An open letter to Michigan Football.

Submitted by Dhani Bowtie on November 21st, 2009 at 4:35 PM
I cannot express my love for this squad in words. I have been crying for an hour and it feels good… This team was everything I could hope for in terms of character, they did everything they could do to seal a victory but sometimes the cards don’t play out the way you need them too. To Brandon Graham, Ortman, Matthews, Stevie B and all the other seniors; I will never forget what you put in to make this program great in the future. You are all Michigan Men and I will love you and what you have done for this program forever… To the underclassmen, thank you. You have fought hard, worked hard and put yourselves in a position to be a dominant team going forward. To Rich Rodriguez and the coaching staff; Thank you, today you showed the fans that our faith in you is not misguided, I firmly believe we are on the right track and it is all thanks to you. Please do not believe in the negativity that the media perpetuates, I am here to tell you that I have faith and a lot of love invested in this program and at the end of the day you are ALL making me proud. Thank you to all the fans in section 27 with me cheering as hard as you could, we left our hearts on the benches and we will pick them up next year. I love Ann Arbor, I love this state and I will die with a Michigan football jersey hanging to my back.


Dhani Bowtie

November 21st, 2009 at 5:01 PM ^

I really think that things will get much better, a lot of people look forward and see no defensive play makers but I firmly believe that we will improve because of coaching and experience. Today we showed that our coaches are capable of coming up with a gameplan that can win us games against better opponents. Our D-line will be very good, our lb's should improve and get smarter and our secondary will make a vast improvement once Woolfolk is a permanent safety. Keep the faith fellas. We all love this school and our seniors so keep it positive.


November 21st, 2009 at 4:44 PM ^

Thanks to the seniors. They have laid the ground work for a young team. They stuck it out when others left. They did not leave because of coaching change. They played for the Block M and should be commended.


November 21st, 2009 at 4:46 PM ^

I get as negative as anyone after a hard loss, but I am so proud of the toughness and, yes, the heart that the team showed today. Thanks to the team, and thanks to you for sharing your positive energy.


November 21st, 2009 at 4:51 PM ^

You could *feel* a difference in how that game was played mitigated by 4 interceptions (damn that one at the goal line) and of course the early endzone fumble. That team looked better, more focused and clearly GERG schemed to keep his job.

Wins or losses those seniors played with real character.

I for one am at a loss with what we will do without the Emperor of Space.

Dhani Bowtie

November 21st, 2009 at 5:06 PM ^

Haha, hopefully big Z will become a legend. I really feel for these seniors man and I probably seem like a complete loser but it really hurts me to see them go out like this. They did not come to Michigan to rebuild, they came to dominate and it just didn't happen... I wish I could just let every senior know how much I appreciate what they've done. From the walk-ons to BG 55 you have made me incredibly proud to be a Wolverine. Thank you, I cannot say it enough.


November 21st, 2009 at 6:25 PM ^

First Downs: tUOS 18, Mich 16. Total yards: tUOS 318, Mich 309.

RichRod doesn't play QB. Those five turnovers aren't his fault. They are the fault of a true freshman QB who was playing against the best defense in the B10. Tate needs to improve his decision-making. But jeez, so does sophomore Terrell Pryor, the former #1 recruit in the nation.

As to any notion of GERG losing his job, if he were to be fired, what quality defensive coordinator in his right mind would come here seeing the talent and knowing that he only had one year to turn it around?

The Claw

November 21st, 2009 at 5:00 PM ^

The team played wonderfully today. Defense really stepped up except for their one long scoring drive. I'll take that each week. Turnovers cost us today. And if Tate doesn't get a lot better next summer, I see another freshman from Inkster taking over...


November 21st, 2009 at 5:02 PM ^

Thanks guys, for going out there and giving it your all. For not embarrassing yourselves, or us. For making it a game that we could reasonably expect we could win, till just about the end.

And for being Michigan Men, whether it be for 5 years, 4, or ones who are coming back.


November 21st, 2009 at 5:08 PM ^

Today should put to rest some of the criticism about bad coaching - RichRod and the crew did a good job, and GERG (helped a lot by Brandon Graham) showed a lot better side of himself. This has been excruciating, but the Spring will be better, and watch out next fall!

At the beginning of this season, none of us - nor the great media sports pundits out there - had the slightest idea what this team would look like. They dazzled us early on and then had a rough underclassman wake up call when they hit the Big Ten. This time is different, we have a feel for what the coaches and players are building.

I got spoiled by Bo's '69 team, the win over OSU that year and the ensuing 30-odd years (before the teams and coaching post-2000 began to frustrate me me endlessly). This is going to be a new Michigan legacy, and its sights are going to be set beyond the Big Ten.

