Open Letter to Coach Rodriguez Regarding Michigan Traditions

Submitted by M-Dog on July 31st, 2008 at 1:46 PM

Bumped from the diaries for general excellence. -ed

To:      Coach Rodriguez

From:  The Michigan Faithful

Re:      Michigan Traditions

Greetings, Coach Rodriguez!

By now, we are sure that you are getting acclimated to our fine University and to the beautiful town of Ann Arbor, arguably the greatest college town in the country.  Please give all of our best wishes to Rita and the kids.

No doubt you've noticed that we here at Michigan take our traditions pretty seriously.  Some would say that perhaps we are a little overly tradition-bound, but when you are the winningest program in history, across three centuries, well you can understand our pride.

We have noted with regret, however, the recent unfortunate incident where you assigned the hallowed #1 jersey to an incoming freshman, violating the sacred tradition of awarding it to the top wide receiver who has earned it during his career.  Many of the Michigan faithful were quite upset.  Indeed, you may have heard from one or two of us about it.

In your defense, Rich, we take you at face value when you say you didn't know about the tradition.  And we appreciate how quickly you moved to address the situation once you were made aware of it.  We hope to put this unfortunate incident behind us.

In fact, it occurred to us that there may be other Michigan traditions that you don't yet know about.  Even though we are a top program and always in the national spotlight, there may still be some Michigan traditions that have escaped your attention.  It would not be fair to just assume that you know what they are.

So as a public service, Rich, here is a list of some important Michigan traditions that you may not have heard about.  All you need to do is to uphold these special traditions during your tenure here, and you will always stay in our good graces.

National Championships:

When it comes to National Championships, Coach, Michigan brings home the hardware.  Yes, we're proud of our consistency and bowl streak and all of that, but what really defines Michigan is the constant National Championships.  You may not know this, Rich, but Michigan has won multiple National Championships in every single decade since the 1800's.  Be sure to put it at the top of your list to see the display case of all of the crystal football National Championship trophies, just as soon as they find the missing key to the trophy room.  Trust us, they're really quite impressive.  We are confident, Rich, that you will have no trouble keeping this tradition alive.

Winning the Rose Bowl:

Plain and simple, Rich, it's a Michigan tradition to dominate the Rose Bowl.  We haven't lost one yet, and most of them haven't even been close.  It's considered a disaster when Michigan only wins by a touchdown.  Sometimes it actually gets a little embarrassing, but it's really not our fault that those west coast teams always show up lethargic, disoriented and not ready to play, while Michigan comes in loose and confident.  What can we say?  Michigan owns the Rose Bowl.  Let's keep it going, Coach.

Unpredictable Play Calling:

Michigan is known for its wildly unpredictable play calling, a tradition that goes back to Bo.  We are a very hard team to prepare for.  Opponents are always quoted as saying "We never know what they are going to do."  To this day, Keith Jackson still talks about how stunned the crowd was when Lloyd called the Statue of Liberty play on 5 straight 4th down's in the 2004 Rose Bowl.  Good memories.  You have big shoes to fill here, Rich, but we think you are just the kind of guy that can do it.

Tough Scheduling:

Coach, Michigan's motto has always been "Anybody, Anywhere, Anytime".  Michigan does not dodge the top teams.  Our non-conference schedule is always the toughest in the country.  While our Big 10 brothers sleep-walk through games with the Ball State's, EMU's, and Toledo's of the world, Big House fans get to see the likes of Oklahoma, LSU, and USC every season.  No one will ever forget the year when they had to cancel the National Championship game because Michigan had already beaten all of the other BCS bowl teams.

Night Games:

Night games are a big tradition in Ann Arbor.  We typically schedule two or three every season.  There's nothing like the electricity of a Big House game on a crisp night against a big time opponent.  People are still talking about that thrilling night game against Ohio State in 2005 when the Buckeyes' last-gasp comeback attempt was thwarted as Gonzalez lost the ball in the lights.

Fast Starts:

Michigan is known for its fast starts in games.  We take care of business, and we do it early.  Look, nobody ever likes to be accused of running up the score, but when you hang half-a-hundred on your opponent by the start of the third quarter, you're only guilty of cutting to the chase.  Why delay the inevitable, you know?

Dominating our Opponents:

Michigan has a tradition of dominating our opponents, weak or strong.  We never play down to our opponent's level, our philosophy is to make 'em all play up to our level.  So whether its Appalachian State (we sincerely apologize for the humiliating beat-down we put on them last year, the whole college football world is still shocked) or USC, every opponent always gets Michigan's "A" game.

Intimidating Crowds:

Get used to it, Rich, the Big House is LOUD.  You'll have the most intimidating fans in the country behind you.  Even the rich old alumni in the expensive seats joke about their "walk of shame" leaving the stadium, when they realize how out of control they got.  Be prepared to take a few unsporstmanlike conduct penalties because of it.  It just goes with playing in the Big House.

