Three and Out: WE WERE RIGHT.

Submitted by Section 1 on October 9th, 2011 at 4:36 PM

For more sepcific summary and discussion of the book, look no further than the series of diary posts being done by MGoBlogger 03 Blue 07.  He's doing a nice job, and his reply-comments are also excellent.

I write this, my fellow Wolverines, because we were right.  We were right all along.  We. Were. Right.

One of the things I expect that you will all find with this book, is that while Rich Rodriguez is the lead character, he is not a dominating character.  This book is certainly about Rodriguez to a great extent; but it is not told from his perspective.  It is not "his" story.  It is "a" story.  Or, more correctly, a series of stories.  You will dig into this book, and you will not put it down.

Here's the thing:  while I am going to leave the field clear for others to read, think about and comment on this book, I want to say right now -- WE WERE RIGHT.

We were right to question the motives and methods of Michael Rosenberg, Mark Snyder and the Detroit Free Press.  Looking back, you all know what was written on this site.  Many of you complained that I in particular went overboard.  And that Brian Cook was too anti-Freep and too lenient in allowoing me to post what I did.

What I expect most of you to say when you've had a chance to digest the book, is that we may have been too easy on Rosenberg and Snyder.

The Free Press is very nearly the lead antagonist in the entire book.  

And what the book makes clear, that none of us on the outside could, is that the Free Press stories were really hurting the program, the coaches, their friends, their families and the Michigan players.

If you've been reading this blog carefully for three years, you will know much of what Bacon is writing about.  You will feel that you have been very well prepared to follow the story.  You'll already know most of the details.  But what you'll see for the first time is how badly our coaches and players were being hurt and distracted by what the Free Press had concocted.

Interestingly, to start with, you'll actuallly see the praise that Bacon lavishes on Rosenberg, as a writer of considerable skill and intelligence.  Rosenberg had a good reputation.  Bacon acknowledges it.

But Bacon also makes it very clear, by the time you get to the end; Rosenberg was no less a villain than that which he was portrayed as on this blog.  And that Brian Cook was an important figure, in trying to clear the air.  Brian, and Jon Chait, were right.  All along.  Asking precisely the right questions, demanding exactly the right answers.

Largely left out of Bacon's book is the other Detroit media, which for better or worse gets portrayed as just sort of following the Rosenberg lead.  Hopefully, this book will shake that up, because the Rosenberg/Freep Jihad has been there for the writing all along.  This blog (which gets healthy mentinon in the book!) has been on the case, and now looks very much the better for having done so.

Many of you, the Michigan cognoscenti, will buy this book and read it and smile quietly to yourselves, thinking, "Yep; just as we had known; I saw this on MGoBlog first."  But I hope you will all do something else.  Get extra copies of this book; give them to your uninitiated friends.  Give them to the other factionalists.

We've talked about the factions; my own thinking on that subject perhaps hasn't been as forceful as my writing about Rosenberg and the Free Press.  But as much as outing the Freep to the general public, this book outs the factions.  We suspected them; they were there.  Worse even than I had imagined.  Everyone needs to read this book.  Lots of people won't like parts of it.  I don't much care.  Everybody needs to read this book.  This book isn't required reading for the In Rod We Trust fanatics.  This book is more than anything required reading above all for the Rodriguez haters.  If you know one, buy him a copy.



October 9th, 2011 at 4:46 PM ^

Sacrificing three years of football and screwing not only the kids who played those three years, but every fan, student, coach, and administrator, was "for the greater good."  

Tell your parents to take your computer back until you get your GED.

03 Blue 07

October 9th, 2011 at 4:56 PM ^

I will say this: Section 1 is right. To me, the lead antagonist in the book (so far, and I can't imagine it gets any better) is actually the Free Press. And we were right; what the Free Press did was ridiculous. I realize that a lot of people here hate on Section 1 because he has continued to fight this fight against the Free Press and done so much longer than many on this blog have cared for, but seriously, it's frankly an injustice what the Free Press did. I, for one, don't get why people would want Section 1 (or anyone, really) to "drop it." It was such utter bullshit, what they did, and I'll (personally) never let it go, to some extent.  Michael Rosenberg and Mark Snyder put themselves above journalistic ethics, put themselves above what they were reporting on, and essentially engineered a one-sided series of hit pieces, supported by the dominant newspaper in a major part of the country. A paper that continually doubled down in its support of its writers, compounding its own mistakes. So keep fighting the good fight, Section 1. Keep reminding people.

