Dantonio uses hurricane metaphor, no one complains

Submitted by M-Wolverine on December 6th, 2009 at 5:44 PM

"Dantonio closed his news conference by comparing the situation to a hurricane: “I would describe this, as I said to our football team last week, it’s like a hurricane. A hurricane blew in, and Thanksgiving there was a little bit of an eye of the storm, and I told them, they’d better brace up, because the end of the storm’s pushing through this week and that’s exactly where we’re at with this thing. And hopefully, the sun’s going to come out here soon, and we’ll be able to resolve this and we’ll be able to move forward.”"

From the paper that won't go named, but there's nothing more than this you need to look up, but for propriety's sake:


annarbor.com has a much more balanced look at the "story":


"Hurricane warning?
Rodriguez is catching flack (here, here and elsewhere) for referencing Hurricane Katrina in his speech at Thursday’s banquet when talking about the adversity his team faced this year. But Rodriguz's comments were actually playing off a speech given earlier in the night by regent Katherine White.

Followed with a statement from White.

Oh, the horrors!



December 6th, 2009 at 5:50 PM ^

Though I don't think coaches should ever use hurricanes as a metaphor unless they are describing one of Charlie Weis' farts after he devours the entire lunch buffet at the South Bend Chuck E. Cheese's.


December 6th, 2009 at 5:50 PM ^

Well it's a bit different to just use the term hurricane loosely, as Dantonio did, or mention something specific like New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina. Not saying I disagree with you, I don't like Dantonio and think that anything negative at U-M is magnified by the media. But this is a different way to use the term hurricane.


December 6th, 2009 at 6:00 PM ^

And I am not sure how it is that different. Both were using the storm to describe the events and speak of being able to overcome challenges. But those with certain agendas, whatever they are, will continue to look for ways to nitpick.

Why cannot one call it out - whether actual or metaphorical, there is context behind its use...


December 6th, 2009 at 6:06 PM ^

Rodriguez used the metaphor to describe the program dealing with (I think) unfounded allegations and criticism from outsiders. Dantonio is comparing having to take action in response to his players' mass violent behavior with surviving a natural disaster.

Someone should tell Dantonio that the sun will come out once he stops letting violent convicts play on his football team.


December 7th, 2009 at 12:53 PM ^

You people are so obsessed with Dantonio, it'd be hilarious if it weren't so frightening. Dantonio referenced a hurricane?! CLASSLESS!

PurpleStuff, you do realize that all the players that were at the scene, not just involved, were suspended indefinitely and will not be participating in post season activities? They haven't been convicted, either. Where are you getting this information?

Dantonio immediately suspended everyone who had the possibility of being involved in the fight. Rich Rodriguez does not address the rape of an innocent woman by one of his football players, and is covering up the entire incident. And you're calling out Dantonio for letting "violent convincts" (both parts of that statement are untrue, especially since the only players to ever be convicted of any crime were removed from the team entirely) play on his team, and accusing the Free Press of double standards? I say it's Rodriguez that lets the violent (rapist) convicts (Grady) play on his team, and you that has the double standards.


December 7th, 2009 at 5:17 PM ^

Glenn Winston repeatedly struck a member of the MSU hockey team to the extent that he had to be hospitalized with multiple serious injuries. Most people consider that extremely violent behavior. For this behavior, Mr. Winston was convicted of a crime and sentenced to jail time. Glenn Winston is a "violent convict."

Upon his release from jail, Mark Dantonio quickly reinstated Mr. Winston and allowed him to play on his football team throughout this season. Since Glenn Winston is a violent convict (and was one before this season during which he played football at MSU) and Mark Dantonio allowed him to play on his team, Mark Dantonio lets violent convicts play on his football team.

It isn't a stretch to see how allowing a violent convict to play for State led to the current "hurricane" Dantonio has to deal with (since the same player along with others engaged in predictable violent behavior against their fellow students).

Comparing a violent convict to players who have not been convicted of a crime (anonymous subject of sexual assault allegations) or who have not committed a violent act (DUI's are dumb/dangerous, but Grady didn't harm anyone) is downright stupid. Justin Feagin was immediately dismissed from the team when he was allegedly linked to a drug transaction. Glenn Winston was welcomed back to practice with open arms once he got out of the clink over the protest of his victim, a fellow MSU athlete.

In short, I can see why you didn't get into Michigan.

Blue in Yarmouth

December 7th, 2009 at 2:50 PM ^

The difference is (and I am not sticking up for MD) that he is referring to "thing" in the abstract, where RR referred to an actual event that took place. Essentially MD is referring to wind, whereas the media is portraying RR to have compared his season to the actual loss of life and devastation suffered during Katrina.

