There are a lot of things that go through your head after the final game of the year. Usually those thoughts comprise of "what if's." But not on Saturday. While I was disappointed by Michigan's 21-10 loss to Ohio State, our sixth straight loss to our rivals, I thought the team played well. Our much maligned defense gave up only 14 points and generally looked competent the entire game. Our offense put up decent numbers, and in spite or a nightmare inducing day from Tate Forcier, moved the ball on a pretty good defense. I saw progress, and that was sufficient for me to release my normal post game neuroses to the winds. I mean, prior to the game, I thought we'd lose by four touchdowns. As a result, my thoughts on the game itself were relatively clear.
However, as I made the long trek up the stadium to exit, I looked back at the Big House and saw something that I'm not likely to forget or forgive. A sea of red. Ohio State fans everywhere. In front, in back, to the sides, across the bowl. All singing their fight song in the Big House, on senior day, as our players walked off the turf for the last time.
That was inexcusable.
If you are a season ticket holder who sold your tickets to Ohio State fans, or put them up for auction on a non-Michigan ticket site, you should have your season tickets revoked. What I saw in our stadium on Saturday was horrifying. Looking at the DVR when I got home the stadium was equal parts red and maize.
How? Why? What could possibly possess you to sell your OHIO STATE MICHIGAN tickets to an OSU fan? I don't care about selling your tickets for Michigan State, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, or any other opponent in the Big Ten. With MSU and Notre Dame there are so many familial ties between the schools that it is inevitable that a few will get in. With the rest, they don't travel well enough for it to matter. And frankly, those games don't mean that much. They are not Ohio State.
For the Michigan fans who stood fast, held your tickets, and cheered for this team through thick and thin, I commend you. You are part of the reason why this program will remain strong and return to its rightful place in college football.
For the Michigan "fans" who sold your tickets to OSU fans, shame on you. You are the worst type fair weather fan. Don't give me the "I was making a statement about Rodriguez" crap either. You sold out your team. You sold it down the river to the Devil himself. You let our seniors walk out of the Big House to the strains of Carmen Ohio rather than the Victors. You allowed OSU fans to chant "O-H" the entire game. You allowed the noise on the field to be just as bad for our offense as it was for OSU's.
For what? So you could feel you made a statement? Congrats. The statement you made is "I'm a fair weather fan and unwilling to face reality." Michigan is going through a trying time right now. It's in transition to a modern offense and trying to make up for years upon years of neglect on the defensive side of the ball. These things do not correct themselves in a year. Worse, by selling your tickets to OSU fans, you undercutour recruiting! That game was one of the most important recruiting days of the year, almost twenty high calibre recruits were in attendance, and you let OSU fans in the House?
If you are still calling for Rodriguez' head, you are oblivious to the facts before you. This site and many others have chronicled the disaster Carr left Rodriguez on the defensive side of the ball. Even ESPN has realized this.
1. Todd McShay told me that Michigan will have two players drafted in April, same as last April. Among the Wolverine juniors this season, only Donovan Warrenhas attracted attention vis-à-vis the 2011 draft. That would be five draftees over three seasons. The fewest any Michigan coach(es) has had over a three-year period is nine from 1984-86. The point? Rich Rodriguez’s biggest problem isn’t fitting in at Michigan. It’s talent. All of his is young. - Ivan Maisel
Rodriguez has had onefull recruiting class that was his. One. His next class is loaded with the top quarterback in America, five defensive backs, linemen, linebackers and speed. Our offense has improved by leaps and bounds this year with freshmen leading the way. Are you, Mr. Sell-My-Tickets-To-OSU-Fans, so impatient that you can't wait two years to be back on top of the football universe? Are you so blind that you can't see Rodriguez history of success and leadership? Are you so blind as not to see the utter disaster that he inherited?
Why am I asking this? Of course you are. You see a young team with obvious flaws and weaknesses and expect it to win a national championship. Well, I can't help you. You're on your own.
Say what you want to make yourself feel better. Tell me in the comments I have no right to say this sort of thing. Do what you have to.
All I know is that I stayed and cheered for our seniors. And you abandoned them.