Wow, that was close. Our hidebound devotion to such ridiculous conventions as "tackling", "blocking", "running to daylight", "backside contain", "keeping the QB in one piece", and the like, almost cost us.
Forthwith, a transcript of This Week with Bo Schembechler, with guests Rich Rodriguez, Bill Parcells, Kirk Ferentz, and Matt Roth.
BS: Welcome, and it's Sunday morning with This Week with me, Bo Schembechler. I may be dead, but the game I love lives yet, and thank goodness.
BP, KF, MR: Hey, Coach.
RR: Who the fuck are you?
BS: Pipe down, Rodriguez, children are eating breakfast and trying to determine their football future.
RR: I am the fucking future. Fuck this, fuck that, fuck you, fuck fuck fuck I say clearly on national TV while my team melts down. If you don't understand that you are a loser, a HATER, and a Lloyd Carr sympathizer, I don't know what to say. Get on with it, then.
BS: Stand by for this message from our sponsor, Ford Trucks, because Ford Trucks work, deliver, and don't break in half at crucial moments, unlike a certain foul-mouthed glorified offensive coordinator who is wrecking the greatest college football program in American history. Rodriguez, this is a gag ball. I'm strapping it on your face.
BS: So, I'm Bo Schembechler, you are not, and this is my show. I offer the following quote from my illustrious past, when I walked amongst the living:
"When your team is winning, be ready to be tough, because winning can make you soft; on the other hand, when your team is losing, stick by them. Keep believing."
BS: Coach Ferentz: your comments?
KF: It's a funny deal. I was getting coffee the other day, listening to Mike and Mike, and I thought, What kind of deal is this? It's a tough game. With luck we won't get blown out. We're Iowa, we're not built for flash, you know, we're kinda walking along the highway picking up aluminum cans for the recycling value, hoping it doesn't rain too hard. Rain. You get wet when it rains. Are people still writing this down, or can I stop talking now?
BS: Where did you learn to talk like that?
KF: I taught English, you know. But I missed the class on mixed metaphors. And I have been married for three decades. If anyone is listening, I'm blanding. Can I talk about the weather now?
BS: Pink locker rooms and deviousness. Matt Roth, anything new with you? Aside from tattoos.
MR: Coach Ferentz is a man's coach, Bo. He would never F-bomb his own team on national TV. The other guy's a loser.
KF: Hah, I never thought of that. But if I did, Matt would either kill me or my QB, and it's a fine Indian summer, and I hope we survive practice Monday, we're so bad, I can't feature holding up against Kuchel and those guys on the scout team, they bring it every week and we're lucky if we ...
BS: This is journalism we are practicing Ferentz, so shut up. And good game. Haven't seen tackling like that around here in ...
MR: Three years? And ..
BS: You too, Hawkeye-man, ix-nay alk-tay. Bill Parcells. Appreciate the normal hue to that hair, again. What happened yesterday?
BP: Iowa committed tackle football. They blocked, they tackled, they had some guy named Kluge or Deluge or something grab a Michigan player and pick him up, shake him a few times, squeeze him, until he dropped the football and he could throw him onto the ground. Their quarterback had a "quiet" game, only his pass efficiency rating was 198+. The other team's guys ran around in circles and kicked the ball out of bounds a few times, when they weren't committing personal fouls on the offense line. It was pretty strange, to me. I thought it was supposed to be a football game between the Greatest College Football Program in the History of the Solar System, and some plodding slugs from the countryside. Not coed flag football.
MR: You forgot ...
BP: Shut up. I fired you and you work in Cleveland now. You are so-o-o-o lucky the 3-4 came back, and there is a collective bargaining agreement.
MR: You forgot that we broke Mr. Dilithium Crystal, or whatever he is. Last year we broke Baby Jesus. Flag football is unpleasant if you play a tackle football team. Can you imagine what is going to happen when those guys play Wisconsin and OSU to end the year? When both of those obsolete archaic diseased indicators of programs past are going to be playing for the polls and a better January game? When Michigan's puny little running quarterbacks are so beat up they need three shots of Xylocaine just to tie their shoes or take a piss? It's pathetic.
BS: Matt Roth, you are benched. You are on this show to be funny, not wordy. Note: I once said, "I am going to treat you all the same. Like dogs."
BP: He's a self-interested asshole but he has a point. Rodriguez is running a high school offense, and his defense and special teams DO NOT EXIST. They don't tackle, they don't kick the ball straight, they don't know the rules when a field goal is blocked, they do not, in short, have a tackle football team. You are your record, and he is 4-15 in the Big Ten. Danny Hope, at some Rensselaer of the MIdwest, or something, is 6-4 with a third string freshman QB winning games with the mid-line option on two days practice. As I understand it, Bo, it's all your fault because you hired Lloyd. And Lloyd's a moron because he played people like Tom Brady. Nobody can win football games with guys like Brady. I believe that is the story line. Better to have track men running QB iso's against people who outweigh them by 100 pounds. If my notes are correct, Daniels benches more with one arm than their quarterbacks weigh. This is a stupid offense.
