Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wolverines Blogging: Oh, For the Love of...

Drew Sharp pisses me off sometimes. Case in point, this article in the local paper the other day about how the hiring of Coach "Bender" Rodriguez was a disappointment. A betrayal of their high ideals and old-school ethics. A trembling step into the swirling eddy of filth and corruption that it, apparently, takes to compete in today's collegiate sports. And Mr. Sharp, for one, is not going to take it lying down. No, he's going to come down with a furious case of the vapors and clutch his chest as sternly as he can in the general direction of everyone involved.


This is the same paper and, I'm pretty sure, the same person saying that Michigan needed to abandon those same ideas as antiquated and unnecessary. That they needed to hurry up and get a coach before they became an embarrassment, a laughingstock. That they needed to go out and grab someone, anyone, before the store was fresh out of coaches. And now he's slamming them for doing just that?

Now, far be it from me to say that the university doesn't deserve criticism. That there are, in point of fact, many things wrong both with the culture of the program and how they conduct themselves. Because, really, when you get right down to it I'm about as much of a Michigan Man as Harbaugh (Which is to say I'm so far off the reservation, I've wandered into the Five Points and I'm being directed towards Ellis Island by the strange and pointing natives.). But at least be consistent about it.

What Sharp's doing here is what I hate most about sports columnists and that's being a dick about things for the sake of being a dick. Because staking out an unpopular opinion and arguing it into the ground is a good way of drawing attention, of feedback, of getting the letters sent to the editor that let him know that people are, at the very least, reading you. Whether the position is actually logical or sensible is a secondary concern. Having something incendiary to fill column inches is all that matters.

Pisses me off even more that I fell for it. Instead of, you know, dismissing his comments as more whining bloviation. I seem to be doing that a lot lately. But rather than hand-wringing about how Michigan is, well, not whatever crazy idealized vision of perfection it would take in order to escape criticism that Mr. Sharp has in mind (Which, you know, since he has to push papers he'd still probably find something to nit pick about, of course.) I'd much rather read something insightful about news like this.

Namely, that Rodriguez just went and fired all the UofM assistants. Now, I knew some of them weren't long for their positions but, from what I'd heard, at least a few of them were going to stick around. Not just to provide continuity with the old regime but because some of them are damned good recruiters who don't need to hold a clipboard or stalk the sidelines to add value to the program. The people who've been landing big recruits for years and would help teach the new coach with tenuous connections the ins and outs of the arcanery of recruiting at Michigan. Of course, I have no idea which of the legion of assistants and assistants to assistants is important - whose presence isn't exactly going to be missed and whose was vital to making sure that the new regime got off to the best start possible. I know the now gone defensive co-ordinator is named English or something but it's not like I go around keeping detailed information about the coaching staff on hand. For that, I rely on the professional who have the time and the access to get inside. The men and women who talk to these coaches, who get to know them, who's job, as far as I'm concerned, is to keep me informed. Not inflamed.

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