Opinion: I Forgive You, Rich

I’ve forgiven Rich Rodriguez.

It wasn’t easy; I went three years before I could. I’ll even go on the record and say that I rooted against Michigan the entire time Rodriguez coached there. I wanted him to feel the way he made the state of West Virginia feel when he left for Ann Arbor in December, 2007.

But not once did I ever feel good about it. It was a burden and it was tiring.

Forgiveness is a pack of saltine crackers without water. It takes a lot of effort to learn to forgive, but it takes even more – jealousy, resentment and passion – to resist it. It’s like the bitter ex-girlfriend/boyfriend who, three years later, still talks about what a jerk/psycho their old significant other was.

And nobody likes that person.

At some point, you have to let it go, and to watch Rodriguez be welcomed back with open arms at Glenville State’s football alumni golf outing was enough to do just that. The event itself was modest, but the program’s intentions were so much more. There was no bitterness or awkwardness. Everybody was in a good mood, even though they had to wait a long time for Rodriguez to finish his 18 holes of golf.

The people of Glenville State were undoubtedly disappointed when Rodriguez left them for the offensive coordinator position at Tulane, but they showed today that they had moved on.

Rodriguez, unfortunately, crossed the West Virginia state borders on his way to Michigan with the glare of burning bridges in his rear view mirror. As a fan, that’s not an easy thing to forget. And, really, it’s understandable that fans wouldn’t forget it. So when Rodriguez said he still considered West Virginia home during the golf outing, stock prices in cynicism shot to record heights on Wall Street.

Did Rodriguez really mean those words, or is he simply making another stop on his statewide tour of amends? I’m not sure, but I do know that I’ve moved on from Rich and what he says doesn’t affect me one way or the other. It takes too much effort to hold a grudge against someone, and one day, hopefully, WVU and Rodriguez will be able to reconcile their differences and rekindle some fond memories.

There were plenty of good ones.

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