Looking forward.

Dhani Bowtie

November 21st, 2009 at 5:14 PM ^

I appreciate the support from a UM fan with some perspective. I really think that if we stick with this we will do great things. People need to realize that eventually we will get over this wall and win the close games. The ND game this year will become the standard.

Heinous Wagner

November 21st, 2009 at 5:16 PM ^

Coach John Wooden's definition of success comes to mind. Success is the feeling of satisfaction that comes from knowing you did your best. I think the team can have that consolation today. The deficiencies are obvious, and some of them can be solved with another year of experience and (most crucially) a very good recruiting year to increase the depth of overall talent.

So we're all right, Jack. It would be worse. We could be Notre Dame.


November 21st, 2009 at 5:22 PM ^

The only worry I have concern the possible NCAA violations. I would hate to have the football team go through what the UM b-ball team went through. I agree with the sentiments expressed by everyone in this post. I was worried about getting embarrassed by OSU all week. Now, after today, I honestly think we could have/should have won that football game. While I was frustrated at times with the insertion of D Robinson at crucial points in the game and all of the turnovers, I won't dwell on that. That's in the past. I was not impressed with OSU at all - Pryor is not the player people thought he would be yet. I see this team improving and I am excited for the future... I just hope to god there are no serious NCAA violations.


November 21st, 2009 at 6:24 PM ^

I really do think these potential violations will amount to very little. This isn't UM basketball with boosters handing money out to players; this is a collection of minor violations (which everyone does) blown out of proportion by a newspaper's hack job.


November 21st, 2009 at 5:48 PM ^

Overall, I thought the team played well today. We had some bad breaks and Tate didn't read a few plays well...but he's a Freshman and our OL is young, and we were playing without our best back. Again, if not for the turnovers I think we would have won this game.

I hate losing again to OSU but at least I see some hope for the future. RR deserves two more seasons here and then the wins should come easy. I pray we don't get a major NCAA violation...I don't think we will but will be severely disappointed if our coach gets fired over this!!!

Good job played and hit hard! I was pulling for a bowl game but am proud that you all played hard! Good luck in your future endeavors!

Go Blue!

Zone Left

November 21st, 2009 at 5:54 PM ^

There is a lot to hope for going into next year. The curb stomping factor is way down, there is actually some experience coming back, Jimmy Clausen will probably leave for the NFL, Terrelle Pryor still turtles near the first down marker, et al.

Hopefully Tate HOLDS ONTO THE DAMN BALL and the D gets better with a consistent system. If both those things happen, we will be back in Florida for a 2nd tier bowl game.


November 21st, 2009 at 5:59 PM ^

I needed that, and to all the players, good luck in the future. No where to go but up from today...I still have a lot of hope and optimism, I can only hope its not totally misplaced...



November 21st, 2009 at 6:02 PM ^

Wholehearted agreement.

There are few things in life I hate more than losing to OSU.


Did everyone see we just held OSU to their 3rd lowest point total of the year? If not for Tate's fumble, it would have been their 2nd lowest point total.

The defense stood very tall today. Apart from the TO's, so did the offense. Time of possession in the first half was one second away from being dead even. This might sound like grasping for something positive, but I don't think so. The offense moved the ball and kept our defense off the field. We saw what they can do when they are not exhausted from having been on the field for too long.

Those guys played their guts out and I for one am very proud of the way they played.

And you are very correct: great job on the coaching staff as far as the game plan.


November 21st, 2009 at 8:02 PM ^

I'm not sure I'd call it a "good day" as no day is good that involved a UM loss to OSU. I would however call it an encouraging day and an important building block heading into the... sigh... offseason. No doubt in this guy's mind that the compass points towards the right direction.


November 22nd, 2009 at 8:52 AM ^

Forcier showed his age. Instead of lobbing one into the back corner of the end zone and allowing Matthews to make a play he tried to throw a rope that got picked off in the end zone. A freshman mistake that cost seven points.
Someone needs to tell him, when he's scrambling around in traffic, to stop carrying the ball out to the side "like a loaf of bread". Another freshman mistake that gave them seven points.
A missed short field goal? Really? Three points.

Ohio State had 318 yards of total offense to our 309. 253 of theirs was on the ground, the bulk of which was on two scoring drives after punts or kick offs. Other than that first fumble they did not in any way capitalize (even so much as to get in field goal range) on our mistakes. Our defense held them inert.

