read the basketball posts after Sunday's loss. Some fans are fickle. I don't get why that's a controversial observation. I get that is different than what football is going through...but historically it's not.
It is a media tradition to hammer at flailing coaches with frowny-face serious questions about how hard everything is on the players and coaches and such because they have to put up with this howling pack of fans. And I try not to get exercised about anything that comes out of that, just like I try to roll my eyes and move on at every article about a triumph in the face of The Critics. Coaches arrive at press conferences at one goal: to get out without saying something notable. When they do say something notable, it is a mistake.
But I'm pissed off anyway. Hoke fielded a question about what is going to be a sea of red in Michigan Stadium:
"You know, people are fickle," Hoke said. "That's just the way it is. That's the world we live in."
This is of course horseshit. It's horseshit on the level of "we need to run a pro-style offense so we can stop Big Ten offense," i.e., the greatest and grandest horseshit in all the world. Hercules is required to shovel this. The big reveal from the last 20 years of media development is that fans are the only people left who aren't fickle. They can't stop watching, and what's more they can't stop watching live with all those lovely commercials interspersed. Fans submit themselves until they have commercials memorized. Until they are legendary.
In all other areas of television consumption I go out of my way to avoid commercials, going so far as to not watch recent seasons of shows I like until they arrive on Netflix. It will be four years before I see the Patton Oswalt filibuster in context. This is why every time a rights deal expires, networks treat the newly single package of games like it's the last cabbage patch doll on Black Friday.
Meanwhile, the people in charge have decided to test the edges of that fandom with an explosion in ticket prices. Paul Campos:
Here’s the price of a regular admission (not student) University of Michigan football ticket over time.
(All figures are in 2012 dollars, rounded to the nearest dollar. I couldn’t find 1970 and 1980 so I substituted the nearest available year).
This year a seat on the 15 yard line is 129 dollars with the PSL, almost three times as much as it was in 2000 and almost four times as much as it was in 1990, in constant 2012 dollars.
Ryan Field was half Michigan fans, for some reason [Bryan Fuller]
In Michigan's specific case, they have beaten Ohio State once in the last nine years and are two-touchdown home underdogs. They are getting gouged on ticket prices in an unprecedented fashion. The athletic department has made it absolutely clear that it has no loyalty to them with "dynamic pricing" that only goes one way. Up.
There is a breaking point for even the most zealous fan. I'm the guy with the blog that's his career and I'm at mine. The only reason I am going on Saturday is because I would feel shame at not going. Absent the weird moral imperatives of fandom, I would be doing anything else. Like bowling, which I hate.
Everybody in blue in that stadium—and it will still be a majority, probably—is paying for the privilege of having their heart punched. Unlike you, they are not getting three million dollars to watch Michigan shuffle around like a syphilitic pig who thinks everything's a truffle. Collectively they are in fact giving you those three million dollars. Collectively they built the stadium you play in and the opulent locker rooms you dress in.
So take your "fickle" and shove it. Angry, sure. Impatient, sure. Because we are locked into this thing we do every week that we pretty much hate. We do so out of a sense of loyalty that the program goddamn well doesn't reciprocate with its 500 dollar waiting lists and worst access level in the country—the team that is going to stuff you in a locker on Saturday has open practices in front of the entire student section—and scheduling goddamned Appalachian State because the athletic director thinks it's cute. Any reasonable person would look at the recent history of Michigan football and go do anything else. We're here because we're locked in.
You? You've got a buyout.
It is not the fans' fault that this program is awful to be a fan of. It's not Rich Rodriguez's fault. Anyone who sells their ticket for whatever they can get—currently 60 bucks and dropping from 80 yesterday—is only making a logical decision to not get punched in the soul dong on Saturday.
I'll hate them all the same, but half out of envy this time. They are no longer mindless wallets. They don't give a crap if Brady Hoke calls them fickle, and don't write articles on the internet about it. They are logical people.
The reason Michigan Stadium is going to be half-red on Saturday isn't because of "the world we live in" except insofar as it contains a Michigan football team that people at Abu Ghraib wouldn't show prisoners.
