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Monday, November 29, 2010

Aren't we all Michigan fans?

I always thought I was one of the biggest Michigan fans around.  I've gone to the games since I was a kid, always staying until the very end, rain or shine, win or lose.  I graduated from U-M.  I travel to as many away games as I can.  I own more Michigan paraphernalia than one really should past the age of 14.

I can recall the score of games from 10+ years ago more easily than some family birthdays (not yours, honey).  I can tell you the numbers of various Michigan players throughout my lifetime yet I sometimes need to check my address book for an oft-dialed phone number (not yours, honey).  I remember sitting in the Rose Bowl watching Michigan win the National Championship in '98 the way my parents remember sitting in their living room watching man first walking on the moon in '69.

I still ache when I think about the Kordell Stewart pass in '94, still can't believe Charles Woodson's INT against Michigan State in '97 and still get chills when I watch that video clip of Bob Ufer making the Indiana call in '79, even though I've probably seen it a thousand times by now.

And, as some of you may have noticed, I spend way too many hours blogging daily about the school, team and sport I love passionately.

Yet apparently I'm a "hater."

Who knew.

You see, since I returned to blogging I had the audacity, the unmitigated gall*, to question whether or not Rich Rodriguez is the right man to continue leading the Wolverines.  I had the nerve to state that I don't think he's done a great job at the helm thus far.  For that, my Maize and Blue worthiness has been called into question.

And I'm not alone

On message boards and websites, in comment sections and via email, fellow Wolverine fans are being labeled "haters" for disagreeing with those who think unyielding, unquestioned support for Rich Rodriguez is the only one true measure of Michigan-ness.

Well, I call bullshit.

Wolverine fans should be able to express their opinion - no matter which side of the current debate they fall on - without their Michigan bona fides doubted.  Furthermore, the Rich Rod at All Costs Camp doesn't hold any Michigan Moral High Ground.  As much as the righteous indignation would like you to believe it, that "side" isn't more pro-Michigan, its passion not more Maize and Blue.

If that were true, I guess former players like Steve Breaston, Jay Feely, Desmond Howard, Gabe Watson and Alan Branch among others must all be "haters."

Double Bullshit.

Look, people can have different points of view and - wait for it - still be huge Michigan fans who love their school and team.  Regular MZone reader SiC and I disagree passionately about this topic.  But I don't doubt for a second that he bleeds Maize and Blue, nor do I think he doubts my love of all things Michigan.

So let's town down the rhetoric, huh?

Plus, "hater" is so unoriginal.  Seriously.  It's the college football name calling equiv of the Hitler meme and "Stay Classy" all rolled into one.

Thus, can't we simply agree to disagree?  To agree that men of good conscience can love their team and school but still have a different opinion on what the best course of action is to achieving the same goal of getting Michigan back to the top?

I mean, just because I or somebody else isn't happy with Rodriguez, it doesn't mean we're "haters" who don't bleed Maize and Blue through and through.

In the same way, just because someone supports Rich Rodriguez, it doesn't mean they're stupid sunshine-pumping Kool-Aid drinking douchebagging assclowns.

Can't we all get along?

* Would a "hater" really know this quote and where it came from?


Mikoyan said...

I heard the best argument for firing Rich Rod...Millen thinks we should keep him.

Catie said...

That is one of the worst parts of all of this the rivalry that it is causing in our own ranks! So sad. It's great to be a Michigan Wolverine.........Come on, sing it with me!

srudoff said...


About those former Wolverines and their tweets, here's what a "Michigan" fan posted about them on the Scout Stadium and Main forum...

"Who cares...let them cry and complain...just shows their real colors and what type of coach they had teaching them how to be mature adults in life.."

I'm guessing the poster didn't realize that many of those guys played for Bo. He was pretty much torn to shreds by other Michigan posters.

By the way - how are we going to overuse "haters gonna hate" if we can't overuse "hater"????

Guess we'll have to stick with "fail".

BaggyPantsDevil said...

