Writer's note: Following weeks of rampant speculation, Rich Rodriguez, the man who has the unenviable distinction of being The Pariah in two states of the Union, was finally fired from his position as head football coach at the University of Michigan.
For the record, the ax fell at five minutes past noon on Wednesday January 5, 2011, approximately three years and a month after his hasty departure from his duties as head football coach at West Virginia University.
This article was published at 9:48 am Eastern Time. All my comments remain the same.
Hop on the Rich Rodriguez roller coaster. From fired to not fired to, Jeez Louise, will someone get this right?
As of 8:20 am ET, or the initial writing of this unedited sentence, the Rodster remains at the University of Michigan. The state of West Virginia prepares to pop the corks of its 2007 vintage of schadenfreude.
Who knows what evil lurks over the carcass of the emotional, Bible-toting, Josh Groban-quoting Rich Rod?
We shall see.
For the vituperative denizens of the hills and valleys of Almost Heaven, Rod’s rolling head could not have been lopped off too soon.
I have little wiggle room on this one. Taking it back to December 2007, I was among those displeased with Rich Rodriguez. Not a hater like many, just disenchanted.
At that time, I ran Hail West Virginia, a blog on blogspot.com that was largely ignored, or more accurately, absolutely not read. There, I discussed my main reason for the flipping off of an offensive genius of a coach.
That reason was the verbal abuse of his players.
I deemed it unnecessary for the incessant tongue-lashed, verbal bitch-slapping of 18- to 22-year-olds.
I cited public remarks on the subject issued by both Noel Devine and Pat White soon after Rich left Mountaineer Field for the Big House. Additionally, I referred back to 2001, when a 3-8 Rod was called out by boosters—sanctimoniously, perhaps, yeah—for profanity unbecoming of a college head coach.
Adding one and one on that cold December 17 day, I came up with two comments:
a. goodbye, and
The fact that "b" didn’t happen brings us to today, Wednesday, January 5, 2011, at 8:55 am ET, as Rich Rodriguez remains twisting in the wind.
I am a West Virginia fan, born and bred. I love my fellow West Virginia fans. There are a million of us, only a million, but that’s a million with many more red-faced, white-knuckled, blue-vein-popping Friends of Coal faithful per capita and more powerful than the piety on the planet of Notre Dame.
Together, we’re always loyal, knowledgeable, reverent and rabid—everything a college nation should be.
However, and don't burn my sofa, I say now is the time to come to the aid of our ex-coach, the man who took us to two Bowl Championship Series bowls, whose Mountaineer teams won 11 games in each of three consecutive seasons and who did it with swashbuckling aplomb.
In the history of West Virginia football, there are two instances of a head coach in a huge game, calling plays that only a man with guts made of titanium would:
a. Don Nehlen, late in the fourth against 1984 Boston College and Doug Flutie, signing off on a defense with nine on the line and the corners on an island to embarrass the Golden Eagles, and
b. Rich Rodriguez, with only a couple of minutes remaining in the 2005 season Sugar Bowl, calling a fake punt for a first down that hog-tied and defeated SEC champion, Georgia.
Give Rich a break, Mountaineers. Show him and the rest of the sports world what we're truly made of.