Oh, those wholesome blockers of yore.
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On Monday, starting guard Justin Boren quit the team at Michigan. Wednesday, he explained why: promiscuity, divorce, vulgarity, substance abuse, substandard hygiene, paganism, bondage, anarchy, tatoos, virgin sacrifices, pre-dawn puppy kicking, probably some derivative of Dungeons and Dragons played to the mind-warping nihilism of "Irresponsible Hate Anthem," and a general breakdown of family structure, personal responsibility and social order after Rich Rodriguez's arrival in Ann Arbor that left 58 dead and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage:
On Wednesday [Boren] released a statement saying in part: "Michigan football was a family, built on mutual respect and support for each other from (former) Coach (Lloyd) Carr on down. We knew it took the entire family, a team effort, and we all worked together.
"I have great trouble accepting that those family values have eroded in just a few months. ... That I am unable to perform under these circumstances at the level I expect of myself, and my teammates and Michigan fans deserve, is why I have made the decision to leave."
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Also, like, hustling:
Boren told reporters after Michigan's first spring practice 10 days ago that adapting to new coach Rich Rodriguez's no-huddle spread offense was physically challenging. He mentioned the difficulty the offensive linemen had constantly running to the line of scrimmage.
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"Difficulty" would seem to be an understatement here: Boren follows sometime-starters Jeremy Ciulla and Alex Mitchell off the stage just a week and a half into the new staff's tenure, leaving tackle Steve Schilling and a cast of huge, lovable scamps with nary a significant snap among them in their place. It was bad enough to lose Chad Henne, Mike Hart, Jake Long, Mario Manningham and Adrian Arrington in one fell swoop, with such meh-looking replacements that a diminutive white guy
yet to set foot in a college locker room was already garnering most of the preseason optimism; as it stands following the early attrition, Schilling is the only returning starter on the entire Wolverine offense. Unless Rodriguez really has brought the clean slate on himself with a strict regimen of excessive physical, verbal and/or psychological abuse - and really, football coaches are always walking that line, especially in the first tone-setting days of spring, right? - the fact the predictable house-cleaning coincided with an obvious rebuilding year under any circumstances is just an ill-timed coincidence.
It happened to Notre Dame last year (to a little bit lesser extent, actually, since the Irish landed its top-ranked quarterback recruit), and ND just missed becoming the least productive offense of the decade. Not that it's a prediction or anything, but if unprecedented inexperience and failure can make it there, no tradition is safe from the ravages of a spankin' new lineup.
Update [2008-3-27 13:18:18 by SMQ]: Justin's father, Shembechler era Wolverine linebacker Mike Boren, seems to have a preference about where his son goes from here. Not to spoil the suspense, but he's also invested in a new, finely-tailored sweater vest...