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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Rich Rod Just Doesn't Get It

Forget Michigan's abysmal record the last two years for a moment (yeah, I know -- 8-16 is hard to forget but work with me for a second here). And ignore that fact that the team seemed to get worse as each of those first two seasons progressed. And then, erase the memory of the impending NCAA sanctions.

Done? Good.

Now that your mind has been totally cleansed of anything that has passed for (so-called) Michigan football the last two years, I think I was just as horrified by something Rich Rob said this week in an interview with Free Press columnist Mitch Albom as I was by any of the above . In the Q&A, Albom asked Rich Rod his thoughts on moving the Michigan-Ohio State game. Here is Rodriguez's response:

"I like it at the end of the season. From a tradition standpoint, the environment. But as long as we're playing 'em, it's not the end of the world. I don't think it'll be the first game of the year. It'll probably be toward the end somewhere."


I'm sorry, I must have read that wrong. I thought Mitch Albom just asked the head coach at the University of Michigan what he thought about the yearly showdown his team plays each November that many consider the greatest rivalry game in all of college football, not what his favorite sandwich is on the new $5 Subway menu. Or which of the SAW movies he liked best.

That's such a clueless, pussy answer by Rich Rod on so many levels, I'm not even sure where to begin. But let me take a whack at it:

First, the lack of passion about The Game, the lack of understanding of its history, is so evident in Rodriguez's answer, it almost feels like Rich Rod misheard Albom. Maybe he thought Albom said Purdue, not Ohio State. Not the rivalry that spawned The Snow Ball, Bo vs. Woody, The Ten Year War, #1 vs. #2 in 2006, its own HBO documentary, is known simply at The Game and on and on and on.

Does he really not understand? Or does he simply not care?

Because Rich Rod's answer is the one I'd expect the coach of Markley's 5th Van Tyne IM football squad to give when asked about playing 1st Reeves. Not the head coach of the winningest program in college football history when asked about destroying the traditional season ending showdown with his team's arch rival.

Second, it's an ass-kiss answer if I ever heard one. Rich Rod's boss, Michigan AD Dave Brandon has already made it clear he's okay with moving the game as long as we play OSU each year. Rich Rod's response is the answer the dude at the insurance convention in Des Moines gives at the yearly company retreat because his job is in jeopardy. Then he tops it off by laughing extra hard at the boss's joke at the Happy Hour get together in the hotel lounge which just makes him look like an even bigger douchebag.

For cryin' out loud, Rich, have some fucking stones and give YOUR opinion, one you actually care about. Don't think Michigan-Ohio State is a big deal? Then say it and defend that position. But don't regurgitate the same thing your boss has been saying and be all wishy-washy when talking about THE MOST IMPORTANT GAME ON YOUR TEAM'S SCHEDULE.

Heck, I think I'm going to do the same here on this blog post. I'm going ot show the same level of committment. I was gonna spell check, put up a proper-sized picture with this rant, maybe have Benny do a Photoshop on it, but screw it. As long as I get this post up and it's here, it's not the end of the world.


ChicagoWolverine said...

You're right.... The rod just doesn't get it. Not sure he is smart enough to have his own opinion or view point.

GoBlueBob said...

When we went to the open house to see the stadium renovations earlier this summer, there was one wall display showing the Michigan rivalry games and it had tosu, msu and nd listed. I commented to my son that someone should bring Dickhead, errr..RichRod up there and show it to him so he would know which games the rivalries were. He does not get it and I am afraid he never will.

chris said...

huh.....Tressel must not get it either then....I'm pretty sure he said the same thing RR did, that it's important that the game is played...not when it's played.

I don't want to see it moved either, but that seems to be what will be the reality.

Andrew said...

LOL....this was good, I don't know what to think but I am going to remain optimistic. A couple days to first game of the year..GO BLUE

Voice of Reason said...

Yes, he gets it. They ALL "GET IT" in fact RR came to Michigan because he had an opportunity to coach Michigan's storied program in "The Game," along with Tressel who also "get it." In fact, the entire group of Big Ten AD directors "get it." The entire country, "Gets it." When you say The Big Ten, historically automatically you think of Michigan and OSU, you don't think Penn State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, etc., and you look forward to "the game," the ONLY game that matters in the Big Ten.

Yes, they get it. But their decision will be all about the money not tradition. So stop playing with yourselves and understand that when your job is on the line, and possibly your career, and if you've only won eight games in two years,... that if your boss says "it doesn't matter when we play," then guess what??? YOU say... "it doesn't matter when we play." You've got a fricken mortagage to pay, and you have a coaching staff that has families and mortages to pay and so you say screw the bloggers and the media. I am sure they want to keep the game where it is, but it's not about thinking with your balls, it's about thinking with your head.

Have a nice day guys!!!

CrimeNotes said...

This exchange was pretty telling:

M: Is it fair to say you came in and said, "I'm gonna coach a football team," and people expected you to coach tradition?

R: (chuckles) I never thought about it that way. ... Tradition was one reason why you want to go here. You're using tradition to help you recruit not just players but staff. So to say well, he doesn't care about tradition -- you'd be crazy not to.

Granted, Albom's question about "coaching tradition" was strangely worded, and there are ellipsis in the response, but it kind of bothered me that he viewed tradition solely as a recruiting asset instead of the quality that basically defines the program and its fans.

I can sympathize with Rodriguez and Tressel in their responses about the game. They're captive to the process, and Rodriguez doesn't have the same history as Bo or Lloyd. But he also doesn't seem to understand that the "tradition" he views as a recruiting asset also makes people love the program even when it sucks, and could potentially rally people around him through this pretty ugly era. It's stuff like this that makes it seem like he found the program off a craigslist ad.

Andy said...

I agree with Voice of Reason.

As an employee of the Michigan Athletic Department, Rich Rodriguez is on pretty shaky ground. Mostly out of his control, but he has taken over a world class program and promptly delivered two losing seasons.

I think speaking out against something your boss spoken about is not a career enhancing move.

Yost: I would be interested in hearing your best case scenario with this situation. Knowing the B10 is going to a multi-division and championship game format... What works best for the M/OSU rivalry?

Merrick 561 said...

There goes VoiceofReason delivering exactly what his name suggests again.

phil said...

Destroying THE game makes no sense at all. Have we lost all respect for one of sports greatest traditions? What's next?
-move the New York Yankees to the National League?
-make the World Series a single game event?
-run the Daytona 500 in Toronto?
-play the SuperBowl without commercials?
-make the girls of beach volleyball wear burkas?
-make sure NBA basketball players respect women?

Yost said...


What would have worked best would be putting M/OSU in same division. That simple. Just like SEC did with Alabama/Auburn. Now, unfortunately, I think we're on a slippery slope toward The Game losing a lot of its luster. Because there are just too many scenarios out there in which one team can "rest" it's players for the B10CG the following weekend or, even worse - the very reason the B10 did this - if M/OSU ever do play the following week after just playing the previous weekend.

Hey, I think we can just all be thankful though that they preserved that Iowa/Minnesota game.