Michigan Fans Are Antsy, But Calls To Fire Rodriguez Are Premature

Michigan was routed 38-13 last weekend, by an Illinois team with a 1-6 record. The catastrophic loss dropped the Wolverines to 1-4 in the Big Ten. Michigan went five weeks in October without defeating a Division 1 opponent. What was an apparent leap forward has become further disappointment.

Alumni are understandably antsy. Rich Rodriguez does deserve blame, but calling for his ouster is premature. It would be more detrimental at this juncture.

Continued at The Big Lead

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Sports Business Daily Panel

I discussed ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentaries on a panel for Sports Business Daily. Check it out if you’re interested.

Conventional Wisdom Scoffs at NFL in London. Why?

Americans understand the English.  Bob Glauber rode the tube two years ago.  Dan Shaughnessy can unleash an arsenal of ethnic stereotypes.  Greg Walsh knows his “tea and crumpets.”  With our perfect knowledge, we know an NFL franchise will never work in London.  We just know.  It’s obvious.  Why bother to analyze it?

There’s a common element to this type of ungrounded, conventional wisdom.  It’s stupid.

Continued at The Big Lead

Thoughts on 30 for 30: Small Potatoes, Who Killed the USFL?

Mike Tollin named his first company “Halcyon Days Productions.” The title fits, since that’s precisely how he portrayed the USFL in Small Potatoes. The league was a flashy 80s production, rebellious, zany and fun. It attracted big stars. Most importantly, it was football, as evidenced with repeated, sonorous interludes from Keith Jackson and Howard Cosell. Tollin awakens a forgotten league, a Wikipedia footnote to those of us under 30, but how successfully?

Continued at The Big Lead

Maurice Edu Racially Abused By Own Fans at Rangers

Maurice Edu revealed yesterday he was the target of racist abuse from his own fans at Glasgow Rangers. Fans confronted him as he entered his car after Rangers’ mind-boggling 4-1 Champions League loss at home to Romanian champions Unirea Urziceni. Edu did not play in the match. It was not the first time it has happened.

Continued at The Big Lead

Review of “The Band That Wouldn’t Die”

3162247592_9f9f08b016ESPN premiered The Band That Wouldn’t Die last night, the second of their 30 for 30 documentaries.  Barry Levinson, the director of Rain Man, told the story of the Baltimore Colts leaving for Indianapolis through the Baltimore Colts’ Marching Band, who stayed together during the 12-year interim before the Ravens arrived.  The film was compassionate, well-shot and brilliant.

Continued at The Big Lead

The U.S. Qualified For The World Cup. What Now?

Landon-DonovanThe United States qualified for its sixth straight World Cup, winning 3-2 away against Honduras. It was an awesome sight. It would have been significantly more awesome had I not had to watch on a grainy Internet feed half-obscured by a Honduran chat room.

Continued at The Big Lead

* This was written before knowledge of Charlie Davies’ accident.