Dear Mr. Rosenberg

Submitted by Section 1 on November 27th, 2010 at 10:07 PM

We don't want to hear it from you.  That is, we don't want to hear you wonder out loud what Michigan should do, or might do, with its football program.

We don't want to read you earnestly trying to figure it out, as though you were an honest broker of information, just trying to reach the right decision for the good of your alma mater.

We know; you've been campaigning, working, to get Rich Rodriguez fired, way before the 2010 or even the 2009 seasons began.

You didn't need to know the results of the games.  Rich Rodriguez is a guy who you hate, for reasons that escape us all and that you haven't made clear.

Now, when you write something like this:

This isn’t a video game. There are real people involved. Are the players being treated well? Are they being coached properly, or are they mostly getting yelled at and called names? Is Rodriguez recruiting players with the academic profile to succeed at U-M? How does he handle internal discipline, study table, injured players and unhappy players? Do all the angry former players have good reason to be angry?

we know exactly what to think, we know what your prejudices are, and we know exactly how to 'Fisk' your propaganda.

We know that you have concealed the identities of the unnamed former players, for no good journalistic reason.  We know to be suspicious of you and your "sources."

We know that when you dredge up things like the recruiting of players with an "academic profile to succeed at U-M" you are speaking in code, for a problem that you and your Freep colleagues tried to make much of, without merit or substance.

We know that when you make veiled references to coaching players "properly," yelling at players and "calling them names," you are speaking to a public that is so grossly ill-informed about Coach Rodriguez chiefly because you and your paper have committed some of the worst journalistic malpractice that the sporting scene in the state of Michigan has ever seen.

We know that you are infatuated with the notion of Jim Harbaugh coming back to Michigan; you have installed yourself on the Ground Floor of Harbaugh Inc. with your national love-letter to Jim and John in the October Sports Illustrated issue.

We know all of this, and it would be better and more honest if you just simply declared yourself and your paper to be sworn enemies of Coach Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan football program.  Because the pretense that you are a journalist, and an honest broker of information, no longer has any meaning.  You clearly don't care about the young men who are the student-athletes wearing the winged helmet. 

If you did care about those kids, you and Mark Snyder would not have abused Je'Ron Stokes and Brandin Hawthorne in August of 2009.  If you cared about the human interest stories that abound in the Michigan program, you'd have told Detroiters about what a fantastic young man Denard Robinson is; you'd have done the story of Brock Mealer; you'd tell people about the classy and astonishingly young kids like Jordan Kovacs, Ray Vinopal, Drew Dileo.

You're not going to do any of those things.

So just be honest.  Tell Detroit how much you really hate Rich Rodriguez.  And fill us in on the really curious story that nobody but you can tell -- why is it that you have taken on this vendetta?  What is your interest in undermining Michigan's football coach and, quite substantially, the Michigan football team? 



November 27th, 2010 at 10:45 PM ^

Section 1 will take heat from some MGoBlog readers for this posting (no names, goodness forbid), but I found it entertaining (as usual).

- - -

Remember, folks: You can dislike Rodriguez and still find Rosenberg objectionable.  Giving an inch (here, agreeing that Rosenberg is a disingenuous tool with an agenda) doesn't mean that the RichRod supporters will take a mile.  Read me?


November 27th, 2010 at 10:37 PM ^

I'm tired of all the douches that piss on Mich and RR. I can't wait for the day that Mich dominates the B10 and beats State and OSU consistently. When that happens I hope RR is our coach and we can all look back and laugh while we drink the sweet nectar of victory and chant the Victors over and over again.


November 27th, 2010 at 10:39 PM ^

For gawd's sake... quit fucking writing about the Freep!!!

If you ignore them, they will go away.  The whole world knows they are a tabloid.  Period. 

But as long as posts like this keep popping up, it equals ratings for the Freep.  Which is exactly what they want.

Don't feed the trolls.  How hard is that to comprehend?!


