The Lion King

Submitted by Swayze Howell Sheen on September 9th, 2009 at 3:34 PM
This has been on my mind for a long time. It's been bothering me ever since we hired Coach Rod. And it's important. Well, pretty important - you be the judge.**
It is the fact that Coach doesn't understand the meaning of a kid's movie. You know the movie: the Lion King. And the scene Coach Rod refers to (quoted from imdb here):

lion king, duh

Adult Simba: I know what I have to do. But going back will mean facing my past. I've been running from it for so long. 
[Rafiki hits Simba on the head with his stick
Adult Simba: Ow! Jeez, what was that for? 
Rafiki: It doesn't matter. It's in the past. 
Adult Simba: Yeah, but it still hurts. 
Rafiki: Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or... learn from it. 
[swings his stick at Simba again who ducks out of the way
Rafiki: Ha. You See? So what are you going to do? 
Adult Simba: First, I'm gonna take your stick. 
[Simba snatches Rafiki's stick and throws it and Rafiki runs to grab it
Rafiki: No, not the stick! Hey, where you going? 
Adult Simba: I'm going back! 
Rafiki: Good! Go on! Get out of here! 
[Rafiki begins laughing and screeching loudly

The whole point of this scene, of course, is that the past DOES matter. You should confront your past, which is the whole point of the movie in which young Simba tries to run away and lead the Hakuna Matata life but eventually figures out you shouldn't do that. Yet RichRod keeps referring to it as if the point is that you should forget about things because they are in the past. For example:

There's an old movie called The Lion King. There's a scene in the movie where a monkey hits the lion over the head, and the lion says, 'What'd you do that for?' and the monkey says, 'It doesn't matter, it's in the past.' "
- On his hiring from West Virginia at his introductory press conference (Dec. 17, 2007)

I think Coach really doesn't get it (ok, perhaps he's being ironic, but...). The humorous thing: you can be a great college football coach even though Disney movies are way above your head. If that isn't inspiring, what is? 

Thus, I though this would be an opportune moment to extract some football appropriate lessons from Disney (and other) movies for Coach and the rest of the team. Warning: spoilers!
  • Finding Nemo: Don't ever leave home or you will potentially be eaten. Useful for: RichRod, Justin Boren (we hope). Oddly, not for John Beilein.
  • Mulan: Girls may be better than you think at a man's game. Useful for: Anyone in a sweatervest, and AJ Hawk, Vernon Gholsten, and anybody who got 'roided up to play at tOSU (i.e., think of the shrinkage).
  • Beauty and the Beast: A beast may be just a man on the inside, a hidden beauty under all of that outer beastly self. Useful for: Mike Martin's future wife/wives.
  • Cinderella: Your shoe may fall off but in the end that is a good thing. Useful for: Denard Robinson.
  • Bambi: Hicks in the forest may shoot at you or worse, at your mom. Useful for: Anyone traveling in West Virginia, or Ohio.
  • Fantasia: Sometimes something that is usually great (e.g., a Disney movie) really sucks and is boring and you wish you hadn't seen it. Useful for: Anyone who watched UM last year (zing! ouch, that one hurts me).
I bet there are more (anyone? anyone?) but that's all for now. Looking forward to this weekend's game. And we all know, of course, what Coach Weis's favorite Disney flick is:

weis's favorite...

** Brian is the real judge, and will likely remove this from the diaries because it is kind of crappy. But who knows, maybe he is too busy to notice, or is sick of all the "analysis" that everyone else does.


biakabutuka ex…

September 9th, 2009 at 3:56 PM ^

Maybe the ghosts of Bo and Don Nehlen* will appear out of thin air during Hash Bash to set him straight on this gaffe.

* who is alive, I know

Although I don't think he's misinterpreting the Lion King message, he's just not using the whole thing. He's basically using it as an example of how it's impossible to not feel some pain about the past. He's not, however, using it to explain why he's going to return to WVU and fix a dying ecosystem, or whatever Simba did in that movie.

STW P. Brabbs

September 10th, 2009 at 8:48 AM ^

I'm a big Rodriguez fan. All In, etc.

But the dude doesn't get that scene. I'm fairly sure that if he watched it again and thought about it he would realize the error, but he pretty clearly misinterprets the meaning with his 'let's not talk about the past' spiel.

Unless you want to give him credit for dodging questions about the past while subtly acknowledging its importance, which I'm not prepared to do. He is a grown man who quotes the Lion King after all.

biakabutuka ex…

September 10th, 2009 at 10:30 AM ^

The scene is about how the past can hurt, but you can't run away from it or ignore it. I really don't think he is misinterpreting the scene so much as he is just leaving out that second half. You can fault him for that, but that doesn't mean he's getting the part that he references wrong. The way I've always heard it, he's telling us that it hurts *even though* he's dealt with it and it's behind him. He's not claiming that he does or ever did refuse to confront it (and talking about it with the press is certainly irrelevant to whether he's confronted it or not).