Over at MGoBoard, after about five comments in which I was critical of the results of Rich Rodriguez's tenure here at Michigan, I got neg-banged into oblivion and am no longer able to post anything there. This actually is a blessing--so, thanks guys--since I'm tired of arguing about this.

surrounded in columbus said...

all the talking heads on Columbus sports radio think we should fire R2 and hire Jim Harbaugh, so i guess that's a push on the "opinions not to trust" front.

when i called you a "hater", i meant it affectionately.

phil said...

You can't spell HATE without oHio StATE.
In my opinion the number one goal for RR was to be competitive against Ohio State. Saturday was his 3rd year trying and he managed a whole 7 points. We could have hired a high school coach and gotten the same results. Has he not studied OSU inside and out by now? I appreciate all the facts that both sides of the argument give but there is that elusive element that can't be measured called team chemistry and I just don't think that RR has it. So far, I will trust the new AD to find the right chemistry. Unfortunately, I really don't think Harbaugh will come home. I think Charlie Strong would be a good hire.

whetstonebuck said...

All of this can be traced back to chocolate milk.

Mikoyan said...

My choice for coach still stands as the former Navy guy or the current Navy guy...

surrounded in columbus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
surrounded in columbus said...

Seriously, the lack of tolerance for dissension is troubling.

I was way ahead of the curve for “retiring” Lloyd. Started for me right before halftime of the 1995 NU game, when NU had the ball, we called 3 time outs to force them to punt, and instead of putting on the block, Lloyd decided to set up the return on a rain soaked, sloppy field w/ only about 30 ticks on the clock. We fumbled the punt, and NU kicked a cheap field goal to end the half. I thought he was a bad choice then. I paused to reconsider after 1997, but w/ the exception of 2003 and 2006, I always thought he was the wrong coach (poetry reading not withstanding).

Maybe I was a “hater” (though I don’t think the term was in vogue then). I wouldn’t argue the point whether or not I was, but I never thought that my dissatisfaction w/ the coach made me less of an alum or fan then. I don’t think fans who think R2’s performance as an HC is unacceptable are somehow disloyal now.

One of the problems is that there seems to be a lot of “talking across” on this issue, and not a lot of structure to the debate- not surprising for an uncontrolled forum like the internet. There’s not a lot of argument that the last 3 years have been awful, bad, and mediocre, in that order. There’s not a lot of argument that there needs to be a major improvement, either w/ this coach or another. The argument is solely on the best approach to achieving improvement, and that’s where we have a significant disconnect.

If you picked up tomorrow’s paper and read that R2 had “resigned” and that Brandon had already signed Harbaugh as the new HC, there probably wouldn’t be much of debate on the event. All but the most ardent supporters of R2 would probably welcome the return of the prodigal son, (10-1 prodigal son, mind you), and we’d all move forward. But that’s not how things happen. We’re not going to get Harbaugh (or anyone) under our tree w/ a Maize & Blue ribbon.

What would happen is that we’d fire a coach w/ 7 wins after only 3 seasons, then we’d have to conduct a series of interviews, and there’s no telling who we’d eventually hire- just like 3 years ago. And firing a coach w/ a winning record after only 3 seasons is basically telling the next coach that he has 3 years to beat tosu or he’s out too, and that would NOT make this job any more attractive than it was in 2007, when guys like Shiano turned us down then. Point being, that most of the rhetoric in favor of firing R2 today is premised on the assumption that Harbaugh is the right guy, AND that he’ll take the job (just like w/ Les, déjà vu all over again, huh?), and even if you think the first, we have no guarantee of the second.

I understand, and to a large part agree w/, everyone who’d like Jim Harbaugh to be our coach next year. I don’t think that makes anyone a disloyal fan. What I don’t agree w/ is whether that is what would really happen, and if Jimbo isn’t standing behind the curtain waiting to be introduced as the next HC, what firing R2 now would really accomplish.

So, short of Harbaugh picking up the phone and calling Brandon himself, I think the smartest course is to go w/ a 4th season. I don’t think I’m drinking Kool-Aid. I think that I’m being practical that we’re in a tough spot and acting rashly would be a mistake. Allowing a 4th season gives R2 a chance to turn this around completely, and if he doesn’t, no potential new coach will wonder if we were too quick on the trigger. This job will be more attractive to a lot of potential hires this time next year than it would be now.

