Monday, December 04, 2006

The Character of a "Michigan Man"

Open message to all the Wolverine faithful: At the University of Michigan there is the well known slogan that Michigan is the "Leaders and Best." There is much talk, especially in the football program, about acting like a "Michigan Man." That is to say that the students, alumni and fans should conduct themselves with a certain amount of honor, intelligence, skill and character among other traits. Coach Carr has exemplified these qualities for years and has been widely hailed as a preeminent "Michigan Man" during his entire coaching tenure. Coach Carr's grace under fire during this past weekend's media onslaught regarding the BCS selection process should serve as a guide for all Wolverine fans as to how they should conduct themselves as the debate rages over whether Michigan got "ripped off" (or worse) when the University of Florida was selected as Ohio State's opponent in the BCS National Championship game. Coach Carr's conduct has been a credit to the University of Michigan and to the game of college football as a whole. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for all the Maize and Blue faithful who are bitterly complaining about the selection process. When Michigan fans complain about not being chosen to play in the BCS National Championship game it reflects poorly on the University and everyone associated with the Wolverines. The selection process has not hit anyone harder than it hit Coach Carr yet he has maintained a classy stance and he has protected his dignity and that of the University. It is time for the Michigan faithful to follow Coach Carr's lead (just like the football team does) and start acting like "Michigan Men." The season is not over yet. There is a championship to win. A ROSE BOWL CHAMPIONSHIP! It is time to focus on winning, not whining. Go Blue!


At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Generally, I agree with your sentiments. Your message is one all should consider. For one, I am proud of what the term "Michigan Man" stands for. It is important for Coach Carr to handle himself with integrity and professionalism, and support the tenants of being a "Michigan Man." In addition, he has to move on and prepare his team for an important Rose Bowl match up against a formidable USC team. If he spends any amount of time dwelling on the BCS rankings, the team suffers. The country's skeptic eyes will be watching us on January 1st, and I want our boys to settle any remaining debate on the field...

However, I feel your entry was a bit harsh on the alumni and friends that are not pleased with the current BCS system. Undoubtedly, the BCS system is inherently flawed, and public debate is not something that should be compromised or admonished by anyone. What you call "complaining," I call a virtue. Public debate is a necessary component toward precipitating change. People must voice their displeasure with a system that does not work. Far too many times in recent years have the victims of the BCS system (i.e. Colorado, Auburn, etc) merely shrugged their shoulders and moved on. So let the people speak, but let us implore upon those that do speak to only do so as "Michigan Men." Be careful not to confuse public debate and opinion with a loss of honor, intelligence and character. Lets hope for changes to the system that will amount to more than mere tweaks.

You may not care about voting, rankings and national championships, but I can guaranty you that Coach Carr cares, and every single player that puts on that winged helmet every fall gives up their blood, sweat and tears to continue Michigan's winning tradition, and to win that championship. Leave the coaching to Lloyd Carr. Leave the public debate to the media, alumni and fans of the game.

It all has its place...

At 7:24 PM, Blogger mzgoblue said...

My comments were not designed to stop people from speaking but rather were intended to offer Wolverine fans an alternative way to view the BCS situation. I view this as a tough break and an opportunity to demonstrate to the world how a "Michigan Man" handles adversity. Such a demonstration of character could only enhance Michigan's standing in the eyes of the community at large. However, many "friends of the program" chose to rant and rave about the BCS system which only served to sully the reputation of the University and make Michigan seem like a bunch of "sore-losers." I advocated a different approach. Act with class and focus your attention on the next opponent. For fans of the game, it does not get much better than a Rose Bowl showdown versus traditional Pac-10 conference rival USC. You are free to continue to complain about the BCS system if that is where you want to focus your energy. I just wanted to make the case that there are reasons to follow Coach Carr's lead and leave the BCS complaints behind and look to the future. Enjoy the game as you see fit. I know I will. Go Blue!


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