Dear Mr. Woodson; Quit talking to Mark Snyder.

Submitted by Section 1 on May 17th, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Dear Mr. Woodson,

I see your name in a headline, in today's Detroit Free Press. It probably isn't what you had in mind.

Before saying anything else, however, let me thank you for your great years in Ann Arbor and all of the thrills we saw on the football field. Thanks for all of your hard work. Thanks also for all the time you've devoted to Mott Children's Hospital. You've done so much good, through the hospital and through your foundation.

I presume that as you have been getting ready for the annual Mott Golf Outing and assorted fundraisers, the outreach people have been talking to your agent, and arranging for you to talk to reporters, to promote the event. I presume that that is how Mark Snyder of the Free Press got some of your time in a private telephone interview. As much as you'd like to promote Mott events, it was a mistake on your part to talk to Snyder.

Because while Snyder is willing to throw in a few lines about Mott fundraising, you should have known what would happen; Snyder would ask you all about Mott, get your guard down, and then ask you about Rich Rodriguez. And whatever you gave him, Rodriguez (and not Mott) would become the day's headline.

That is part of the reason that Brady Hoke and David Brandon are not doing any private interviews with Snyder. Your interview with Snyder tore up that page of the Michigan playbook. The other very large part of the story, as you really ought to know, is that Snyder was part of the tag-team that did such damage to the football program. Your Michigan football program. Michigan's NCAA investigation was a wholly-produced effort in which Snyder played a big part. After the harm that was caused by Snyder, why you would give someone like that a private interview is almost unbelievable. There are other ways to get out the news of the annual Mott Golf Outing; in fact, the way that the Free Press goes about its business, it is almost guaratneed to distract from those good works.

There has not been much harm done, by one interview; so that much is no big deal. But put yourself in Snyder's position. He will be at the golf course and the clubhouse that day for the meetings and the dinner, and he will be looking for interviews and stories. You and your fellow football alumni should not give him anything. You all should know that the story that he wants is "the bad old days of Rich Rodriguez" story. He wants to use you guys, to essentially support his story from 2009. You don't have to give it to him. You don't have to talk to Snyder. And if you do, you can say, "All that I have to say about those years, is that the Free Press was awful to this football program.  You want me to go on?"

If anyone wants to say, "Hey let's forget about the past; let's move on," that's fine. Just be assured, that when you are talking to Mark Snyder, his idea of "moving on" is by delcaring that Rich Rodriguez was a personal disaster, because that is what his paper is invested in.  If you think it is time to "move on," then think about making that your answer when Mark  Snyder asks you for an interview.  Because that is the message that Brady Hoke and David Brandon are interested in. Ask them, if you are unclear about this. 

Quit.  Talking.  To.  Mark.  Snyder.



May 17th, 2012 at 11:12 AM ^

I just had to go read the Woodson article, which I wouldn't have unless you made it known. Woodson said nothing about Rich Rodriguez.

This "open letter" is better posted at your personal blog, which I believe Seth set up for you.

You fail to realize that you are keeping the past alive by writing garbage like this.


May 17th, 2012 at 11:16 AM ^

It's funny.

Literally, Rich Rodriguez is not "the headline". Brady Hoke, literally, is.

Woodson did not say one thing about Rodriguez, and this article only mentions him in passing, to contextualize the improvement made under Hoke.


May 17th, 2012 at 11:21 AM ^ the article in case you want to read it. Funny thing is I wouldn't have even looked if Section 1 hadn't brought it up. The "offending" passage in all of its glory:

During the Rich Rodriguez era of Michigan football, when the program was spinning its wheels or backsliding, one of the best players in U-M history had moments when he had to turn off the games.

Charles Woodson could not watch.

But last season he was watching until the end, enjoying Brady Hoke's 11-2 first season.

"That was great," he said in a phone interview with the Free Press on Wednesday. "I watched every game I could watch. I still watched if traveling. I did not turn them off. That showed the improvements of the year."

For Woodson, U-M's 1997 Heisman Trophy winner and leader of that year's national championship team, the turnaround has been because of the coaches and the players' engagement.

"It was unbelievable," he said. "I kept telling people coaching goes a long way in whatever sport. Having coach Hoke come back, having coach (Greg) Mattison (Woodson's first U-M defensive coordinator) come back. On defense, having coach Mattison come back and teaching these guys how to play football, I knew that would go a long way and get us back on the right track. For me, sitting and watching games this year, watching the defense function the way that it did and really play, with Brady implementing his system, and having the guys play that had (been in) the other system the past three years -- that was special to watch. I was absolutely proud to be a Michigan Wolverine once again."