The big problem with the media is they failed to see that RR was actually comparing to the N.O. Saints rebuilding their program following those events, and had nothing to do with comparing UM's hardships to those of the victims of the Hurricane.

In short, I guess the difference is MD was talking about a hypothetical hurricane whereas RR referenced an actual event (though that reference has been taken waaayyyy out of context).


December 6th, 2009 at 6:02 PM ^

I'm not sure I buy that people who suffered in Hurricane Katrina suffered more than other people in other Hurricanes (yes, it was an exceptionally bad one, but we don't want to discount what others have lost), but giving that, is it really worse to compare how a football team deals with a hurricane...? Because that's what we're really talking about, even if the detractors aren't:

"“Regent White talked earlier about, uh, it’s really kind of ironic that the New Orleans Saints overcome the hurricane a few years back. And I used to live in New Orleans, coached there for a couple years (at Tulane), and I know how devastated that city (was) and how they overcome and rebuilt their stadium, rebuilt their program from the ground up. And we’ve had a few hurricanes of our own. And we had a big hurricane in August and it kind of hit us like a ton of bricks. But you had 120 young men and a bunch of people on staff say this is not going to tear our program apart. In fact, it’ll do just the opposite, bring us together.

I didn’t hear White’s speech. I was out in the lobby writing my story on Donovan Warren probably declaring for the draft.

But an athletic department spokesperson said White compared what the Saints went through - from not having a home and lacking top-line talent to beating the Patriots to go 11-0 last week - to the rebuilding process Michigan football is in now.

White, who is out of the country, confirmed the substance of her speech in an e-mail.

"I mentioned that I was comforted by (the Saints') perseverence through their struggles and the struggles still suffered in the region," White wrote. "From adversity comes strength. I am comforted by this because the UM football team has faced adversity and through this they, too, can become stronger."


December 6th, 2009 at 6:37 PM ^

You have to realize that Dantonio must have said it with that cold, angry, "I'm about to punch you in the mouth" kind of look. I'm sorry guys, but that makes a huge difference when discussing hurricanes.


December 6th, 2009 at 6:57 PM ^

I hate Dantonio with a furious anger but I don't have a problem here. He was using hurricane in a broad sense. It's not something that should even be considered to go along with a meanless football team but he did. Comparing a football season to Hurricane Katrina and what not is, in my opinion, dumb. There is a lot of wiggle room with what MD said. Not so much with RR.

Section 1

December 6th, 2009 at 7:56 PM ^

Their original story (posted by Snyder, on the night of the bust) was bad enough; Snyder actually had to leave out the IMMEDIATELY PRECEDEING SENTENCE SPOKEN BY RODRIGUEZ, in which he referred specifically to the earlier remarks of Regent Katherine White in relation to her Katrina reference. (Rich Rod never mentioned "Katrina" per se; Regent White did. I suspect that Regent White didn't know, or had forgotten, that RR had been the head coach at Tulane. And RR's comments were, explicitly, an acknowledging nod to Regent White.)

Video of Regent White's remarks are now viewable at MGoBlue.com; go to the MZone link. It lasts 3 minutes.

This is really a despicable act of journalistic vandalism by Mark Snyder. The Free Press owes RR an apology. Good for the guys at MGoBlue.com to get it up and posted. That is no accident. I asked them to do it; but I think they were way ahead of me.

This link is likely to change in the future; for now, just go here and follow the options to the football bust video. As of this moment, it plays automatically when the link opens:


Section 1

December 6th, 2009 at 8:10 PM ^

And I think you're wrong, at least in aiming any of that criticism at me. I am not at all worried about how the Freep portrays MSU. I couldn't care less. I've said nothing about the Freep vis-a-vis MSU.

I do care about what the Freep has been doing to Michigan for about a year now, and especially since July. And so should you. I Googled "Rich Rodriguez" and "Katrina" and came up with 8,490 hits. Innumerable websites and blogs, all with scathing criticism of Rich Rodriguez, outlandish comments accusing him of racism, idiocy and worse. Almost all of them linking to the Freep.com story.

I might not have guessed how big a distraction that the Freep story and the NCAA investigation has been to the football staff. The one and only revelatory thing I took away from the Football Bust comment was just how badly it all has hurt us. The Freep has had a lot to answer for. How do you suppose they answer this story?

Let's give a very big shout-out to the folks running MGoBlue.com for putting up the Regent White video. Did you see it, before your comment aimed at me?

