|05/27/2018 - 12:23pm||Sahara||
With Bogart, not to mention a very young Lloyd Bridges
|05/01/2018 - 3:08pm||1. Joe's Star Lounge||
2. Liberty Inn
|04/14/2018 - 7:09pm||Watch your language||
I think there’s a federal regulation that prohibits the unironic use of the word “cager” unless you are chomping on a stogie and wearing a fedora with a “PRESS” card on it.
|11/07/2017 - 3:58pm||Wisconsin's Thin Claim||
Thin it is.
But if and when Michigan has a thin claim to the playoff, will Brian mock Michigan's AD for asserting that claim and trying to make it seem thicker than it is? I doubt it. I'd guess Brian himself might make his own arguments to bolster a thin claim that's dressed in maize and blue.
Condescension would be one thing if Alvarez were a neutral observer. But here, he's just doing his job.
|09/28/2017 - 10:39pm||As for Izzo . . .||
According to the feds' allegations, Louisville and Adidas wanted to pay Bowen so much because they were bidding against another apparel company. MSU and Texas, both Nike schools, were high on Bowen's list before his commitment to Louisville. Is not much of a stretch to infer that Nike was bidding for Bowen, possibly through more than one school. This could be trouble for Izzo and MSU.
As for Coach K, I find it hard to believe he keeps getting so many one-and-dones without some help from Nike.
|09/26/2017 - 1:47pm||It's Not Just Louisville and adidas||
A surprising number of posts seem to think that this kind of thing may be confined to a few schools and maybe one apparel company. It's everywhere. Nike and Under Armor do this stuff too. So do most big time programs. It's an arms race.
I think Michigan is probably as clean as a college basketball program can be. But it's because the coaching staff and athletic department are committed to avoiding street agents, "financial advisors," notorious AAU programs, etc. It's not because there's a swoosh on the uniforms.
In fact, it seems likely that Nike is as dirty as any other apparel company. Who does Worldwide Wes work for? Which company does Calipari have a contract with?
To the extent that there's any integrity in college sports, it's institution-specific and coach-specific, not brand specific.
|09/19/2017 - 11:21pm||Brown v. Michigan||
I went to Brown as an undergrad in the early 80s and got a PhD from Michigan in 1990, working as a TA and instructor in several undergrad courses in history and American Culture. I think it's a close call, especially accounting for the price difference, but I'd ultimately recommend Brown, with one caveat -- your son should be enthusiastic about the academic culture there, particularly the "New Curriculum." If he doesn't love what makes Brown unique, he shouldn't go there.
The best thing about Brown is that the students there embrace having academic autonomy. It's a great school if you're inquisitive, open to new and different ideas, and willing to take responsibility for your own intellectual direction. Students work hard (the "less rigorous" comment from one of the posts above is just ignorant), and just about everyone is prepared for every class. This makes discussions active and interesting, and students end up learning from each other as much as from the faculty. You'll meet a great variety of interesting and talented people, and almost everyone is unpretentious.
Michigan has many students who are just as smart and engaged as those at Brown, and Michigan provides undergrad instruction at the highest level in many classes -- but not all of them. There are many students who are more interested in partying and football than in studying, and there are a lot of courses that are just average. If you pick the right courses and hang out with the right people, Michigan is just as good an any Ivy. If you aren't very selective about your courses, you will wind up in classes with many students who don't work that hard and don't care that much about academics and intellectual life for its own sake. You'll sit through a lot of discussion sections that are a waste of time, and you may not discover the interesting stuff about the subject matter because your classmates just don't care that much.
It's much easier to skate through Michigan without making much of an effort than it is to get through Brown. To be sure, you can find an easy path at either school. But there are more easy paths at Michigan.
Bottom line: you will probably have a great intellectual experience at Brown even by accident. You will have to work much harder to find it at Michigan.
Having said all of that, if your son is sure that he wants to focus on business school (or business school style classes) as an undergrad, don't go to Brown. It's not a good school for anyone who is hyper-focused on a single academic field or on a career-oriented field.
|08/22/2017 - 4:12pm||Willy Street||
Williamson Street on the east side has a number of good dining options, and it's a cool neighborhood. Highlights include a couple mentioned above, pig in a fur coat and Madison Sourdough. With respect to Madison Sourdough, it has more than just bread. Their French pastries are outstanding, and their breakfast and lunch options are also first-rate. As far as bread and pastries go, I'd put Madison Sourdough significantly ahead of Zingerman's Bakehouse. Also on Willy Street is Umami, which does Asian fusion, especially dumplings. It's also a good brunch option: try the dumplings filled with scrambled eggs.
