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Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Red Cedar Reader

Wednesday's Detroit Free Press featured an article about a new book "Innocence in the Red Zone: The Adversity and Opportunity of Bobby Williams: the Story of an African-American Coach in Big Time College Football," written by the former Sparty coach and his lawyer Roger M. Grove. This book interests me not only because I'm a college football fan, but also because I want to find out if it really warrants the inclusion of TWO colons in its title.

You may recall that Williams assumed interim head coaching duties at Michigan State following Nick Saban's departure for LSU after the 1999 regular season in which the Green and White finished 9-2, highlighted by a 34-31 win over Michigan. Williams then led State to an exciting last-second victory over Florida in the Florida Citrus Bowl and he was named head coach prior to the 2000 season. In three years at the helm in East Lansing, Williams compiled a record of 16-19, incliding a disatrous 2002 season which featured several off-field conduct problems among his players.

Based on this quote from co-author Grove, it seems that reading the book will leave one with the same bewildered expression found on the soon-to-be-fired Williams's face while Michigan administered a 49-3 drubbing to his team in 2002.

"This isn't a journalistic news story," Groves told the Free Press. "I started with facts and that is it. I suppose on one side it's journalistic. It's important for there to be credibility with the facts and to be accurate. When I have an opinion, I hope there's one well supported by the facts. There's some objectivity -- I talk about things Bobby wishes he had done differently."

Proving that the Good Old Boy Network isn't limited solely to incompetent white coaches, Williams is currently in his second year as the running backs coach of the Miami Dolphins following a stellar one-year stint as the wide receivers coach with the 5-11 Detroit Lions.

4 comments:

Doug said...

I had to laugh about the two colons in the title of Bobby's book. Take a look at any of the politics-related books being released these days and the titles are all a paragraph long, too -- we're only a few years away from the day someone releases a book whose title is longer than the text of the book itself.

Yost said...

LOL, Doug

Wangs said...

I miss Bobby Williams! Why can't more Big Ten schools - other than Michgian - hire coaches as good as him. It's been a long, long time (I guess 4 years) since we drubbed anybody 49-3.

jlichty said...

When asked if having his Grove involved caused Bobby to lose control of the content of his book, he simply shrugged and said:

"I don't know, I don't know."

I haven't read the book, nor will I, but I guess it is a tale of a racist university and system, not a tale of a coach whose teams underacheived and or stunk and who got in trouble off the field.