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Brian June 26th, 2009 at 12:40 PM

Ten minutes. Of electric alumni schmoozin'. Go.

Why, in a sentence. The Orlando Sentinel talked with Urban Meyer about many things, amongst them frequent sharing of information between coaches in the offseason. Meyer's begun to cut things down, and Rodriguez is one of the guys who they're no longer exchanging with. The reason:

We always do it. Rich Rodriguez? We used to do it all the time [when he was at West Virginia], but now he's at Michigan and a competitor in recruiting so we don't anymore.

Not a particularly strong competitor in recruiting after a 3-9 year, but enough of one to yoink Denard Robinson and Marvin Robinson, something that would not have happened at West Virginia.

The rest of the interview is worth a read, too, as it touches on a lot of the issues anyone who is a spread-first sort of coach has to deal with:

…Heading into the draft people were wondering if Percy Harvin's three years of running bubble screens meant he couldn't run a simple dig and the rest of the routes on the passing tree.

MEYER: He can run it better than most; and if someone is paying him $20 million, he'll run a great dig route. It's interesting that you say that. I don't hear it a lot, maybe in recruiting once in a while, but I did hear a NFL coach saying something about that. I like to do my homework. I went and checked the record of that coach and the guy barely had a .500 record. There are certain people I'll have a discussions with. And if I hear something like that, that's not a person I want to have a discussion with. That's nonsense. That's someone putting too much value on scheme rather than personnel."

FTR, I will run a great dig route for far less. It will be half as fast, but it will be awesome. I will bring a vuvuzela and those shoes with LEDs in the heels. Bidding starts at a measly one million dollars.

NO THIS ISN'T EXCESSIVELY DRAMATIC: it's Iran on the golf course. Ann Arbor Golf & Outing runs the golf course next to the stadium which has been primo tailgating territory since the dawn of time. Over the years, folk have congregated in bunches with their friends and—well, you're probably familiar with the logistics here. But now you will submit to order, tailgaters, or you will be thrown out of the garden:

• Canopies are allowed at no extra charge but must be no larger than 10' by 12' and must be placed at the front or back of your vehicle. Charges for canopies may be levied in 2010.

For safety and efficiency, vehicles will be directed to specific spaces as they enter the grounds. Group parking at a favorite spot will no longer be allowed.

This has caused a lot of consternation, as you might imagine, on message boards and the like. A typical example can be found at MATW:

So long, sand trap. Goodbye pine urinal shady pine tree. So long, large, enjoyable group tailgate where everyone meets at the same spot every week, every year. Instead, hello parking garage-like cash grab where cars are packed in closer than can be imagined and the AAGO lines their pockets with a few extra G's. … This policy was implemented because the AAGO continues to expand on their unofficial policy of greed and hypocrisy. Instead of thinking about how to raise revenue without alienating customers, the AAGO jumped to the easiest solution.

MATW has a suggestion: allow the hardcore to purchase a pre-paid season ticket for a little bit more—taking the risk of a golf course rainout—and congregate wherever they please a little early. I don't have a personal stake in this, as my tailgate from the Paleozoic is elsewhere, but I hate to see Michigan traditions erased in the pursuit of a buck. If you're pissed off at the change I'd take the opportunity to let them know: [email protected].

Also, a Downfall parody seems in order.

Oh argh oh argh argh oh. I've been trying to call out stupid people for being stupid less frequently of late—part of being respectable and all that—but holy God I've reached my limit on CFN again and it's time empty both barrels.

Two straws floated down onto my hump recently. The first: a thing about which coaches are "on the hotseat." The hotseat is not a nebulous concept. In all cases its usage is meant to indicate a coach who is in serious danger of losing his job unless he performs this year. So, since this is CFN and Rich Rodriguez is in zero danger of being fired in just his second year at Michigan it will surprise you not at all to find out that virtually every responder cites Rodriguez because CFN is written by howler monkeys.  

Fiutak, chief of this short bus, manages to explain this away by redefining the "hotseat" to mean a coach who needs to perform well this year or he'll be on the hotseat next year, which what? Why even use language at this point? My #1 coach on the hotseat this year is Ty Willingham, because when I use "hotseat" what I mean is the coach who was most authoritatively fired last year. Tomorrow I think I'll redefine hotseat to mean "pancake."

