Sunday, April 1, 2012

Braylon Edwards is a waffler

If this guy doesn't look like a wide receiver, it's because
he wasn't.  It's kicker Gregg Wilner.
I hate the Detroit Free Press, which is why I'm going to give you all the info you need here and you don't have to click on the link, which can be found here if you like supporting terrorists: l.
I don't think there's a receiver that has emerged as a guy that can take over a game or a guy they can trust.  However, on the flip side, I wouldn't mind Denard Robinson wearing it, the No. 1 this year. If it went in that direction, I would be honored that he continued the lineage of the 'one.' I would be happy with that all the way.
Those are the words of one Braylon Edwards.  Of course, this comment comes a few years after saying the following:
I’m glad you gave me a Go Blue question because Rich Rod gave the No. 1 jersey to an incoming freshman DB [J.T. Floyd], and the No. 1 jersey has never been worn by anybody outside of a wide receiver.  It dates back to Anthony Carter, (Greg) McMurtry, Tyrone Butterfield, Derrick Alexander, David Terrell, and yours truly. So I’m going to have a talk with him about that the next time I see him.  He’s getting that call soon - very soon. Exactly, we have a jersey scholarship fund for this whole deal. What is he thinking?  
There are good things that can be said about Braylon Edwards.  He paid out a bunch of money to some inner city Cleveland kids to whom he had promised some college tuition.  He also started an endowment for a scholarship at the University of Michigan.  And, of course, he's one of the best football players in Michigan history.

But he's kind of a moron.  Aside from his legal troubles, this whole #1 jersey kerfuffle is absolutely ridiculous.  He specifically states that the #1 jersey has never been worn by anyone other than a kicker, even though it has been worn by LT Angus Goetz, G Robert Jerome Dunne, HB Harry Kipke, S Dave Whiteford, and K Gregg Willner throughout history.  Way to know the history of your own endowed scholarship, Braylon.

Now he's publicly lobbying for Denard Robinson to wear the #1 jersey.  Denard Robinson does not play wide receiver.

For the record, I think the #1 jersey "tradition" is complete and utter nonsense.  It was never meant to be a tradition.  It was the result of a single coach challenging a single player.  Edwards asked to switch from #80 to #1 because his idol Anthony Carter wore it, and then head coach Lloyd Carr said, "If you want to honor Anthony Carter, then you should work for it and earn it."  Edwards worked for it and had a great last couple years at Michigan.  There.  That's it.  If anybody should have notoriety for creating the #1 jersey tradition, it ought to be Lloyd Carr, who devised the plan and realized that Edwards needed a challenge to get over his immaturity and trouble catching the ball.

I have no problem with Denard Robinson wearing the #1 jersey.  He's a superstar college player, and by all accounts, he's a leader of the team.  However, if Edwards just wants to hand out the #1 jersey to a superstar or the team's best player or the team's best offensive player or whomever, he shouldn't make a big deal out of it going to a wide receiver.  When Rodriguez tried to give cornerback J.T. Floyd the #1 back in 2008, Edwards made a big deal out of it and got Rodriguez off to a horrible start with the media, fans, and former players.  He submarined the Rodriguez regime almost immediately.  And for what?  For a "tradition" that Edwards himself can't properly explain.

So let's give the #1 jersey to Denard for 2012.  Maybe next year Edwards can award it to running back Fitzgerald Toussaint.  Or left tackle Taylor Lewan.  Either way, Edwards has undermined his own previous statements.  I never want to hear about him wanting only to give the #1 jersey to a wide receiver again.


  1. Thanks, Thunder, for what I think is a fair treatment (plusses, minuses) of Braylon Edwards. Too many people might respond with "HE'S DONE MORE FOR MICHIGAN FOOTBALL THAN YOU EVER WILL!!!" In addition to making himself more important than other people connected to the program, he's enthusiastic about a designation (#1) that would, arguably, undermine the team concept by concentrating too much on a single player.

    P.S. The photo of Ms. Kenzie is nice, too.

  2. First, let me just say that I agree with most of that, but... let's acknowledge that there is no right or wrong answer on this subject.

    It's okay that Braylon doesn't know exactly what it means yet. No one really does, even fans. The 'tradition' is so new that it's not fully defined. But, given that Braylon and Carr basically invented it, they earned some say. (Braylon gave it weight by association - a less aware player would not have - and Carr - shrewdly - provided the framework to exploit it.) I

    If Braylon's come around on the idea of the non-qb after talking with other people, he has some right to change his mind. The problem with Braylon is that he has little humility and zero tact. I'm not going to say he should 'keep his mouth shut', but if he want's to stop embarrassing himself it's not a bad idea to think through what he's going to say in public.

