Good Riddance, Lloydball!

Ross WenkContributor IMay 16, 2009

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 13: Head coach Rich Rodriguez of the Michigan Wolverines yells from the sideline in the first quarter while playing the Notre Dame Fighting Irishon September 13, 2008 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame won the game 35-17. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)


1. A slow-paced, low-risk, low-reward style of play in American football where the coach plays to the strength of the team which is always said to be the defense, even if the offense is obviously stronger.

2. The attempt to defend a three-point lead for the entirety of the fourth quarter, often against an inferior team, while shutting down the offense.

3. An exclamation screamed prior to throwing a brick through a TV.

Have you seen them yet? Have you seen the off-season articles about Michigan's 3-9 season stating fans now miss Lloyd Carr and his style of play?

Do you know any such Michigan fans? No? Neither do I.

Sure I've run across several disappointed fans, many who didn't quite know what to do with themselves on a New Years Day without Michigan Football but not one has expressed a desire for a return to the Lloyd Carr era and/or his style of play.

That would probably surprise an outsider or a casual observer but for the fans, the real hardcore fans, Lloydball was like fingernails on a chalkboard.

Better yet, it was the Velveeta of college football; a consistent and predictable processed football product.

No one who has ever had good cheese would ever confuse Velveeta with such a food. Likewise, no one who has ever been exposed to good football would ever confuse Lloydball with such a thing.

Michigan fans, as a whole, have well-developed palates.

I, for one, started to lose interest in Lloydball circa 2000. With each passing year, it became harder and harder to watch when I already knew the outcome.

Michigan would keep things close up to the fourth quarter, letting the opponent, often even a clearly out-matched opponent, hang around with a chance to win up to the final moments.

Sure, it was exciting the first few times I saw it, but as the years passed, I thought I was watching a rerun. I could have had the same experience popping in a VCR tape from seasons past.

Even though we often won these contests, it lacked any real satisfaction. What surprised me the most about 2008 was just how interested I was again!

Yes, we stank. We really stank badly like never before in my lifetime, yet I was drawn in. I had to watch again. It was all different and lacked all the things I'd grown to hate, YES HATE, about Michigan Football.

Gone are the days of “playing to the defense” (even when nearly all the players on offense are future NFL starters...see 1999)

No longer do we ride a singular tailback into the ground, without even a thought of a change-of-pace, while several other capable players warm the bench.

Never again will we watch players grow slower and less explosive over the years while the effects of H.I.T. (High Intensity Training) take hold.

Gone are the days we (and every defensive coordinator on Earth) can call the play just from the backfield alignment.

Everything was new and unpredictable. The outcome once again unknown.

The victories were few, but ever so sweet. Rarely had I celebrated a victory with the emotion I did in the crisp air outside the HHH Metrodome where I sang The Victors time and time again with groups of rabid fans, all knowing we had a glimpse of things to come.

The future is bright.

We have the right man in Rich Rodriguez.

Hail to thy Victors Valiant,

Hail to thy conquering heroes,

Hail, hail! to Michigan the Champions of the West.


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