BS: Thanks, Parcells, maybe you should go dye your hair again. "A Michigan Man will coach Michigan" I once said. Coach Ferentz? See that guy over there with the gag ball stuck on his face? Is he a Michigan Man? Your thoughts. The real ones, not the ones you give Bob Brooks.
KF: Excellent coach, gosh, what, I'm scratching my head trying to decide what to do against them. I remember the first time I coached a game in Ann Arbor. I was just hoping that they would let us get back on our bus, after we lost, which I knew we would, instead of making us walk to Iowa City. Michigan, wow. There isn't a more storied program than that. I just wish I had a chance to coach the waterboys in Ann Arbor, some day ...
BS: Look, buddy, the game's over, you won, can you say something useful here?
KF: Mary Sue is a good president, I remember once we were having coffee at Prairie Lights ...
BS: Forget it. Rodriguez, take that goddamned obscene thing out of your face. It's time for TWWBS 20 Questions. You are on the hot seat, a familiar one, I gather. Are you losing your temper again, or is it a motivational technique that you have had success with somewhere else?
RR: It's not my fault, there was nothing in inventory when I took over, these guys are "ridiculous" because they can't run my offense after three years, so what if I have a negative net worth net of pending lawsuit settlements, how could anyone put a decent team on the field in a state like Michigan or Ohio, the NCAA thing is a traffic ticket? I meant, Michigan. Only. We don't have a lot of football players in Michigan. It's a wasteland for football talent, unlike Indiana or Iowa.
BS: This is my show. Twenty questions. One, why does your team look like a bunch of girls, tackling? Tackling: important? Your view.
RR: Defense? Are you kidding? Injuries, Lloyd, recruiting, three years not enough. Not my fault. Everyone knows that.
BS: Two. Iowa here is running some 5'8", 190 lb guy they recruited in order to get Bernstein, he was a fourth string strong safety 18 months ago, and he had 200 yards total offense and actually converted a third and fourteen. What's so hard about tackling that guy?
RR: Hello? Defense again? Not my fault.
BS: Three. For the second time in two years Iowa knocked your QB out of the game. System? Trend? Habit? Or sheer ignorance?
RR: Got three of them, whatever, more where they came from, not my fault.
BS: Four. True or false. A blocked field goal is a live ball? Or just walk off the field hoping you don't get F-bombed by the coach on national TV?
RR: Special teams. Boring. Delegated that. Ask the other guy. Not my fault. Are you a hater?
BS: Five. Stanzi was, like, perfect in this game, no turnovers, 198 efficiency rating, one hand over his heart during the national anthem. Query: you are playing some accident prone version of Wes Welker at quarterback, and he throws a ball about as well as your backup center. Why?
RR: If he did what I told him to do, we'd score 60 every time. Kids. Get more of them with lots of stars. Not my fault.
BS: Six --
BP: Haven't we had enough of this bullshit? One team played football, the other team played hide-and-seek. Newsflash, football? Dominate and impose your will? I can't get over that Klugey guy, picking up some shrimp and shaking him until he dropped the prize. Really, it was kind of funny.
RR: Fuck you too Parcells, you are obsolete.
MR: That's really funny.
KF: Wow. Anyway, I was talking to the girl who sells me coffee at 6 a.m., saying, I just hope Wisconsin doesn't bring their *entire* team, because, you know, wow, our middle linebacker has started two games for us in five years and only had 13 tackles, a breakup and a game-ending pick. So there's that deal. That's a deal. That's some deal. Some days I don't know how I'll make it until lunch. It's always something, and I'm just trying to stay afloat here.
BS: Yeah, you and your pink locker rooms.
RR: Can I fucking go fucking now?
BS: I sure wish you would. But very pleased to see you can't control yourself on national TV again. Impressive.
MR: It's okay with me if he stays. Lot easier to beat them if he stays. Funny, really.
BS: Roth, my show, you shut up. Last warning.
KF: Then, when I was checking in with my secretary, she reads all my so-called "email", whatever that is, and gives me these little pink pieces of paper with little squares that she checks: "Urgent" or "For Your Attention" or "He wrote an email but you don't care". Good system. Just trying to keep my head above water. Paddling as fast as I can. Me: slow, small, brain-limited. Trying to remember how to say, "SAVE ME!" That sort of thing, and then ...
BS: Ferentz, stop rubbing it in.
BP: Is there any way you are available to join me in Buffalo?
RR: He'll fucking get his --"
BS: Rodriguez, you embarrass me. Now, for our weekly feature: what does the other side say? For this week's feature we turn to mgoblog.com, which reminds us, it's not how many points are on the board, it's the number of yards between the 20's, and if you don't believe that, you are a "pathological Michigan and Rodriguez hater --"
RR: Fucking straight, that.
"I like Rodriguez. We need to give him 4-5 more years, please."
