Rich Rod Compared UM Football To New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina

Submitted by maizenblue92 on December 4th, 2009 at 12:25 PM

RichRod recently compared us to what the Saints had to go thru.

He says:
“It’s really kind of ironic that the New Orleans Saints overcame the hurricane a few years back,” Rodriguez said, referring to Hurricane Katrina, which damaged large sections of the Gulf Coast in 2005. “I used to live and coach in New Orleans for a couple years, and I know how devastated that city is and how they overcome and rebuild the stadium and rebuild the program.

“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. But you had 120 young men and a bunch of people on the staff that said this is not going to tear our program apart.

“In fact, it will do just the opposite: Bring us together. This senior class and the underclassmen that are leaders took charge of this football team and said nothing is going to tear this team apart, and nothing did.

“We didn’t end the season the way we wanted, and we didn’t win as many games as everybody would have liked. But don’t tell me this team is a failure. It’s a disappointment because we thought we could have won more and should have won more. But these guys are champions. I am proud of everyone.”

I really dont like what he compared it to but I like the message of bringing the team together and being proud of our players.

EDIT Sorry about no link, the story comes from a blog.…



December 4th, 2009 at 12:32 PM ^

Agree... You need to add a link... considering the alleged statements made will be deemed highly controversial (A bad football season caused by controversy and bad play is not a ruined city caused by a hurricane), you at least want to deflect any criticism onto the source... and not yourself.

As an aside... I hope the OP has this out of context. THis would be in the "not a smart thing to say" category

Link it


December 4th, 2009 at 2:15 PM ^

or the story online. But the saints-michigan comparison was not started by RR. In fact regent White who spoke earlier in the evening talked about adversity and compared UM to the Saints in terms of what the Saints had to overcome with Katrina. RR merely brought it back up later in the night. And, again his focus was not on the comparison as much as it was talking about adversity.


December 4th, 2009 at 12:29 PM ^

The analogy was, putting it mildly, poor. Clearly he's not at his best when he's standing behind a podium. Hopefully the team starts winning next year and we can just brush these things aside.

Simi Maquoketa

December 4th, 2009 at 2:51 PM ^

Of all the things to wonder about with RR, this should not make the list even if the list had 689,000 items on it.

Really, he's championing the spirit of New Orleans, and wants to champion the spirit of his team.

I think it's too bad that in this country, people are really into twisting words to find something to get miffed about.

It's as if everyone in America is born with a stick up their asses.

NOLA Wolverine

December 4th, 2009 at 12:31 PM ^

This is a ridiculous comparision. The New Orleans Saints had to deal with a lot of outside influences that they had nothing to do with. Michigan is just being investigated, and if he infact hasn't done anything wrong (or really, even if he has), nothing will come of it. Michigan is experiencing problems because they have a lot of subpar/immature players out there, not because a natural disaster wrecked everything around them. If anything he should have just compared it to the first years of Pete Carrol, because that would be far more relevant to this situation and the content of his speach. Not to mention this would ruffle the feathers of those affected.


December 4th, 2009 at 12:40 PM ^

approach to the media during the latest MSU footballers vs nerd riot.

He has yet to comment on the situation and the media seems to be letting him skate though the fray unsullied.

If this happened at UM, RR would have said something by now and probably would have been been hammered for it.


December 4th, 2009 at 1:09 PM ^

for " ripping Rich Rod for the speech?"

The best take I've read on all this bashing RR business was in a comment by "Captain" ( under the subject line "Double Standard Explained":

"A negative RR piece, on the other hand, is far more likely to get picked up by national news outlets for the same reason that I would probably read a scathing piece about Urban Meyer.

If there's a silver lining behind this double standard, its that we have a coach significant enough to draw national media attention for relatively minor occurrences."


December 4th, 2009 at 1:23 PM ^

Here is the link.…

It is part of their "Hot Clicks" section and ultimately draws from the same source as this thread. This editoralized intro to the link:

"Ridiculousness From Rich Rod:
Rich Rodriguez just added to his troubles by comparing what Michigan football is going through to what the Saints had to overcome after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans."


December 4th, 2009 at 2:27 PM ^

The SI link connects to a post by Bob Biscigliano at…. I never heard of either writer or site before today (the post links to the freep article). The post drew maybe five comments (pro and con). I have trouble believing SI editors have this site on their morning reading list each day; rather, I am forming a picture that they start each morning googling "Rich Rod looks like horse's ass" to see if they can scare up a link like this one. It's not like they couldn't have found dozens titled "RR gives good speech" that were up long before this one was. Until the next season starts and RR starts winning, I suppose we can expect more of this ****.

**Oh -- that is, until the NCAA completes its investigation and recommends that UM sue the Freep for libel. There may be good news coming in the off-season, though I'm sure it will be subject to the usual spin.


December 4th, 2009 at 12:33 PM ^

When people complain about how curt Bill Belichick is with the media, I like to remind them of things like this. I'd prefer a football coach to say little to the media, because things like this are just distracting or, at the very least, unbecoming.


