June 29th, 2010 at 1:33 PM ^

"That's what makes this season even harder - no one fears Michigan anymore. You think UConn does? Indiana? Purdue? Northwestern? All those teams are confident they can beat Michigan. Michigan State? They're talking trash like I can't even remember. Ohio State is talking about [seven] in a row. For 100 years, everyone feared Michigan and now you don't even know if they respect you anymore."

I can't wait for that day, when most teams fear Michigan once again. When we're known for our defense like we were under Bo, Mo, and Lloyd as well as our spread option offense.

I was watching highlights of the 2002 season yesterday on video cassette titled "Down to the Wire". We had at least one interception every game except two!


June 29th, 2010 at 4:38 PM ^

"I can't wait for that day, when most teams fear Michigan once again. When we're known for our defense like we were under Bo, Mo, and Lloyd as well as our spread option offense."


It's true the Wolverines are wounded and no one is fretting having to go 60 minutes with us. I however argue that wounded animals are the most dangerous. Teams lack of respect will bite them in the ass this year!


June 29th, 2010 at 1:33 PM ^

What's suprising to me is that we hear so much now from former players.  I never remeber hearing this much input from former players publicly until Rich Rod got here.  I wonder if that is more due to the losing seasons, or because of the expanding role of the media? 


June 29th, 2010 at 1:45 PM ^


On the controversy surrounding Demar Dorsey's signature and subsequent rejection by U-M's admissions: "You have to understand, I played in an era where Bo [Schembechler] ruled the town and something like this never would have been aired publicly.

This is the best quote in the whole piece.  Perhaps it is just appearances, but I do not think it is a coincidence that so many more coaches are being canned/crucified by fans and media in this era than in years past because of the amount of media saturation and outlets for information to be disseminated.  Years ago, there were maybe 2-3 reporters who followed a team, and as long as you kept them happy and informed, you really did not have to worry about negative articles surrounding your team.  Even under Carr, guys were being busted for drugs, DUIs, fighting, etc., but with few exceptions those stories never blew up because the local reporters had an understanding with the coaches that the matters would be handled internally and that nothing would be gained by creating a media circus.  Now, though, you have random S&C assistants posting anonymously on blogs, fans with Twitter accounts claiming rumor as gospel, and a million more eyes and ears following a team.  Sure, this has created more transparency surrounding clubs and has unearthed some real violations, but it has also created an environment wherein a coach has to answer every inuendo lest he viewed as an ineffective leader. 


June 29th, 2010 at 1:50 PM ^

Good points!!!  The media has to much access to the program now.  I miss the days of Carr giving the cold shoulder to the media and making them look like the idiots that they are.  But we don't live in those times anymore unfortunately.


June 29th, 2010 at 1:45 PM ^

"You wonder why it was today? Were the newspapers doing the public a service? Were they looking out for the community's best interest or were they serving their own agenda? I'm sure they can justify their reporting about bringing to light a dangerous element and the role of the press has always been as a watchdog but I don't think any of us believe that was their true intention."

He couldn't of said it any better!!!

OSUMC Wolverine

June 29th, 2010 at 1:54 PM ^

How is it a bad thing for it to be publicized that athletes incapable of being students are not admitted to Michigan?  As a football fan it is disappointing, but it only gives me greater respect for the institution as a whole.

Section 1

June 29th, 2010 at 2:07 PM ^

with such regularity, is because they are being asked for comments with such regularity.

And why, I ask?

What is the value of an article and an interview like this?  One thing, I suppose, is that it is really easy for a journalist to do.  Sit down in a golf cart with Ron Simpkins or Braylon Edwards or Adrian Arrington for 20 minutes, with your microcassette player going.

But I ask all of the MGoBlog faithful; what did you learn from this interview?  Nothing against Ron Simpkins, of course.  I was in school at the same time with Ron Simpkins.  A kid from Detroit, Ron Simpkins was a great player -- a consensus All-American and a huge player in big games -- and is a truly great Michigan Man.

