A World Held Hostage: Day Five Comment Count

Brian January 9th, 2011 at 11:45 AM


Les pun barrage avoided. The mandarins at LSU are sticking to their story that no one's talking to them about talking to Les Miles. The chancellor's version of yesterday's statement by the AD:

“No one has said anything to me,” Martin said. “But of course a lot of these things are done with agents now, behind the scenes.”

Just like LSU's recruiting. Hey-o!

It's contagious. Jennifer Hammond was patient zero in the Michigan edition of Fruitless Jon Gruden Naming but it's spreading: I have more than one account from actual sources indicating Michigan did interview him yesterday. With Gruden an interview is usually a brief conversation about how this guy makes more money than God by saying generic things on Monday Night Football, so don't get excited. I can't believe I'm actually relaying information about Gruden and Michigan but I guess if we've deployed flight tracking Gruden couldn't have been far behind.

If, like me, you've become inured to the constant Gruden-to-everywhere speculation that seems like it's been a major feature of American culture for the last fifty years you may be surprised to find out that he's a youthful 47 and could actually be plausible in a Pete Carroll sort of way.

Speaking of flights. So the winged helmet plane that touched down in Baton Rouge when Miles was in Dallas was there for all of two hours, then took off for South Carolina. What's in South Carolina? Um… well… a few days ago it was relayed to me that Lloyd Carr was in South Carolina. He supposedly has a vacation home at Hilton Head (restaurant to the stars!). The plane flew to… Hilton Head. It then went to a regional airport in Georgia, back to Hilton Head, headed out to Westchester County, and then went back to Hilton Head.

Ironically, Carr lit out for South Carolina because he was sick of people claiming he was the nefarious power behind the throne and just wanted to get away from everything and now a plane with a winged helmet painted on it is using his location as a hub. This is either

  • an amazing coincidence, or
  • David Brandon smoothing over Les Miles with Lloyd Carr and random incredibly wealthy NYC-based booster who is probably Stephen Ross.

Since a good source says Brandon actually is using the winged helmet plane—Dominos was a ruse!—I lean towards the latter; this seems like a fact corroborating the Les Miles buzz. I may have to apologize to Tiger Droppings.



January 9th, 2011 at 4:43 PM ^

I haven't talked to him again (it was yesterday afternoon). I think the gist was using it for business would be the violation.

Then again, he was pretty sure they don't have an official corporate jet, which apparently they do. I still believe him that the idea of Brandon flying on a Dominos plane to look for a new coach is, in general, pretty silly.


January 9th, 2011 at 12:20 PM ^

but based on his stealth(see silent) workings thus far in this horrendous search, I highly doubt he would fly on a plane with a maize and blue paint scheme where any numb nut could see it upon landing and go 'hey, that must be the Michiga contingent looking for a coach.  They must be going to hire...'

DB better be smarter than that.  He better be quicker than he's been.  This process should have been handled over a month ago now.  I'm not sure of the rules behind the 7 days from the firing to actually hiring a replacement thingy.  That may be why the delay exists.

All I know is, if he doesn't hire Miles what is left of the rational portion of the fanbase will head asplode and DB might as well move into Carr's crib at Hilton Head.


January 9th, 2011 at 12:36 PM ^

A quick search shows he went to Colgate and Harvard, so not an alum. He's apparently the COO of Comcast (among other ventures), and is very, very rich. Interestingly, the plane in question is a small single engine plane. I'm thinking if it is THE Stephen Burke, he's just going out to have some fun in his plane.


January 9th, 2011 at 3:02 PM ^

I guess I disagree with this. We will be very lucky if we get a coach anywhere near as good as Carr in terms of winning with integrity. Carr has been involved with our program for decades. If there was anyone I'd lean on for advice, it would be Carr.

Mitch Cumstein

January 9th, 2011 at 12:50 PM ^

Did support our new coach?  What proof do you have of that?  B/c he didn't go around screaming "I LOVE RICH ROD" at the top of his lungs he didn't support him?  The insecurity of this fan base of "does this person support RR?" was astounding.  I heard multiple interviews with Lloyd where he made excuses for the defense, citing how college football has changed as the reason our team was giving up so many points and calling our current team "treamendous" like 80 times.  You have no proof that he didn't support RR. In fact, it seemed quite the opposite was true. Just b/c he wasn't very vocal doesn't mean he didn't support the coach.


January 9th, 2011 at 12:54 PM ^

How soon you forget how loud the call was for support after the Rosenberg story was. Lloyd heard that call. He ignored it. His silence was deafening.

If you believe rumors pick up THAT much momentum and have actually had people involved with the program (Leach to name the most public) believe them when they are not rooted in some kind of reality, I can't help you.

Mitch Cumstein

January 9th, 2011 at 1:01 PM ^

So, the former coach was was obligated to speak on the current coach's behalf that you write "fuck lloyd carr" b/c he kept silent?  Did you forget RR going out of his way to blame Carr for the bare cupboard (not saying there wasn't merit, but you wanted Carr to break his silence for a guy blaming him for his woes)? 

"lloyd heard that call".  I'm sorry, but I don't remember hearing lloyd say, "people want me to vocally support RR, but I'm not going to".  Lloyd was never an outgoing guy as coach, and you expected him to interfere with the current coach?

If anything maybe Lloyd thought he would be overstepping his bounds to "come to RR's aide". Maybe RR didn't need Lloyd's vocal support.

Come on dude, you can't blame a guy for not talking. Carr never said anything negative. If he had, you might have a point.