December 4th, 2009 at 3:49 PM ^

I watched his pregame press conference before the Saints game, it was genius. It hardly had a pulse, you would think he was talking about the weather or the taste of oatmeal. BB puts his emotions and work on the field (which many coaches do) but does not give headlines to the press or bulletin board material to the opposing team. The headlines should be so and so WON not so and so said blah blah. I am looking forward to those headlines of Michigan won not RR said blah blah blah.


December 4th, 2009 at 12:35 PM ^


Seriously, I lived near New Orleans. Yes, poor comparison, but I'm not about to go on a righteous tirade here.


December 4th, 2009 at 12:45 PM ^

I live in New Orleans. it's a comparison that's acceptable to draw from the standpoint of a program. the Saints really struggled in that first year after Katrina and have since but what's been brought up time and time again is that it made the program stronger and the team's integral cogs more bonded. I have no problem with the comparison.

Blue in Yarmouth

December 4th, 2009 at 1:00 PM ^

He is comparing UM to the New Orleans Saints, not the families and vicitms of the hurricane.

If he was saying that fans must feel like the families of the victims or something, that would be different, but here he is comparing the NO Saints program (and the rebuilding) to ours.

It maybe isn't the best of comparisons, but lets not make it worse than it is (the media is already doing that).

Maize and Blue…

December 4th, 2009 at 5:03 PM ^

but could be referring to a perfect storm. RR has experienced attrition (expected), taking over a program thats offense had graduated or left early yet still had 7 returners on D in year one, year two sees more players suited to the O with hardly any returners on D, the BS article by a Detroit rag about practice (are we talking 'bout practice), some alumni against the change in philosphy and has survived so far.
The staff is busting their butts trying to bring in the best recruits they can and then the conference writes a rule that is tougher than the NCAAs and doesn't allow EEs to count against the previous year. If this rule isn't in place M could sign up to 29 if they didn't offer all fifth years or experienced any further attrition.

Florida Blue

December 4th, 2009 at 12:38 PM ^

but I don't think he should be stoned at high noon for this. Why does everyone think they have to scrutinize everything said these days by public figures. PC in this country has gotten out of hand and this country is really getting soft. It is getting annoying.


December 4th, 2009 at 12:43 PM ^

Should he be.. maybe not.
Will he be... he already is (see above links... and the e-mail I already received from one of my Sparty Friends making fun of this)

The P.R. we've received the last two years has been horrible. The team has been horrible. Controvertial statements (whether people are over-reacting or not) don't help UM's image...

And, I know, someone will react by saying "who cares what other people think!"

We all do. We love UM and UM football. Negative press (rightful or not) hurts the program (even if on a small level). And that hurts my soul.

Tim Waymen

December 4th, 2009 at 12:41 PM ^

It wasn't exactly Nick Saban comparing a loss to WWII and 9/11, but it wasn't the best comment to make either. Even if he means well, the media is going to continue to rip him based on how they hear his comments. RR needs to be more careful and try to avoid statements that can be interpreted to sound bad.


December 4th, 2009 at 1:50 PM ^

i had completely forgotten about this. and you know what? everyone will completely forget about what rich said. when you read the transcript it does come across a little inappropriate. however, we weren't in the room and as always, context and how a statement is conveyed are very, very important. it's like that joke bruce pearl told about being from the hood and wearing hoods in response to team chemistry. it seems crazy he actually said such a thing but apparently the room was cracking up and the players and their parents thought it was funny.


December 4th, 2009 at 2:24 PM ^

Except, if i'm not mistaken, he's talking to his players, and it's not really meant for people like us; however, he shouldn't do it with the media present.

To me this is a non-issue; but then again, I'm not from New Orleans.

Tim Waymen

December 7th, 2009 at 3:00 PM ^

I agree. It wasn't like he made the comment at a booster event, and that's usually were most controversial comments by, say, SEC coaches are made, i.e. "coonass," Kiffin saying Urban Meyer cheats.

It's not like most speeches to players are appropriate for the media anyways, but I guess they're only noteworthy when some controversy can be made. I'm not necessarily criticizing RR. I'm suggesting that he may have to take preemptive measures so that he avoids making comments that can be taken the wrong way. It's not just him; we all say things that get interpreted the wrong way, whether in a job interview, on a date, or in conversation with friends.

Hoken's Heroes

December 4th, 2009 at 12:39 PM ^

And just quoted "rock you like a hurricane." Some of you nit pick of the most insignificant of things. The guy gave a speech to his players. Leave it at that and stop nipping at his heels like some spazzed out Pomeranian.

The Bugle

December 4th, 2009 at 12:46 PM ^

Ugh. Is this seriously that big of a deal? Everyone knows he didn't mean anything sinister by the comment. Sometimes the call for the insane level of political correctness the MSM requires makes me want to RAGE K.O.B style.


December 4th, 2009 at 12:49 PM ^

A chance to be offended on behalf of the people of New Orleans, whom I'm sure the people at CNNSI (along w/ any other self-righteous sports journalists) have worked so hard to help!

If memory serves, football coaches are pretty prone to using metaphors and allegories and such. I'm very sure that Coach Rodriguez wasn't trying to imply that Michigan's season in any way equaled the human suffering endured in New Orleans.


December 4th, 2009 at 12:54 PM ^

I think he was referring to hurricane rosenberg....that big low pressure system that was full of shit aka shit storm that love to shine down and create rainbows over east lansing.