But at least Fiutak avoids suggesting Rodriguez is in serious danger of getting axed this year. Not so the rest of these serious observers:

Michigan’s Rich Rodriguez comes to mind as someone, who will undergo intense scrutiny in Ann Arbor if his Wolverines don’t start showing immediate signs of life. …Have Rich Rodriguez and Charlie Weis flip a coin. No one else is even remotely close…. . I would also throw Rich Rodriquez in the mix from Michigan.

In fact, the only person who doesn't mention Rodriguez specifically mentions why he's not mentioning Rodriguez by claiming "Michigan has a high profile head man who is at least brining attention to the program," which somehow manages to refute something stupid but contribute to it simultaneously.

Here's how bad the article is: this Bleacher Report article (BLEACHER REPORT!) that lists Weis, Kragthorpe, O'Leary, Hawkins, and Groh—you know, coaches who are actually in danger of losing their jobs next year—is 100% less retarded than it.

Then Fiutak has to blow his semi-reprieve by making what I propose is the most incorrect statement ever uttered in a college football preview ever:

The real strength will be at safety where some superstar prospects will combine with some established playmakers. That means veteran safety Steve Brown can be part linebacker and part safety in the new system.


Michigan's depth chart at safety reads: decent true freshman prospect, guy who was cornerback midway through spring practice, guy who got beat out by freshman and cornerback, meh true freshman prospect, walk-ons. Safety is, bar none, the most frightening position on the team, with neither returning starters or highly-touted recruits. The weird thing is that the preview is decently well-researched, mentioning moves for Brown and Brandon Smith and the installation of Woolfolk, but the conclusions drawn are preposterous.

It's time to drag up the definitive word on CFN once more. Via BHGP:

CFN is to actual analysis what ramming two GI Joes together is to MMA. It's only the same to 7-year-olds.

Fin. For about a year or two.

Etc.: NHL draft stuff roundup from Yost Built; NCAA 10 sounds disappointing… if that's surprising.

Oh, and MGoMichaeltribute:



June 26th, 2009 at 1:14 PM ^

Wait, I know as a journalist (or blogger) it's important to read everything available to you, but CFN doesn't even write in thoughts. It's words and sentences, but there's no thoughts there. No logic process. Why are you reading it?


June 26th, 2009 at 1:42 PM ^

Urban Meyer: "I did hear a NFL coach saying something about that. I like to do my homework. I went and checked the record of that coach and the guy barely had a .500 record."

I like how Meyer assumes that it's easy to go above-.500 in the NFL. He might want to have a chat with Spurrier about that.


June 26th, 2009 at 2:38 PM ^

I just wrote my e-mail to the AAGO, and I hope everyone else does the same. I have personally been going to games and tailgated in the exactly same spot for over 15 years with family and friends.

Even for people who don't exclusively park at the golf course, please shoot an e-mail to the AAGO to help those who have made that location their Michigan Football tradition!

Cosmic Blue

June 26th, 2009 at 2:54 PM ^

Believe it or not, the AAGO is not there soley as a place for you to tailgate. Some people actually play golf there. In fact, that actually is the main purpose.

I have no complains about them trying to maximize their revenue from selling parking. They don't owe anything to the football fans past a place to leave their car. If they wanted to close up during the fall/winter entirely that would be their business. We're lucky to be allowed such a great location at all.


June 26th, 2009 at 3:04 PM ^

But since it doesn't seem that the decision they're making affects golfers or golfing quality in any meaningful way but instead just seems like a naked money suck, why shouldn't the people who ARE being negatively impacted feel upset? Let's continue to reduce everything the folks on mgoblog care about to their primary purpose. Let's start with congregating on university property to watch students engage in physical activity. I say the university doesn't owe anything to football fans at all. What does football have to do with a student's ability to matriculate in good health?

Cosmic Blue

June 26th, 2009 at 4:16 PM ^

At the end of the day, most decisions come down to money. weather your running a golf course, a football team or a university. it's all about the bottom line.

Do you think the bleacher seats are so tiny because the university thinks we like sitting in eachothers lap? no, they just want to charge to get more laps in there. Do you think the new stadium renovations are to help us fans enjoy the game more? no, they're so they can charge assloads of money to people with enough cash to burn on em. Do you think... etc.

