Interesting Brady/Henson at UM article in this week's SI

Submitted by Real Tackles Wear 77 on January 9th, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Yes, I apologize that this is written by the infamous Michael Rosenberg, but this week's Sports Illustrated features a pretty good piece on Tom Brady's time in Ann Arbor and his competition with Drew Henson, back when the expectations for him were sky high at the turn of the millenium. At the very least, an interesting retrospective into the minds of Lloyd Carr, the Brady family and the Michigan fanbase. I'm curious what others think about it.


edit: I follow this blog daily and read Three and Out as well, I understand and sympathize with the strong feelings many of you have toward MR, just thought this article may be interesting to some...…



January 9th, 2012 at 3:01 PM ^

Although it is extreamly tempting, I have to resist any article written by Michael Rosenberg.  I hate to give the guy a click to any thread of his.

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January 9th, 2012 at 3:53 PM ^

A "Rosenberg boycott" was never my idea, but I certainly understand it and respect it.  I do like the fact that so many people have such strong feelings, that a boycott is something that they'd consider.

I didn't read this one, and I probably won't read it, and unless I do, I won't comment on it.

So there you go; how's that for a wild-eyed rant?

I have but one single meta-comment, and that is that Rosenberg (and Snyder) appear to have been reduced to pool-reporter status to a great extent.  They aren't getting any interviews, it seems, with Brandon, or Hoke, or Red, or any of the football players.  If they are, it isn't apparent to me.  So that's good.  It would be hard to expect an "interview boycott" to stand up, but I sure would like to encourage all of Michigan's current and former players to never give Rosenberg the time of day, ever again.  Depriving Rosenberg of reader-clicks is worthwhile.  Depriving Rosenberg of his life-blood -- access to athletes -- would be even better.


January 9th, 2012 at 3:15 PM ^

Dad gave me the copy of SI to read. The only thing I took away from that article was that I would hate to be Henson. Srsly, your dad told Carr if they signed him they couldn't take a quarterback in the class ahead of him? Total control nazi


January 9th, 2012 at 3:36 PM ^

Bad advisors, shakey decisions and overall ego crushing sports failure, that Henson still seems to be a pretty nice dude. People hated when and how he chose to leave Michigan (timing even more than year, and not a good decision to begin with), but he seems to have accepted it all and holds no (outward at least) bitterness. And still seems to support the program. He's ok with me.


January 9th, 2012 at 3:31 PM ^

For me, there is no such thing as a "interesting" article written by Rosenberg.  Also, considering Rosenberg's documented abuse of his position concerning Michigan, his bossses at SI should be intelligent enough and ethical enough to tell Rosenberg that he will not be allowed to write about Michigan due to a conflict of interest.

Thanks for the warning, though.  I would hate to give him an accidental click.


January 9th, 2012 at 3:32 PM ^

I'm not clicking the article, but I'll go to my grave saying UM would have won a national title if it weren't for Carr's mishandling of the Henson/Brady situation. 

Wolverine 73

January 9th, 2012 at 5:29 PM ^

It's really interesting, especially if you were around then.  And I agree with you--and the article gives the same impression--that Carr totally screwed up the handling of Brady/Henson.  I had the misfortune of sitting through the Illinois game discussed in the article, and can still remember being livid that Carr went to Henson when Brady was playing well (and clearly the better QB that year if you were watching the games), whereupon Michigan began to stumble, the defense collapsed, and we lost despite a ferocious comeback led by Brady when Carr put him back.  I just watched the Orange Bowl from the end of that year on the BTN.  Michigan had TREMENDOUS TALENT on that team.  A shame the way it worked out.  (Rosenberg may be a jerk for the NCAA jihad, but even a jerk can write a good article now and then.)


January 9th, 2012 at 3:34 PM ^

Brady was smart enough not give a quote in the article.

I read it (I have a subscription). I also had my kids read it - to show them what a competitor Brady was.


January 9th, 2012 at 3:49 PM ^

run down of Rosenberg's past with Michigan?  I have been reading this blog for over a year now, but I don't think I have ever heard of the past incidents.  I don't usually read his stuff because, like most people who write for ESPN/SI, his stuff offers little insight or interesting info.  But, what is the stroy with him and Michigan? 