03 Blue 07

October 9th, 2011 at 4:55 PM ^

Here's a serious question: Why is Section 1 considered a "lunatic?" I hope you don't mean in the sense that he continues to (rightly) point out what the Freep did. I assume you mean in some other way(?). I guess I have never equated "taking a strong stand, on principle, and not backing down in the face of insults from other commenters, when the subject of said stance is blatant injustice" with "lunacy."


October 9th, 2011 at 5:02 PM ^

I think that a lot of people tend to view righteous passion as some strange, psychotic feeling.  It's why so many stories on the news are characterized as "LOOK AT THOSE NUTJOBS, THEY CARE ABOUT SOMETHING BUT YOU SHOULDNT LISTEN BECAUSE IT IS WEIRD TO CARE!".  Just look at the Tea Party, the "Occupy Wall Street" movement, or any other protests.  I don't know why people are that way, but it certainly seems to be endemic.


October 9th, 2011 at 5:03 PM ^

He is a lunatic in e sense that the only thing he posts about is the evil of Rosenberg, and does so in nothing other than 2000 word posts. He will do it in threads about Rodriguez, Martin, Beilein, Jennifer Lopez, and Tacos. And he will do nothing but that.

No one has argued his premise, that I'm aware of. They've asked him to fucking drop it.


October 9th, 2011 at 8:17 PM ^

Doesn't really accomplish anything. I don't recall a really big "defend Rosenberg" contingent on the Blog. If he really cared and didn't want to be thought of as s lunatic, he'd carry the fight to somewhere that matters. Picket the Freep building, contact other media, demand they get banned from the press box or he'll give up his tickets....somewhere that might change how the Free Press acts. Going over it again and again, as chitown said in threads that have nothing to do with it for perceived slights (that he's still clicking on the Freep to get, so, Uhm, yeah), to a bunch of people who agree isn't righteous, it's ego stroking. Much like this post. "I WAS RIGHT" (even though no one ever really argued that Freep doesn't = bad...just give it a rest, you're not accomplishing anything. Bacon may be; but no post ever did).

Mr Mxyzptlk

October 10th, 2011 at 9:53 AM ^

 Mark Twain said "a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." 

As a noob to this blog I can understand why others might get tired of a poster bringing this subject up ad nauseum in seemingly unrelated subjects.  But on the other hand, I'm glad he does bring up the Freep hack job any chance he gets because I and many casual observers only knew what we saw on SportCenter about the so-called scandal.  And people still today conflate Michigan with Miami, USC and OSU as if we all committed major violations and are now tarnished with the "cheater" label.  Of course I know the truth but most casual observers probably do not.

I'm not sure if Michigan's pristine reputation can be resurrected.  But taking down scumbags like Rosenberg, Snyder and the Free Press is certainly a step in the right direction.

03 Blue 07

October 10th, 2011 at 12:45 AM ^

Shirtless, I'll be honest. . . now I'm wracking my brain a bit. It's probably better this way, though- keep it anonymous (at least on my end). If we've been to a bunch of the same weddings, well, then at least I know you have cool friends. Or really uncool friends, depending on whether or not either of us are "cool" or "ragingly uncool." I'm not that cool, I know that. But my friends are pretty solid.


October 9th, 2011 at 8:24 PM ^

Considering your posts have been pulled as much as anyone, I'm not sure you're a great judge of "troll". But the pomposity is rich.
<br>You don't seem to get reading the book gives you no higher moral ground; especially when people telling you to give it a rest don't even disagree that the Freep was bad. So I guess we were all right. Uhm, yay?
<br>Frankly, an "I told you so" post is far more trolling than funny pictures. If OMG Shirtless is "reported" (still laughing), you should be next.

