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Idiocy; Now in Print

With a tip of the cap to mgoblog diarist redwhiteandmgoblue, on with the fisking.


Dave Poe wrote a fanfiction sports column for the News and Sentinel, a paper based out of Parkersburg, WV.  It can be viewed here if you're particularly masochistic.  The highlights will be dissected here, because it is rampantly stupid.

July is the slowest month of the year for those of us who write sports for a living.

That gives us plenty of time to think about what might happen in the upcoming sports year.

Sometimes, we get a little carried away dreaming up the wildest, craziest sports scenarios imaginable.

I'll let you decide if that's the case with my latest one.

I've mentioned it to a couple people and the reaction I've received has been so strong, I thought I would share it with you.

First, it's pretty obvious to me this is going to be Rich Rodriguez's last season as the head football coach at the University of Michigan.

First, the formatting is not my own, the paper decided that somehow this would come off better as single sentences spaced out over paragraphs.  Second, Dave, you can't offer a caveat for what you're about to say - in this case the fact that it's "wild and crazy" then say "it's pretty obvious to me..."  This is the same as saying "It's pretty obvious to me that I'm wild and crazy" but not wild and crazy in a good way, but in a "needs medical attention" kind of way.  If I were to say "This is a stupid idea...I'm convinced that the sun will explode tomorrow," that would mean that I am a person who has stupid ideas.  If I were to run down the street telling people this, they would probably wonder what home I've escaped from, and whether they should call somebody.

But, for play-along sake, I'll bite.  Why, Dave, is it pretty obvious that this is going to be Rich Rodriguez's last season?  Besides the burning hatred you and your state feel towards him despite all evidence to the contrary?

He's not going to win. He's going to end the season with another lopsided loss to Ohio State, this time in the Big House, where there is no sin like losing to the hated Buckeyes.

Rodriguez's short tenure at Michigan has been a disaster.

The players don't seem to like his style. The alumni hasn't warmed up to him. The administrators who hired him -and who could fire him -were unhappy they were going to have to be deposed in his legal dispute with West Virginia University.

I can get a total of 5 reasons he's offered, none of which stand up to even the slightest bit of scrutiny:

He's not going to win

Based on....what?  I mean, I can't sit here and tell you definitely that he is going to win, but then, I'm not the one who needs to prove anything.  You can't use speculation as proof.

He's going to lose to Ohio State

Looking at the two teams...probably.  Michigan, however, has lost to Ohio State 42 times.  They have not had 42 head coaches.  If losing to Ohio State was a fireable offense, Carr would have been gone long before his time.  I agree, we're all tired of losing to Ohio State, but uh, dude's not getting fired for losing to a team that, on paper at least, is better than his at nearly every position.

The players don't like his style

Former UM / WVA Safety Ryan Mundy: "Be prepared to run. Everything's way more up-tempo. If you're not willing to bust your ass, you should leave. But if you stay, you'll love it."

Defensive End Tim Jamison: "Barwis likes you to be loud in the weight room," says Jamison. "All the time, high energy. He's brought more fun into it. He doesn't want you to be uptight." (Barwis is part of the Rodriguez Style)

Jamison again: "A lot of coaches could call it quits and get ready for next year...But it's not the coaches' fault we mess up on the field.  Our backs are against the wall and we have to come out fighting."

Incoming Freshman QB Tate Forcier: "I've always been more of a visual learner so it hasn't been as hard for me, but coach Smith and coach Rodriguez, they did a great job of really explaining it...They made it as easy as they possibly can make it for me. ... Once you do it more and more, it just comes more naturally."

Yep - those sure sound like quotes of players who hate his style, think he's a jerk, and have given up on the coaching staff.  I guess the top-10 recruiting class last year all hated his style too.

(more media fisking after the jump....)

The Alumni haven't warmed up to him

Jim Brandstatter, alum of the 1969 team: "If Bo could see these practices, he'd love it...It's eerily similar to the culture shock when Bo took over. They're being physical. They hit. They wear pads every day."

The last I've checked, Michigan isn't exactly hurting for ticket or merchandising sales either.

The Administrators aren't supporting him

Athletic Director Bill Martin:  "There's absolutely no question I'm totally supportive of Rich.  Was I surprised with the loss last Saturday? Sure I was, no question about it. But I think he's the right man for this program at this time...You always have to, when you're sitting in my seat, look at long term. You can't look at instant gratification."

Sounds like a guy who is just waiting to fire somebody. 

These aren't reasons that are supported by any shred of, well, discernable fact.  Even those quotes I found - after 5 minutes of googling - aren't the most supportive that I could have used.  Dave, apparently, hasn't located the google yet.

Although most coaches get at least three years to prove themselves, I'm convinced Rodriguez is only going to get two.

Baseless speculation based on nothing, especially given that Michigan has had a total 3 head coaches since the 60's.  Quick trigger that is not.

That means he once again will be looking for another coaching job (then again, he always seems to be looking for another coaching job, even when he has a good one.)

Ah - a cheap shot revealing your true agenda.  And calling "Head Coach West Virginia" a "good" job while Michigan's calling might be stretching.  He goes on to write more fanfiction about Marshall - claiming that their head coach will be fired as well - before mercifully putting down the keyboard to return to whatever group activity the home is doing that afternoon.  Fingerpainting, I think.  

And they say that blogs are the ones writing insidious, incendiary crap.  There isn't a shred of objectivity in this entire piece, and it's based on useless speculation and innuendo.  I'm not so mad that he wrote an article saying that Rodriguez would be fired - that I can handle.  The fact that he wrote it so...stupidly is why I'm mad.  There are some examples he could have used to demonstrate why he thought Rodriguez would be fired, but instead he just went to the old Jihad against Rodriguez, which is played, man.  So played.   To call this article poop would be, in fact, insulting to the poop.