November 27th, 2010 at 10:42 PM ^

Just makes you wonder what Rodriguez could've accomplished if he didn't have this whole damn machine working against him from day one. Enjoyed the venting. A preemptive strike against whatever "I told you so" piece of garbage Rosenberg is dreaming up in the wake of a painful loss. *$#@ him!


November 27th, 2010 at 10:53 PM ^

"How does he handle internal discipline, study table, injured players and unhappy players?"

  • He suspends his only kicker before the biggest rivalry game of his career for team infractions.
  • Holds his best QB out twice for a possible concussion and dislocated fingers

This dude swallows poles for fun..


November 27th, 2010 at 11:33 PM ^

Oh, quit beating this horse already. Most major columnists -- at the Free Press, The News, SI, ESPN, etc -- think RR should go. Most fans do, too. 

All of the above would have felt this way regardless of Rosenberg's practice articles; the subject hardly enters the debate, except in the most passing way. So many people are fed-up with RR because his team hasn't beaten a single quality opponent in three years.

As if things would be so much different had there been no Mike Rosenberg. As if reporters somehow caused a single fumble, missed tackle, or botched kick. 

Blaming the media is like blaming the refs. It feels good. It has some validity. And it's lame.


November 28th, 2010 at 3:30 AM ^

It also validated part of it. It says we committed major violations related to practice and so forth. The school readily plead guilty to same. Not secondary. Major.

Personally, I think the Freep's story was overheated. But I also think the reaction here was overly defensive. I think the NCAA got it right. The team did break the rules. But the infractions weren't terrible or sleazy. So justice prevailed. It's resolved.

But people keep attributing RR's plight to the newspaper thing. It was a pain in the ass, sure. But it had no bearing on the team's performance. Nobody gives a shit about the sanctions. The issue is football.




November 28th, 2010 at 9:18 AM ^

1. It validated we went over but at an order of magnitude lower than what the freep published. 

2. There are only two categories of violations; major and minor. We were under probation from the fab five (thanks to the case the FBI was building against illegal gambling and point shaving and the NCAA couldn't act with impending litigation) during the time period the NCAA was investigating. Any other time period this case would have been minor. It is unfortunate we live in a sound byte media environment. It is unfortunate certain members of the media lack the ethics to make this known. 

3. How is Rich to blame again when the NCAA report stated the violations were going on before Rich came to michigan? I am sorry but the report vindicated Rich. 


November 28th, 2010 at 8:30 AM ^

either print all that he finds objectionable or just shut up.  The innuendo produced by him without any supporting facts are merely his attempts to color things without any actual support.  

If there is actual data to suggest something is wrong, then print it - but again, not the bs that came out before that was actually refuted.   But instead, Rosenberg likely hears one dissatisfied players gripe and then paints it with a broad brush.  

There are many legitimate reasons to question whether UM may need new football leadership but Rosenberg would rather fan the fire with innuendo.  

Section 1

November 28th, 2010 at 11:15 AM ^

Rosenberg doesn't hold himself out as a football expert, saying that Rich Rodriguez does certain technical things wrong, and Rosenberg knows why the program doesn't have more wins to its credit.

No, Rosenberg is implying that Rodriguez is harming the kids under his charge; that Rodriguez somehow abuses them, with harsh methods of some kind.

Rosenberg doesn't know, and doesn't say.  He just asks thinly-veiled rhetorical questions.  Again, this is the crux:

This isn’t a video game. There are real people involved. Are the players being treated well? Are they being coached properly, or are they mostly getting yelled at and called names? Is Rodriguez recruiting players with the academic profile to succeed at U-M? How does he handle internal discipline, study table, injured players and unhappy players? Do all the angry former players have good reason to be angry?