Attractive Cheerleaders:

Michigan cheerleaders have always been and always will be, as the kids like to say, "hot".  They don't call them the Song Girls of the North for nothing.  We know you are very busy, Rich, but someone in your position should be able to have some influence over the selection of the cheerleaders.  In fact, it might even be a pleasant distraction from the day-to-day grind of preparing a football team.  (P.S. Please insist that they wear the Maize sweaters and matching mini-skirts at all times.  If the football team can step it up in all kinds of weather, so can the cheerleaders, right?)

So there it is Rich, some of the important traditions of Michigan football you may not know about. 

Now, you may have heard that we are a little hard to please, but nothing could actually be further from the truth.  All you need to do is keep our time-honored traditions alive and well, and everyone is happy.

Good luck, Coach, and GO BLUE!

The Michigan Faithful



Electron Erectshon

July 29th, 2008 at 12:47 AM ^

Solid post. I hope noobs who think Michigan football is the *measuring stick* for all programs read it. Perhaps when more of us are not so *cocksure* about our underachieving program we can break these traditions.

El Wolverino

July 29th, 2008 at 1:16 AM ^

* Run a clean program as far as possible ( it's hard but please do it) * Beat OSU * Beat ND * Beat lil bro * Bowl win * Keep the PSU streak alive * National Championship while you are here other stuff is minor.


July 29th, 2008 at 8:51 AM ^

We used to have a tradition of scheduling tough OOC games. Twice we had ND and FSU on the slate the same year. Once we had ND and Miami. Another time we had Miami (defending champ and #1 going into the game) followed by a top-10 ranked Washington team. Twice we had ND and a top-10 ranked Colorado. And twice we had ND followed by top-20 ranked Syracuse squads. Or, in 1985 when all three of our OOC foes were in the preseason top-25. In the 1980s and well into the 1990s, I felt there was always a buzz about our OOC slate. This decade, not so much. What's changed? Well, ND has fallen down several pegs. What once was a fight to the death, MNC elimination game in September has become a game that UM is embarassed when it loses. Hopefully ND is on its way back to legitimacy because our OOC will look that much better if those games are looked upon as they were from 1978 to 1994. And, under Bo's leadership as coach and then later as AD we would never schedule MAC teams. Now its two a year. We would have been embarassed to have Miami Ohio and Toledo on the slate back in the 1980s and early 1990s, but now its commonplace. Anyone know what the OOC slate will look like in the next few years. The future schedules only show big 10 games. I expect ND and two MAC games, but what about the fourth. Martin has said, particularily in seasons like this one where where ND, PSU and OSU are all the road, that he wants a bigger name on the home slate. I will be dubious until I see it. But, I would love some more September showdowns like we once had. Well, ND


July 29th, 2008 at 10:16 AM ^

M-Dog, While I like the overall sentiment of your post, there are a few things that I disagree with. First, we have won 11 national titles in football (1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1918, 1923, 1932, 1933, 1947, 1948 & 1997), which hardly stands up to winning a title every decade. Second, only Northwestern has uglier women than us, which probably has to do with our academic standards. Having grown up in Lansing and attended grad school in Ann Arbor, there is no contest with regards to who has the prettier girls. Little Brown Jug


July 29th, 2008 at 12:33 PM ^

Satire is a skill to perform as well as to grasp.

I got it, but still felt it worthwhile to point out that strong OOC scheduling actually once was a viable UM tradition. We always had ND and one other showdown. I'd love for that to return, even if it meant not getting out of September without a loss.


July 31st, 2008 at 2:41 PM ^

We're not legally, morally, or professionally obligated to clarify any topic of discussion, since this is an internet blog comment section of which we are voluntarily participating. (You see how we do, people?)


July 31st, 2008 at 3:06 PM ^

I hope that coach Rich continues the tradition of the song birds in their tight fitting yellow uniforms they so proudly paraded around in early last season. It was the highlight of a pretty mediocre year. Does any one still have the link that showed the "enhanced" uniforms?


July 31st, 2008 at 3:24 PM ^

I have to say I'd be a little worried about night games, only because my liver will scream in fury when I ignore the 8 pm start and kick off pregaming festivities at 9 am anyway. I still haven't recovered from my Popov shot at 6 am the morning of last year's Ohio State game. Oh, and brilliant post, M-Dog. Hopefully RichRod can convince admissions to recruit some "Song Girls of the North" to the general student body as well.

Henne for Heisman

July 31st, 2008 at 6:26 PM ^

read on Scout that we only have 17 available scholarships this year? Since we have 13 commits already, obviously you can do the math. Shouldn't Defensive players be give priority for these last 4 slots? Seriously. Enough WRs/RBs for 2009.


July 31st, 2008 at 7:30 PM ^

Night games in September would be fantastic. In October, maybe. In November? No. It's cold enough as it is during the day in November. I wouldn't want to play an entire game after the sun goes down then.

Girl Talk

July 31st, 2008 at 9:02 PM ^

This is the lamest thing I've ever read. I'm embarrassed to be a student here. I hope Rich Rodriguez never sees so he won't laugh at how pathetic it is.

chitownblue (not verified)

July 31st, 2008 at 10:04 PM ^

Henne - there's attrition every year (guys not using a 5th year, injuries, dropouts, etc...) we'll get some more.