Bando Calrissian

December 6th, 2009 at 8:18 PM ^

I have seen it, and I couldn't care less what a Regent has to say, because at the end of the day, she's not the public face of the most public and prominent facet of our University.

When our football coach goes up on stage and bumbles his way through an incredibly stupid analogy about a natural disaster that decimated a city and killed thousands, it doesn't matter if a Regent made the analogy first--his comments are going to be the ones on the front page.

Rich Rodriguez should know better. It was a stupid analogy, it was short-sighted, and I don't care what the Freep or any other media outlet has to say about it. Our football coach has no business making that comparison, and I don't know how anyone could defend it, much less justify it by pointing to what the Regent said first.

Section 1

December 6th, 2009 at 8:36 PM ^

What Coach Rodriguez said, was, explicitly, an acknowledgment of the remarks of Regent White. Regent White, I presume, doesn't like to have her comments labeled as a "stupid analogy" any more than does Coach Rodriguez. Personally, I think it is great to have Regent White on the same (albeit unintended and unwitting) end of hostility, courtesy of the Detroit Free Press, as Coach Rodriguez. Awfully nice to have a Regent and (shock!) an African-American professional woman, who happens to be a Democrat, to get unintentionally savaged by the Freep.

This is such a laughably incoherent and inexplicable (except as more latent hostility to Rodriguez) episode for the Freep. I love it.

I wonder, moreover; maybe Mark Snyder missed Regent White's preliminary remarks, too? As did Dave Birkett, as he faithfully explained, before doing the good legwork to check up on the real story.

Thank you very little, Mark Snyder.

I'm really curious, Bando; what the hell would make you stick up for the Free Press?


December 6th, 2009 at 8:37 PM ^

this is the dumbest thread i've ever seen. clearly, the problem with richrods speech was that he compared the season to an actual tragedy that occured in new orleans.

Blue in Yarmouth

December 7th, 2009 at 3:02 PM ^

Did you even read what he said? You are just like the fucking morans at the freep. He was comapring what the team and program had been through to the way the NO Saints program had to rebuild after the hurricane. He didn't compare us to the hurricane, the aftermath, the devastation or lost lives. He compared us to the NO Saints.

Learn to read before you comment and you may not look like such a douche bag.

Fuzzy Dunlop

December 7th, 2009 at 3:10 PM ^

And we've had a few hurricanes of our own. We had a big hurricane in August, and it kind of hit us like a ton of bricks

That is the line people objected to. Obviously he didn't mean to compare our season to Hurricane Katrina, but that's how it came out. He was ineloquent.

You really shouldn't be calling fellow posters "douchebags" and then trying to claim the moral high ground.


December 7th, 2009 at 7:21 PM ^

based on the sophistication of your response, i can assume that you are not very intelligent, so i'll break it down a little bit for you.

dantonio - was comparing the season to a hypothetical hurricane, not offensive.

rodriguez - was comparing the season to a real tragedy that occured in new orleans.

the op complaining about dantonio not getting in trouble for this is an idiot. probably your good buddy, right?


December 7th, 2009 at 12:08 AM ^

So we know that RichRod apparently did not consider the enormous "political implications" of mentioning Hurricane Katrina at the bust. Wow. So...does this affect our ability to recruit Louisiana...


Fuzzy Dunlop

December 7th, 2009 at 8:45 AM ^

What Rich Rod said was tone deaf to say the least, though I certainly believe that he has taken way too much grief for a simple stupid statement. This is a matter of the media piling on someone when he's down, rather than a targeted attack on Michigan.

HOWEVAH, there is absolutely no comparison between what Rodriguez said and what Dantonio said. There is a big difference between referencing hurricanes (or other disasters) generally as a sports metaphor, and referencing specific disasters that are associated with catastrophic loss of life.

Some examples:


Wow, their pass rush is like a tsunami!


Wow, their pass rush is like the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 300,000 people!


The Miami Hurricanes


The Miami Hurricane Katrinas


This game is a massacre.


This game is like the Fallujah massacre.

Section 1

December 7th, 2009 at 11:29 AM ^

Regent Katherine E. White, Law Professor at Wayne State, was much, much more stupid than was Rich Rodriguez. For it was Regent White who first injected the "Katrina" comparison into the evening's remarks. Personally, having seen the video, I have no doubt whatsoever that Rich Rodriguez would never have made the comparison, but for Regent White having made the comment first. And while Rich Rod made mention of the comparison in passing, along with his own personal history as a resident of New Orleans and as a coach at Tulane, without ever mentioning the word "Katrina" and without ever once even hinting at a comparison other than between the Saints and the Wolverines, it was Regent White who made a lengthy, detailed comparison involving "Katrina," which she mentioned by name.