Rosenberg knows that this is the kind of gut-shot that many Free Press readers will find irresistable.  The kind of old Michigan alum who might say, "It's not just the results on the field; it is that the guy has brought shame to our storied program."  Rosenberg treats this, as he did Stretchgate, as a kind of public-interest story in which Rosenberg, not Rodriguez, is out to protect the interests of the poor players and the good name of the University.

Remember, whatever you might think of the NCAA investigation, what it proved beyond any shadow of a doubt was that nobody at Michigan had in any way harmed any players, and nobody had put any players in any sort of physical or personal jeopardy.  Michigan's admitted violations were prime examples of byzantine rulespeak.  David Brandon tried to hammer that point last month at the joint press conference when Michigan accepted the NCAA's scaled-back findings.  Naturally, the newspapers mostly ignored Brandon's comments.

And what was found as a result of a careful investigation, stood in total contrast to the hysterical story concocted by  Rosenberg and Snyder, when their 8/30/09 Sunday front-page story had made their readers think that Rodriguez and Barwis were regularly and systmatically abusing players to gain a competitive advantage.

Today's Sunday column by Rosenberg continues the pattern that he started two years ago; fact-free allegations, treating the Michigan football program as a kind of ATM for the Free Press.

Section 1

November 28th, 2010 at 1:25 PM ^

And there are only a tiny handful of those readers who publicly challenge him, who denounce him, and who point out all of his errors and omissions.

I could ignore him; that would be a mostly inconsequential act.  (Everyone ignoring him might be a mass act of some consequence, but I don't see that happening.)  I think it is more consequential to actively oppose him; to speak to alumni, to lobby the members of the Victors' and the Letterwinners' Clubs, and to challenge Rosenberg in front of a roomful of donors as I have.

I'd happily ignore Rosenberg if he were some individual private crank.  But he's a columnist for the major metropolitan newspaper and a writer for Sports Illustrated.

By the way, I think you badly miss the point if you think that Rosenberg is merely a guy who 'craves attention.'  Rosenberg is smart.  Very smart.  This is his business. 


November 29th, 2010 at 4:20 PM ^

is exposing bad journalism. Not every reader here has the three-year backstory on Rosenberg's history of journalistic malpractice, and that goes for the readers that pick up the local papers and think nothing of who and where the content therein comes from.

It isn't enough to know that someone like Rosenberg is a parasite poisoning the well of public discussion for selfish gain, because the discussion continues and new participants will dismiss those unable to explain how it is they know what they know.

The thread is clearly labelled, so those who came here to complain about it clearly went out of their way to do so.


November 28th, 2010 at 10:49 AM ^

#1: Hire exceptionally talented journalists to create innovative content which can compete with the volumes of easily accessible free content being created by amateur loggers. Or, consider collaboration with or freelancihg with these proven talents to improve your product and help sell your medium to that writers devotees (e.g Nate Silver and the NYTIMES)

#2: Hire marginally talented hacks developed through the outdated old model of journalist development. Let them manufacture scandal to capture the interests of an increasingly elderly readership base who intuitively trust old media sources based upon credibility gained from and era when newspapers could afford to invest in greater editorial control and meaningful competition by other regional papers would keep things honest lest they start a war with a rival paper over factual issues. In the meantime, disabuse a fairly significant population younger content seeking consumers from your entire product over a single section of your paper, many of whom are likely to be opinion leaders on these issues in their social networks because of their academic and professional success and above normal interests on the issues.


November 28th, 2010 at 1:35 PM ^

Mannnnn....  When can we finally stop talking about the Freep?  Seriously.  Who cares.  Haterz gonna hate, let's all just move on with our lives and not give a damn what they say.  

It's always gonna be the same ol' predictable drivel, and guess what?  When you talk about it, they win.  People talking about their writing is exactly what they want.  It doesn't matter if what people are saying is positive or negative, if people are talking about it it makes them relevant, and relevance translates to ad revenue, and...  you know the rest.  

If you don't like the Freep, if you don't want them to succeed, stop reading them and don't talk about them.  Ignore them and eventually they'll go away.