Basically all i'm saying is that we shouldnt all get in a tizzy because the lil ole golf course is trying to get a few extra bucks out of you. everyone is trying to grab every dollar they can


June 26th, 2009 at 5:50 PM ^

Well, first, I'm not complaining about the seating in the stadium - that was meant as a reductio ad absurdum to your defense of the golf course's "main purpose". But actually, I do think the stadium renovations are there to help at least some of us enjoy the game more - they just also get to charge more money for it. See: win/win. If all they cared about was more laps, they wouldn't have spent money on brick facades and engineered glass panels. Nor would they let you, say, buy tickets with friends so you could sit together.

I don't begrudge the golf course seeking more money. But neither do I begrudge a long-standing customer - sure, of a secondary market - from voicing their displeasure. Did you just shrug your shoulders and grab your checkbook when the U introduced seat licenses? (Actually, maybe you did and who am I to judge?)

I think the issue isn't the cost of the parking at the golf course, but it's the change in the policies for parking at the golf course that has some folks upset. Yes: change happens, inflation, grab-every-dollar, etc., but customers still are able to resist changes they find objectionable. Sure, maybe the best solution is to reduce golf course parking to a commodity and pack them in as tightly and quickly as possible. Or perhaps there's a way to create a price structure that rewards/incentivizes loyalty and gameday experience (such as being able to park/sit with your friends) which might also have secondary advantages such as football fans who care that they're parking on a golf course (that people actually golf on) as opposed to just quickly entering and exiting and depositing their trash on a grassy parking lot.

Perhaps, at the end of it all, it's motivated by altruism - and we'd all just hate to see the golf course become the next New Coke. (Did I just date myself there? Nevermind: get off my lawn!)


June 26th, 2009 at 3:07 PM ^

Seems like Rodriguez is saying all the right things. That was a smooth line, answering the question about egos by quoting Bo. And using Rick Leach as an example - seems like he's done a good job getting familiar with the history of the program. Think we can bury the "he doesn't understand Michigan traditions" meme yet? Please?


June 26th, 2009 at 7:58 PM ^

The most interesting part of that video were the references to the other quarterbacks who decided not to come to Michigan. I presume he was talking about either Beaver or Newsome. They wanted to play for UM, but wouldn't do a work out, but Tate and Denard would. I like it.


June 26th, 2009 at 10:37 PM ^

I have never parked at the golf course. Always too pricey for my poor ass. To be honest, at the amount you pay to park there you should be allowed to put your vehicle 15 feet from the next car and dig your own hole in the ground to use for garbage and feces. I guess times, they are a changin'.

Bando Calrissian

June 27th, 2009 at 2:12 AM ^

"I don't have a personal stake in this, as my tailgate from the Paleozoic is elsewhere, but I hate to see Michigan traditions erased in the pursuit of a buck."

Hey, me too. And I'm going to love when my family loses our parking space in the Crisler Lot, where we've been parking for 30 years, so some corporate idiot with a pile of money can show up 5 minutes before game time to stroll up to his suite. The Athletic Department has shown next to no loyalty to longtime members of the Victors Club, and continues to whittle away at the long-time benefits of membership, which only punishes those alumni and fans who have been loyal to the Athletic Department for decades, beginning in an era where the entire Victors Club could meet in a conference room in Crisler Arena.


June 27th, 2009 at 9:01 AM ^

I was at the Flint outing. I thought both Beilein and Rodriguez were great, although in past years when Berenson has come he's been hysterical.

I've heard it before, but like Beilein's comment about shooting and rebounds. Also, as someone said above RichRod channeling Bo with "the team, the team, team" was great.

Earlier that night someone asked about Cronin, but I couldn't make out Beilein's response. I was hoping it would show up on the video. Was anyone close enough to hear what he said?


June 27th, 2009 at 5:17 PM ^

Say what you want, he gets it and knows he needs to play up Rich Leach and Bo as much as he can. I love the little dig at the QB that decommitted as well.

With regards to Meyer, do you think it was him or RR that ended the knowledge sharing. I am willing to bet it was Meyer.