The parallels between the 2008 arrival of RR and the 1969 arrival of Bo Schembechler are beginning to become uncanny. That's not to say that RR is Bo Schembechler, because that would be a bit premature, but it's possible that the state of the program in the final year under Lloyd Carr was very much like it was under Bump Elliot. In the interest of Tuesday's post alluding to Those Who Stay, and in lieu of Mr. Boren's impromptu and unnecessary press release, I present the following words of Bo Schembechler from his book Michigan Memories...
We inherited a good team (in 1969). They had gone 8-2 the year before. But one of those losses was brutal. They were humiliated at Ohio State, 50-14. There's no question that, at that time, Ohio State had the best team in college football...arguably the best ever.
At Michigan, we just couldn't let that happen.
The Michigan team had a lot of talent. We made it our goal to make that team TOUGH.
We had to take that talent and make it MEAN. I wanted them so mean that they'd scare themselves when they bumped into each other.
NO-body was going to out hit us. NO-body was going to out hustle us. If we got beat, it was because the other team on that day played a little better than we did. No team, though, was ever going to out work us.
That spring practice was hell for all those players. I mean true living hell. We had a lot of attrition.
That's when I put up a sign that hung over my office over the years --- "Those Who Stay Will Be Champions"
All those young men who stayed did become champions. And so did the one's after them. And the ones after them.
Champions...are carved out of character. Without character, talent can be beaten.