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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Dissent is Patriotic Pro-Michigan

You know things are getting ugly in A2 when some of the football players are starting to sound like the White House responding to anyone who questions the Iraq War.

If you were at the Oregon game or watching it on TV, you probably saw that the stadium was at least half empty by the final whistle and heard the boos raining down from the stands throughout the afternoon.

So did the players as Mike Hart said afterwards:

You always hear the boos. If we’re not performing, they’re going to boo us, right? I don’t care what fans think; I don’t care what anyone thinks. I’m worried about this team and how this team’s going to react."

Understandable. In fact, I love to hear Mike Hart talk like this. Hell, if everybody played with his intensity and, yes, "heart," I doubt Michigan would be in the mess it's in right now. But I disagree when he went on to add the following:

"I think the fans who stayed until the end of the game and weren’t booing, those are the real Michigan fans and the fans I care about.”

Now, while I have great admiration for Mike Hart, I also have news for him: many if not most of those booing and a great majority of those who left early are real Michigan fans. And based on what they've seen so far this year, can you blame them for their reaction?

Fans are shocked, disappointed and now, angry. So to voice that displeasure, after the effort put forth on the field by such a talented team, isn't fair weather, it's frustration. And one's loyalty shouldn't be questioned for leaving early when the team itself never even bothered to show up.

Please know I'm not advocating the booing, simply stating I understand it. Since I live out-of-state now, I wasn't at the game. And I've never booed a Michigan team in my life and wouldn't have Saturday, either. However, would I have stayed until the final gun? Probably not. Would that have made me less of a "real" Michigan fan? No way.

So while booing wouldn't have been my approach, I'd venture to guess a great majority of those voicing their displeasure vocally came from folks who are die hard Wolverines (hell, if you asked them and they really thought about it, I'm guessing most would say they're not booing a bunch of college kids, rather they're just upset with the situation). I believe most of the Michigan fans who left before the last agonizing seconds had ticked off the clock do bleed maize and blue. Sometimes people complain because they know something should be better. Because they aren't satisfied with mediocrity. And the 2007 Wolverines haven't even been that so far this year.

Furthermore, this need to stop chewing out the fans for justifiable venting goes double for coaches. They're getting paid. And paid, I'm guessing, more than most of us. So when you lay two complete eggs as U-M has done the last two weeks, don't blame those who basically pay your salary with their support for being downright pissed and expressing it the only way they can.

Hey, if I sucked ass as much in my job as the Michigan coaches have so far this season, I would catch high-holy hell for it. And most of you reading this post today would, too. Thus, why do the coaches expect any different when their job is in front of 100,000+ fans and a national TV audience (except if it's on BTN)?

And bare in mind regarding this criticism, I'm not talking about the "Michigan fans" who caught a game in '96 or the Drew Sharp's of the world who type at their computer keyboard with barely contained glee when Michigan struggles. I'm talking about the alums and fans who've had season tickets for 20+ years, who spend thousands of dollars for them, the parking and the other associated costs of being a fan of a major college program today. Like it or not, such expenditures give one the expectation, if not the right, to be able to voice an opinion - both good when it's good and bad when it's Michigan football 2007.

Look, no matter what the Wolverine's record is this or any other year, I'll still be a Michigan Man to the end. But if they continue to play as they have the first two games, just don't expect the maize and blue faithful to be happy - or silent - about it. While I have this site to vent, bitch and moan, many others don't.


Maximilian Berslutz said...

How about we tailgate with pitchforks next week? Worth thinking about, eh?

joe said...

Fans aren't booing the players, they're booing the unacceptable job the coaching staff has done versus the spread offense for the last TEN years.

Da Braylon said...

I think UM will be alright against a traditional offense, such as ND, this coming weekend. I think it is still pathetic that they STILL have not learned how to defend a spread offense, but thankfully, we don't face it anymore this year...unless Purdue, I know they pass a lot, but I'm not sure if they use the spread.

buckidrummer said...

Howard Beale:
So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!' I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad!... You've got to say, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression

Pat Mobley said...

Did anybody else notice the Oregon sideline encouraging the boos? Raising their arms like they were trying to pump up the crowd? That's why I don't boo- it's not just voicing displeasure with Michigan- it's as good as cheering for the other team. I'm all for yelling and screaming about how the coaches should be fired and for calling out the players for not playing hard. But do you really think booing is going to make anybody say "Man, I better pick it up!"? It's going to make their heads hang lower and their play get worse.

nlaurie said...