Their Defense did nothing to stop us except be in the right places to pick off easy interceptions my 6 year old could have caught. They were beaten up and down the field on 40 and 50 yard drives consistently. And by my count, Forcier, while scrambling, wasn't pressured into those mistakes. They were just bad decisions not forced by, as one announcer called them, "the best defense I think I've ever seen" (insert guffaw here) getting in his face.

Eliminate just those three mistakes and we win that game 17 - 14. Eliminate the other pick on our way to their end zone and it's 20 or even 24 to 14. Pretty good I think against "the best defense that announcer has ever seen".

The silver lining on this slightly less dark cloud? Our coach who "doesn't get it" I think is starting to develop the deep rooted feeling of hatred, rage, and indignation that comes from losing to Ohio State that so many of us simply take for granted.


November 21st, 2009 at 6:15 PM ^

I was watching from one of the NYC alumni sports bars, and I have to confirm the positive feeling from the standing-room-only crowd (a rarity this season). Other than the obvious (unfortunate turnovers), OSU's offense moved easily in only two drives. And the defense didn't go downhill from there, as it has some times this season. The guys kept playing, kept coming back. Since most of us (honestly) didn't expect a win, we got what we hoped for: a truly competitive game. How many times have I left an OSU loss feeling good? Promising youngsters, seniors going out with passion... Reading these comments instead of the usual coach-bashing gives me even more hope. Thanks.


November 21st, 2009 at 6:49 PM ^

I feel bad the season ended the way it did, but this team played with the heart and determination that lets you know they haven't given up on this coaching staff or this school.

We lived through nearly a decade of basketball purgatory until they turned it around; I'm not ready to give up on this squad yet.


November 21st, 2009 at 7:16 PM ^

feel funny that its over, I'm glad I don't have to see the disappointment in my dads face any more this year, and that Feburary will be here very soon for some online fun. Please NCAA, get us 2 Signing periods, Janurary and July. 2009 you may R.I.P.

formula 1

November 21st, 2009 at 7:47 PM ^

I think the offense should look a lot better. Tate/ DRob are both growing up and will have a nice group of WRs (do you think Jeremy Gallon has a shot?) for them to throw to. Plus Devin Gardner is going to be pushing these guys too. On the D-side, Will Campbell hopefully becomes a regular and I'm excited to see what Marvin Robinson can do.


November 21st, 2009 at 7:57 PM ^

You know, nothing would make me more proud than for the positive attitude of the posters here to perpetuate through all of UM fandom. It probably won't happen, but it would be nice to show that world that Wolverines aren't all just a bunch of bruised egos like those at other major programs.


November 21st, 2009 at 8:27 PM ^

I came away from the Big House today sad about the outcome of the game and also distraught about all the stupid Buckeye fans in the stadium.

But overall I was extremely encouraged about our future. I thought the team showed considerable improvement and we played a much older/better team almost even.

Can't wait to see what RR can do when he gets a full roster of experienced players.


November 21st, 2009 at 8:30 PM ^

I've been a long time reader here, but never had the gumption to actually join and start commenting. But after reading this post, I would like to say thank you for finally putting down what really needs to be said, especially after all of the bashing the past few weeks. I, along with the rest of us fans here in the South Bend area saw a team that fought hard, and proved to us that they have put so much time, and effort into making us believe that this might actually work. I know it's going to be a long offseason for all of us, but I cannot wait for next year's spring game, and the opener.


November 21st, 2009 at 8:43 PM ^

Maybe this is too early. And maybe this is too optimistic... but if we don't have hope what DO we have?

FS: Troy Woolfolk
SS: Vlad Emilien/Jordan Kovacs/Mike Williams (Preferably one stands out in offseason, and preferably that one isn't a walk on )
CB1: Donavan Warren
CB2: Justin Turner
SLB: I really hope Marvin Robinson wins this battle
WLB: Jonas Mouton (He has a lot of talent, just too many mental mistakes. With a little dedication in the offseasn, they can be fixed!)
MLB: Please GERG. I BEG you. Put in JB Fitzgerald. Or at least let him split snaps evenly. Obi Ezeh, despite his experience, just cant play pass coverage
OLB: Craig Roh
NT: Mike Martin
DE: This one's tricky. I've heard alot of talk of Van Bergen moving to DE and Campbell starting at DT, but ultimately I think Will Heininger gets a shot at the job too.
DT: Campbell/Van Bergen

LT: Dorrestein/Huyge
LG: Schilling
C: Molk
RG: Omameh
RT: Dorrestein/Huyge
TE: Koger
WR: Stonum
WR: Hemingway
Slot: Roundtree!
QB: Forcier/Robinson
RB: Smith/Shaw

The obvious excitement of this is only one freshman/RS freshman starting on EITHER side of the ball. Any thoughts?