And if Jim Harbaugh is NOT interested in the Niner’s job, and really IS interested in being the coach in A2, he’ll be just as available a year from now as he is today.

That said, if I do pick up the paper and read we’ve hired Jimbo, I shan’t complain.

kristy said...

when tressell took his current position, in his first outing as coach, he knew the number of days until he met up with MI. I just don't see that drive and heart in RR. even watching Sat, RR was just sort of resigned to another beat down (or so it appeared), while tressel was hot over his guys just celebrating too much and getting a penalty. And as a side note, Tate should have been in the whole game as the punter and kickoff guy. 50 yds is better than 20! also, how 'bout some crazy, trick plays?! we're down by 20, put DR AND tate in and let them have some fun!!

surrounded in columbus said...

on the other hand, i just read that the 1985 team is going to be honored at the end of season banquet this coming Thursday, and that team's QB is going to be in attendance.

maybe Harbaugh really would fit into a Christmas stocking?!?!?

Matty Boy said...


i'd make one exception, however - my sister-in-law said she was "rooting for us to get creamed so we can fire rodriguez." that, to me, is beyond the pale. you might think rodriguez should be gone, but you never, never, NEVER root against your team. ever. never.

Mikoyan said...

I would never ever be in the camp of hoping my team loses so that we can fire the coach I don't like. I don't care how bad the coach is or how embarassing some of the losses are, the team should always try to win especially against the biggest rival.

And speaking of wolverines, I'm reading a book right now called the "Wolverine Way" about the animals. There is lots of fodder for the locker room in the book. Wolverines are bad ass...I mean really bad ass.

dtw2phx said...

@Mik, I want that book!! ("Glutton, demon of destruction, symbol of slaughter, mightiest of wilderness villains...")

Could they, at the very least, get rid of Greg Robinson??? JHC!

streaker said...


You and about a hundred other posters like me have gotten MGoPravda'd. Talk about Emperor's New Clothes syndrome. I guess Brian and the rest of the groupthinkers over there can walk around naked. :)

For me, I have seen enough. Let's go back to a boring, punishing offense and at least be proud that our defense isn't giving up 500 yards to every decent team with "State" in their name. Maybe Michigan can actually tackle and kick again, too.

streaker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BaggyPantsDevil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BaggyPantsDevil said...

streaker (are you really?)

I get the same dystopian vibe from the place now; like we all have a duty to announce that we love Big Brother.

Some of the sentiments that would make Pol Pot proud were these:


And, yes, it really was in all caps. My reply was this:

I Respectfully Disagree 100%. Do the players have an obligation to follow their coach unconditionally? Absolutely. Do I? Nope, as a fan I am part of the system of checks and balances that may ultimately lead to the removal of a bad hire. Michigan as an institution and its football program are bigger than Rich Rodriguez or any of us. We owe it to that timeless program to be honest about Rich Rodriguez instead blindly supporting every failure.
Did Nebraska fans owe such blind loyalty to Bill Callahan? Do you think Alabama fans are sorry they missed out on Rich Rodriguez?

Now, I will admit that my comment probably included more sarcasm than it needed but that got me negged so hard I have been effectively silenced. Enjoy your mob rule, guys.

carl tabb said...

The reason for the lack of tolerance for dissention is that both sides care very much for the program.

The "HATERZ" see RR as the reason for UM's decline even though it was obviously Carr's fault (?!?!). They feel the RR guys are condoning the decline even though it started long before RR got there.

The "RR at least one more year" crowd sees progress and the need to let 3/4 of the starters be old enough to shave at least monthly before writing him off.

By the way, Baggy Pants, I believe you were negged to Bolivian. Apparently that's the hee-frickin-larious term for it nowadays over there.

carl tabb said...

Before I get blasted for my Carr comments I have to say that I just threw that in there as a bit of a joke. I by no means rest the blame solely on Carr.

bigGexpress said...