We need to get with some new blood coaching like the smaller schools with young guys that try new ideas.

If they were trying new plays and learing from them i know people would cut them slack

san francisco values said...

Looking ahead, looks like a case of immovable force meets irresistable object. Notre Dame is last in D-I rushing and hasn't scored a TD on offense yet.

ChrisHath said...

I personally do not agree with you. Never boo at these kids, I think those boo birds show no class. Those players are working out there, they want to win. If I could boo Lloyd personally I would, because he's really mailed it in this year. But when you boo at the game it is interpreted as for the players. I don't think it's right to do that to college kids. Lets support them and maybe they will turn this around.

Andy said...

I would never boo a college kid playing football. In our case, it does nothing but hurt our chances to get recruits that may be able to tackle or cover.

Silence from the M crowd and the cheering of the 2000 visitors will suffice in getting the coaching staff changed.

Sgt. Wolverine said...

I concur with others here: booing does not help. Silence is preferable, and more dramatic.

harry hasselhoff said...

They weren't booing, they were saying "Booo-urns!"

Seriously, don't boo. It's bush-league.

Biff said...

Over at Monsters of the Midweek, the weekly Top 10 list is 10 Lloyd Carr Replacements

zen wizard said...

Why don't you do a "redux" on your "Know Your Foe--Notre Dame"?

ChicagoWolverine said...

I didn't boo, but felt like it. I don't care how far down and out you are, you gotta play til the final whistle. Manningham jogging his routes and stepping out of bounds to not get hit is boo worthy.

Yost said...

Thanks for all the great comments. In reading them, I can see how it might seem like I'm advocating or "for" the booing. That's not the case. I simply understand why folks were doing it.

As such, I've updated the initial post to be more clear.

Thanks again for making me take another look.

Kraut said...


So how would being silent show our displeasure? We've read and discussed many times on this board how quiet everyone is in that damn stadium. And now that the stadium board itself uses the stupid "key play" to silence the crowd on opponent 3rd and 4th down opportunities it will already be more quiet even before voicing (or not voicing as you suggest) our displeasure.

I'm not sure there's much else to do other than to boo. So we don't show up and then we're accused of being fair weather fans? Or we sit in silence?

I agree that in theory booing college kids doesn't feel right, and although they're not paid, professional athletes, they do play in the largest stadium in the country in one of the (well, used to be) top programs in the country, are usually on national TV, and get full scholarships for 4 or 5 years at an excellent academic institution so I don't feel all that sorry for them since I'm still paying back some of my student loans from the same academic institution...

DocGary said...

I spent 11 of my best years in Ann Arbor. I've been a die hard Maize and Blue from as early as I can remember. I live in the heart of enemy territory (Ohio), and it pains me to see what is amounting to the worst Michigan football in 50 years. You are exactly right, dissent is exactly patriotic to the faithful Maize and Blue.

Carr needs to go, as does Ron English. We need to play 21st century football, not rely alone on the fond memories of Bo.

I won't donate another alumni dollar until I see those two go. I was just called this weekend to give more, and I told them as much. Send emails to the AD and President through Umich's main website. It's the Patriotic thing to do.

I've blogged before. I think this debacle is gonna' make me start.

Hermano said...

As an Ohio State fan, I've seen my share of disappointments. Hell, we just lost to Northwestern not too long ago.

I don't think booing is a bad idea when your team is doing things wrong, or just plain bad. How else do you tell these guys that it's unacceptable what's happening right now? Especially since you have such immense talent on offense to only put up 7 points. Oregon defense, while having played well isn't exactly an elite group, and fans sitting on their hands is certainly not the remedy.

Bush-league to boo college student? Please, most of these guys are there to just play football, nothing else, they're student-athletes in only the most superficial sense. They have been athletes their entire lives, and if that dissuades some highly rated recruit from going to a school, you probably don't want someone of that thin skin in your uniform anyways.

I felt this way once, that I didn't want to upset these elite players by booing them. Give me a break, anyone who gets upset by the booing should turn in their uniforms and get the hell out. A fan reaction is part of the game. If they can cheer you when you're doing great, they can boo you when you're doing bad.

whetstonebuck said...

ESPN's Bruce Feldman on 10 worst places to coach when things are going bad.

Thought it might trigger some comment, though most posters have probably already seen it.