Anyone who disagrees is a HATER. Rodriguez is 4-15 AL (after Lloyd, who, obviously, was a total loser) against the Big Ten, which doesn't matter because it is someone else's fault. I mean, contrast this with Danny Hope. Hope has the benefit of inheriting a richly talented program with a legendary local talent pool and he has had the good fortune of losing his top 2 quarterbacks, top running back, and top receiver. Of course he is doing better than we are; he's got more to work with. Of course Hope is only 6-4 v. the Big Ten, with a win over Ohio State. Hope doesn't even have the sense to blame the past for his present. Thank goodness Hope is not coaching Michigan or we would be two steps from oblivion.
Reasons to be cheerful:
Coach Rodriguez has created a new betting convention: The QB Fracture, or, In Which Quarter Will the QB Leave Because of Injury Because the Game is Tackle Football, Not Flag Football? Everybody knows that running QBs aren't hurt as often as old-school (Lloyd-ball) QBs, and it's just a statistical anomaly that in two games against an archaic Iowa program, coached by a clown who represents the past, the QB has been knocked out of the game. I'm sure it will go much better against Wisconsin and OSU. Those guys are a bunch of pussies and we'll run circles around them with our 175-lb smurf QBs, especially if the weather is bad and a couple of our O-Linemen are hurt.
He's created enormous fascination with statistical excess, as his teams run wild before a) hitting the red zone; b) throwing the ball to the wrong team (in the numbers, incidentally); c) playing an FBS school not named "Indiana". Everyone knows that it's yards between the 20's, not scoring points, that matter.
His teams run a gazillion plays (42% more than Iowa) and it's fun because it's the number of plays, not points on the board, that matter: you just never know when the next strange screw-up will turn the ball over because a good offense doesn't have to worry about efficiency, protecting the ball, in-game adjustments, idiotic penalties, etc. Managing turnovers: that's Lloyd-ball, that's neanderthal football (we'll have fun with Wisconsin and OSU, fellas, when our QBs are scotch-taped together and both of those teams are playing tackle football for polls and bowls, and the wind, rain and snow are blowing, because this system is the future and they are the past!).
His teams are proudly unconcerned with offensive efficiency: despite being the clear, dominant team on offense between the 20's, they pass for 65% of the opponents YPA, and that just shows you: his teams can pass a lot to no effect! It's so exciting! And Iowa's loser QB system. Why, Stanzi couldn't even ride the pine at Michigan. We didn't even recruit him, thank you lord. Heck he entered the game third in NCAA pass efficiency -- and raised his score to 180+. What a joke: he only threw for 248, zero picks, and a 198+ efficiency rating. Who cares if you don't have 400 yards? Winning is so boring!
Special teams don't matter at all, to him, and so what! that we look like a winless high school team trying to kick off, cover a blocked field goal (hey, why coach special teams, we don't coach defense do we?), or cover the kickoffs that do manage to stay in-bounds. Who grows up hoping to play special teams for the winningest team in college football history? Nobody! It's irrelevant! We need more such special teams innovation in the Big Ten.
Defense is an especially interesting subject in respect of Coach Rodriguez, because he's shown that such old-school, hidebound concepts as backside contain, tackling with one's legs and *both* arms, while staying square and maintaining leverage, are irrelevant. Everybody knows that it's the number of stars on a recruit's ass that determines future game success, and that's why Iowa's third-string unrecruited MIKE had 13 tackles, one pass breakup and one pick to end the game. (He just got lucky, and it isn't that he is coached to play assignment football against a wildly erratic team that's fast fast fast in timed 40's in gym shorts -- and that's why, in five years and a grand total of two starts, he has one B10 DPOTW, and maybe another one now.) That's why a team with one RB, who was a fourth-string strong safety 18 months ago,and a 5'9" rookie making his first start at fullback because the starter was hurt and the second string guy (who was a walk-on) quit, ran on third and 14 -- and got 15.
Last, he ensures that no TV network will ever mic the sideline, because children and women and more children watch these games, and it's not cool to broadcast in high definition a Michigan Man who is out of control screaming F*** at his own players on national TV. Thank goodness we have a guy like Coach Rodriguez who would never embarrass himself on national TV, and is upholding the fine football traditions of our Harvard of the Mitten State, our Mt. Olympus of 14 percent unemployment, the playground of Yost and Bo and the winningest best all-time greatest football program ever.
Nix on 4-5 years. We need to give this guy a job for life. If we don't, we are "pathological Michigan and Rodriguez haters." Facts, records, the actual way the game is played and public behavior are irrelevant. Anyone who says they are relevant is a "HATER." And even if we don't, could we please hire another failed Big East defensive coordinator? Defense is so Lloyd, so Bo, so beside the point. It's not like the best tackling club in the world, in the 1980's was Michigan, which often as not beat the shit out of Iowa and Iowa's winningest coach. It's only a matter of time before other Big Ten schools start playing flag football, too, and the conference coaching ranks are populated with Big East refugees who neither tackle, nor kick, nor cover passes, in year three of the most difficult rebuilding job in human history, nor score the most in these silly exercises called "games". Anyone who says otherwise is a "HATER."