I will be there but I am not sure I care at all how it turns out. A blowout by OSU might help forcing changes, a close game or a win equals business as usual. Radical changes are in order as there is no excuse for the crappy season which has been far worst than the record, especially in view of the weak teams we barely beat. I see no chance that we will get ahead of several Big Ten teams without change. This includes MSU which is far better coached than we are. This looks like how it was before Bo came on board. MSU ruled then and we were mostly mediocre with a seldom full stadium.
If you would really rather have a Michigan loss then perhaps you should make a change. And before you give me your long time fandom crap I'm 62 years old and been a fan since the 60's as well.
a win is...a negative? really?
Saying "no one is saying Hoke will get fired, or rooting for it..." well, exhibit A where these things start.
So how many accounts have YOU had deleted.
These are the types of posts that say "I'm not saying fire the coach, but fire the coach."
Of which there are multitude.
But don't come back till you actually have some evidence for your claims. Or some honesty about your real track history here.
When you just joined yesterday? /s
Of course I can deny it. Because it wasn't true. Did I argue that every apologist that everything was everyone else's fault but the staff's was silly? I'm sure I did. People were blaming the phase of the moon for the losing. The difference is now the company line is anything wrong is because of coaching and anything wrong then was because of everything but coaching. There is no "decimated defense" excuse for Borges. Nor should there be. So your memory of the board is faulty at best. There are a few people who say everything isn't Al's fault, but there's hardly anyone who would freak out if he were fired like over half the board (and more of the editorial crew) did then. And still do 3 years later.
And I'm guessing the firing of a coach because his record was FAR worse than the current staff's record probably had TONS to do with the recruiting class problems in 2011 than the people saying he was going to get fired. At least in that case, they were right.
Oh, and here's a couple of more.
I don't even have to look for them. They just keep popping up.
But westward....that wouldn't be on the coast, would it? You can stop hiding behind multiple accounts and just be honest and come clean on who you are.
And I'm still waiting for you to back up all these claims with some, you know, facts. But that's not your style, is it? (Please go look for me ever saying "FIRE RICH ROD!" like people are doing about Hoke...it'll keep you out of everyone's hair for days.)
This is just wrong. There should be no "blowout" unless it is a tire on your automobile on the way to the game. Geeze (and no, I don't want you to be hurt. Just wrong on this one.)
don't you just love people who can't seem to think long term? yeah, i would gladly give this one game to osu if it meant the long term future success of the team. I thought it was painfully obvious that there were quite a few people who don't think U of M will return to relevance unless borges is gone, yet people didn't think that some would be willing to do whatever it took to get rid of him?
quit on the football team.
Hey if you don't want to pay for the tickets I can understand that, but this isn't just happening at Michigan.
Hoke could have used more acidic language than "fickle" (see the Bo Pelini rant against Husker fans). But he still misses the mark. The more accurate word would have been "demanding."
For me, who has been in Hoke's corner, the jury is now out as the team is likely to slip below the 8-4 I had predicted. I hate the bugger, but Dantonio improves the teams he coaches. So did Carr, for the most part (remember how people howled about him?). We are seeing the opposite here and that's on the coaches. Deterioration is not what I want to see as a fan. If that makes me fickle, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
Welcome back, Brian!
I wouldn't call you "fickle" if you pay a lot for tickets one year and decide that the increased prices and mediocre product don't justify purchasing the same tickets next year. That's simple cost-benefit analysis. It's a personal decision, and only you know your finances. I know plenty of M football fans that can't justify the expense anymore. That's most certainly Brandon's fault.
I would call you fickle for paying money for a full season of tickets, then bailing on THE MOST IMPORTANT GAME OF THe YEAR because they're not as good as you thought and oh noes they're probably going to lose.
Michigan needs their fans the most this weekend. And they're bailing. That's being extremely fickle. And Hoke has every right to be upset about it and say what he said.
And I have no idea how this isn't a touch hyprocritical of Brian. He was a guy who rightly said the media was being way too harsh on RR that one time when he said not nice things about some dumb fans. And now Hoke does essentially the same thing, and Brian is giving him the same critical treatment that the mainstream guys were giving RR in 2008.
