Three And Out: Rich Rodriguez And The Michigan Wolverines In The Crucible Of College Football (2011)
Three and Out: Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines in the Crucible of College Football (2011)
4.11 of 5 Votes: 2
0809094665 (ISBN13: 9780809094660)
Farrar Straus Giroux
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I'll admit that I wasn't expecting a lot from this book. But I thoroughly enjoyed it. Bacon's writing is clear, unobstructed, and sets the scene without his presence obscuring his observations. His personal experiences and views, like when he participated in strength training with the team, were only provided to help give depth of feeling to the story where necessary.The conclusion, spoiler alert (and trigger warning for rabid U-M football fans), is that the failure of Rich Rod's tenure with the Wolverines had nothing to do with his coaching prowess. That's why he had success everywhere else he went, including his latest stop in Arizona. His only missteps were political, off the field, with the gigantic steaming pile of crap that is the politics surrounding the U-M football program. If you had to place blame for the program's decline there are a dozen people you'd rank ahead of Rich Rod, his staff, the players, or the fans.In other words the people who should have the most effect on the games had the least. It's hard telling what that means for the future. The Hoke hiring, a clear reaction to Rich Rod's style, showed that finding a "Michigan Man" matters more than finding a good coach. That's no way to run a top football program. U-M can only hope that the money they put up for Harbaugh has found a coach who can navigate the complex game calls both off the field and on. Unfortunately, Harbaugh's last few years in SF don't suggest that's likely. The best non-fiction books, in my view, are those with access. Where the writer has fly-on-the-wall level insider access to the critical events and conversations that unfold over history. What makes this book so great is Rich Rodriguez gave John U. Bacon unfettered access to himself and Michigan’s football program over the course of his three short years as its head coach. Bacon was able to capitalize on this access to provide an incredibly detailed chronology of what those tumultuous years were like from the inside. The Achilles heel of this kind of access is the author gets too close to its subject, and from the beginning Bacon is clearly biased in favor of Rich Rod and the Michigan football players and staff. Sometimes his comments run over the top in unfettered praise: “You’d be hard pressed to find another college football program that made the effort these Michigan Men did for charity.” That said, for those of us who love college football, and Michigan in particular, this was a great read.
A good look into a storied college football program.
Very sympathetic to Rich Rod. Lloyd Carr is a jerk.
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