I did not make this headline up
UM Football+National Signing Day+Recruits are Young Men+Idiotic Posts
"...the ball caps were placed on the table with care,
hoping young men would grab the block M varieties there."
Such is a time to be excited for our team, to look to the future, to have hope, to be proud that of all of the schools out there, they chose ours.
I find myself not jealous, but extremely envious of these young men-- they get to be Michigan Wolverines-- they get to put on that helmet, they're assigned their own number, and they get to be part of the brotherhood. That's special, regardless of the past, be it long gone or recent.
As such, I find myself giving the same speech I do every time this year, which is really quite simple:
THIS IS THEIR DAY.
THEY CHOSE US. THEIR ENTIRE LIFE WILL BE SHAPED BY THE DECISION THEY HAVE MADE. THE SPOTLIGHT IS THEIRS, NOT YOURS. WELCOME THEM.
Even last year, some of us found it necessary to be harsh, to our own recruits. A young man named Vinopal was unjustly criticized because of some web site run by men he's never met gave him a rating that some of us were unhappy with. On Signing Day. That's just plain wrong-- imagine your brother or son choosing a school, choosing a future and being at peace with it, only to be welcomed by harsh judgement and criticism before he's even stepped foot on a practice field.
It is 2011, ladies and gentlemen. The Hoke era. The fresh start. There should be no griping about spread offenses or slot ninjas. No judgement of anyone because of the baseless value of these things called 'stars' next to their names from various sources. No whining about losing anyone to Auburn, and no talk about decommits or unfilled slots or Demetrius's or what-could-have-beens.
Tomorrow is a day to welcome the newest members of our team and let them be proud of the life-changing decision they have made. Think of the choices you made at eighteen, and how they altered your entire world. Think of their parents, and how even our baseless and anonymous comments could potentially reassure or alarm them of their children's future. Think of the rest of the college football world, and how closely they will be watching Fort Schembechler, Ann Arbor, and yes, even MGoBlog. And yes, they will be watching.
Make 'em all proud, and welcome them to the family.
PS-- Also, if you get a chance, you might want to thank TomVH for all of the hard work he's going to put in on our behalf tomorrow... His busiest day of the year is tomorrow and I'm sure his phone is pre-emptively cringing in fear for its very life today. Same goes for Brian and Tim-- it's by their collective hand that we'll be able to enjoy all the hoopla here tomorrow.
Happy National Signing Eve, everyone!
Just a quick thought to share with all of you this fantastic Signing Day morning:
These are young men making huge decisions, easily the most monumental choice they've had to make in their lives. Today's signing will be, for all of them, a key factor in shaping the rest of their athletic careers, academic careers, social lives, and professional network. They've worked hard to get the offer, and they've probably struggled a bit with the final decision. After all, wouldn't you if you were in their shoes.
Either way, they've earned this day. Let them have it. Welcome them to the maize and blue. Show them that they made the right choice. Lambasting an 18-yr old over a star that he may or may not have earned from some guy in a suit that he's never heard of is not something any of them deserve. They may or may not personally read this blog, but either way it's likely a friend or family member will, and would you want to be told that the fan base of the school you chose cut you up instead of confirming all of the thoughts that led you to your final decision?
Remember, every one of these kids is luckier than every one of us... because this summer they will have the honor of wearing the winged helmet of Michigan.
I wish you all a happy National Signing Day