But what did Ron Simpkins add to the discussion here?  It sounds to me like he reads MGoBlog a bit; agrees mostly with most of us; doesn't have (or didn't announce) any radical opinions; and didn't say anything that most of us didn't know already.

Of course, the difference between most of us and Ron Simpkins is probably the number of Football Letter-Winner golf outings he goes to.  Where they play a little golf, drink a few beers, take massive amounts of Advil (or better), and say lots of the same things to each other.

Please don't take this the wrong way, my friends, but I would expect to learn much more from a half-hour interview with Brian Cook than with Ron Simpkins.  But that's not because Ron Simpkins ins't a great guy with lots of valuable information.  Ron's in coaching now, and obviously knows what he is talking about.  But unless Ron's got some new, different, or unusual information, I just don't see the point of his, and of all of the other former player-interviews.

Not that you can blame Ron Simpkins for being polite and generous with his own time to answer reporters' questions.  That is not at all what I am sugesting.  In fact, I very much liked the fact that Ron Simpkins administered a small amount of tweaking to Detroit's largest newspaper.

But really, I ask everyone -- what have we really learned, that was news, from Braylon Edwards or Ron Simpkins or any of the numerous former players giving out their opinions on Rich Rodriguez?

And the reason I ask, is because we are heading for a season in which the press will continue to hunger for these stories, and will do so all the more in the event that Michigan loses a football game.  This is a created environment, not a neutral environment.

My advice to any former player who is asked similar questions in the future -- start off each and every response with a comment on how stilted and artificial the whole atmosphere is, thanks to the press reports (as you stare into the eyes of the representative of the press who is asking you the questions).

Oh, and by the way, this, to Ron Simpkins: You and I are both old enough to remember the last time we were struggling in the last seconds against the Indiana Hoosiers, and were lucky to escape with a win:  It was in Ann Arbor, in 1979.  You were on the sidelines, having come off the field in what was a pretty disappointing game for our defense, and I was in Section 26, barely able to breathe for about 10 minutes.


June 29th, 2010 at 2:49 PM ^

Ahhh - I find it mildy interesting on a slow news day, because it lets us know what those guys in the golf carts taking advil are thinking.

Interestingly, he said pretty much the same thing Braylon said - just in a nicer ,more paletable way.


"... he has to make it work," said Edwards ... "If he can't -- me being one of the alumni guys -- I want someone that can make it work. We've been patient. If it doesn't go right this year, we'll have to find a guy that can make it work with that winged helmet."


"As a Michigan Man, I want to see Rich Rodriguez succeed here but the lesson you learn as a player is that this program is bigger than one man and more than anything I want to see Michigan succeed."

Braylon sounds less patient, and says it with more urgency, but really no difference. The only real divergence is what Braylon said about the players (and I can respect him respecting the players).

So back to my point - I guess we can infer some concensus amoung former Wolverines (and I don't think David Brandon's viewpoint is that different - he said he supports Rich to be our coach for this year, and will continue doing so if that what's best for the program).

Section 1

June 29th, 2010 at 3:16 PM ^

Double-secret probation.

Because what Braylon says is colored by his history; having made the silly, stupid, unfortunate, ill-advised, selfish, self-damaging and injurious-to-our program comment: to wit; "Lloyd Carr's University of Michigan."

I'd like to be certain that Braylon understands that it isn't "Lloyd Carr's University."  And it isn't "Bo Schembechler's University."  It isn't "Rich Rodriguez's Univeristy," of course.

And it for damn sure is not the "M Letter-Winners' University."

I'm not totally confident that Braylon gets that.


June 29th, 2010 at 3:40 PM ^

I know. He has a mouth and uses it without thinking through what he's saying completely first. Simpson's way: supporting Rich, but acknowledging (the obvious) that he has to start winning or the program needs to move on, is far better said.

