By: Will Burchfield
In what’s news to no one, Paul Finebaum doesn’t like the football team from the University of Michigan. But the talk-show host took his distaste for the Wolverines – and especially their fans – to a new level on Thursday in an appearance on ESPN radio’s “Mike and Mike.”
Finebaum began his segment by declaring a prior caller couldn’t have been a Michigan fan, as the caller so claimed, because the caller displayed a “modicum of humility.”
“And I’ve never met a Michigan fan that had an ounce of humility or didn’t think his team was the greatest of all time, regardless of their record,” Finebaum said. “Especially since Jim Harbaugh arrived.”
Given this unprompted rant, Finebuam was then asked to name the most arrogant fan base in college football.
“Michigan fans lately have been the worst,” he replied. “Because they have won, let’s see, half a national championship in about 60 years, and they talk like they’re Alabama, Ohio State, [USC], Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Penn State wrapped into one.”
The Wolverines’ last national championship came in 1997, when they went 12-0 and finished No. 1 in the A.P. poll. They were bested by Nebraska, however, in the final coaches poll. Prior to 1997, Michigan hadn’t won a national championship since 1948.
Finebaum has been accused of being a mouthpiece for the SEC, and he admitted on Thursday he may be “tone deaf” to Alabama fans because he used to live near Tuscaloosa. But he made it clear his stance on Michigan fans is uncompromising.
“You’re not going to be able to move me on this,” he said.
When asked to compare fans of Notre Dame and Michigan, Finebaum once again scorched those of the Wolverines.
“I respect Notre Dame. I don’t respect Michigan. Notre Dame stands for something. Notre Dame doesn’t think it’s better than everyone else because it has a record. It, for the most part, has stood on integrity and tradition. Michigan thinks its better than everyone else, and I don’t understand why.
“It’s a good school. But it’s not Harvard, it’s not Princeton, it’s the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. So, I just get freaked out when Michigan fans walk around like they’ve done something.
“When Harbaugh showed up, it gave them a sense of entitlement that they really haven’t earned. Harbaugh’s a very good coach, he’s one of the best coaches in the country. He’s yet to beat his chief rival [Urban Meyer], he’s yet to win a championship in two years, and I’m sure in two more years, if he hasn’t done that, he’ll kick the lockers and walk out and go back to the NFL. But right now, to me, they don’t have a seat at the big boy table.”
Michigan can claim 11 national titles, but just one in the past 68 years.
“It’s always something with Michigan. They win half a championship, then they go through these variety of coaching changes and then they bring Harbaugh in and he loses the biggest game of the year and goes crazy over the officiating,” Finebaum said, referring to Michigan’s loss to Ohio State in November, after which Harbaugh blasted the referees.
“I feel sorry for the official’s family’s in the bowl game on Friday night because I’m sure he’s already researching them, trying to find someone to blame if the game doesn’t go his way,” Finebaum added.
Michigan takes on Florida State in the Orange Bowl on Friday. It’s safe to assume who Finebaum will be rooting for.