January 9th, 2012 at 3:53 PM ^

Story from 2008/09 about practice hours / countable hours ... he never liked the Rich Rod hire and had a vendetta against the program.  


He's an op-ed writer who was also "investigating" Michigan for alleged violations.   Michigan did violate NCAA practice rules, and admitted it, but the FREEP's article went way beyond the boundary of "investigative journalism".   It was a witch hunt.   And Rosenberg parlayed that into a cushy gig with


I was reviewing Rosenberg's articles about Rich Rodriguez (excluding the NCAA violations) since December 2007.  The FREEP makes you pay for archived articles, so I just looked at headlines ....

12/15/2007 CHOSEN ONE?
12/18/2007 THE JOB AHEAD
01/25/2008 WRITE OR WRONG
04/03/2009 NO PLACE TO HIDE
11/02/2010 DEFENSELESS

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January 9th, 2012 at 4:22 PM ^

Graduated from Michigan, and was an Editor of the Michigan Daily.  (Somebody help me with his year of graduation...)

He did some sportswriting at Michigan, and cultivated a lot of contacts with Michigan athletes that appear to have lasted.

My presumption is that Rosenberg had an okay relationship with Bo (not like John U. Bacon, but not bad), and a much better relationship with Carr.  I have a very, very large question in my own mind about the Carr/Rosenberg relationship.  Politically speaking, Bo was an unapolgetic Republican, publicly so after he left coaching.  Carr is a registered Democrat, publicly so as he ended his own coaching career.  Rosenberg and his paper are, shall we say, devotees of Lloyd Carr.

Rosenberg wrote a good book, carefully researched and well-written; War As They Knew It, about the ten year Hayes-Schembechler-Viet Nam era, and all of its sociopolitical components.  I reapeat; it is a perfectly good book.  I have told Rosenberg so, myself.  Jon Chait of the New Republic, another Michigan Daily editor, reviewed War As They Knew It for the NY Times Review of books, favorably.

Then came Stretchgate.  Jon Chait, Rosenberg's friend and reviewer, called it "journalistic malpractice."  Chait was right.  The Free Press (publisher Paul Anger, columnist Drew Sharp, Mitch Albom) circled the wagons to defend Rosenberg.

Someone with a brilliant mind suggested that people register protest votes on the Stretchgate story by rendering 1-star reviews for War As They Knew It on  Naturally, I did so despite my true feelings about the book.  I have no regrets.  Several hundred other people did the same.

And what ugly crocodile tears from Rosenberg; what amazing chutzpah; to complain that "three years" of his working life had been damaged by a false and misleading publication (in the form of the Amazon neg-bomb).  Tell us about it.  Three, and out.  Eh?


January 9th, 2012 at 4:42 PM ^

First of all, I see no reason to bring politics into that unless you were itching to.

As for his relationship with Carr, I know several people who haved worked in the Freep sports office and it has been told to me that Rosenberg's mancrush on Carr was a running joke among co-workers even before RR hit town. Yet another disturbing tea leaf...


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January 9th, 2012 at 4:49 PM ^

And, I have no intention of arguing politics with anybody here.  But with all due respect, and my utmost seriousness, I think it is a real question.  And all that I did was raise the question.  In connection, of course, with Rosenberg's own book, which is in large part a political history.

That's all, and I am more than happy to leave it there.

Your own story about Freep staffers' impression of Rosenberg/Carr sqaures with my own understanding from people who have been around both of them, too.  It's an odd thing with me, because as much of a radical Rodriguez defender as I have been, I had enormous respect for Carr before I ever heard the name Rich Rodriguez, and it really takes a lot for me to lose that respect.  For Carr, that is.


January 9th, 2012 at 5:01 PM ^

"Uncle Lloyd" is what copy editors nudgingly called him around Rosenberg, poking fun at his nephew-like dynamic in their personal relationship.

I don't claim to be some special insider and this doesn't automatically mean that Carr was a co-conspirator in the hit piece (the greatest charge anyone could levy against him for his post-coaching career), but from what I have heard from several people in the know and simple dot-connection, it is disturbingly easy to imagine.

That so many fans continue to deny these realistic possibilities and choose to blindly adore Lloyd just because that makes them feel comfortable is also disturbing.