I haven't an issue with supporting Lloyd, or the young and inexperienced players best suited for a system left in the lurch, or even some of them who moved on. Obviously that is where Braylon's sentiments are. You're right though, he could have said it in way that supports both worlds.

Or maybe he really means to be dickish ...  In this environment, who knows but Braylon?


June 29th, 2010 at 2:27 PM ^

That is a pretty fair take on the situation.  We just need to win and we will this year.  If Indiana has visions of beating us regularly they are delusional.


June 29th, 2010 at 4:00 PM ^

So was Braylon Edwards' father.

I bet Stanley Edwards has a different take on Rodriguez and Michigan football than his son does.

IMO Simpkins is arguably one of the best linebackers in Big Ten and college football history.  He was not a starter as a freshman in 1976 because All-American Calvin O'Neal had the job, but Simpkins stats are still jaw dropping over a 3 year period as a starter (1977-1979).

I remember him for two great fumble recoveries:

Diving recovery ofRon Spring's (OSU) fumble in the 1977 game (Michigan won 14-6) and recovery of Charles White's (USC) fumble at the goal line in the 1979 Rose Bowl.

MyUncle played-4-UM

June 29th, 2010 at 6:51 PM ^

Spoke with uncle a few weeks back and he played with Ron.  Those guys are Bo loyalist, and all they want is the program winning and beating MSU and OSU again. To do it with honesty and integrity within the program.

Section 1

June 29th, 2010 at 7:39 PM ^

Really; who doesn't want to get back to "winning," and doing it "with honesty and integrity within the program" whatever that might mean?

I'm all in favor of playing powerful, fast football; a level of dominance in the Big Ten, competitiveness with Ohio State, a clear level of superiority over the agricultural college in East Lansing.  And doing so in a manner befitting Michigan. 

Does your Uncle have some better ideas about how Rich Rodriguez should have handled the 2008 team?  How he should have recruited in the last two years? 

And here are some more questions for your uncle, or for any former player.  Is he saying that Michigan under Rich Rodriguez has fallen short in terms of "honesty and integrity"?  Does the recent NCAA investigation really represent any sort of failing on the part of Rodriguez?  Something that would be better addressed by firing Rich Rodriguez?  Does your Uncle disagree with the proposition that the NCAA and University investigations proved that the Free Press investigation's claims were inaccurate, wildy exagerated and mostly false?  Is your uncle, and are all of his former teammates, so freaking pissed off at Michael Rosenberg and Mark Snyder, that they'd like to turn both reporters, and their Free Press publisher, into tackling dummies for a future Alumni game?  Because if that's not the case, I'd like to know why.

I tell you all; I am really fucking sick and tired of the faint praise and left-handed compliments from former Michigan players.  "We just want to get back to winning... we just want to get back to being the Michigan were way back when... We support RR, but this year he has to... Blah blah blah blah blah."  You can dial into sportstalk radio for that kind of shit any day of the week. 

I expect better from Michigan letter-winners than what I've been seeing.  Perhaps it is selective; the press loves to jump on anyone who is willing to serve up the steaming pile of Rodriguez criticism that the press seems to love right now.  But that fact alone should be fair warning to any Michigan Man dealing with any reporter.


June 29th, 2010 at 8:23 PM ^

I basically agree with you.  My impression is most of these guys are hedging their bets - they don't want to look like they are on the wrong side if he should get fired, which I believe he absolutely will not because we will win this fall.  Leach is one of the few to come out 100% strong behind RR.  Too bad more don't - might encourage the MSM to back off a bit.

MyUncle played-4-UM

June 29th, 2010 at 8:50 PM ^

that you made the point I was trying to make. He basiically said he could care less as long as they win with the same attitude as when he was there.I think you know as well as I do Bo was from OSU, so their is no agenda as to who the coach is. It's basically win some fucking football games so we don't have to hear about how shitty UM has become.