As for other spots, Jac's Taphouse on Monroe Street (a little west of the stadium) is very good. So is Cafe Hollander, which is further west, in Hilldale Mall. It specializes in Beligian food, so lots of frites (not to mention cheese curds). The Kulminator grilled cheese sandwich there is noteworthy. Also in that mall is a cool theatre, the AMC 6, which serves drinks and real food, which you can eat in the theatre. (I went there a couple of years ago, when it was a Sundance theatre, but I think it's mostly the same.)
On Regent Street, near Park Ave., there is OSS (next door to the Greenbush Bar), which makes their own sausages and offers a variety of traditional and non-traditional sausage sandwiches, not to mention cheese curds and lots of craft beer. Closer to the stadium on Regent is Indie Coffee, which is a good compliment to Greenbush Bakery, which is just down the street.
Many have mentioned the Old Fashioned, which is worth a visit. But be prepared to wait for about an hour and half on Friday or Saturday night. They will text you when your table is ready, so you can walk around Capitol Square and State Street while you wait.
|07/27/2017 - 2:04pm||The Problem with Chris Taylor-Style Development||
I agree with Brian that one of Ann Arbor's biggest problems is the relentless upward pressure on housing prices and the resultant gentrification of the city's population. I think it's actually the city's biggest problem. But the kind of development promoted by the current and former mayor does not solve that problem. It makes it worse.
In the last few years, the high density development downtown has all been at the high end of the market. I'm talking about the $1M condos being built around Kerrytown and the $3000/month apartments, like the Foundry. This is driving up the value of mid-level residential real estate in the subdivisions close to downtown. And this upward trend on mid-range single family homes is being exacerbated by the construction of McMansions in some new developments on the outskirts of town, such as the developments along Nixon Rd. I've lived in the Georgetown/Chapel Hill area for the last 20 years, and this neighborhood used to be pretty solidly middle class. But home values are escalating dramatically because of the high-end development both downtown and farther out, and very soon this neighborhood won't be affordable for families with less than $150,000 in income.
The pro-development crowd in city government just is not doing enough to promote mid-priced housing, including condos and apartments. To be sure, there are some efforts along these lines. There will be some apartment housing in the Nixon Rd. developments, and I don't think it will be high-end. But there is just not enough of this kind of housing. When a developer wants a zoning variance to build 2500 square foot condos with a price of $1M, the city should condition its approval on some kind of companion development that's more affordable. I don't think that's happening often enough. As it is, the only modestly priced housing is coming from the McKinley monopoly and its "workforce" housing (which sounds to me more like a workers' ghetto).
If development continues along its current path, we're going to wind up with the kind of city that John Heiftje dreamed of: a place where single-family residences start at $500K and where the real estate agents (like Heiftje himself) get rich. But the wealthy liberals can assuasge their consicences by pointing to the city's vigorous recycling program and pedestrian-friendly crosswalk ordinance. In the city that the pro-development crowd is building, if you make less than $100,000 a year, Ypsi is your best option for reasonably priced housing.
I'm all for development, but it needs to be managed differently than it has been for the last 10-15 years.
|07/08/2017 - 8:51pm||Very, very dark||
I heard this story about Miller from one of his closest friends on the law school faculty. I also heard the same story independently from someone in his family. i'm quite confident it's true.
When his son, Louie, and daughter, Bess, were in elementary school, Miller and his wife took them to a Civil War battlefield. Late one night, after they got back from the trip, Miller found his daughter sitting up in bed, twirling her hair, unable to sleep. Miller went into her room to see what was the matter.
"What's wrong? Why can't you sleep?"
"I was thinking about that battlefield and all the soldiers that died there. I don't want Louie to get drafted and die in a war."
"Oh, Bess. You shouldn't worry about Louie. They draft women now, too."
|06/12/2017 - 4:36pm||Antoine Joubert's Nephew||
Janeau Joubert, plays for CMU
|06/09/2017 - 5:13pm||He's on the LSC Board||
He's testifying to support continued funding for the Legal Services Corporation. He has served on its advisory board for a few years.
|06/01/2017 - 12:20pm||Not quite||
Between 1999 and 2008, Michigan competed in the IRA. (I could not find comprehensive results from before 1999). Its best finish in the Mens Varsity 8 was 11th. In that period, it usually finished 11th or 12th, sometimes lower. Its best finish in the overall IRA team standings was 6th, in 2002. In the last year of its IRA competition, Michigan was 17th in the V8 (out of 24) and 20th overall.
