Friday, February 22, 2008

Detroit fishwrap comment of the day - Old Blues are one cranky bunch

Old Blue's never let go of the past. Every transgression against the University of Michigan is taken personally. In Michael Rosenberg's Freep piece on Jalen Rose being honored at Crisler Arena this weekend, the holier than thou Wolverines come out in force in the comments.

RReaganRules (With a moniker like that, I shouldn't be surprised at his anger) gets his panties in a bunch over Rose's appearance.

I have to side with Old Blue on this one. The $280,000.00 that Webber got from Ed Martin didn't come without a serious price tag. Martin was also running a large illegal gambling ring. So I wonder what the logic behind Webber running the offense during the most crucial part of the National Championship game against North Carolina. Why Webber commited the most blatent traveling right in front of the NC bench. And when it wasn't called why Webber called a non existent time out. Maybe it was time for Webber to pay up so Martin could profit from a U-M loss. How many other games did the Fab Five point shave?

Well, to be honest, it wasn't exactly a "big time gambling ring." Ed Martin was involved in "numbers" games, that were conducted, for the most part, in auto plants. Still, there's no arguing Martin made a lot of green, and it was illegal as all Hell.

As for point shaving? Where did that come from? The story was Webber took the cash from Martin as a loan, which he never paid back. The rest of the Fab Five were never implicated, though Webber's actions stained them all, along with the university.

Michigan will always be walking on eggshells when it comes to the Webber years. Even though the Fab Five records have been wiped from the record book, they can never be wiped from everyone's memory. Rose will make sure that never happens.

If U of M ever cares enough to make hoops relevant again, they have to acknowledge that era, and some of their more famous (and not as tainted by Martin) players. So I can understand the Wolverines wanting to honor Jalen Rose, who has been nothing but an upstanding citizen during his NBA career, and as a broadcaster.

I've taken more than my fair share of potshots at the Steve Fisher era, but of my bile was directed at Webber (And the Little Fella for ignoring the Webber/Martin relationship in his book), not the rest of the Fabs. Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson don't deserve the same treatment.

Were they controversial? Hell yes. Are there rumors that they saw some of the cash? Sure, but nothing was ever proven, save for Rose saying he got a small amount of carrying around money from Martin. Did those 4 players disgrace the Wolverines? Looking back, I don't think so. It's all on Chris Webber.

Actually, the Old Blues need to be just as upset at Fisher's next Michigan hoops class, the totally clueless Maurice Taylor, Robert Traylor and Louis Bullock, who all took a shitload of cash from Martin. They, along with Webber, are the players who truly brought down the program.

So let Jalen Rose have his moment. Keeping Rose close to Michigan basketball is in the program's best interest. That being if the university administration want hoops to be anything more than an afterthought. Unfortunately, there's plenty of old school, aristocratic Blue's who would be more than happy to keep it that way.

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