Because Brian is now one of the dumb fans being called out. He's not writing this because he's a white knight defending the honor of the fans, he's writing this because he is one of the fickle fans. And he has created a lot more.
Hoke is very straightforward. He was asked about the sea if red and responded by saying they (as in the M fans who sold their tickets to OSU fans) are being fickle. Brian is still going to the game. So I don't think it was a personal thing, but for some reason he took it personally.
Unless Brian is saying that if he didn't have this blog, he would happily sell his ticket to an OSU fan? In which case....uugggghhh not any better.
I don't think Brian is dumb (obviously). I do think he overreacts sometimes, and I think part of it is his thinking that we're somehow on the wrong side of history because omg we huddle oh no!
I'm not saying Brian is dumb. I think he's a brilliant writer. The blog is the best thing on the internet (non Fake Taxi edition). I said dumb fan because I was replying to someone who was discussion Coach Rod's "Get a life", which was directed at dumb fans. I used "dumb fan" to draw a parallel.
At any rate, this is just a bit much for me. You don't want to buy season tickets, fine. You don't want to buy tickets for this game, fine. You want to sell your tickets to an Ohio fan, not fine. If you do, you are being fickle. And a prick.
that's what you meant. We are in agreement anyway...your last paragraph is exactly my view. And why I think prices don't matter in this argument...if you bought a ticket already, then GO TO THE GAME. It's not just some game...it's THE game. You may not be satisfied with how much you spent for them, and that it looks like a likely loss given the team's underwhelming performance so far...but at this point why go back on it? Of all the games to give up, THIS is not one. Not if you really call yourself a Michigan fan.
If it upsets those that much then...fine don't buy the ticket in the future. By all means. That's fickle too, but not nearly as fickle as selling a ticket you already bought to an OSU fan.
My last point on this: imagine what Bo would say if he was asked this very same question. He maybe wouldn't use that super naughty mean f-word, but he sure as hell wouldn't have nice things to say about them either.
but most probably a prick
What is this, fucking Peter Pan? Michigan needs its fans this weekend because without us there believing in them they will lose, so go there with all your might and cheer and they will most certainly defeat Ohio. The team doesn't NEED us for this game. Are we magically somehow going to change the outcome of this game by being there? Well, if we are so important why don't they give 2 shits about us and what we think?
Tp think they don't give two shits about fans is wrong. Flat out wrong. They care. They see empty seats. If there's a lot of red, they'll see it. They will shake it off and try to play like it doesn't matter, and maybe it wouldn't, but it would be a hell of a lot easier if home advantage is actually, you know, an advantage. No, fans being in seats is not the difference between a win and a loss. But if you don't think it matters...then I don't know what to tell you.
I mean, we had a whole story about fans booing at the Nebraska game, clearly in disagreement with the stupid playcall of run up the middle for no gain. That really affected the players...they talked about how they had to band together and ignore the boos, that they were alone in it. And this was for boos that weren't even directed at them! Now imagine a stadium half full of red singing OHIO chants. You don't think that matters?
Ya know, CEO business bros like Dave Brandon like the come in and talk about how his predecessors did such a poor job of monetizing the school's brand, and how they failed to utilize so many revenue streams. "Gosh, those old idiots must be fools," he probably thinks.
Never once has he stopped to realize that it's idiots like him that are going to kill the whole golden goose. 30 years ago, when schools weren't nakedly proud of all the money they raked in from athletics, it was a pretty hard sale to convince people that college athletes should be paid. But when you're charging for tickets at the same level the pros do, you give less access than the pros do, and you have more advertising and are tighter clutching to your "intellectual property" than the pros are, people start saying, "Hey, this is basically pro ball, you should pay the players."
Newsflash Brandon. It's not that EVERY OTHER AD wasn't smart enough to think about goughing the shit out of their fans. They just didn't do it because it undermined the basic product they were selling, and it's better to make 60% of what you can make than max out your revenue streams and end up driving everyone away or causing the federal courts to blow the whole system up and leaving you with 0%. You shit heel.