I don't think he's dumb. I mean, he did once used the word "galvanize" to describe team unity. BUT, I'm not going to claim he definitely understands what he's talking about, just that there is a possibility.

STW P. Brabbs

September 10th, 2009 at 11:17 AM ^

I'm not saying that Rodriguez is dumb - far from it. I just don't get the impression he spends a lot of time thinking about literary/cultural allusions (hence, again, resorting to a Lion King reference.) He probably saw the movie with his kids and just latched on to the one quote.

Footnote: It is, of course, Lloyd's fault that we even discuss how intelligent our football coach sounds in press conferences. While it might have been nice to find another warrior poet to lead the team, I think it was hard enough to find a decent, honorable guy who can coach the hell out of a football team. We'll just have to remember the Kipling references fondly (though I wish the defense did keep the 'strength of the wolf is the pack' thing alive ... they don't do that any more, right? Of course if I had to pick between ominously incongruous pregame rituals and 'tackling' I'd go with the latter.)

OMG Shirtless

September 10th, 2009 at 12:09 PM ^

I just don't get the impression he spends a lot of time thinking about literary/cultural allusions (hence, again, resorting to a Lion King reference.)

Some people will neg anything even remotely resembling a shot at RR.

I didn't think this comment was a shot at RR, I didn't neg this one. His comment before this one was more negative and could see that one being negworthy as well.

I didn't neg either of them.

I did neg your comment for mentioning points/negging. I will neg my own accordingly. (Even though it doesn't do anything)

STW P. Brabbs

September 10th, 2009 at 2:11 PM ^

That adults sound silly when they make references to Disney movies.

I'm really happy that Rodriguez is our coach, and I hope he is our coach for a long time.

But sometimes even people we like do things that make them sound silly. To me, Rich using (and re-using!) his damn Lion King reference is one of those things.

End of.

(This tone is obviously not directed to 1987, who told people not to be so mean to me. I now will neg myself for mentioning the negging, as per custom.)

EDIT: Do you know what would happen if we were ever to lose the ability to recognize our own foibles and those of the football program? If we abandoned the flexibility to laugh at ourselves and our coaches when they talk about the Lion King? We would turn into Tommy Kilborn, that's what. I feel very strongly about this.


September 10th, 2009 at 1:08 PM ^

that negs are for stupid, purposely inflammatory. childish (easy O$U shots), aggressively ignorant or trollish posts, they are NOT FOR LEGITIMATE OPINIONS SOMEONE DOESN'T AGREE WITH*. He expressed an opinion, and did it with intelligence. If someone doesn't agree, then express your opinion with a post. Geez. BTW, I'm with you and not criticizing you.

*If I'm wrong about this I'll retract. But that's my understanding of the purpose of the system.


September 9th, 2009 at 4:12 PM ^

The point of the movie was two fold.
The first is that which is past is past and you should not let it haunt you. Once things are done, they are done.

The second part of the point is thus... while you let your past go, it does not mean that you do not learn from your past. Consider your past from a distance (emotionally, whatever) and do not make the same mistakes again.

The key to knowing whether or not he really understood the movie will be if he decides to leave M for another job and how he handles himself and that situation.

He has let his past go. He left WVU.

Has he learned from it? Hopefully he retires after winning another 350 games at M and we don't have to find out if he's learned from it.

The King of Belch

September 9th, 2009 at 6:21 PM ^

The point of this and all Disney movies was to buy them for your kids so you could leave them alone in front of the television while you sneak off to Vegas for a weekend with your buddies.

I guess I missed the point of the movies. And having kids.


September 9th, 2009 at 4:41 PM ^

The point of the scene from the apparently incredibly sophisticated morality story that is the The Lion King, is to only worry about what you have control over. RR understands it precisely as the sages at Disney intended.

The King of Belch

September 9th, 2009 at 6:08 PM ^

In your next Lion King Redux, could you explore the homoerotic relationship between Simba, Timon, and the Warthog? I've always wondered about that. I know they were doing drugs and jerking off together.


September 9th, 2009 at 9:33 PM ^

Sometimes the rodents of the world will try to convince you that only a "magic feather" (or a "Michigan Man") can elevate you to higher levels. But really, the elephant of the Big Ten can fly without it.


September 10th, 2009 at 1:28 AM ^

I think he just stole a couple of lines from a movie because it was a quick and funny way to say what he wanted to say, namely "it's in the past." I do not think he was trying to draw parallels between Michigan's situation and the lesson(s) of the scene or the movie.

P.S. On the other hand, maybe he was saying that Michigan is the king of the jungle and will soon return to its rightful place at the top of the mountain.