There are a lot of reasons that club teams were excluded from the IRAs, but they did not include fear of anyone's club program, including Michigan's.
It's absurd to say that club programs can compete on an equal basis with varsity programs or that the ACRA chamption can compete with the IRA champion. Grand Valley State is frequently a top-5 club program, but no-one is suggesting that GVSU can compete with the best in college rowing. It is a real achievement for Michigan to have won so many ACRA championships, but there is no reasonable argument that winning ACRA makes you the "national champion" of college rowing.
|05/31/2017 - 3:14pm||Michigan Men's Rowing Is a Club Sport||
They don't compete in the IRA, which is where college varsity rowing programs compete. Washington and Cal have won 9 out of the last 10 IRA championships in the heavyweight 8s. Wisconsin won in 2008.
|03/09/2017 - 1:08pm||If only we had leaders like Don Canham||
we wouldn't be suffering from all of these bad deals that are destroying our University and leaving nothing but carnage. Pathetic!
Our airports are a mess. Total disaster. Crashes happening everywhere. This never used to happen. Have you ever heard of something like this happening when Canham was AD? I never did!
I bet Manuel wasn't even born in this country. Sick. I have proof. You will all soon see that I'm 100% right.
Practice uniforms? We're a laughstock. Humiliated. People are laughing, even Illini.
Make Michigan Great Again!
(I'm having some hats made up. I'll let you know where you can buy them).
|03/09/2017 - 12:34pm||I was referring to the scheduling issues||
Not the trauma of the accident.
That trauma would be there if the B1G found a way to postpone the game until Friday. It's the disruption following the accident that seems to have everyone upset, and that's what I was referring to.
|03/09/2017 - 12:10pm||So much drama . . .||
So much pearl clutching.
All of this whining, complaining, and blaming isn't going to help anything. Certainly not the players, the program . . .or your own enjoyment of the game. It sounds like a lot of people are remarkably eager to find excuses for a loss that probably won't happen.
Yes, the situation sucks. It would be better for the players if there had been a realistic way to get them to DC last night, or if the game could be postponed until later today. But college basketball is about TV and revenues, and that is driving the decision not to postpone. If you're excited about all the new facilities, and the Jordan gear, and the chance to watch every game on TV, then you can't really complain about this. The commercial relationships for the program, the conference, and the NCAA make all of this possible, for good and ill.
The travel problems don't have to prevent the team from playing well. For the team, it's simple: get to the gym when you get there, dress, warm up, and get after it.
Through their AAU and high school experiences over the last ten years or so, the players have been been expected to play in worse circumstances after far more disrupting travel or logistical problems. They've been to AAU tournaments where they have to drive three hours on a Saturday morning in a caravan of cramped parents' cars to get to the venue and then play three games in a five-hour period. Or, even worse, where they play one game at 9 am and another at 1 pm and another at 5 pm, and have to spend the whole day sitting around a gym, doing nothing in between games. Winter weather can delay a high school team bus so that the team arrives 15 minutes before tip-off. The list goes on.
If anything, I think this could help them. The just-in-time arrival, the practice uniforms, all of this makes them feel like underdogs with something to prove.
I'd guess they play really well at the start and get a big, early lead. If the travel is going to affect their performance, it may cause some uncommon fatigue around the end of the first half and/or the middle of the second half. But the coaches can be prepared for that and adjust to it.
|01/19/2017 - 1:06pm||Mistake||
The estate tax is beside the point when it comes to Tigers' ownership or any sale of the franchise.
Mike Illitch does not own the Tigers in his individual capacity. The franchise is owned and operated by the Detroit Tigers, Inc., which is a Michigan corporation with 10,000 shares. In addition, I believe there is an entity known as "Illitch Holdings" which may own the shares in the Tigers (not to mention the Red Wings, the Fox Theatre, etc.). Mike Illitch and his family members control these entities and receive their profits as income, but his death will not affect their ownership structure or trigger an estate tax liability arising from the baseball franchise any of the other Illitch businesses.
If the Illitch family/entities decide to sell the Tigers, it won't be for estate tax reasons. People as wealthy and successful as the Illitches plan ahead to avoid such situations.
|12/07/2016 - 12:01am||It's the other way around . . .||
I heard a rumor that Butch Jones lives inside of Kevin Malone, working him with controls.
|05/25/2015 - 11:15am||My point was||
that internationals don't explain the entire difference between Michigan and all other elite rowing programs. There are elite programs without internationals that are better than Michigan.
|05/24/2015 - 8:40pm||I was using times as an||
I was using times as an illustration, not as a definitive measure. In any event, I doubt Michigan could get under 5:40. In good conditions, the best programs will all be below 5:40 consistently.