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January 9th, 2012 at 5:10 PM ^

It would be a devastating charge.  It would require absolute proof, of a kind I shall never expect.  I'm not going to hold my breath on that one.

One thing I will be watching for, is a Lloyd Carr book.  No matter what anybody says about him now, Carr is a thoughtful man, a lover of books, and someone who likes to control the message.  I simply can't believe that Carr doesn't have a book in him.  Indeed, unlike Bo, Lloyd might not need a ghostwriter or a collaborator.  Whether Rosenberg would have any involvement would be a very interesting question.

lexus larry

January 9th, 2012 at 4:14 PM ^

This is where the term "lamestream media" gets it's definition...lazy, uninspired hack-writing disguised as "journalism."  Even though it's a sports article, journalistic standards should apply always.

And yeah, talk about fossilized "news."  (Think about that term - news.  It's supposed to be new!  Hence, NEWS!  Not olds!)

Nothing to see here, folks.  Move along...

My name ... is Tim

January 9th, 2012 at 4:18 PM ^

Immediately confirmed by reading Simmons' mailbag:


Q: SI this week ran a feature about how Brady's Michigan experience helped Brady become the great QB he is now. I think I have read this story or seen a TV feature about it maybe 300 times in my life. But in the last 3 years alone someone has written a story or done a feature about how dropping to 24 made Rodgers the great QB he is now at least 150 times. Of course Rodgers is younger than Brady and has a longer career ahead. My question is this Sports Man — in 2030, when we finish counting these stories up after their careers, which story will have been beaten into the ground more? Would you go Rodgers or Brady?
— Frank, Lansing, MI


January 9th, 2012 at 4:17 PM ^

I never looked at the author. I showed it to my wife (a Buckeye, but a Brady lover) who thought the same thing I did... Wasn't this all covered in The Brady Six on ESPN? Can you spell plagiarism? Not an original thought in the man's head that isn't borne of hatred.


January 9th, 2012 at 4:40 PM ^

wrote a book titled "Moving the Chains: Tom Brady and the Pursuit of Everything" (2006). I read it back when it first came out and I do believe this subject was covered. Of course it examined Brady and didn't really get into much detail about Henson (comment about his father telling Carr he couldn't sign a QB in the class ahead of him). 


January 9th, 2012 at 4:40 PM ^

Even if MR were to somehow win the Pulitzer for this article, I will never read it, or anything else he ever produces.  He is dead to me.  Therefore, the article doesn't even exist... Hey, what is thread about anyway?



January 9th, 2012 at 5:22 PM ^

Seriously, I have gotten Sports Illustrated since I was 11 (28 now) and each week I still get excited to get it out of the mail (Think Adam Sandler in Billy Madison). Even more, I get giddy like a school girl when I see ANY Michigan related article...As I saw the Brady Article walking back in the house, While I was thumbing thru I had the same reaction to seeing it was written by Rosenberg that would have accompanied a bird pooping on me...I felt dirty, pissed off and quickly thew the magazine to the coffee table. (Thanks, Rosenberg!)


January 9th, 2012 at 5:35 PM ^

Despite the author ...

1. It shows how well-intentioned parents can really have severe unintended consequences. Henson's dad is portrayed as looking out for Drew and trying to promote his career - in hindsight he probably sheltered him too much from the reality of competition at the next level. In contrast Brady's dad who is an actual coach took a very hands off approach, even though it sounds like he really wanted to guide Tom in a particular direction. Of course hind-sight is always perfect. There are probably a lot of other kids who bemoan a misguided career because "no one looked out for me."

2. The two sound like they are still cordial - but not close buddy buddy - sort of like how I read Peyton Manning actually keeps up with Ryan Leaf. I suppose only going through what they did they share a unique bond.

3. In the article, Tom Brady isn't directly quoted. He declined through the Patriots front office to participate in the piece. Don't know if this is related to the author or he was too busy "being Tom Brady" to worry about talking about "how Tom Brady became Tom Brady." Either way, just adds to the legend of "Tom Brady."

4. The "Ten Year War" is actually a pretty good book. That ten year period will be hard to match for the struggles on the field and the turmoil on and off campus.