Thursday, October 13, 2011

All the muck that's fit to rake

I've written and rewritten this post three times* despite the fact that it basically consists of "I'm buying this book." So let's try this again: I'm buying this book called Three and Out that's being released today.

If you aren't a super-diehard Michigan fan, there's no reason for you to know anything about this book. But the title pretty much says it all.

Without going way into the background of John Bacon (a well-known UM professor and unofficial Michigan football historian), let's just say that he knows everything and everybody who's important at Michigan; if he says something happened, it happened. This was originally supposed to be a book about the first year of what everybody expected to be a super-awesome-fun-times transition to the spread 'n' shred. The glory would be documented for posterity's sake ... or something. For obvious reasons, it became something much different and is now a book filled with all the awful/painful/intriguing/delicious insider-y stuff that Michigan fans have spent bajillions of hours debating and typing in all caps at each other about over the past three years.

Just from the two people I know who have gotten advance copies, I've heard more juicy juiciness about the stupid behind-the-scenes RichRod-era drama than I heard during the past three years (not including rumors). Revelations:
  • Bill Martin was so inept and clueless during the pre-Rodriguez coaching search that school president Mary Sue Coleman basically told him that she was taking over and he could GTFO.
  • Lloyd Carr placed the first call to RichRod to find out whether he was interested in the Michigan job.
  • Apparently those two didn't get along so well once RichRod actually got hired, because at least five players confirmed that Carr held a team meeting the day he officially stepped aside and told the team he'd sign transfer papers that day for anyone who wanted to leave. Classy.
  • RichRod had a deal in place to bring D-coordinator Jeff Casteel with him from West Virginia, but when Bill Stewart was retained and Michigan wasn't willing to throw a pile of persuasive money at him, Casteel decided to stay. Another $100,000 in the assistants' pot might have made things soooo much different.
  • Rodriguez spent nearly half a million dollars for a personal attorney during the NCAA investigation to make sure he was cleared of the "failure to monitor" charge (he succeeded).
  • RichRod thinks Danny Hope is a "junior high school, no-class asshole." See, I never would've known that by watching CBS Sports.
  • The Les Miles interview before Brady Hoke was hired was a sham; Dave Brandon said Miles would be the coach at Michigan "over my dead body." So I was right about at least one weird insider thing (woo), which is that Miles was never really a candidate because so many people at Michigan are still super pissed at him for reasons unknown (although the always-circulating rumor is that he slept with Gary Moeller's wife way back in the day).
Given that Michigan is actually good (ducking lightning bolts) and the former players are gathering around Brady Hoke to sing kumbaya every night, reliving the past three years of awfulness seems dumb. But man ... 300 pages filled with the stuff above seems pretty compelling. At some point soon, I'm gonna have to sit down and plow through it (and probably take a week off from blogging) to get some closure on all the crazy things I heard and couldn't/didn't believe. I'm hoping to make it until after the season, when hopefully Michigan will be playing in the Rose Bowl or something (which would make the whole thing far, far less painful to relive), but I make no guarantees.

*It's pretty difficult for me to write coherently about the RichRod era, and I don't think I need to explain why.


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