And thanks for the info, but I did know Michigan was frequently ranked in the top 20 in some polls this year.
|05/24/2015 - 8:35pm||It's not just the internationals||
I can't agree that internationals make all of the difference. Wisconsin doesn't have any internationals, and, even in a down year, their program overall is still significantly stronger than Michigan's.
|05/24/2015 - 4:21pm||The Biggest Obstacle to Men's Varsity Rowing||
is geography. If Michigan wants to have a varsity program and join the IRA, it would have to move its men's rowing program to Ford Lake in Ypsi and build a boathouse there.
Right now, the men's program has a "boathouse" on Argo Pond, and the facilities are essentially identical to what Ann Arbor Huron and Ann Arbor Pioneer use for their rowing programs. It's really just a big shed with space to keep boats. There are no real training facilities there. And the men's program just got kicked out of its former space in the IM building where they did offseason training.
The biggest problem with Argo and the Huron River is that you can't lay out a 2000-meter sprint course on the river in Ann Arbor. I think the longest course that can be laid out at Argo is around 1300-1400 meters.
Ford Lake would accomodate an appropriate sprint course and would be fine for training. I believe that's where the UM women's program trains. But if UM wants to have a first-rate men's varsity program, it will have to build a boathouse there. The building alone (not including the land) would cost well over $5 million. And having a boathouse that far from campus is a real problem. Ask Yale, whose boathouse is a half-hour away from campus. Yale struggled forever and only revived its program when it hired one of the greatest coaches in rowing history. Yale's remote boathouse is a real problem for recruiting.
Even though the men's program deserves more, I think that recent AD decisions about facilities development across the department will preclude making the investment necessary to have a high-level men's rowing program.
|05/24/2015 - 3:49pm||Most IRA Varsity Programs Don't Give Scholarships||
I think Washington might give a few scholarships, and maybe Cal too. But that's about it for IRA programs that award scholarships. The Ivies give generous financial aid and will get rowers admitted who would not otherwise get into the school, but the overwhelming majority of men in IRA programs don't get scholarships.
|05/24/2015 - 3:43pm||More Like Div. II National Champs||
Winning the ACRA national championship is a great achievement and the team should be congratulated, but it's not the highest level of collegiate rowing.
The highest level of collegiate rowing is the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA), which has its national championship next week in New Jersey. That's where Washington, Cal, Yale, and the other top programs will be competing.
In the ACRA grand final for the Mens Heavyweight 8, Michigan rowed a 2000 meter sprint in 5:45, defeating second-place Grand Valley State.
Last week at the Eastern Sprints, Yale's #1 heavyweight 8 won the eastern champtionship by rowing 5:35 for 2000 meters. And Yale will not be the favorite at the IRAs next week.
Michigan's time today is comparable to the time that won the freshman heavyweight 8 at Eastern Sprints last week. There are probably at least 15 heavyweight varsity 8s in the IRA that are faster than Michigan.
Michigan has a fine program that deserves athletic department funding and could be reasonably competitive in the IRA. But ACRA Nationals are to the IRAs like the Div. II championship is to the Final Four in men's basketball.
|01/10/2015 - 10:26am||Wait a minute||
We Knicks' fans are not quite the mostest with the leastest. The Cubs probably have the Knicks beaten by that standard. Not by much, mind you.
|01/08/2015 - 1:09pm||Beilein's not above dealing with shady AAU programs||
He took Carleton Brundage, who played for the Family in Detroit, which has some pretty shady connections, including Worldwide Wes. (Look up Wes' alleged role in helping Derrick Rose qualify at Memphis).
To be fair, Brundage did not work out and Beilein lately seems to be focusing on Indiana kids from a few select AAU programs that seem less shady than run-of-the-mill AAU programs.
I agree that Beilein is an ethical guy. But I don't think he would abstain from taking a kid associated with shady characters from AAU, if the kid was good enough and really wanted to come to Michigan. I don't think any college coach could afford to be quite that "holier than thou."
It's also pretty ironic that you're touting the how Michigan won't "stoop to the level of other programs" while you have a picture of the Fab Five as your avatar.
|01/07/2015 - 10:11pm||That's why Hoke was fired||
Because he couldn't coach up the ACL
|01/07/2015 - 9:51pm||Coaching since 1981?||
If Baxter's 52, then he began his coaching career about age 19.
