Every once in a while, I read something or see something or become aware of something or somebody e-mails or calls to criticize something I have written and, because I feel the complaint is unfair or unjustified or just plain dead wrong, I just have to respond with a rant. You know the feeling, right?
Well, it happened this morning. I watched the Lloyd Carr press conference live on Monday morning on ESPN and I was anxious to see how the media would report it.
I have been a card-carrying member of the media for more than 40 years but in recent years I have become a critic because I feel, in many cases, newspapers and television and radio try to create the news from a subjective standpoint rather than report it objectively.
In other words, they have an agenda. To attract readers and viewers and listeners in an increasingly competitive media market, they believe they msut stir up controversy, pitting one side against another. If there isn't a fight, start one. If there isn't an argument, make one.
So it is with the Lloyd Carr retirement or the Lloyd Carr/Michigan/Les Miles/LSU story.
One Chicago newspaper, which sent its top college reporter to cover the Carr press conference, completely ignored or overlooked (choose one) what Carr insisted was the only reason why he chose to make his announcement after the final regular season game against Ohio State instead of after the anticipated bowl game next month.
Carr said he was concerned about Michigan's recruiting. If he waited for another month before announcing his retirement, recruiting would be in turmoil. Recruits, even the ones who already have committed to Michigan, would be left out in the cold, not knowing which direction the program is going and who they would be playing for. Under those circumstances, rival schools would be targeting those athletes like hunters in deer season.
Now they know what is going on in Ann Arbor. Athletic director Bill Martin already is searching for a successor and likely will have somebody in place before Michigan's bowl game. If he chooses to wait in the hope that Les Miles will be available and willing to take the job, that's his decision. Nobody can blame Carr. By announcing his retirement on Monday, Carr, always a class act, allowed the university to move forward.
But that wasn't the kind of story the media wanted to talk about.
Knowing that, I think Lloyd Carr, never a media favorite, enjoyed tweaking them as he walked out the door.