May 17th, 2012 at 12:29 PM ^

I'm no Section 1 defender. I agree that he beats this dead horse too often, and at too much length, and he's also made several politically obnoxious comments that have inexplicably but repeatedly escaped moderation. I think the blog might generally be better off without him.

That said, it's odd that people think that the article doesn't talk about RR, or mentions him only in passing. This entire passage contrasts last season to the RR era, and that's obvious. I assume everybody agrees that Michigan shouldn't be giving Snyder or any Free Press employee any interviews for the foreseeable future. So why aren't all the comments of the "yup" variety?

Section 1

May 17th, 2012 at 1:00 PM ^

And there's a place for you to vote.

You said it:

it's odd that people think that the article doesn't talk about RR, or mentions him only in passing. This entire passage contrasts last season to the RR era, and that's obvious. I assume everybody agrees that Michigan shouldn't be giving Snyder or any Free Press employee any interviews for the foreseeable future. So why aren't all the comments of the "yup" variety? 


May 17th, 2012 at 1:42 PM ^

I hope we never get to that point. If we are truly fans of the program, rather than specific coaches, we should never see the Freep the same way again. However, there IS a difference between moving on from an event with a changed perspective and continually beating a dead horse (i.e., I don't think I'll ever have a positive opinion of Snyder/Rosenberg/the Freep because of what they did to UM. That said, I don't feel that it's necessary to speak out against them whenever I can). Section 1 is either failing to see that distinction, or he's having a hard time coming to grips with it.


May 17th, 2012 at 11:24 AM ^

I also looked up the article after I saw your diary post.  I normally agree with you about you dislike for Mark Snyder.  But, this was mostly about Charles and Mott.  Although, the first 6 or so paragraphs were about football and only the 2nd paragraph was about Rich.  I guess you have to put that stuff first to grab most readers.

It could have been alot worse.  It's is sad that most people have moved on, but not everyone.  I am sure most of the Michigan AD will never forget.

Section 1

May 17th, 2012 at 11:42 AM ^

Create Diary



This is your own personal section of MGoBlog, to post in as you like. There is a minimum of 200 words on a diary entry. This is for your own original content. Note: smack talk is strongly discouraged. Some guidelines for would-be diarists:

  • If you're trying to think up filler to get to the word minimum, it should be on the message board.
  • If it's off topic, it should be on the message board.
  • If it's a link to someone else's content without some added value (analysis, aggregation, critique) it should go on the message board.

In general, anything that's just another post you should put on the board. Something that requires effort you would like to keep around for posterity's sake should be a diary. 


May 17th, 2012 at 11:54 AM ^


"In general, anything that's just another post you should put on the board. Something that requires effort you would like to keep around for posterity's sake should be a diary." """


Definition: 1. generations to come in the future; 2. all of a person's descendants

Section 1

May 17th, 2012 at 12:05 PM ^

...if you take the time to read the rest of my Diary entries.

But if indeed "the Free Press" was the only thing I ever wrote about (and it clearly isn't), that would be a problem... how?  Is there a monitor of personal diversity of topics?


May 17th, 2012 at 12:25 PM ^

For the record, I agree Snyder and Rosenberg authored a hatchet job that significantly harmed the program and our already unfairly beleaguered coach at the time, and the Freep's editors committed journalistic malpractice in allowing their "expose" to be published.

But every time I read one of Section 1's open letters, I have two thoughts:

  1. If/when Michigan wins the MNC sometime in the next decade with Hoke as its head coach, Section 1 will write yet another MGoPost in which he asserts RR was wrongfully fired by Dave Brandon.
  2. Section 1 must have been one of those Michigan fans who was convinced RR would without doubt transform Michigan into a football superpower akin to USC under Pete Carroll (except without the cheating)--and Section 1 broadcast this belief to anyone and everyone within earshot.  I say this because amongst my Michigan fan friends, I have found that there is a direct relationship between the degree to which one still (!!) laments the "wrongfulness" of RR's firing and the vociferousness with which one proclaimed RR's preordained success upon his hiring.  Section 1 is just one example of this peculiar strain of Michigan arrogance.  To some extent, I fell into the same trap, and I've found that the best way to let go of the bitterness is to approach the Extended Horror that was Sept. 1, 2007-Jan. 1, 2011 with humility and humor.  It also helped that I was at a wedding with an open bar when the Horror happened.

