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Letters to the Editor: Taking Rich Rod's quotes out of context

Published November 20, 2008

I am starting to get very tired of the media field day surrounding our football season. However, I am more disappointed with some fans’ reactions. The viewpoint Wednesday by University alum Josh Weingast was a prime example of these two issues (A message for Rich Rod, 11/19/2008).

Instead of reporting the whole story, the media decided to use a few sentences from head football coach Rich Rodriguez's press conference Monday, which, of course, was designed to ruffle our feathers. Plenty of people decided to take the bait and completely overreact. Instead of reporting a reasoned response to some of the ridiculous accusations and insults that are hurled from every corner of the Internet, the media made it look like Rodriguez was criticizing our fans’ passion.

This also turned out to be a perfect example of the difference between the old media and the rising blogs. Mgoblog actually looked at Rodriguez’s entire quote and came to a reasoned conclusion, rather than misleading readers.

I am getting very tired of every media outlet throwing our coach and team under the bus. Our student newspaper should not be one of them. Sure, this year has been disappointing, but don't think for a second that this team has quit. Don't quit on them. We will be back, and soon.

Until then, I am going to hope most of us can calm down and give our new coach more than five seconds to bring our team back.

David Childers
Engineering senior

In his viewpoint Wednesday, Josh Weingast may have been guilty of a greater sin than telling fans to “get a life” (A message for Rich Rod, 11/19/2008).

As a University alum, Weingast should be familiar with the work involved in researching his topics thoroughly and completely. If had he read the widely available transcript of Rich Rodriguez’s press conference Monday, he would have been able to see that the “get a life” quote was directed at the Michigan “fans” who populate Internet message boards making personal attacks about his players’ mindsets, dedication and skills. Had he read further into the transcript, he would have seen that Rodriguez, not more than a paragraph later, stated that he’s glad that Michigan fans have so much passion. He’s glad that the fans care as much as they do.

I would recommend visiting the popular Michigan message boards and reading the vicious personal attacks people have made about our team. That is what Rodriguez is talking about. The majority of us would be much better off if those people stepped away from their keyboards and got a life.

I do, however, agree with Weingast on one thing: Many Michigan fans are students and graduates of this top university, and we are pretty darn smart. Many are even smart enough to read Rodriguez’s press conference transcript and form judgments based on what he actually said, not the sentence snippet that was actually reported.

Form whatever opinion of Rodriguez you want, but at least take all of the information into consideration, not just one line from a press conference.

David Xia
Engineering senior


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