    While it's origins, like many important things, seem insignificant, the #1 jersey tradition does matter a great deal. It's a differentiator for Michigan. Something that can provide a tangible recruiting advantage and a connection to tradition that helps maintain it. It makes Michigan, unique and special...and it's fun. So, let's not diminish the thing. If handled correctly it can be a significant benefit to the program.

    As for if Denard should wear it, I'd feel him out to see if it's something that he even wants. There's no debate that it's associated with the WR position, but Denard's been such a blessing to the program off the field and on, that he deserves whatever honors he receives. I'd rather it went to a WR and stayed there, but if they want to make it purely about leadership and excellence, I think that's OK too. It can be the super-captain type award. Hoke can invent his own tradition/policy.

    The only injustice here is if Michigan football squanders a valuable resource.

    1. It's not okay that Braylon doesn't know what it means yet. He's the one who endowed the scholarship. He's the one who helps decide if/when a player will wear it. And if Michigan wants to use it as a recruiting tool, kids apparently have to pass Braylon's fluid "rules" for wearing the jersey. And when the guy deciding who wears the #1 jersey is a drunk driver who throws Michigan coaches under the bus, then I'm not sure how much "honor" there is in being chosen by him.

      That's fine if you want to make it a tradition. But it wasn't a tradition when Braylon got the jersey, and it's not a tradition now. It certainly won't be a tradition if Denard wears the #1. Traditions don't change all the time. The Paul Bunyan Trophy isn't awarded to the team that wins the game...and then five years down the road it gets awarded to the team that gains the most rushing yards or has the best end zone celebration. If you want to save it for a superstar wide receiver, do it. But don't tell us that you're going to do that, and then 3 or 4 years later try to give it to a quarterback.

      Braylon does have a right to change his mind. But if he's going to change his mind, he shouldn't cause a big squabble about it in the first place.

    2. I hear what you're saying - there has to be consistency for it to have any traction, but that doesn't mean it can change at this early juncture. As you point out, it's a fledgling tradition. Given that, it's still subject to some change. Traditions start somewhere and they don't all have to be exactly what they end up at the start. Seems you have a very narrow idea of what fits.

      I'd like Braylon to be a better dude too. But he and the 1 jersey aren't the same thing. Braylon has a say, but he isn't the only person whose opinion matters here. Not even close.

      Why do you think it's not a tradition now? Because it isn't being applied every season? That would completely sully it, IMO.

      I Hoke wants to modify the tradition from the "Anthony Carter WR Excellence" Award, to the "Denard Robinson Leadership and Production" Award, he can do that. Just like they can call #21 an 'honored' number for Desmond Howard.

    3. It's not a tradition now because it's only been "tradition" for one person. It started and ended with Edwards. It's not like every elite wide receiver since Carter wore the #1. Marquise Walker didn't wear it. Mario Manningham didn't wear it. Guys like Derrick Alexander and David Terrell just happened to wear the #1 jersey. So did Ty Butterfield, and he was largely a non-factor throughout his career. I don't care that it's not applied every season.

    4. re: a tradition for one person - John Falk disagrees with you:

      Falk looks down at a white sheet of paper he had prepared. It lists every player who’s ever worn the jersey at Michigan. “Well, as you know, the No. 1 jersey has a little bit of historical value here at Michigan,” Falks begins. “You can go through some of the names.” Falk rattled off a few of them — a left tackle, a defensive back, a kicker, and a few others. None of whom I was looking for. And I knew Greg McMurtry had also worn the number, but he isn’t a main character. “Now, and those were all great people,” Falk says, “but the No. 1 got to be a great deal when Anthony Carter got the No. 1…”

      from a daily article

      ...Walker came in with Terrell - they couldn't both wear it.

      ...Manningham didn't wear it because you had to EARN it after Edwards. THAT's what he contributed to the tradition that was new (well, Carr actually).

      Butterfield was an exception, Denard can be too. Exceptions are OK.

    5. David Terrell and Marquise Walker came in together, but Terrell left after 2000 and Walker left after 2001. Walker could have worn it as a senior.

      There aren't exceptions to tradition, especially traditions that haven't even really been established yet. This "tradition" was created a decade ago, and it's lasted exactly one player...before the "tradition" is going to be broken by giving it to a QB?

  3. Also, I think it's OK to say "this is about WR, but Denard's a special exception". But that does make the concept harder to communicate.

    1. No, that's not okay. That's completely ridiculous. Who's the next special exception? A center? A tight end? A fullback? If you're going to make a rule, follow your own rule.

