The Wisdom of Jonathan Chait

Submitted by dlevs01 on October 7th, 2010 at 10:40 PM

Didn't see this posted yet. Sorry if I missed it, but a very well written article as per usual by Jonathan Chait. It helps put things in perspective, if like me, you haven't gotten a good night sleep all week and tend to freak out or get increasingly angry with each new local article portraying MSU as good and U of M as evil.


Pea-Tear Gryphon

October 7th, 2010 at 10:48 PM ^

Dantonio has positioned his team as the embodiment of the old Michigan virtues that have supposedly fallen by the wayside under Rodriguez: toughness, discipline, Midwestern values. That in actual fact Rodriguez has run a tight ship, and Dantonio a halfway house disguised as a football program, has not blunted the force of this message. Stories are more powerful than facts.

Pure, unadulterated fact. Chait hits the nail on the head again.  


October 8th, 2010 at 9:31 AM ^

This is as true today as it has been since I've been alive:

Right now, Michigan football is about a thousand times more important than Michigan State football.

In a nutshell, this fact is precisely why Spartie has a little brother complex and feels the need to talk louder than Michigan fans and flaunt whatever success they have as often as possible.


October 7th, 2010 at 10:56 PM ^

worth the read if you missed it. Chait is a very perceptive and skilled commentator on Michigan football. I must say as someone who followed him as a syndicated columnist it has been a pleasant surprise. It shows good writing is good writing and Michigan football transcends political beliefs.


October 7th, 2010 at 10:58 PM ^

As much as I miss Michigan, this really reminds me how nice it is not to have to constantly hear the same old lies from the local media now that I'm gone.  The fact that I won't be attending any games this year and that I don't have the BTN, though... well, that sucks.


October 7th, 2010 at 11:17 PM ^

I joined Rivals not too long ago and remember a comment by someone on the Mgoboard about one of the moderators there being a blatant RR hater.  Can anybody bring me up to speed on which it is?  I guess I haven't been a member long enough to pick up on any obvious signs.


October 7th, 2010 at 11:47 PM ^

I have to agree with him. Living in Philly I had that " when are you guys firing that hick from WV" a few times.

I moved back to Florida 3 weeks ago and I can't tell you how many people have stopped me in my Michigan gear to tell me how great Denard is.
The part about kids wanting to be Denard is dead on folks. He is from 30 miles from where I live and he is a rock star down here.


October 7th, 2010 at 11:53 PM ^

That said, shutting up those so-and-so's would be a lot of fun, wouldn't it?

The crap I have had to endure at work from Sparty (several of them) this week has been utterly insufferable.  I want Michigan to win for its own sake, but please God, get us a win so Sparty will STFU!

Pea-Tear Gryphon

October 8th, 2010 at 12:02 AM ^

We get a great interception and then fumble it right back to the other team. Why can't we catch a break? /sarcasm

Nothing would make me feel better than to take Sparty behind the woodshed and quiet the "Denard hasn't faced a real defense" haters. Although, if we do lay the smack, I guess it still could be said that we still haven't faced a good defense...


October 8th, 2010 at 12:17 AM ^

Anyone remember WVU/Oklahoma in the BCS? I recall Rodriguez' team hadn't then played any real defense either...

Sparty fan should be "sore afraid" at this point regarding the apololyptic offense hell that is about to befall their "real" defense that, in any rational analysis is just not as talented overall as last season.

yossarians tree

October 7th, 2010 at 11:58 PM ^

Michigan has to win games, period, and order will be restored. The history, he tradition, the uniforms, and yes, the helmets are all part of the Wolvering brand that is far deeper on the national level than a couple of losing seasons after a dramatic coaching transition.

Denard has helped speed up the transition because, well, he speeds up everything.

I've told people for a long time that, outside of the Midwest, there is nobody that comes close to the Michigan mystique on a national stage besides Notre Dame which struggles over the last ten years only due to constant turnover and coaching mismanagement.


October 7th, 2010 at 11:59 PM ^

As a Michigan grad living in the Maine, I can echo his comments about what happened when I wear my Michigan gear in public.  I always wear a Michigan tie in the office on Fridays before a game, and most times on weekends when I am out and about, I have on my Michigan ballcap.  Even here where college football is barely on the radar, I would get people coming up and asking me when RR was going to get canned.  However, that all changed once the season started.  Now all I hear is how cool Denard is, how much fun he is to watch play.  New England does not have much of a college football tradition but most of the Big 10 games are on TV here, and people have been noticing Michigan.  Having UConn and Notre Dame on major network channels right off the bat helped a ton, and most everyone has ESPN in its various forms.  As a casual fan, watching games that feature a ton of offense (problematically for my heart it comes from both teams) with a player as exciting as Denard is fun.  I know several people who are now tuning in just to see him. 

