple of snaps last game and 1) got sacked 2) got sacked and fumbled. I LOLed.

Beaver is at Tulsa and has yet to throw a pass in two games, although he does have three rushing attempts for a grand total of negative four yards.


September 17th, 2009 at 12:24 PM ^

Didn't Carson Butler slap someone in the head last year and not get flagged (or did he)? I guess he didn't get suspended either, just benched. But that's almost the same thing.