Section 1

October 9th, 2011 at 9:31 PM ^

I think that I have had one post pulled, in the last three years.  I made a sarcastic joke about Braylon Edwards driving off the road at 3:30 in the morning on Belle Isle.  I am not apologetic about the post, but I had no problem with the mods; it is their responsibility to manage things.  What was clear enough to me was that my post wasn't out of line, but the Board's reactive freakout was.

I never claimed any higher moral ground.  I claimed only to know what was in the book, because I have now seen it and read just about all of it.  That's news for this Board membership.

Beyond that, I claimed that this Board in general -- not just me -- was right, all along about the Free Press and the factions.  We were right.  I think this a fine time to declare that we all "told you so."  I plead guilty, to taking a victory lap.  All of the MGoBlog faithful should.


Section 1

October 10th, 2011 at 9:33 AM ^

In the original post, I didn't even mention the name of Braylon Edwards.  I just made a sarcastic observation about hypothetically driving off the road on Belle Isle.  The board just flipped out about it.

Remember, it was an incident in which nobody (apparently) got hurt, and nobody was put in legal jeopardy (Braylon escaped getting even a ticket from the Detroit cops).  It was purely a case of yet another funny dumbass adventure in the life of Braylon.

Braylon couldn't have done just one or even a couple of dumb things and earned my anger.  I was there for the MSU game; I was a fan.  No, Braylon had to be a repeat offender and more than anything, he had to malevolently cause trouble for Rich Rodriguez.  It was the only way he could have earned my contmept.


October 9th, 2011 at 5:35 PM ^

Beyond all the kool kids hating on him, what was done to this program, and more importantly to me, to the athletes, was almost criminal. Forget or forgive, my ass.


October 10th, 2011 at 10:51 AM ^

I deserve the neg on that one. It wasn't trolling, because I really did read it as him meaning himself, but it's obvious on a reread that he didn't mean that, he meant the athletes, and it has nothing to do with commas or anything else. It's readily apparent, and I just completely biffed on my interpretation of it.  So sorry LB for taking a dig on MY error; because your meaning was clear and righteous.  I got too caught in the all the lather, and did a drive by on an innocent bystander. And that's not right.


October 9th, 2011 at 6:44 PM ^

RR's stint as head coach then I would agree that all should "just drop it."   BUT, since the fabrications, lies, exagerations, and utter distortions of partial truths added up to damage the reputation of an otherwise good and successful coach and more importantly, permanently damage the otherwise spotless repuation of one this country's greatest universities'  football programs, Section 1 and others should not let this die or put it down.

Rosenberg and Snyder should be firede and drummed out of any journalistic endeavor as they have proven to be low class scum who have no integrity whatsoever.

Dead horse or not, it is still an issue for many and therefore can be duscussed if they want to.


October 9th, 2011 at 6:47 PM ^

One thing I haven't seen very frequently is links to buy the book. I pre-ordered a few copies from Amazon. It's only $16 for hardcover right now. Deal and a half. It's already the #2 book about football on Amazon (behind Walter Payton's biography, ahead of the biography of "such an outstanding young man" -- note, the "reading level" on Tebow's book says, "Ages 99 and up." Lol.).

Does anyone know if Bacon makes less money off the book if we buy it from Amazon? Are there any other places (perhaps Ann Arbor-based) where the book can be pre-ordered online?


October 9th, 2011 at 7:20 PM ^

Yes, at some point it becomes pathetic to continue to obsess over something like this. But I read just about every post on the board and I don't think Section 1 is as bad about this as many of you seem to think. If you think it's too much, that's certainly your right. But to complain about this one is just crazy to me. We have major new information about the Jihad from a source pretty much universally considered as solid as it gets. Writing about it and commenting  now strikes me as perfectly appropriate. Now, if no new info comes out and years from now Section 1 is still obsessing over it, I'd then think maybe the "I hope you're seeking professional help' comments would be justified.