Here here to the post Yost.
(stupid stupid sunshine-pumping Kool-Aid drinking douchebagging assclowns)
Cough!!! Oh uh sorry!! ;)

Tom C said...

I quit posting on M go negbang a good while ago. Right after I made the point that the neg bangers used it as compensation. (I used another term)
Tell you when I became concerned about RR and his spread. The day he got a beat down by Pitt! Anyone else remember that game?

streaker said...


It's a hockey nickname I kept for being "fleet afoot". I wear it like a badge of honor.

Too bad so many folks had a bad experience at MGoBrownshirt. Plenty of places to blog comments w/o the acrimonious herd thinning. Shame, they have good content when they aren't too busy eating their own.

@CarlTabb: Plenty of reason to place blame on Carr, but I'll take the frustrations we had with his shortcomings over the total Millen-izing that RR did to the program. Hindsight isn't worth much, but I didn't like the total re-vamp when refreshing would have worked. I guess we have to look forward and trust that Mr. Brandon will make the proper call on this and back his decision either way.

surrounded in columbus said...

Let's be honest- with this much "suck", there's plenty of blame for both of them.

Actually, if Gary Moeller would have held his liquor better, Lloyd would never been coach & Les would have become HC when Gary retired.

It's all the bartender's fault!

whetstonebuck said...

To answer your original question--no!

However, admit it or not, everyone gawks at a train wreck. I heard the scream of the Michigan program's whistle, and well...

"He was goin' down grade makin' ninety miles an hour
And his whistle broke into a scream
He was found in the wreck, with his hand on the throttle
And scalded to death by the steam."
-The Wreck of the Old 97

wv = "plead." Go figure.

Wes said...

* bob ufer comment

hater lite

Bigasshammm said...

I'm getting sick of all the talk about how everyone will return next year and blah blah blah. Does anyone really think that with this exact team and another year of experience they will really get any better?
If that's the case then it should be laid down that RR needs to win 10 games, beat both MSU and tUOS, and win at least a share of the Big Ten title. Because damnit if you listen to everyone else next year we should have the best team in M history.
I think it's bullshit and the team will still suck because the coaches don't know how to coach basic football fundamentals. The Big Ten is basic football. Not the Big east where you can get away with missing tackles or fumbling balls because the opposition sucks.
If RR stays next year will be another 7-5 possibly 8-4 team with losses to 2 of our 3 rivals.
Write it down.

webmaster said...

From a big Buckeye fan, I say kudos to you, Yost. That was well-written and precise.

All fanbases have some people like that, and we have managed to segregate ours by mocking them. The ones who think our 30-4 quarterback should be benched for Joe Bauserman get laughed at pretty hard, but that's beside the point.

Over at MGo, they've moved the goalposts so many times theydon't know whats up or down anymore. they promised a 9-3 record in RR's second year, and the fans there are sush sycophants that they simply cannot ever declare that maybe...just maybe...Herr Cook was wrong for a minute.

So, there you have it. They will call you a hater.

And perhaps you ARE a hater...you hate what RR has done to your tradition and your expectations....but maybe, just maybe you're a big enough UM fan to expect more than this man has given to you.

I mean let's be honest. He's had three years, and was completely unable to field a kicker or a punter in the biggest game of the year.

That deserves some hate, wouldn't you agree?

Hemlock Philosopher said...

It's much worse than the kicker. The team is not competitive in the big games and it seems that the coaches don't understand the gravity of The Game.

I have no idea why the folks on MGoBlog so vehemently defend RR.

surrounded in columbus said...

reading the "helpful" advice on our coach from tosu fans gives me the same sickening sensation i get when my ex-wife offers me advice or tries to be helpful- she's not always wrong. sometimes she's even accurate. but right or wrong, she never REALLY has my best interest in mind and isn't doing it to truly help me.

whetstonebuck said...


surrounded in columbus said...

i've been married twice, whets.

cynicism is for optimists...

whetstonebuck said...


No criticism. I just wanted to demonstrate my clever use of your initials in the apparent theme of cynicism.