Home / Open Letter to Lloyd Carr: A-B-C

Open Letter to Lloyd Carr: A-B-C

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Always be closing … ALWAYS BE CLOSING!

Given the thin margin of poll victory of the Gators over the Wolverines, I think many voters would have leaned to Michigan if only Lloyd Carr had asked for their vote. There is nothing innately inappropriate about campaigning or selling, but read the following quote from Carr's coaches show on Saturday night ahead of the final poll announcements:

I just think that based on some of the comments the Florida coach has made in the last two weeks, he has been campaigning strenuously for a berth in the championship game and making some statements about Michigan that I think were inappropriate. That certainly is going to stir a controversy, and who knows what that's going to lead to.

Stop me if I am assuming too much, but I think the message behind the Carr message is, "I am too good to put on a sales job for my program — our work should stand on its own."

In my time in many different industries, this is always the lament of the taskmaster — that is, he who believes, "Well, my my craft should be good enough and my brilliance should be obvious to anyone who sees my work." You have seen them — the co-workers who thinks sales is a dirty job and not worthy of their dignity. Their hubris oozes forth after every artistic triumph in their own mind. To paraphrase an old Dan Aykroyd line, "Lloyd, you ignorant slut!"

All the hours Carr spent this past year hitting the recruiting trail, all the hours leading and inspiring young men to peak performance, is all for naught, perhaps because Carr simply wouldn't close the deal and ask for the vote. If I were Chad Henne, Mike Hart, or LaMarr Woodley, I would be seething that my coach didn't do everything possible to ensure an appearance in the BCS Championship. It is fair to say that all coaches do some shady, gray, push-the-envelope activities and no one blinks an eye, yet Carr wouldn't go the last step for his players and his school.


Carr must have assumed that his 11-1 season was good enough to deserve a rematch. He forgot two important points: 1) "Recency bias," meaning the voters may have forgotten how good Michigan played this year in general (two weeks ago in specific), and 2) the voters are bleating sheep that need to be led since they rarely take their job seriously enough to record some games and watch them later.

Michigan did not do everything they could do to assure a shot at the title. Not only did they lose two weeks ago,  but then they allowed the public opinion that a rematch was bad for the sport.

Lloyd, all you probably had to do was ask. Just like you do when recruiting, when you are in a budget meeting, or when you go home and demand more pudding from the missus. I hear the desert is lovely this time of year. So sad that your seniors won't be joining you there.

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About Vinsane

  • bluegirl

    You can argue cynicism over integrity all day, and while you may be right about the way the world works, you’re not right about decency and the things that matter more than who gets to play for a trophy.

  • James

    That’s a big-time reach. Carr is a traditionist and is not going to stoop to badmouthing other schools and calling up voters to swing their vote. Meyer may be a good coach, but he let his true colors come out with all his “I’ll never recognize Michigan if they win” comments. You can keep your guy and his predictable QB draws. Carr may not be the absolute best coach in the country, but he is a man of integrity and I’m proud that he represents my school.

  • Carr didn’t complain because the BCS isn’t run by the referees.

  • Bluegirl and James, thanks, but all Carr had to say was “I hope the system and the voters remember our body of work even though we haven’t played for two weeks. Florida is an excellent program, but we played Ohio State to the wire and deserve an opportunity on a neutral field.”

    No slams, no hatin’ – just an honest call for the voters to remember the Michigan cause. As an Ohio kid I have HUGE respect for the Wolverines – as a Florida graduate appreciate the result. All I am asking Carr to do in the future to work the media and close the deal in the forum of public opinion.

    I challenge anyone to find a nugget above that espouses name-calling and or bad-mouthing.

  • Christopher Wagoner

    Does anybody realize that the University of Michigan has a policy of not allowing staff to campaign for anything. Carr had NOTHING to do with that. He could have been fired by UM if he HAD campaigned. DO YOUR RESEARCH!

  • Chris, since you brought it up I would love for you to cite your source. Nothing personal, just responsible journalism. No major media outlet has used this info, plus he serves on the local United Way Board – he campigns for them.

  • Chris

    Here is a recent example from the media of a bit of it. In Pete Thamel’s New York Times article on Nov. 19, after Michigan lost to Ohio State, Wolverines Athletic Director Bill Martin said Michigan would continue its policy of not politicking for bowl positions. ‘’We don’t lobby our players on behalf of any national awards,’’ Martin said, ‘’and we don’t lobby as a program. Our team and program lets our performance speak for itself. If we got an invitation to the Rose Bowl, Michigan would be honored to play in it.’’ This is part of that rule.

  • Interesting. I think you make a good case.

  • Lloyd Carr is a great coach. And football is a great game. It should be decided on the field. Florida is in the game and deserves to be. They are not their because a coach campaigned. But because the team played. Nuff Said

  • All right, Chris got me. Well done. Carr was a good soldier by towing the corporate/academic line – so now I move the same concept to the university. I just don’t see why this line is drawn, not just with Carr and Michigan but every year some coach cites “integrity” as a defense for not campaigning. This discussion has helped me draw the line more clearly – I am pro-campaigning, not anti-Carr.

  • Would rather settle for the Rose Bowl than have a coach that came off like a jerk/whiner (Urban Meyer Wiener). While we’re talking coaching, Tressel not voting was a weasel move.