Comrades, we know that you’re hurting, and we’d be lying if we said we weren’t hurting too. Did yesterday suck? Yes. Was it impossible to not be disappointed? Yes. Will I, personally, go as far as to say that it even partially shook my confidence in the course of this team? Yes.
The question, comrades, is what can be done? How can we make the pain go away, make it all better?
The answer, comrades, doesn’t lie in anger. The reaction of many is to chirp “Fire Rich Rod!” to their friends, bombard internet message boards with ALL CAPS posts declaring how such a performance is “UNACCEPTABLE”, complain how “this isn’t ‘Michigan Football'”, and the like. I don’t know about you comrades, but I’m a schlub middle-manager in Chicago who’s closest relationship to “influence” over the Athletic department or the Coaching Staff comes from being a depressingly frequent poster at MGoBlog and one proprietor of a blog that writes about football in faux-communist rhetoric. I don’t play golf with Mary Sue Coleman, and I don’t go sailing on Bill Martin’s yacht. All the impotent fist-pounding I feel like doing will only accomplish precisely one thing: nothing.
Most of us watch football as a diversion. Many of us work jobs that at least partially contain various duties and demands we’d rather not bother doing. In our off-time, we watch football – and for at least twelve weeks a year, Michigan football is a three-hour respite where we don’t have to do chores, work, insipid little duties for our employers. Your job pays you to put up with it’s bullshit – Michigan Football’s “payment” to you is that blessed window of time. If that, comrades, is now bringing you more pain than happiness – if you’re unable to put the game in the proper perspective that you need to inflict your frustration and vitriol on the general populace, I’d suggest that a serious revision of how you spend your Saturdays may be in order.
If Michigan football re-pays you with only anger and frustration, stop watching. You won’t be a “fair-weather fan”, because nobody is giving out merit-badges for this shit. Is Rich Rodriguez the right coach? Is the program moving in the right direction? We don’t know. We choose to believe it is, because hope, in our view, is a nobler belief than cynicism, even though it may not always be right.
We have no power in this – we’re merely passengers in a boat being steered by people too far away to hear us. We can scream “FIRE X!” or “BENCH Y!” into the abyss all we want, but the captain of this ship will continue, oblivious to anything we express. Our only options are to stay on the boat to see where it takes us, or get off it. We’re choosing to stay on the ride. Staying for the ride and hoping for Rodriguez’s demise is idiocy – how does Michigan Football benefit from his continued struggle? Another coaching change? Another transition? More transfers? NCAA sanctions due to APR hits? Someone trying to play power football with Martavious Odoms? The single best outcome for Michigan football from the point we’re currently at would be for Rodriguez to succeed. It’s for this that we choose to cheer.
If, comrades, you choose to remain for the ride, remember: the only people who can hear your cries of protest are those nearest you – and they’re equally as powerless as you are. If your prayers are answered, and the captain should change, the decision on who replaces him, and how he runs the program will again be made without your input. So before you hit “submit” on your screed at MLive or MGoBlog, and certainly before you pollute our blessed little tree-fort of Uniscorn with vitriolic nonsense, remember: you don’t need to be here – you don’t need to stay on this boat. As a matter of fact, those choosing to remaining would likely enjoy the ride more if you either left, or stopped making so much god-damned noise.