I thought this would have picked up a little more steam throughout the day after it appeared in the Freep and on AA.com. This is a tough one. I mean, Braylon was that feel good story, an under-recruited legacy who came out of the dog house and into the #1 jersey...and he single handedly led the Wolverines back from 17 down with 7 minutes to play against Michigan Agricultural College, making keepsake poster moments out of every Spartan defensive back. Post graduation, he has given back to Michigan, donating money and establishing a scholarship fund. It's tough, really tough, not to like Braylon for what he did, and what he continues to do for Michigan. Quite frankly, I love Braylon Edwards. But I grew up loving Jim Harbaugh too.
On Sunday, Braylon used Sunday Night Football to perpetuate the growing rift between Ann Arbor's pro-Carr and pro-Rodriguez camps, announcing himself as Braylon Edwards from "Lloyd Carr's University of Michigan." I'm certain that in the coming days, Braylon will spin it as not anti-Rodriguez, just pro-Lloyd. His dad already made an attempt this afternoon to cover his son's tracks on WTKA, saying that Braylon works with players in the off-season and generally likes Rodriguez. Already feels a bit like that asshole that tells a racist joke, then tells you "some of my best friends are black." Ya, Braylon is a regular Dr. Watley. And I can assure you, this isn't the first time that Stan Edwards has had to make a WTKA appearance to clean up a mess. I can clearly remember him brokering peace between Braylon and Lloyd on the same airways in Braylon's dog house days, telling us all how "misunderstood" Braylon was.
Honestly though, I'm not here to tell Braylon that he needs to like Rodriguez. I'm also not here to tell him to hate Lloyd Carr. I'm just asking him to like Michigan. What he did on Sunday was counterproductive, immature, and detrimental to Michigan. We've got signing day coming up in a month and one of our supposed ambassadors is basically talking shit about the current coach on national television. Think that sits well with our verbals? Liking Michigan means you can honor your mentor, and at the same time respect the current coach. I don't know at what point Lloyd Carr and Rich Rodriguez became rivals, became something you have to choose between. Lloyd Carr and Rich Rodriguez are not mutually exclusive. Lloyd Carr was not fired. Lloyd Carr was not forced out. Lloyd Carr retired, of his own volition, and while he tried hard to create a Bo-like legacy of coaches to follow in his footsteps, he couldn't pull it off. App State happened. We moved on. We're trying something new.
This is bigger than you Braylon, which is probably the most difficult thing for you to handle. Bigger than you, and bigger than Lloyd. This is not, never was, and never will be Lloyd Carr's University of Michigan, nor will it be Rich Rodriguez's University of Michigan. Not to go all "Ohio State" on you, but this is THE University of Michigan, that's where you're from.
I'd appreciate it if you started acting like it.
UPDATE: Like I said, the spin was coming...