    2. Sure. Why not a fullback? I don't see the problem, neither does Braylon.

      What you're not allowing for is this thing to change at all. Change from YOUR definition, or Braylons past one. Even Braylon, who has proven to be immature and petty at times, recognizes that his past rigidity is erroneous. The #1 honor can be about more than the position.

      The more I read the more I see a parallel between your take and Braylon's on RR's use of the #1 - both of you are ragging on something because you don't like the guy behind it. Would you say the same thing if Charles W. or Mike Hart changed their mind about something they said?

    3. Yes, I would say the same thing if Woodson or Hart changed their minds. I couldn't say all the negative things about them, of course, because they haven't had as many public screw-ups. However, if Woodson endowed a #2 scholarship and threw Rodriguez under the bus for giving it to a running back, then I would certainly have an issue with him backtracking.

      I don't have a problem with changing the tradition. Braylon and I are not the same. What I have a problem with is a) him throwing Rodriguez under the bus and then b) changing his mind on giving it to a wide receiver, anyway.

    4. I wasn't writing the blog back then, but if you looked back at comments I made at the time, you would see that I never really had a problem with Rodriguez awarding the #1 jersey to Floyd. My mindset at the time was "What's the big deal? He's a new coach and didn't know. It's a problem that's easily fixed."

    5. I agree that RR got screwed over on this issue. And I agree it shouldn't have been a big deal.

  4. I'm in 100% disagreement on this one. The #1 receiver tradition is something I've looked up to all my life. That jersey and the Michigan Men that made it great are the reason I worked my ass off to play wide receiver... despite a more prototypical linebacker/d-end build. On the other hand, Braylon Edwards has been rubbing me the wrong way since his knock on Hoke for not getting after his brother. It's not Hoke's fault he's so short. Maybe if Braylon had been nicer to RR, there would still be room for slot ninjas. Anyway, my argument is hardly cogent or objective but I'm gonna pretend this in an April Fool's TTB post... cause it's a joke to me.

    1. That's fine if the #1 jersey has meaning to you. That's great. But if that's the thing, then keep with it. Don't give it to quarterbacks or running backs. He's lost any credibility he had when he spoke out about the J.T. Floyd thing back in 2008. Edwards is just as clueless as Rodriguez was when Rich Rod gave the #1 to a cornerback.

    2. I definitely agree with you there.

  5. Braylon has indeed done a lot for the university and I like that he endowed the #1 jersey scholarship. I also don't have a problem with it only going to a WR and something to strive for. Braylon's biggest issue is his inability to avoid putting his foot in his mouth.

    With the JT Floyd situation, he could have handled it behind the scenes without undercutting RichRod. And if he wanted to say something publicly, try this "Coach Rodriguez is obviously new in town and hasn't had a chance to learn all of our traditions. It falls on us alumni to help him understand them all and in this case I'll take it upon myself to educate him on the history of the #1 jersey and what my endowment means." (FYI - I never understood how the beloved John Falk ever let RR issue the #1 jersey in the first place. That seems like his job to prevent.)

    As for this Denard situation, I also don't have a real problem with Braylon talking about scenarios involving Denard....but he doesn't know how to avoid the foot-in-mouth syndrome. Try this, "The intent of the endowment was to reward a wide-receiver for what he's done for the program. Unfortunately we haven't had the opportunity to do so since I made the endowment and it will likely be at least another year until someone is deserving. In the meantime, Denard Robinson has represented everything I was hoping for in the next wearer (aside from the position) and if he wanted to wear it I would be honored to have him continue the legacy."

    Perhaps the biggest issue with this #1 jersey scenario is that it almost fuels the egotistical nature of wide receivers and gives a little too much power to Braylon himself.

    - AC1997

    1. Very well put AC.

      However, I think it's not something that needs to be awarded regularly. If there's an 8-year vacancy, so be it. I'm glad Manningham didn't get it - he didn't have the leadership traits I'd like to see at the position. I'd rather it went to Roundtree, even if he's not the same kind of talent.

      This is the thing about the #1 - it means different things to different people. The only people with any real credentials on the matter are Carr, Edwards, and the current coaching staff (and Dave Brandon, I guess.)

  6. Nobody seems to have noticed that the deeper meaning in Braylon's words is that he possibly thinks Denard should switch to WR and that he'd do very well in that position. Just a thought, since I see a lot of mention of how dumb Braylon is when at the same time everyone else missed the possibility of a perfectly congruent and reasonable explanation for the perceived discrepancy.

    1. You mean besides the fact that Braylon never said such a thing combined with the established Braylon pattern of mouthing off inappropriately?