January 9th, 2011 at 1:42 PM ^

Exactly how many times has the in-house line of succession work ANYWHERE? It worked here two times in a row. It is working at Oregon. But Bear Bryant had no succession plan. Woody Hayes had no succession plan. Urban Meyer had no succession plan. Tom Osborne did but it blew up b/c the fans, or at least the uni pres, thought he was dragging the program into mediocrity. (Where have I heard that before?)

Am I missing some obvious examples of other coaches pulling off what we are accusing LC of failing to do?


January 9th, 2011 at 1:23 PM ^

I am having trouble recalling any negative statments that Lloyd has made in regards to the program or even RRod for that matter.  Will you enlighten us? 

In my mind he is staying classy.  Even if he was not thrilled with the way things were going, he stayed classy and silent through the whole ordeal.


January 9th, 2011 at 1:42 PM ^

I'm a bit confused.  You may have misunderstood what I was saying, or maybe I am misunderstanding where your comment is directed.  (Trying to get off coffee)  I was saying that Lloyd did the RIGHT thing by staying silent.  I don't know Lloyd, so I personally don't know if he was upset with the program or not.  What I do know is that the worst think he could have done would have been to speak out if he wasn't happy. 

The best thing Lloyd could have done was to stay quiet.  It was a classy move.  IMHO


January 9th, 2011 at 2:04 PM ^

i too think he should have vocalized his support, especially when RR was hired.  didn't Bo publicly support Lloyd when he was hired?  and Bo still wanted Mo to be head coach. 

i seem to remember some comments of support from carr but it seemed to me like pulling teeth.  i'm not saying he had to be rah rah each and every week but he could have been vocal in his support instead of silent.  silence is telling for a guy who had been with the program nearly 30 years.


January 9th, 2011 at 1:41 PM ^

You are what's wrong with many RR supporters. Forget that RR just couldn't win football games (or stay within two TDs of our rivals). No, it was always someone else's fault.

It was Lloyd's fault.

It was because we had such a young defense (Who recruits for this team again? Who concentrated so much effort in his first two classes on offensive skill positions to the detriment of everything else? Who chose to pursue Dorsey without checking whether there was any hope in hell he would qualify?).

It was Greg Robinson's fault. (Who hired him? ) It was Scott Shafer's fault. (Who didn't stick up for him when the position coaches undermined him? How has he done since leaving?)

I find it interesting that one of the things Brandon said he's looking for is an ability to use the players we already have, because RR never did that. Instead, his supporters just blamed everything else. How dare Carr not realize he would be replaced by a spread coach who wouldn't work with a five star pro-style quarterback recruit (regardless of what you think about whether Mallett would have left anyway, it's clear RR would have had him trying to run the zone read).

I liked the hire three years ago, but it didn't work out. But continuing to whine about his firing and blaming Lloyd Carr, the only coach since the Truman Adminstration to bring a national championship, is idiotic and unproductive. Let it go.

[Sorry so choppy. I wrote this on my iPhone.]


January 9th, 2011 at 2:43 PM ^

RR was good at blaming everybody else -- think "Perfect Storm." I got sick about hearing about the youth or lack of talent. We should never have gotten as bad as we did. It's on RR that we did.

A good coach should be able to make the most with what he has, adapt his game plan to the talent on hand. RR could not, or arrogantly would not, do this. 

I don't think Carr was a great coach (or Bo for that matter) but he pretty much maintained the legacy handed him. I don't think he should've been forced out. Yeah, he started losing more and more, but it was nothing a new OC and DC -- from the outside -- couldn't have cured. We were in need of some "new blood" from somewhere.


January 9th, 2011 at 12:48 PM ^

How classy was it when he refused to support the Michigan football coach during a time of need and then let rumors that he was behind a railroading effort spin out of control without offering a denial unless the airing went very, very public (Leach on TKA, Morgan Trent story in that draft book)?

The people closest to Carr are the people who hated Rodriguez the most. It's not hard to connect the dots. Rodriguez deserved to be fired; I'm not one of the remaining "true believers" here still bitter about that. But I will never, ever forget the role Carr played in making these recent years so tough.

Bando Calrissian

January 9th, 2011 at 1:04 PM ^

Actually, yep.  

It was no different when Lloyd was coach.  Didn't win enough, the offenses weren't "exciting" enough, "too vanilla," too curmudgeony, not an "elite program," didn't win against Ohio State enough, teams weren't fast enough...

122-40, 5 conference championships, 4 Rose Bowl appearances, 11 January 1st bowls, 1 National Championship.  Man, how terrible he was.

And in retirement, it's the same old crap.  Lloyd Carr was never the coach the naysayers wanted him to be, and in retirement, he'll never be the ex-coach the naysayers want him to be.  The guy won like crazy, and yet he can't win.

So, sorry, the whole "Lloyd hates Michigan" meme is incredibly and phenomenally stupid, no matter what Rick Leach says when he slurs through a call on WTKA.


January 9th, 2011 at 1:19 PM ^

Those are TOTALLY different criticisms. People that didn't like Carr's style as a coach probably didn't take it so personally that they would feel the need to just make up stories about what he's doing behind the scenes.

The guy had heat with Harbaugh, Miles, Rodriguez, media members, etc. At some point the problem is not them, it's you. No? The guy is toxic as far as I can see. The highly reported animosity he has with so many says something about him.


January 9th, 2011 at 1:45 PM ^

Please tell me the "made up stories" from Lloyd Carr about what Rodriguez did behind the scenes. Is it anything like the stories about how Carr has secretly gone around bad mouthing RR and doing everything he could to get him fired? Because Lord knows, we've heard a lot of that the last three years.