I think Brian nailed it-- the calls for Hoke's head have been low relative to how agonizing many games have been to watch recently, and what little flack there has been he should take with class because hey... you're the coach at Michigan, guy. Job comes with some stress and some criticism. Don't call us "fickle," because we're not satisfied with a team that is dead last in the NCAA FBS in TFL allowed. Don't be surprised that when you combine Dave Brandon's ticket prices with a team that is absolutely torturous to watch, fewer fans show up. Seats for the OSU game for around $60? That sounds great... wish I hadn't spent $260 to see ND in row 91, which limits how many games I can afford to attend. The last decade has been pretty rough on the fanbase, and we're still trending downward. And I have to say I don't like having a coach who snaps (a bit) the first moment he feels like he's on the hot seat.
I admit to being frustrated and angry that in three years we have made so little progress in returning to a program that regularly plays to go to the Rose Bowl. I would like to one day see us win the Rose Bowl as well, but I will accept slow, steady progress. There has been none. It is frustrating. Part of the frustration is because a good chunk of the highlights from the last three seasons (Sugar Bowl, MSU '12, NW '13...) have been teeth-grinding anxiety attacks that were obviously unsustainable paths to big-picture success. There's nothing wrong with a lucky win... unti they all start seeming kinda lucky. I do believe Hoke should get a chance to coach in 2014 regardless of how we finish out the year, but I hope he appreciates the high expectations EVERY Michigan fan has when it comes to the long-term trajectory of the program.
I wonder if Brady thinks Jabrill Peppers is being "fickle" too, now that it appears that he wants to take visits?
That Peppers wants to take visits because Hoke's situation might change primarily because fickle fans quit supporting the program during what is typically considered the biggest game of the year? Maybe something that recruits are looking at is how fans support them through thick and thin; before, during, and after their time at Michigan.
So interesting that you brought that up...
this isn't thin
this is ANOREXIC
the level of play is abhorent.
the worst I have ever seen
Then you must have missed the last 3 games of RR's tenure.
It certainly happened to Rich Rod. There is evidence it has happened at Michigan and how that has effected recruits. And it's the worst you've ever seen? 7 wins is the worst you've ever seen? I'll venture to say a team that will finish above .500 isn't playing the worst football you've ever seen.
And by that same logic we could very easily be 9-2. So what are we on a par with?
...current recruits are concerned with the level of "coaching up" that prior recruits (i.e., guys currently on the team) are not getting? Could it be?
Bingo! I've said this before but I really hope that Michigan recruits don't even know MLive er I mean MGoBlog exists.
This is spot on. Recruits like these coaches, they committed to these coaches. The only reason recruits might start to act a little....fickle...is observing classless fans stop supporting the team and screaming for the heads of the coaches they committed to play for. I expected us to probably go 8-4 this year, so maybe we only go 7-5 instead. Many analysts didn't predict we would even get to 8 wins. I think it was Football Outsiders that pegged us at 6-6 or 5-7. We lost our second best receiver to injury, our best defensive player missed a big chunk of the season and we have about the youngest OL we have ever had. Just because we lost one or two more games than you expected and showed our youth, that is no reason to freak out. These are the same coaches we were in love with during the offseason. The ones that we all loved because they were doing it the right way and coaching with integrity. They care about the players. Real recognize real. I, for one, am sick of the win at all cost mentality. We are blessed to have coaches who are willing and capable of winning the right way and recruits recognize that. The only thing scaring them now is a divided fan base willing to sell their tickets to their arch rival for $50. I am going to be out there Saturday cheering for the team that I love, and I hope that the rest of you can stop losing your juice for a few hours and join me. Don't come to the game because you feel obligated, come because you are a fan and believe that a 14 point spread does not guarantee doom and destruction. That is why they play the game.
I'm sure the recruits are just reading what we're saying here on MGoBlog, and aren't capable of making judgments based on what they've seen on the field this year. If we just cheered a little louder against Nebraska or this coming Saturday, it would all be different.
Apparently, Peppers has explicitly stated that he is taking visits in case Hoke is fired. If he is fired, it won't be because of wins and losses, but fan discontent.