So, to be clear: You (and, by prior extension, the Free Press) think it was a really bone-headed thing for Regent White to have done what she did. And, it was a much lesser bone-headed thing for Coach Rodriguez to have even acknowledged, in passing, Regent White's comments.

The reason I say all of this, again, is because if Regent White feels the same sting of publicity, at the same time and on the same basis as Coach Rodirguez, the Coach might find himself with a much more sympathetic member of the University's Baord of Regents. And that is, by any estimation, a big deal.

How anyone can say, "It's not important, what a University of Michigan Regent does, or says; and it isn't very important what happens to a Regent -- well, if that is your position, you've spent WAAAAY too much time buried in sports blogs and WDFN, and you need to get out more.

You had better believe that there is a reason -- a big damned reason -- that MGoBlue.com (rightly) put Regent White's comments up and on the MZone. The reason is what I hav just stated. It's a very big deal. Regent White,incidentally, is precisely the kind of Regent whom the Free Press is assured of supporting for reelection. She's a Democrat (always a great starting point for the Free Press); she represents needed racial diversity at the pinnacle of the State of Michigan's higher education system. She's been a respected professional, a respected educator, etc. She's precisely the kind of person whom the Free Press does not want to challenge or ridicule.

So compare -- Regent White's long, rambling, Katrina comparison goes virtually unnoticed in the press. (And was deliberately ignored by the Free Press). Meanwhile, Rich Rodriguez's shorter, more limited, and explainable comment goes viral in the blogosphere, and becomes a national story, albeit a small national story.

Fuzzy Dunlop

December 7th, 2009 at 11:57 AM ^

So what you are saying is that Regent Katherine E. White, Law Professor at Wayne State, was much, much more stupid than was Rich Rodriguez.

Actually, all I was saying is that there was no "double standard" vis-a-vis Dantonio, because what he said was much different. I said that Rich Rod's remark was overblown. You make it sound like the point of my post was to call out Rich Rod.

I don't know whether Regent White was much more stupid than Rodriguez, because I haven't been able to find a transcript or video of her remarks. (I couldn't find the video that you said was at mgoblue.com). Maybe she did say something much more stupid, but I can't be sure. Even if she did, are you surprised the media didn't make a big deal about it? An extremely stupid remark by someone nobody has ever heard of is not newsworthy. A moderately stupid remark by a famous, embattled football coach is more newsworthy.

I agree that eliminating the opening sentence of Rodriguez's remarks, which makes clear that he was playing off someone else's words, is disgusting.

Fuzzy Dunlop

December 7th, 2009 at 3:07 PM ^

Thanks for finding that. After viewing it, I don't believe Regent White said anything stupid at all. She didn't compare any hardships that our football team faced to Hurricane Katrina. Rather, she spoke about the perseverance that the New Orleans Saints displayed in the wake of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, speaking of the NFL's efforts to convince ownership to move the team, etc.

Rodriguez, in a clumsy effort to play off her words, went on to compare the NCAA investigations to a "hurricane". So yeah, Rodriguez is the one who put his foot in his mouth, not Regent White. It was a matter of lack of eloquence, nothing malicious. He's taken more grief than he deserves over it, but that's the kind of stuff that happens when you're down . . . people will kick you whenever they get the chance.

Section 1

December 7th, 2009 at 7:18 PM ^

I did not suggest that Regent White's comments were stupid.

But beyond doubt, it was Regent White, not Rich Rodgriguez, who introduced the topics of New Orleans (talking about the Saints) and Katrina and recovery and perserverence. Again, like you, I saw nothing wrong with Regent White's remarks.

All that Rodiriguez did, later on, was to make about a three-sentence comment, in acknowledgement of Regent White's comments. Nothing different, nothing much new, and entirely in keeping with Regent White's leadoff reference.

Now, much of the anti-Rodriguez world seems to think that Rodriguez is dumb, insensitive, and that this hurricane reference came out of some weird figment of Rodriguez's imagination. Anyone who was at the Bust would have known that was not the case. The world got a very different impression of the event and of Rodriguez, thanks to Mark Snyder's reporting. Snyder's reporting didn't illuminate, it didn't explain. Instead, it obfuscated. It misled.

As for Rogriguez's unconcealed anger at the NCAA investigation, I say good. I am pretty goddamned angry too. The Free Press needs to be called to task for that.

Now, this story -- the terrible misleading report as to the nature of the Roriguez quote -- is helpful in understanding the Free Press' biases, which are becoming increasingly less concealed.

I want to expose the Free Press. I want to embarass the Free Press. This incident helps to do that.