Either he's quite the prodigy or he started coaching sometime after 1981.
|12/25/2014 - 2:58pm||Consider the source||
Just because Dennis Fithian was dumb enough to take this "report" seriously doesn't mean anyone else should.
|12/23/2014 - 9:36am||Who is||
More importantly, what is his percentage on whether it's happening?
|12/22/2014 - 1:28pm||Of course one could||
A contract does not necessarily go into effect when pen touches paper. It goes into effect when it says it does. Someone could sign a contract on, say, December 23 that would go into effect at any later date specified in the contract.
Think about it. If you have a job and agree to take a new one, you can make a contract with your new employer that goes into effect on a future date, so you can give notice to your current employer.
You don't even need a full-fledged contract to create an employment relationship. Harbaugh and UM could agree on the essential terms -- salary and period of years are the only absolutely essential ones -- in a letter agreement and execute an agreement specifiying all terms later on. This is why so many coaches don't actually "sign" their agreement until after they've started working for their new team.
|12/21/2014 - 4:12pm||If the Niners fire him||
They only have to pay him for the last year of his contract if he isn't working at all or is being paid less than his Niners' salary. In other words, they have to guarantee he makes his promised salary.
But it doesn't make much sense for them to fire Harbaugh. If they know he wants to go to UM and they don't fire him, Harbaugh probably has to buy out the last year of his deal (unless he has an unusual contract). If they don't know what Harbaugh wants to do, they shouldn't fire him because they could get compensation from an NFL team or from UM.
|12/21/2014 - 2:21pm||I have to wonder||
How much Weiser would have given if he had been elected to the board of regents.
|12/19/2014 - 9:28pm||Keep Hope Alive||
My son got a deferal email last December. He was admitted in late January.
One difference. We live in Michigan.
|10/28/2014 - 4:01pm||Two legal points||
I have not made my way through the 472 comments that precede mine at the time I'm writing this. So forgive me if I repeat something that someone else has posted.
First, at the end of the post, Brian asserts that "[t]he University of Michigan is the one subject to the penalty, but the employee is the one who committed the violation." In a legal sense, that's not correct. The University is in charge of the computer system that Brandon uses. If it facilitates Brandon's preference to delete his emails after a month, then it is committing the violation by manipulating its email system to conform with Brandon's illegal preference. If Brandon or his subordinates delete the emails on their own accord after a month, then the University is responsible for maintaining a computer system that allows inidividual employees to evade public records law and destroy public records without authority. Either way, the University is responsible.
(As an aside, I'd be surprised if even the deleted emails aren't preserved somewhere. Most sophisticated computer networks image the contents of the system on a regular basis probably daily, maybe more often than than, and certainly more often than monthly, and the images are stored somewhere. Those are public records, too.)
Second, the damages could be more substantial than Brian suggests. There's $500 in punitive damages for each and every violation. A violation is not having the records available when someone asks for them. If enough people ask, you're starting to talk about real money . . .
|10/20/2014 - 4:04pm||Not exactly||
Michigan men's rowing is a club program and does not compete with the elite collegiate rowing programs, like Harvard, Washington, Cal, Brown, etc. Michigan is a member of the American Collegiate Rowing Assocition, with schools like Grand Valley State, and it competed in the Collegiate Eights. The elite programs are part of the Intercollegiate Rowing Association, and its members race in the Championship Eights.
Winning the Championship Eights at HOCR is like beating OSU. Winning the Collegiate Eights is a significant but nevertheless lesser accomplishment, like winning a big 1-AA football game. Or maybe like beating Grand Valley State, which finished third in the Collegiate Eights.
|11/09/2013 - 2:46pm||And who . . .||
is responsible for putting that team together?
|09/20/2012 - 9:43pm||That Werther's has a power arm . . .||
And late movement.
That's the art of hard candy, yessiree.
|03/22/2012 - 10:45am||Well Said||
I couldn't agree more with your posts about Smotrycz. I only disagree with one thing: he can't play the 3, not even at a low mid major because he can't stay in front of anybody.
Maybe . . . maybe he could play the 3 in someplace like the Ivy League. But he's a real defensive liability at any position, especially the 3; and I think that's true at any level. At the 3, he has to move his feet and he just can't seem to do that.