Why isn't Hoke given the benefit of changing the coordinator of his weak unit. Coach Rod got that after a 3-9 season despite taking over a "healthy" program. Hoke took over a program in shambles, won early and has yet to lose, and people want him out without so much as trying to fix the offense?
I don't want Hoke fired, and I certainly want him to have a chance -- if he'll take it -- to fix his offense. As for what might get him fired, do you really think Brandon will fire him based on "fan discontent"? I don't. This was Brandon's hire, and given how much he likes to admit mistakes -- i.e., not at all -- I don't see him getting rid of Hoke until it's blaringly obvious from the results on the field that he's not up for the job. Like you, I don't think we're anywhere near that point yet, but keeping Borges around will get him there a lot faster.
So then where is this idea coming from that Peppers should look around in case something happens to Hoke? It certainly isn't from Brandon, the AD, or anyone on the coaching staff. Negative recruiting? Maybe, but my guess is negative recruiting only goes as far as the fans that validate it.
Ace Williams has spent the last two or three weeks spreading vicous rumors about transfers, coaches losing teams, players quitting....
I wonder, perhaps Brian asked him to ghost write for him this week.
SC - you usually sound reasonable. But blaming some fans on message boards for JP looking around? That is most ridiculous; perhaps all this Borges defending is getting to you :)
He probably is looking around because Michigan football doesn't seem too elite to him these days, and he is an elite player. The best go play for the best, alas.
It's obvious the fans wouldn't be frustrated if this team was winning. But at the same time, it's hard to say that this staff would be on the hot seat after 3 years if it weren't for the fans. The same thing happened to Rich Rod. People like Zettel and Fisher may have very well come to Michigan, along with other recruits, if there was stability, understanding, and support from the fans.
And the fans that aren't coming to the game on Saturday because they "don't like the trajectory of the program" aren't helping the trajectory of the program. In fact, I would say coming to a Michigan game and seeing a sea of red on senior day against your biggest rival, possibly with chants of O-H I-O ringing through the stadium unimpeded, would be a fairly big turn off.
So no, it's not all on the fans, nor did I say that. But if the fans aren't going to support a coach that is selling a rebuilding project, then why are those fans going to support a player when he's building? Why are those fans going to look out for that players best interest when that player believes his best interest is with that coaching staff? The wins and losses are an excuse for fans to act this way, but if the fans weren't so fickle, after 3 years with this coaching staff, I highly doubt so many recruits would have gone away toward the end of the Rich Rod years and I highly doubt Peppers would be looking around now. Hoke's seat wouldn't be hot except for the fans, not now anyway.\
Partial aside, but related:
But I think there is a whole lot of hypocrisy going on in similar regards. Many people that fought against those that said "the spread can't work in the B1G" are now claiming that a pro-style offense is a dinosaur offense that can't work. Many people that fought against the media and fans picking and choosing words, twisting or taking them completely out of context, from Rich Rod's pressers, are now doing the same to Hoke, and especially Borges. People that bitched to get Scott Shafer out because he was a scapegoat for the defense (and turned out to be a pretty dang good DC, and is now a HC because of it) now are potentially doing the same on the other side of the ball. There are two very significant extremes within this fan base, and both come out the woodwork in droves when they have proof the other is down. The fact is though, the things that Rich Rod was defended for were things he deserved to be defended for. Same with Hoke. But fans are fickle. Fans will stick with something and twist their thinking based on immediate results and successes. And all this does come back to recruiting, and while it isn't always a direct connection, it certainly does play a role.
Intentionally or unintentionally, much of what is written on this blog - which has a significant readership - is designed in such a way as to steer fans in a similar way that the mainstream media did with Rich Rod. It can say it isn't, for all I know it could be unintentional, but it's always seemed to read that way between the lines, and lately it's crept out more into the open. It's not to say that fans shouldn't be critical, hell, the coaches are critical, the players are critical, everyone should be critical, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be supportive, which has certainly become the case and many have admitted to it.