Section 1

May 17th, 2012 at 12:31 PM ^

The MGoBoard, as far as we can tell, is in near-universal agreement that Mark Snyder is a schnook.

This weekend is a big weekend for him to do one-on-one interviews with former players surrounding the Mott Outing hoopla.

It is just a good time to get out in public with warnings to former players, as to what it means to talk to him, and with a reminder as to what he has done.


May 17th, 2012 at 1:48 PM ^

that EVERYONE within a 5 million mile radius of AA knows about this?  Especially former players?

I understand what you are trying to do and it may be noble, but not MGOBLOG worthy for sure.  I just wasted my lunch laughing at your posts.  That is one hour I will NEVER get back. 

The way I look at it, you owe me one hour of no-posting for every one of us that you wasted our time.

Section 1

May 17th, 2012 at 1:59 PM ^

Some may know quite a lot.

I gave a copy of Three and Out to a former President of the Alumni Letterwinners' Club.  And someone who had an extraordinary position of information at the time Rodriguez was hired.  He's an exceptionally good guy.  He stays connected within the group of former football players when he has the time to do it.  And he's just basically a very smart guy. 

We have talked for a long time about these subjects; at least a couple of hours.  He knew things I didn't.  I told him things that he had never heard before from his circle of insiders.  It was mutually beneficial.  He read Three and Out in about three days; it opened his eyes.

If you think that all of the former football players are well informed on the depredations of the Free Press, you are badly mistaken.


May 17th, 2012 at 2:57 PM ^

because a vast majority of posts are well thought out and well written.  It is generally accepted that most posts here are worthy of reading, not all but most. 

This is a MEEECHIGAN Blog fergodsakes.  Michigan has very high standards as everyone knows.   Ergo, it is expected that the posts are well written, informative, and worthy of a post on the Mgoboard.


May 17th, 2012 at 12:37 PM ^

I'm very curious as to whether the RR loyalists will bash Chuck Woodson , in a manner similar to how they have bashed Eric Mayes, Braylon Edwards, Aaron Shea, since he openly admitted that, after seeing Hoke's team last season, "I was absolutely proud to be a Michigan Wolverine once again."  Implying that he was not absolutely proud to be a Michigan Wolverine in the RR era.  But he's Charles Woodson.  The internal struggles in this shrinking group must be glorious.     Impfff


Section 1

May 17th, 2012 at 12:55 PM ^

But I didn't bash Woodson.

Meanwhile, what is a blindly-loyal Michigan supporter supposed to do with Braylon Edwards?  Paternity cases, multiple auto arrests, 3am rollovers on Bell Isle, stupid public statements about everything from jersey numbers to losing his cellphone on the night that his entourage was scuffling with bar-bouncers... and turning it into a nuisance lawsuit for defamation.  How do the fanboyz struggle with that sector of hero-worship?

I could have reacted wildly to Woodson's quotes, and didn't.  I wouldn't trust Snyder's reporting enough to make a judgment about one of his interview subjects.

If some of the football alums do want to talk to Snyder about Rodriguez. etc., that's okay; but there will be a lot more questions to follow, methinks.  I think the better policy is the one Brandon and Hoke seem to have established by their own example; don't give Mark Snyder any interviews. 


May 17th, 2012 at 1:05 PM ^

It makes my heart flutter when I hear our current and former players talk about how much better things are now with a new (old) coaching staff that does things the right way on and off the field.  They aren't stupid, they see the same energy in the program that we do, the energy that was missing for 3 years.  Hard to react wildly to Woodson's quote since it is undeniable fact. 


May 17th, 2012 at 12:53 PM ^

Like the Alamo, the USS Maine, Spartan Bob, the Charles White fumble, and the 2011 Iowa debacle, we must never forget. Keep fighting the good fight Section 1, the Freep's treachery will be avenged!


May 17th, 2012 at 12:56 PM ^

To quote a mod, Jesus tapdancing Christ.

There is a threshold at which the weekly anti-Freep (yes, we all hate the Freep too) screeds become redundantly gratuitous.  We passed that threshold 5860 yards ago.  Why, yes, that is the yardage we gave up in 2010 using the 3-3-5 stack that RichRod, not Snyder, implemented.