As you said, he's got to realize who he is as a player, not who he wants to be. He's going to struggle anywhere until he does that.
|03/21/2012 - 1:21pm||I know what "Life Evaluation" is||
It's what newly-minted humanities Ph.Ds from Michigan call the period that they are living in Ann Arbor after graduation, applying to non-tenure track jobs that have 500 other applicants and wondering why they went to grad school in the first place.
(I say that as someone with a humanities Ph.D from Michigan.)
|02/02/2012 - 3:48pm||Not just a "strong Christian"||
He's a "damn strong Christian"
|12/20/2011 - 10:19am||Burke will be better . . . soon||
I agree with just about all of your assessment of both Burke and Morris, although I'm not sure that the Trey Burke of December 2011 is better than the Darius Morris of December 2011, if Morris had stayed. Burke still has some growing to do, but hecould be better by the end of this year.
As much as he contributed to Michigan last year, Morris had some significant weaknesses, especially the ones you mentioned. I also think he's not a good finisher at the rim. He's tentative about going through defenders to finish right at the rim; he will pull up short and shoot a finger roll or a half-hook when he should go strong. Or even worse, he stops in the lane and pivots until he finds a passing lane. If he tries that in the NBA, he'll be sitting on the bench right quick.
From what I saw last night, Morris will not be a regular contributor at the beginning of the season. He will get some run, but I think his defense and decision-making are going to keep him on the bench most of the time. And given how compressed the season is, and given the possibility that the Lakers will struggle, he might not get much of a chance to develop as the season goes on.
In the long run, he will be fine, probably something like a poor-man's Andre Miller.
|12/18/2011 - 1:58pm||You should hear those cranky meatheads do h.s. basketball||
It's far worse than their studio show, if you can believe it. In terms of production values, as well as the quality of the play-by-play and commentary, a high school station would be immeasurably better.
I was listening last Friday because my son plays JV for an Ann Arbor-area high school and I had to leave after his game, but I wanted to find out how the varsity was doing. Those two clowns were unbelievable. They talked over each other constantly, they interrupted their guests during the pre-game interviews, and they could barely describe what was happening on the court. At one point, they said that the ball went out of bounds off a player who (a) is not on the varsity roster; and (b) is out for the year with a knee injury. I have no idea what they think they saw. It's like sitting next to two drunks in a bar who are discussing the game on TV and are mistaken about which teams are playing.
And the sound quality of the broadcast is just as bad, if not worse.
The amazing thing is that McDonald's apparently pays for this production to be called the "McDonald's High School Game of the Week." If I were with McDonald's, I'd sue.
|12/12/2011 - 3:22pm||"Homies . . . wearing Red Wing jerseys"||
I don't think anything more needs to be said.
|12/10/2011 - 8:45pm||I know who made the arrangements||
The guys at the tattoo parlor.
|12/04/2011 - 11:54am||I'm worried||
about Carrie Fisher. I hope she doesn't get RichRod with that RPG.
|12/01/2011 - 4:11pm||I pray for your health||
If you eat cheese popcorn every time someone posts something inane here.
Like this post, for example.
|12/01/2011 - 4:06pm||By the same token||
How many different ways can Sam find to describe the seats in his Cadillac, its traction control (winter's coming! in case you didn't know), or his how much his mother loves Suburban Cadillac.
I know that it's an ad and that same has to be enthusiastic, but, boy, does he beat that sh*t to death.
|12/01/2011 - 3:04pm||I don't care about the book tour||
John Bacon can give a thousand interviews in which he assigns equal blame to Rodriguez, disloyal insiders, and the press. But those interviews don't determine the meaning of the text that he wrote.
When I look at the text itself, I don't get the sense that Bacon blames those three things equally. The structure of the book and the themes that Bacon reiterates throughout that structure emphasize public opinion and institutional dynamics as the two primary causes of Rodriguez's failure. To the extent that Bacon blames Rodriguez, he blames him for not being better at managing public opinion and, to a much lesser extent, for not being good at institutional politics. And, with respect to this last point, Bacon even seems to indirectly laud Rodriguez, implying that Rodriguez just wanted to coach football, not to play politics, and, who could blame him?.
Nothing in the book suggests that Rodriguez had any significant shortcomings as a football coach, not with strategy, not with managing his staff, not with dealing with his players, not with anything that took place on the field, in the weight rooms, or in the meeting rooms. And that's my main problem with the book. I don't believe that Rodriguez was 6-18 in conference because of Mary Sue Coleman, Lloyd Carr, Bill Martin, and Michael Rosenberg.