Okay, it's time I turn my attention to Ralph Friedgen. I will be honest with you. I thought he was the shit after his first season here. In fact, for three seasons I thought he was the shit. Then it all came tumbling down. But wait, 2001 was a long time ago. And we have some perspective on the issue. They call it hindsight.
First, let's review what we all thought about Ralph after that first season. We all thought he was an elite coach. That he was as good a coach as any coach in the entire nation. And Ralph thought that too. For those of you too young to remember:
And congratulations were in order. He took us to the Orange Bowl! As Debbie Yow said, she expected Ralph would win a national championship at Maryland. And WE ALL AGREED! And Ralph heard us say this. He took it all in. He loved that we all thought that. And he AGREED! He didn't try to temper enthusiasm, he stoked the fire. But one thing didn't set right with Ralph. If he was going to have these expectations, and if he was going to provide such spectacular results, he needed to be PAID elite money. He needed to have top TEN money. And he went about pushing the right buttons. Going on interviews for OTHER coaching jobs. Twisted a few arms. And it worked:
He got a HUGE contract, for ten years, based on expectations that he would deliver a perennial top twenty team. Based on the implied idea that he was an ELITE coach. He knew what we hoped for. He knew what we expected. And he took that and ran with it.
Now we have hindsight. Now we have history. Now we know.
1. Ralph won with someone elses players. His best team was a team that he didn't recruit ONE of the members of the team. He won with Ron Vanderlinden's team.
2. Ralph was NOT an elite coach.
3. Ralph DID get paid elite money.
4. He did not provide perennial top twenty teams.
5. Ralph blamed others for his failures.
6. He gave us four losing seasons.
7. He even gave us the most losses in a single season in the history of the school with 2009's 2-10 debacle.
8. Even his bowl record is mediocre at best, with one of them coming during one of our losing seasons.
So, what do you make of Ralph's supposedly bitter diatribe and seeming burning of his Maryland Diploma?
Well, I'll tell you what I make of it. The man is a man who is living in a fantasy world. He doesn't remember it was Maryland who was the ONLY school to make him Head Coach. That Maryland let him hold that position for ten years. He has no idea of what the expectations of him were. He has no idea that he did not meet those expectations. He doesn't remember when Debbie Yow made those "national championship" comments. He doesn't remember when we all thought he was an elite coach. He doesn't remember that he encouraged that thinking. And he doesn't remember that his paycheck was the result of that thinking.
All he remembers is that other people were the fault of his failures. All he remembers is that he was treated unfairly. In his fantasy world he remembers these things. In the real world, he is a pathetic man who now bites the hand that has paid him handsomly.
Good riddance Ralph.