      Nice try, Mrs. Edwards.

  7. The obvious explanation for the lack of congruence in his statements is that he is saying that he would be fine with Denard taking the #1 AND making a switch to WR next year. It might not offer relief to the level of idiocy associated with his statements in the eyes of many, but it would lend consistency to his statements if nothing else.

  8. If you're going to argue it's a made-up BS tradition Braylon invented for himself - fine. But if he made it up, he gets to define what it is, right? He's putting up his own money to continue that tradition, and the program has agreed to take it. Either he made it up and therefore owns it, or it's something that existed before him and will continue after him.

    Is Braylon being inconsistent? Somewhat, but Braylon also views the #1 tradition as being about EARNING it - not just excellence at WR (otherwise Manningham would have gotten it.) Off-field character, leadership, dedication - those are characteristics that along with on-field excellence Braylon associated with the honor. A guy you can 'trust' & a guy who can 'take over'... Everyone gets hung up about Floyd's position, but there's also the fact that he was a freshman. Your argument here is that he ripped RR and then changed his mind. And while he's not the most eloquent guy, his point about RR 'not getting it' stands - Carr made Braylon earn it, and Braylon wanted the next guy to earn it. Floyd obviously did not.

    Braylon has been a jerk - to RR, to fans, to himself, to anyone driving on a road at the same time as him. But that's really separate from the #1 issue, which is much bigger than one individual.

    You're saying you don't care if it's not applied, yet you're saying it's not a tradition if it's not.I don't think "best WR on Michigan's roster that season" is what either Carr or Edwards had in mind.

    I think you have to acknowledge that this is not a well-defined area. It appears that lack of definition bothers you. You should get over that.

    The #1 has a great history, but it isn't one that is simple to define. People, including Edwards, want to put some parameters and rules around that, but there's no consenus there yet. People want it to be the best WR on the team - but even that is a fairly recent, and not consistently applied standard. Braylon and Hoke want it to be about leadership/hard-work/etc - they want it to be EARNED. What we have is a number with great historical significance, that in the 70s-90s became associate with WRs, then changed with Braylon's career at Michigan to mean more. It got bigger because of him.

    It can change again. It can get bigger again. There is no right or wrong here.

  9. Braylon can have any opinion he wants, because he actually wore the #1 jersey....and damn straight he gave RR hell for giving #1 to not only a freshman, but one that was playing defense. Folks, a tradition is established through a consistent pattern over many years, and for my 29 years on earth, there has been an obvious pattern of an elite WR wearing the #1. This pattern is recognizable, thus if it continues, will build upon itself and becomes even stronger in tradition. Some may say that this tradition is nascent, but continue to develop current/near term memories of the #1 with old, and the validity of this tradition will not be questioned.

  10. Braylon can have any opinion he wants, because he actually wore the #1 jersey....and damn straight he gave RR hell for giving #1 to not only a freshman, but one that was playing defense. Folks, a tradition is established through a consistent pattern over many years, and for my 29 years on earth, there has been an obvious pattern of an elite WR wearing the #1. This pattern is recognizable, thus if it continues, will build upon itself and becomes even stronger in tradition. Some may say that this tradition is nascent, but continue to develop current/near term memories of the #1 with old, and the validity of this tradition will not be questioned.

  11. The #1 "tradition" has always been unofficial or unwritten one at Michigan until Braylon Edwards sought it out and then put an endowment behind it. Yes, kickers, tackles and others have worn it, but since AC did in the early 80's it has gone to a receiver. Anthony Carter changed all that. He is an iconic figure with Michigan. Just like Hoke is establishing the #2 and #21 going forward. When Edwards made the endowment on the #1 no one was shocked or upset, every Michigan knew what the #1 meant and for which position it belonged. The only issue with all of this is that Braylon sees the overwhelming popularity and high character of Denard Robinson and he is the exact type of student-athlete he wants the #1 to be. The problem is that it needs to stick with a WR. It has been 8 years, but the "tradition" prior to Edwards was the #1 went to our elite game-breaking receiver, not the coolest, most liked student-athlete Michigan has had in decades. The #1 IS a tradition, but it belongs to a receiver. Braylon, we all have a man crush on Denard, but stick to your guns and keep the #1 to the select few WR's that earn it. Up next, Laquon Treadwell will be wearing the #1 in 2014.

  12. "The No. 1 jersey has never been worn by anybody outside of a wide receiver" --Braylon Edwards

    "I wouldn't mind Denard Robinson wearing it, the No. 1 this year." --Braylon Edwards

    "The team, the team, the team." -- Bo Schembechler

    "What is he thinking?" --Braylon Edwards