There is no practice-gate, it doesn't go that far, but for what is written and how much more that is allowed within the comments, including the things it railed against with respect to the previous regime, it is clear that this blog is becoming a launching point for fickle fans against this regime and program until something falls more in line with what that extreme wants. I understand that people don't like being called fickle, but we all are, especially sports fans. We don't need to drop this team and pick up another to be fickle. And recruits do see that.
You do not have to have your butt in the seat to be loyal. Also the coaches and players don't give a rat's butt about us. Plenty of people have said it. We aren't part of the program many people will say. Well my middle school teacher preached respect is a two way street. Maybe those in the athletic department should show fans a bit more respect and concern for their needs.
Also people talk about good leadership. I firmly believe a good leader knows when to go against his flock. Retaining Borges and other coaches would certainly be going against the masses of Michigan fans. I hope that decision works out but it will put a tremendous amount of deserved pressure on Hoke since Borges and many of the other coaches have been discredited and deserve to be let go.
But I'm not getting into that debate again.
I've seen plenty of people talk about how we can't win by using an offense that is antiquated. I've seen that plenty on this blog. And your insinuation that you can't run it successfully without exception circumstances only adds to that point. There is a very clear theory here that spread is the better approach for the vast majority of teams. That isn't necessarily the case, though it is the current trend, it far from means that a pro-style scheme can't be just as successful.
I don't have a consipacy theory, but I appreciate you stating it as one. Look around and read the comments. Plenty on this blog have called for Hoke to go. Yes, more are against Borges, but there have been plenty talking about "Hoke isn't the right guy for the job", "I didn't like this hire to start and it's time he goes", etc. If you aren't seeing that you aren't reading a lot of the comments on this blog.
And I hate to break it to you, but if places like Yahoo and ESPN are saying someone is on the hot seat, then that means fans are thinking it, reading it, and plenty are agreeing with it. I've seen people on here say he is as well, but that's already been stated.
The people that have been against this regime come from the Rich Rod supports and detractors, but I see a lot of people bringing up Rich Rod as justification for now canning Hoke, almost as pay back for the way the program is run. I have seen a lot of that here, on this blog, and while it isn't the majority thought, it is quite prevalent.
Also, while he may have used to as a jump off point, he also came back to his point about Hoke rather prevalently. There is plenty in there that is a direct shot at Hoke and his use of "fickle". I've explained my feelings on that above.
I think he said something about not knowing who would be coaching at Michigan next year as the reason why he's started to take another look at his options.
that is exactly how I feel right now.
I love you.
That is all.
I am guessing this will get buried in the avalanche of comment on such a heated topic during such a difficult month for all UM fans. I'll start by saying I share many of the frustrations expressed by the fans here and across multiple media platforms. I think there are two main issues that, in my opinion, seem to be getting conflated. The first issue is the performance of the football team and the perception that the team is underperforming. I'm not going to touch on this since it's been discussed ad nauseum by every talking head and pundit there is. The second issue what I'll call the commercialization of Michigan athletics. This is the area where I struggle the most with public sentiment. I'm not sure what people expected when Dave Brandon was hired but I think a look into his background may have lead most people to conclude that we would end up exactly where we are today. I think the most misleading aspect of DB's background is the often cited reference to his position as CEO of Domino's Pizza. If you do a little more digging you will find that Dave Brandon has been responsible for taking several companies public, first Valassis Communications and then Domino’s Pizza. In both instances the companies where owned by holding companies or venture capital firms when DB was put into the CEO role. In the case of Dominoes the VC firm that purchased the company was Bain Capital who I'm sure many have heard of. In other words it's almost a near certainty that Dave Brandon was tasked with cutting costs, improving revenue, tightening up the balance sheet and generally improving the company’s bottom line in a fairly short time frame in preparation for IPO's. So while Dave Brandon may often be referred to as a CEO that's really a bit of a misnomer in the traditional sense. Which leads me to my point; DB is really a Venture Capitalist and is behaving like one. I've interacted a little with a handful of these VC guys in my business career and can share a couple observations about them. I don't know DB at all and will admit that I'm generalizing based on my own person experience. These guys are very good at what they do; you don't get to the position of being tasked with launching a company into or back into the public domain without the guys in charge being damn sure they can deliver. They are also type A+++ personalities, they don't doubt themselves, like to be surrounded by people they trust and don't worry about the human impact of their decisions if they think it’s outweighed by the long term add to the bottom line. So, back to today and in the context of Michigan as a business, I don't really think any what we've seen out of the DB athletic department, since he put his guys into decision making positions, is inconsistent with his past. Dave Brandon and his team are just doing what's in their nature; in this case he is the scorpion and the "everyman" fan base is the frog. I'm willing to bet that if you go back to each of his previous stops you'll find some largish subset of everyday employee's that rue the day he stepped into the CEO role and most of the Board of Directors and the VC firm would say he did a great job and made them a ton of money. I willing to bet you can draw a pretty close parallel to the UM "everyman" fan base and the major donors/university decision makers if you were able to get honest answers off the record. In my opinion DB and his peers involved in Michigan athletics see these issues as growing pains and the price of change. In short, I don't see much of what's bothering people about DB changing much if at all anytime in the near future and the reasons I gave above are why.
