The Winged Helmets Will Rise Again

Scott DavisContributor INovember 9, 2009

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 19:  Head coach Rich Rodriguez of the Michigan Wolverines watches warmups before the game with the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Michigan Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Michigan won 45-17.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

"A house divided against itself cannot stand"
-Abraham Lincoln
Truer words have never been spoken.
    During WWII, English speaking female broadcasters would air 15-20 minute segments of Japanese Propaganda to disrupt the morale of the Allied Forces in and around the Japanese Mainland. They became known as "Tokyo Rose". These women would advertise the locations of the Allied Forces, sometimes even calling them out by name. It was all in an effort to hinder their will to fight. Hearing negativity and only negativity has a way of breeding negativity in the audience. 63 years later, and we have the same issue.
    Even though the medium has changed, the methodology and effect are still the same. Columbus Chucks show up all over the internet on different message boards and sound off with hate and vitriol levied at the coaching staff and the players. To what end? Being negative and possessing a "see I told you so" attitude results in nothing positive; it emboldens the enemies, hurts player morale, and gives fodder to talking heads.
    The Michigan Difference means something more than a university pitch. It's bigger than track records and traditions. It's about rising above tribulations and enduring through times of trouble. It's about being unique and not being knee-jerk and reactionary like every other fan base in the nation when the Wolverines are in the midst of a season of adversity. It's about understanding that the greater good is served by searching for the positive of situations, instead of dwelling and harping on the negative issues. There are plenty of other fan bases all over the country that can come up with arrows to fire at the University, players, and staff; we needn't wage civil war as well.
    No one is thrilled with losing, but weathering growing pains now (even if it means archaic records may fall), means rising above the previous ceiling that the Wolverines had of good, but not great (consistent nine-win seasons, but consistently lose to elite competition). The program is 130 years old, a renaissance was necessary. 
    I don’t question that depth of love the fans for the Wolverines. Just your simple presence here shows an inordinate amount of fandom for the Maize and Blue. I am just saying that the constant negativity is contagious amongst some of the Michigan faithful and it’s enabling the competition. So for the Columbus Chucks, or East Lansing Eddies, South Bend Stans I say, though we are all disappointed when the Wolverines fall short of expectations, pessimism is just breeding more pessimism and our great fan base is dividing. We are Michigan; above this pettiness. We should celebrate the successes and support them through the setbacks.
    It is easy to stand on the other side of the fence and be accusatory and angry and sling vitriol at Coach Rodriguez and his staff. It's something completely else to appreciate the effort he and the players is putting in and realize that this man has made a career out of winning (he didn't just stumble onto four Big East Titles in five seasons) and he will bring success to Ann Arbor. Michigan Wolverines are the leaders and the best not because they had won over Purdue at home every year since 1966, or that they hadn’t lost in consecutive seasons to MSU since the 60’s, but the Maize and Blue are the best because they had earned that distinction by rising above the rest. It is not a plaque that one is forever entitled to however; it is a designation that is earned. The Wolverines have fallen from summit, but Coach Rodriguez is leading them back to the promise land.
    Michigan Football is about more than Carr vs. Rodriguez. We can celebrate and appreciate that history of Michigan without being so beholden to it that progress is impossible. 
The Winged Helmets will rise again, where will you be when they do?

Where were you when they were down?