Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A Great Way to Send Out a Great Man

A Great Win!

I sat on the edge of my seat and screamed as loud as I do when in Michigan Stadium. And, in the end, a fantastic victory in a fantastic game. Great performances by Henne and Arrington and Trent and Brandon Graham. And a nice bowl win -- something we needed.

But, this game was about more than a bank sponsored bowl game. About more than the last game for Chad, Jake, Mike and Englemon (and maybe Arrington and Manningham). About more than Hart's career 5,000 yards. About more than assistant coaches going out with a resume builder. About more than the final score (41-35, Crier). This game, after consecutive losses to an ohio state university and consecutive bowl losses, is a fitting way to send out a Great Coach, a Great Leader, and a Great Man.

Try to listen to the audio at Mlive. There are some great quotes. To paraphrase: Crable: Lloyd Carr is a great man. He tought me what I know about being a man. Arrington: Coach is a great man, a great leader. Which makes it unanimous, as Jim Mandich also calls Lloyd Carr one of the greatest leaders he's ever known (see article below; and yeah, Tom Brady and Jim Mandich what do they have in common other than perfect nfl seasons? Uuuh. Guess.) And, listen to Crable on Tebow -- not exactly fearful of a quarterback power running game.

There's some good stuff on the internets about Lloyd. Here's one. Lloyd Carr and Michigan allowed a reporter to tag along for the days leading up to the Citrus Bowl and the pregame, halftime, and post game. It's not a well written article, but it is an interesting account and offers unique access to Lloyd's thoughts and statments. I like this:

Captain Shawn Crable points to the door, signaling for a visitor to leave, too, so that the defensive players can be alone for a ritual they've done for more than a decade under the well-read Carr.

"I've never been in there, but I know they recite one of Rudyard Kipling's poems," English says while waiting for an elevator.

"Do you still know it?" English asks graduate assistant coach Glen Steele, who helped Michigan win the 1997 national championship as a defensive end.

"The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack," Steele says, ending the passage without hesitating in an elevator.

The Law for the Wolves

A poem. Joseph Rudyard Kipling:

Now this is the law of the jungle, as old and as true as the sky,
And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die.

As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk, the law runneth forward and back;
For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.

Wash daily from nose tip to tail tip; drink deeply, but never too deep;
And remember the night is for hunting and forget not the day is for sleep.

The jackal may follow the tiger, but, cub, when thy whiskers are grown,
Remember the wolf is a hunter—go forth and get food of thy own.

Keep peace with the lords of the jungle, the tiger, the panther, the bear;
And trouble not Hathi the Silent, and mock not the boar in his lair.

When pack meets with pack in the jungle, and neither will go from the trail,
Lie down till the leaders have spoken; it may be fair words shall prevail.

When ye fight with a wolf of the pack ye must fight him alone and afar,
Lest others take part in the quarrel and the pack is diminished by war.

The lair of the wolf is his refuge, and where he has made him his home,
Not even the head wolf may enter, not even the council may come.

The lair of the wolf is his refuge, but where he has digged it too plain,
The council shall send him a message, and so he shall change it again.

If ye kill before midnight be silent and wake not the woods with your bay,
Lest ye frighten the deer from the crop and thy brothers go empty away.

Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need and ye can;
But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill man.

If ye plunder his kill from a weaker, devour not all in thy pride,
Pack-right is the right of the meanest; so leave him the head and the hide.

The kill of the pack is the meat of the pack. Ye must eat where it lies;
And no one may carry away of that meat to his lair, or he dies.

The kill of the wolf is the meat of the wolf. He may do what he will,
But, till he is given permission, the pack may not eat of that kill.

Lair right is the right of the mother. From all of her years she may claim
One haunch of each kill for her litter, and none may deny her the same.

Cub right is the right of the yearling. From all of his pack he may claim
Full gorge when the killer has eaten; and none may refuse him the same.

Cave right is the right of the father, to hunt by himself for his own;
He is freed from all calls to the pack. He is judged by the council alone.

Because of his age and his cunning, because of his gripe and his paw,
In all that the law leaveth open the word of the head wolf is law.

Now these are the laws of the jungle, and many and mighty are they;
But the head and the hoof of the law and the haunch and the hump is—Obey!

And obey many have done. Perhaps the best example: Adrian Arrington. After a horrendous off season, in which Lloyd in his press conference acknowledged was pushed to his limit, got his act together, and performed for the entire season as Michigan's most consistent wide receiver, if not offensive player. He ran steps. He matured. He became a man. Lloyd said in his press conference the words that he has repeated in recent weeks. That when he became coach, University President Fleming told him that he approaches every day with the premise that college students are kids. And kids will make mistakes.

It is what kids learn from these mistakes, and how they persevere in the face adversity that are the lessons which are the most valuable. These are the lessons that Lloyd Carr, as coach and as leader of the Michigan Wolverine football team, and as a leader of men, has tried and for the most part succeeded to instill in his student athletes.

The Leader of the Pack

The strength of the wolf is the pack. Lloyd Carr has been with Michigan 28 years. He was a defensive coordinator whom many criticized before being named as Michigan's head coach. He entered his leadership in an interim role. He has accomplished much as a head coach. He obtained these achievements and received these gifts because he was given the reigns to the greatest football program in the nation.

And the strength of the pack is the wolf. Lloyd has been the leader of this pack for 13 years. His leadership ends tonight. He led the pack with the grace and tenacity of those who came before him, and continued Michigan's place as the most storied and most successful college program in the nation. The pack is stronger for Lloyd than it was before him. And that strength is perhaps the greatest measure of Lloyd's leadership and success.