November 21st, 2009 at 8:49 PM ^

I have been weeping periodically ever since the game ended. My girlfriend has repeatedly tried to comfort me with a very confused expression on her face (the world of college football is still pretty alien to her, despite my educational efforts). The seniors (and everyone else for that matter) on this team deserve all the praise in the world. I feel so bad for the guys who laid everything on the line for this team, this school, and fans like me, but who haven't gotten the rewards they deserve for their efforts.

I love this team, and I hope that these players realize that the bright future we have to look forward to would not be possible without their sacrifices and effort.

OSUMC Wolverine

November 21st, 2009 at 9:35 PM ^

First of all, I was heartbroken that we lost the way we did. But it took many self-inflicted wounds on offense for TUOOS to win this game. In spite of the fact that the average age of our starters on offense today was likely 20 or less.....there were many signs that very encouraging moving forward. Even more the face of some very questionable non-calls in the first half, multiple turnovers, and missed scoring opportunities....we did not fold. The defense held strong in the face of all of this adversity. This team leaped forward a year in maturity today. My congratulations to all the members of the team and a special thanks to the Seniors who helped to provide the leadership and maturity that likely helped this team to turn the corner today and moving forward. Today, although disappointing, was well worth the 10 hours travel time. The TUOOS fans with the We Love RR sign in the stands will probably not feel so warmly in the very near future. Good show gentlemen...a new dawn approaches. Go Blue.


November 21st, 2009 at 10:22 PM ^

I'm still looking forward to next year. I hope this game showed that this team/coaching staff will get it done. It just felt like we made errors that were because of our youth. I mean we have Tate throwing to Roundtree and Smith looking pretty damn good at RB. Those are all freshmen. Give this team time. Last year the offense was so bad the D got warn down, this year the D was so bad for much of the year that the O didn't have the ball enough and we had way too many turnovers - 5 against Iowa and OSU suckeyes. If you watched the game, these were NOT random occurances and were due to a few poor decisions from Tate. He'll get better - no question about it. I'm sad that I now have to look forward to signing day and then the spring game...time flies and I'm more determined to stick with our coaches and can't wait until we start winning the Big Ten again. I feel like we hit Alt-Cntrl-Delete on Michigan Fandome...we no longer will take things for granted. Stay positive guys and we'll be back. We'll show the class-less OSU fans who the leaders and best are soon enough.


November 21st, 2009 at 10:59 PM ^

Chris Landry spoke about RR and the team this morning before the game on Fox Sports Radio. He actually went back to his notes two years ago during the hiring procedure (apparently he was a consultant in the process). In summary, he just hopes that the UM administration remembers that RR was hired to "tear down" the program and that the alumni gives him the time to do that. He compared what RR was being brought in to do was similar to gutting a home and rebuilding from the ground up. He's not sure the trustees truly understood that what RR was hired to do would result in exactly what has occurred: two years (and perhaps one more year) where the team quite frankly just won't be very good--given how little talent we do have, and the fact that all of us know the incredible improvement shown by the team's O this year, we just need to be patient, let RR get the players for his system, and hope that the administration has the backbone to give RR the time he needs to do what he was hired to do--which is give us a National Championship challenger on an annual basis.

Landry also seemed to feel that the NCAA nonsense was just that.

Let's hope the recruits visiting today were impressed with the Big House and the effort shown by our guys. Congrats to the seniors and let's start counting the days until UConn helps us welcome the new days of glory at the bigger and better Big House.


November 21st, 2009 at 11:24 PM ^

Like Brian, I divested emotionally a few weeks ago so today didn't hurt as much as it might have. At least the misery is over for a while. That said, I was pleased with the intensity I saw today. Obviously the turnovers (not to mention the several no-calls by the refs) didn't help but at least they played hard. Really hard. I'm certain next year will be better but fanbases are impatient creatures and if there isn't a very significant improvement next year I'm afraid RR might be out. Of course that will only ensure a few more years of futility as the next regime comes in and starts over so let's hope that RR's system gains some traction and we finally turn the corner next year.

I had to leave today just before the game ended because I simply couldn't bear to watch those scarlet and gray goons celebrating in our house. Again. Man I hate those guys. I would love nothing more than taking them out in Columbus next year.


November 22nd, 2009 at 1:36 AM ^

today (a buckeye fan) and he said after the game today that in his opinion OSU has one more year of likely success against us and after that he thinks all bet are off. Even the opposition can see what we are building toward and that progress is being made.