Michigan has always been a national program.  The school is universally respected both for its education and its athletics, and not being in the grips of the local Detroit media, it has been odd to realize how non-existant Michigan State is to people outside of the state of Michigan.  One of my colleagues here went to MSU, he mentioned when that comes up, he often has to correct people that no, he is not a Wolverine, he is in fact a Spartan.  Fortunately, I don't have that problem.  Losing to MSU would hurt, just like it always does, but somehow, win or lose I think I will probably be seeing more of Denard and the Wolverines on the major network channels then I will Sparty.  After a 2 year hiatus, Michigan is back on the national scene thanks to Denard, and damn, does that feel good.

M_Born M_Believer

October 8th, 2010 at 12:33 AM ^

That is MSU's program right now.  On the surface they appear to be "embodiment" of a program...tough, physical, values......

But becasue they are so irrelevent on the national stage, no one goes to look deeper into the program....

Student beating....repeatedly (hockey players and Frat boys)

Lap Top Robbery ring.....

Building a record off of weak schedules (see '08 and this year)....

Even with the pending loss in this game, Sparty will still win 8 games this year and MSM will still trip over themselves

This game is important to clearly send a signal that Michigan is coming back and coming back strong and keeping MSU at the level of non entity

I Bleed Maize N Blue

October 8th, 2010 at 12:58 AM ^

As we speak, there are thousands and thousands of kids out there who have become Michigan fans because of Robinson. Five years from now and ten years from now, we'll be reading in their recruiting profiles when they commit to Michigan about how Shoelace made them dream of playing in Ann Arbor.

Hello, Future Recruits!

Sextus Empiricus

October 8th, 2010 at 1:20 AM ^

just outside our local H.S. (where Ndamukong Suh went to school) and there are these kids ~13 y.o.s playing tackle football.  One breaks away on a run...and I hear him say "I'm Denard Robinson!".  I stopped and listened to be sure I got that right.   All of them went into this magical homage all about DRob.  This happened in Oregon...WTF.

What he is doing is special.  These are times we will all remember - my fellow wolverines.  But more importantly kids will become lifelong M fans - just like many of us did watching past greats.  It reminds me of my childhood of watching Michigan success - only this is a much more connected and savvy world.  Kids are paying attention.  This is very prescient of Chait.


October 8th, 2010 at 6:54 AM ^

I will be passing this along to my Spartan friends who constantly send me quotes and links to the rubbish printed by the likes of Terry Foster, Lynn Henning, etc.  Chait provides quite a "bitch smack" to knock them off their pedastols! 


October 8th, 2010 at 8:40 AM ^

but is it fair to say this??

"(Some fans have given this critique an ugly racial tinge - Rodriguez is recruiting a "certain kind of player," the kind who wears dreadlocks, and they don't belong at Michigan.)"

Brother Mouzone

October 8th, 2010 at 8:53 AM ^

Unfortunately, there are some who say it.

 It actually bothers some people that Denard is so nice, humble and friendly.  It doesn't fit what they expect from :

A) "Rich Rod type players"

B) Players with dreads


Having great players that are also great kids blows up part of the shit they talk.

Bill in Birmingham

October 8th, 2010 at 9:59 AM ^

Wow that is depressing. That's the first time I felt like being a long way from the team has been a good thing. This would make me have an aneurysm if I heard any of it. Come on people, it's 2010.

BTW, it was a great piece. I too have heard the when are you guys going to fire your coach question nonstop for a year.


October 8th, 2010 at 9:41 AM ^

I wouldn't call them racists, but they have a fondness for exactly the type of program that Chait mentions Sparty as pretending to embody: midwestern values, tough physical, etc. They associate those values with a offense like sparty's, or under Carr: drop back (usually white) QB's, pro style offense, solid, not flashy schemes, that sort of thing. 


October 8th, 2010 at 3:36 PM ^

I'm a season-ticketholder.  Last year, especially, but also this year, I've heard a number of people complain about the dreadlocks.  It's a fixation for some people.  One time an older fan asked his adult son, in dead earnest, "Is that a gang sign?" (At least then, a couple other fans called him out on it.)

During the UConn game there was an annoying guy a couple rows behind me who kept expressing concern that Denard didn't have "the mental side of the position" down.  He was convinced that this separated Forcier from him.  Draw your own conclusions.