Monday, August 07, 2006

Being a Michigan Man is about more than wins and losses

In stark contrast to many high profile programs across the nation (e.g., Miami, Tennessee and Oklahoma) Michigan is heading into its fall practices at full strength with nary a scandal in sight. This is often taken for granted by the Michigan faithful. While other programs are as likely to lose a star player to a scandal as they are to a season-ending injury, Michigan's fans biggest worry seems to be that Lloyd Carr has two "L's" in his name. The biggest news (thankfully) about the Michigan football team this off-season came about when the players raised over $160,000 during the 3rd Annual Carr Wash 4 Kids to benefit the U of M C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Women's Hospital. Coach Carr takes great pride in instilling a sense of duty and purpose into his young charges. He was quoted in the Detroit News the day after the car wash as saying: "Our players take a great deal from going to the hospital, going to that car wash and understanding that there's going to be a physical result of their efforts -- some day they're going to have children," Carr said. "A lot of" former players "are involved in charities. It starts in some cases here at Michigan, being exposed and being at some of these things. It's about using the blessings you've been given to help somebody else."

Michigan has a winning tradition. It is one of the things that makes Michigan, MICHIGAN. However, I am always suspect of the demanding fans who "find another 9-3 season totally unacceptable as Michigan should be in serious contention for a National Championship on a regular basis." Uh, ok. These "fans" (and I'm going to make a gross overgeneralization here) tend to live vicariously through the success of the Wolverines. They need Michigan to be the best so that they, as the #1 fan, are validated. A 7-5 season by a group of solid citizens does this group of fans no good. These "fans" need the Wolverines to attain perfection so that they can bask in the glow of that success. When the Wolverines do not meet their lofty expectations then these fans are left to their own merits which often resemble something akin to a 7-5 team more so than a National Championship squad.

I want to win and so does Coach Carr. It is the Michigan way. However, I do not have a win-at-all-costs mentality. As a Michigan Man, it is more important to me that we protect the integrity of the University by doing things the right way even if that means that Big 10 titles and Rose Bowl trips are the school's focus more so than the BCS Championship game. While other major programs are scrambling as fall practices start because of various scandals, Michigan is humming and preparing for what I believe will be a very successful season. Now somebody kick this soapbox out from under me so I'll stop ranting about this. Go Blue!


At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's good to hear that. I get tired of hearing the complaints from UM fans (and also detractors) about how anything less than a national championship is a failure. You can really tell who the true fans are when the going gets rough. Those that bail and doubt so quickly are just fairweather fans (or closest Spartans).


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