Supporting The Coach....What Does This Mean?

Submitted by raleighwood on January 17th, 2011 at 11:25 PM

During the final days of RR (actually, pretty much throughout his tenure) there was talk of people not supporting the coach.  The local papers were out to get him, the former players were out to get him, shadowy figures within the Athletic Department were out to get get the idea.

My question is......what does it mean to support the coach?  More specifically...what was I, as a fan, supposed to do to support RR?  I read MGoBlog.  I watch every game on TV.  I live in NC but traveled to A2 for the UConn game and Jacksonville for the Gator Bowl.  Is that enough?

I just remember seeing a ton a talk about people not supporting RR and I never really knew what that meant.  Did we need to yell at the TV louder?  Buy more t-shirts?

Personally, I think that RR was responsible for his own fate and that was the case throughout his three years at Michigan.  He ran the team his way and paid for it in the end.  I don't think that any bloggers, newspapers, former players or AD personnel were the cause of his downfall.

As we enter the Brady Hoke phase.....what are the fans supposed to do for him that wasn't done for RR?



January 18th, 2011 at 9:05 AM ^

OP: you don't think newspapers, former players or AD personnel had responsibility for RR's downfall?  Forget about trying to learn whether to support the coach (which, by the way, you shouldn't; you should support the school), you need to learn how to pay attention to the facts, my friend.


January 18th, 2011 at 12:46 PM ^

....that newspapers, former players or AD personnel had responsiblity for RR's downfall.  Not even close.  If he had won more games, he would have kept his job.  It's pretty simple.

That's what I could never understand.  What did Rosenberg, Braylon Edwards, Jamie Morris,  Stephen Ross or anybody else related to the program do to prevent RR from successfully executing his job?  He wanted a certain coaching staff and he got it.  He wanted a new weight room and he got it.  He wanted to recruit heavily in Florida and he got it.  Dave Brandon gave him an endorsement immediately upon becoming AD and then proceeded to help did through the NCAA investigation mess.

Personally, I thought that RR was given all of the tools that he needed to succeed.  Certainly people might not have liked his style, but they didn't stand in the way of him winning football games.  It's too bad that he won't get a fourth year to see "what might have been" but after three years, I think that RR pretty much disqualified himself from Year 4.


Section 1

January 18th, 2011 at 1:16 PM ^

1.  He wanted Jeff Casteel, and didn't get him.  I'll be the first to say that I don't know the full depth of that story.  It would be nice if somebody reported, with fairness to all sides, but most importantly Rich Rodriguez.  Did Michigan do everything possible to get Jeff Casteel?  Probably not, since he stayed at WVU at a rather low salary, at least compared to top national coordinators as in the SEC.

2.  People like me don't blame Rosenberg for "not supporting" Rich Rodriguez.  We blame Rosenberg for concocting a story that led to an NCAA investigation.  The NCAA investigation was a distraction from coaching and team affairs.  It was a detriment to recruiting.  It may well have injured the coach's reputation with high-profile traditional Michigan donors.  If you don't think that the Head Football Coach's relationship with donors isn't a massive part of that job, you need to get out more.

3.  People like me further blame the media, for being sucked in by the Rosenberg/Freep reporting.  The media in Michigan disgraced itself with the lack of accountability in that episode.  You can count on the fingers of one hand the places where an interested reader could find hard, detailed criticism of the media and the NCAA investigation.  MGoBlog.  Jon Chait.  A very few others.  Meanwhile, Free Press stories are being hyperlinked by 800 other newspapers.  ESPN, and sportstalk radio are running with the story.  We had to overcome a huge hurdle to get Dee Hart's commitment, because of the NCAA-investigation story.  Who can even know how many other recruits we lost in the process.

And there is the general toxicity of the press treatment of Rich Rodriguez.  No, it didn't cost us 15 yards here or there.  No, we didn't have a game-winning TD called back, because people were mean to Rich Rodriguez.  Nobody ever claimed such a thing.  But that's not even what David Brandon was thinking about.  David Brandon isn't like a general manager of an NFL franchise, any more than Mary Sue Coleman is like your econ professor.  There is fundraising, and alumni relations, and a conference to deal with, and the NCAA.  Oh, and more fundraising.

Be assured of this;  Michael Rosenberg clearly knew the worst way to hit Rich Rodriguez was to hurt him in the "University respectability" area.  And that is what he did.  He alleged that Rodriguez fell way outside of the great tradition of Yost and Crisler and Schembechler.  That Rodriguez was not only a cheater, leading a new gang of cheaters from West Virginia; but that Rodriguez was hurting Michigan players, and Michigan's pure "scholar-athlete" tradition.  The investigation that Rosenberg prompted showed his story to have been a lie.  But the damage -- the intended damage -- was done.

Paraphrasing former Secretary Ray Donovan after he was acquitted of federal charges:  What University of Michigan office building does Rich Rodriguez go to, to get his good reputation back?  

st barth

January 18th, 2011 at 10:01 AM ^

"Supporting the coach" means calling him a cutesy nickname (like Hokedick™) and offering constructive criticism of obvious shortcomings ("Hokedick™ is so beefheaded that he doesn't even know the name of our rival school. It's Ohio State, by the way.") until such time when he is allowed to revel in the glory of being paid the rest of his contract without even having to work for it.  With a lot of support, this should only take two or three years.

Poor Lloyd Carr.  He had to work out his entire contract.  If we had supported him, he probably could have walked out of Ann Arbor with millions a decade ago.  Oh, how we failed him.


January 18th, 2011 at 10:04 AM ^

Buying tickets and showing up shows support. What any of us spout on blogs doesn't matter so much.

I don't feel RR was supported or loved by many, but that ship has sailed and being bitter doesn't help. RR would have had sufficient "support" if he had won more. In retrospect, I think he should have spent a lot more time, resources, and effort on the defense immediately. I am one of those who believe he came into a crummy situation (in terms of depth and cupboard when he got here.) And for whatever reason, I don't think Carr helped much. I also believe RR was screwed by the press. But again, that's irrelevant to today.

I'd like to see Michigan succeed, regardless of the coach and coaching staff.

Winning games will mean "support" for Hoke. Anything less than 500 over the next 3 years? He won't get support from many.

Myself, I'm firmly on the fence for now. I don't care what talking heads or prevailing winds suggest. I want to see how Hoke does against OSU, MSU, Penn State, ND and Nebraska. If he splits those games over the next 3 years, with at least one or two wins against OSU, and wins most of the rest, he'll have my support. If he doesn't, he won't. It's as simple as that.