MICHIGAN #7 (tOSU is #10)

Loads of tradition; a place where no one is used to anything worse than 8-4. Lloyd Carr did something Bo Schembechler never did (win a national title) yet has been on the hot seat in some people's minds for three years. The fan base, more than any other I hear from, is perpetually expecting the program to flop. The Wolverines have LSU type talent and Missouri expectations. It seems as though fans can't wait to gripe about this season's batch of underachievers.

BARman said...

Right on, hermano! And, yes, I've been going to the Big House to root for M since the 70s...

Brian said...

I'm not trying to make excuses for these kids, but Lloyd hasn't gotten them up, emotionally, for a game since we lost that hearbreaker in Columbus. Are we so soft that a loss at the end of one season ruins the next? It appears so. They lost when the cards were down last year and I don't think they've gotten over it because there was so much hype going into this season. They thought the same opportunity would be handed to them and they forgot how to work for it. When motivation is the problem, most will agree that it's yet another strike against Lloyd. Thanks for '97, now be on your way. GO BLUE!!!

Hermano said...

Brian, that may be so, and like I said earlier, I went to something similar. But a lot of these guys are big pro prospects (I'm sorry, not Hart, he's a great college back and everything...) and if they can't get up for a game themselves, there's only so much a coach can do. I'm not defending Carr, because I think he's terribly stubborn and refuses to change, but the problems are way deeper. Ron English had one mirage year and everyone lifted him as the next coach. But beyond that, look at the secondary, there's not one guy that can run or tackle, even the basic stuff was having problems.

I saw the game, and from the body language, it looked like they mailed it in already, save for Hart. And, who else thinks that Henne is not seriously injured, but this is a way to bench him? Either way, Mallet looks like a stud.

As much as I want to enjoy troubles in Michigan, as a Buckeye fan, you guys are really making it tough with all this upheaval talks. Besides, this isn't helping the Big 10.

Spartan Bob said...

Please keep booing. Particularly when there are recruits in the house. The louder the better.

Your timing is OUTSTANDING!



JinLA said...

To hear Carr metion that 100 losses wouldn't affect him.... that's painful.

Larry said...

Fire Bill Martin

Sgt. Wolverine said...

Kraut, the silence wouldn't be dramatic between plays when the stadium is quiet anyway; it would be dramatic if it occurred after a touchdown, or any other good play. Booing is one way to voice displeasure, but silence at good moments would, I think, cut far deeper.

Of course, I don't think it would be possible to get the crowd behind that one.

matt said...

posted by me, last week:

" "wonder how Oregon, Notre Dame, Penn State, Michigan State, and everyone else we play is going to feel after they get their asses handed to them by a team that lost to Appy State ?"

uhhh... i don't think this defense can stop oregon, michigan state, or penn state. notre dame - maybe. This defense is simply not fast enough, and athletic enough. next week they will be motivated, but will not make a guy who run's a 4.8 40, all of a sudden be able to run a 4.3 40. They are SLOW - and if you thought App State was bad, wait until you see Oregon's speed.

and i don't know where you've been in the last 20 years, but michigan never hands anyone their ass - they get up by 2td's, get conservative, and end up scraping by for the win.

Prediction for the next 2 games: We lose to Oregon big (14-17pts), and beat Notre Dame by 4.

September 04, 2007 11:55 AM"


" but curt, your missing my point - no gameplan can save the wolverines. they simply don't have the speed and athleticism to match up with oregon. period.

and that goes to coaches - because they recruit, they decide who's on the field. yes, we missed tackles, but we also got RAN BY. like we were standing in cement.

September 04, 2007 1:48 PM "

AND another:

" iamchris: o.k., if you prefer - i'll say 'not quick' instead of 'slow'. it's quickness that allows players to change speeds, direction... etc. and michigan doesn't have it. they didn't have it when they played usc at the rosebowl last year, they didn't have it when they played app state last week. this is an ongoing problem - not something that can be changed with x's and o's in one week. they simply did not recruit 'quick' players; or if they did, those players weren't on the field last saturday.

you'll see when oregon comes to town, makes several hundred 'cutbacks', and drops 42 pts on michigan. the only chance michigan has is if their offense scores 45 pts.

last week was one game - but the writing has been on the wall for a few years now. their defense can't defend smaller, speedier (quicker!) offenses that run the spread. what happened a few years ago in Eugene...? oh yeah - a big L.

(L)Loyd carr simply has not recruited players to solve the problem - he still thinks bigger, stronger is the way to be. maybe in 1977 this was true, but not now.

September 04, 2007 6:46 PM "

damn i'm good.