I do think this attitude is largely linked to the common stance of many people today of disaffected irony, a belief that caring that strongly about something is just too uncool (this is discussed a bit above). I can't write about it at length right now. Why do you all care? Don't click the link if you don't want to read it--it tells you right there who wrote it. But you do click it. You click it to come in and tell someone he needs mental help because he actually cares about an injustice enough to want to share his feelings when there is new info, new stuff to talk about. Why? Why do you click it? You purposefully read his diary just to give him shit about it. If there's something on the board indicative of maybe a need to seek "mental help," it's that.


October 9th, 2011 at 8:25 PM ^

I'm with Section 1. First, because what the Freep did was just wrong. I am angry with Rosenberg & Snyder, and angry that they weren't held accountable.

There is a related yet different aspect to this. I read all the threads above, and there is one thing I didn't read:  what about the rats and backstabbers in the Michigan Athletic Department who aided and abetted Rosenberg? I don't get why they are allowed to continue. It bugs me that some of the compliance people (Judy, maybe?) had their reputation besmirched, and others who threw RR & his staff under the bus are STILL EMPLOYEES and have NEVER been held accountable for their actions. Some heads still need to roll.

There is one other thing, however, that many Section 1 haterz need to understand clearly. I fully believe that Hoke, Borges, and Mattison are doing a splendid job, much better than RR, and I support the change. Believing that they are good for Michigan football, I still believe that RR got a raw, raw, deal, and never was given the support he needed.

What I'm trying to say is that you can both believe that Hoke & crew are the right ones for Michigan, and still believe that RR never had a chance, unfairly. Supporting Section 1 and hating the Freep does not imply that I wish RR was still here. While I was always a RR supporter, he made enough mistakes on his own . . . unfortunately, his mistakes were compounded by the lack of support in the AD.

Maybe the one I am most conflicted about is Carr. I always liked Carr. Now, much less so.

Mr Mxyzptlk

October 10th, 2011 at 10:42 AM ^

I was also very dissappointed to hear about all the backstabbing and infighting going on at the AD.  There was an obvious lack of leadership in the Athletic Department that seems have been fixed with the hiring of Brandon (I hope anyway).  But you're right, the biggest dissappointment to me is the Lloyd Carr sabotage revelations.

Now contrast what Lloyd Carr did after he left to what Rich Rodriguez did on his way out.  Even with all the crap RR took, he still had the class to tell his players to buy into the new system and new coaches 100%.  I have a newfound respect for the man and am sorry he got such a raw deal while he was here.

Section 1

October 9th, 2011 at 9:47 PM ^

Brain explained that.  Or at least he mentioned it.  But you knew that, didn't you?  And your question was just your own latent hostitlity with me, for having had the temerity to have defended Rich Rodriguez... right?  And not really a serious question at all... right?

I like your question.  Three and Out doesn't need to be the only (non-) answer to that question. 

You can probably be assured that Brain Cook is going to ask John U. Bacon that question for both of us.  And, with any luck, many more people will ask that question.  

You may be asking that question right now, but between the two of us, I think I am the one who is honestly interested in the answer.


October 9th, 2011 at 10:14 PM ^

At some point, M-W, your comments really become disingenuous, because they deny that the toxic environment that existed here for the last three years had a negative impact on the performance of the program.

You keep trying to separate job performance from job environment. That's patently, blisteringly ridiculous and the more you do it, the less sincere you seem to be.

For example, we don't know yet how the Defensive Coordinator search was managed, but it does occur to me that if RR felt like he could have trusted anyone in the existing Michigan community, he might have been able to reach out to someone with roots in this state to do the job and gotten a better coordinator.

Nobody comes into a team as a new head coach and has this kind of success unless the foundation was already laid. Football teams don't work like that. In the same way the mess RR inherited made his job incredibly more difficult because Carr had been mailing it in for two years and then invited many of his best players to get out. Rodriguez had a part to play in this year's success. He recruited, coached, and managed this team for three years, and his example clearly led them to decide to stay instead of running off like the 08 players did.

Of course he had a part to play in his failures. But this environment--good lord. It made it so much harder for him to succeed. Try, just try, to admit that, and we can believe that you're willing to have a constructive discussion instead of trying to reconstruct history.

Anyway, Rodriguez is gone, so why do you seem to be working so hard to minimize his accomplishments? It makes you seem incredibly petty.