A quick note about my motivation, this post wasn't intended to offer an opinion about what's right or wrong in this scenario. I only hoped to offer a little insight into what I'm guessing is behind much of the changes that have taken place in the last 3-4 years with the athletic department and the Michigan Brand. I'm also hoping that if there are responses to this post they don't turn into something political or attempt to infer more meaning than I actually intended.
too bad it's lost in the avalance of comments. I've had much the same experience with VC types.
Would love John U Bacon to have a Brian moment here regarding Mr. Dave Brandon. He has too much class but you can read between the lines. Many of us would trade away some wins (it's notlike we have THAT many lately) for a return to a CFB model that is not over priced cardboard pizza.
Exploit the situation, squeeze every dollar out of UM Football. I live on the west coast, but went to every home game between 1966-1980 and at least 1-2 games per year since. The last few years were the first years that I was annoyed by much of the stadium experience.
Sure, the AD position has changed even since Canham was our AD (and, horror above horrors, the boyscouts' free tickets were taken away in pursuit of the extra dollar)m but this progression, the pursuit of only monetary return on investment by the AD really should be rethought. Unfortunately, I think you're correct in your assessment that Brandon will never allow himself to be second guessed.
... doesnt mean it wasn't probably the best, safest response to a horseshit question.
I mean, I don't know what else he is supposed to say. What did you honestly think would have been a good response to that query?
Let me preface this by explaining my background: huge Michigan fan my entire life (like all of you), got into Michigan a few years ago, decided to go to Michigan-Dearborn to save myself from a mountain of debt. I've had season tickets for football and basketball every year until now. I'm not sure if my opinions on this matter are lesser because of it. You can decide, I guess.
I understand why so many of you have such strong loyalties to the football program. It's a tangible thing to root for if you love the university (you can't really root for Michigan medicine, Michigan law, etc.), and much more prominent than most other university sports (it's in our face all the time, so it becomes important). As such, wins or losses are irrelevant to the big picture: you pay your money and support the team because you love it. Similarly, entertaining football is irrelevant, because everyone is trying hard and, really, what more can you ask?
But why do we love something that openly doesn't care about us and also isn't entertaining? The athletic department doesn't care who you are as long as you have gobs of money. The coaches don't know most of us and wouldn't blink an eye if we didn't show up. The players serve as fellow students and future alumni, yes, but a large majority of them wouldn't be in the school if they weren't good at playing a sport. Oh, and they don't know most of us and wouldn't blink an eye if we didn't show up, either. As an added bonus, the football itself sucks and isn't much fun to watch.
Sports are a convenient avenue to pour money, time, and emotions into. I know that as well as anyone. I guess the "this is your team, your school, etc." rhetoric has lost its luster for me when the quality of the product has decreased and the money needed has increased.
I guess my biggest takeaway is that the product that costs a decent amount of money isn't entertaining anymore and, even worse, I'm a faceless and essentially meaningless entity in this consumer-product relationship. I'll watch from home as a result.