Bob Becker Serves Up a Dose of Haterade; MSC Follows with Some of Its Own

By · Wednesday, April 11, 2007 · 12:46 AM |  Share | 4 Comments 

One of the responsibilities of a blogger is to express your opinion on various things happening in the world. Here at Michigan Sports Center, I have chosen to write about Michigan athletics. Although much of what I talk about here is opinion, there is always useful information and actual reporting done as well. Opinion though is my favorite type of writing as it allows me to express my views on anything. I am going to use this post to express my opinion on Bob Becker, a writer for The Grand Rapids Press.

Bob Becker has been an annoyance to me ever since early March when he wrote an article that completely defended Tommy Amaker despite his shortcomings. It looked as though Amaker wrote it himself. I had never seen something so one-sided, especially when the faults against Amaker were there. Despite his lobbying for Amaker to be given another chance, Becker didn’t get his wishes as the once Michigan coach was fired a few weeks later. That brings me to my next issue with Becker.

He wrote an article last week that I just stumbled upon and completely hated on John Beilein and the hiring Michigan made in general. Sit tight because we may be here a while.

On a scale of 1-10, I’d put the selection of John Beilein as Michigan’s new basketball coach at 7.

Lots of good things to say about the guy. But not a slam dunk, by any measure.

I’ll give him that hiring John Beilein wasn’t a slam dunk based on name recognition, but coaching-wise it was. To start out your article by rating the hiring of a new coach though is just idiotic, and it only gets worse.

First of all, who is he?

Be honest now. Three weeks ago, if somebody had asked you who John Beilein was, could you have answered?

Umm, yes I could have actually. See Bob, for anyone that had any idea of who Michigan was targeting, the name John Beilein appeared on most lists of candidates to replace Tommy Amaker. So yes, I did know who John Beilein was three weeks ago, what’s your point?

Here’s a quick test. Who is the head coach at Mississippi State? At Belmont? At Colorado State? At Pittsburgh?

Probably some good coaches in there, too. But would you jump up and down if your school spent a couple million to pry one of them away from their programs?

This is one of the even more idiotic than usual parts of Becker’s article. He wants to compare coaches that range from a Sweet 16 school to an NCAA Tournament school to a couple of other lower-level programs. Again, what does this have to do with anything? Michigan didn’t and wouldn’t target coaches from those schools (although Pittsburgh has a great coach), and it is laughable to compare them to John Beilein.

If you look on the Internet, lots of people are already singing Beilein’s praises. They might be right.

But right now they are just jumping on the bandwagon. Their combined hysteria got rid of Amaker, so they’d celebrate anybody the school brought in.

Let me get this straight, because fans are excited about their new coach, we are all jumping on the bandwagon? If Bill Martin went out and hired someone that wasn’t successful would we all be celebrating? If Martin hired someone that no one wanted would we be celebrating? The answer to both of those questions is no. We are celebrating because Martin hired a great coach that can put Michigan back on the map.

Let’s face it. It’s not like Tubby Smith is coming to town. It’s not like Roy Williams coming home to North Carolina.

It’s just one more fairly successful coach being brought in to see what happens, and let’s keep our fingers crossed.

This is what I like to call lazy journalism. Did Mr. Becker even research anything about John Beilein? I guess the 30+ years of coaching and working his way up to eventually take West Virginia to the Elite 8 is only “fairly successful.” Despite winning wherever he goes, Becker assumes that we have to keep our fingers crossed. Obviously nothing is a sure thing, but to make a statement like that is something you would say about an unproven coach, not one with decades upon decades of expereince.

Why would a marquee coach want to come to a place that is attractive to only the John Beileins of the world?

That is just a completely dumb thing to say. Of course Michigan isn’t going to be able to go out there and bring in someone like Rick Pitino or Roy Williams, but that’s because they’re already at the top. John Beilein is a great coach that is coming to Michigan because the chance to win a national championship is there. And if Becker means a guy that wins wherever he goes and has success nearly every year, then sure, this was attractive only to the “John Beileins of the world.”

They needed a guy who could get the fans to say “He’s going to really get this place fired up!” What they got instead was a guy who got the fans to say “I hope he gets this place fired up!”

And to cap it all off, Becker finishes with a statement just as idiotic as the one he opened this article with. Michigan basketball hasn’t been this popular in a long time. Personally, I haven’t been this fired up about Michigan basketball in years. The excitement is there and all of the Michigan basketball fans I’ve talked to can’t wait for the season to start. The fact that we’re still talking about Michigan basketball during the final week of spring practice for football shows that there is a definite change.

All I can say to Mr. Becker is that someone needs to stop hating on Michigan and John Beilein so much. To just completely say so many negative things about a guy who was on the job for one day is like what I’m doing to him by giving so much criticism. The difference is that Becker has done stuff like this before to deserve it. Talk to me a year from now and we’ll see if you still want to write that same crap.


  1. Andrew says:

    yeah, saw that becker article. completely inane. almost terry foster-esque (to steal some hate from mgoblog). he basically had his conclusion in mind and made stuff up to support it. great rebuttal.

  2. Anonymous says:

    don’t let becker get to you….this is a guy who who criticized gibby for never hitting 30 homers in a year….he’s just mad because he’s fat and never had a son….how many times have you seen girls softball on the front page of the grp sports section when the stones are a winning playoff series…

  3. Anonymous says:

    I was a freshman at Michigan in 1996 and haven’t been as fired up since then as I am about this next season.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I grew up in GR. He’s an MSU slappy, through and through. I’ve never read anything by him that was pro-UofM. Of course, the GR Press is the most MSU-friendly paper this side of the Red Cedar, but I digress. His kid went to Moo-U, too.

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