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|2 days 5 hours ago||Bill Martin||
did Brandon's job before Brandon, and I had occassion to see a few of the emails that were sent his way when the basketball team wasn't doing so well. I also saw his responses, and I can tell you this, he didn't get snarky. Martin had standard responses along the lines of "we appreciate your comments... we appreciate your passion... rest assured we share your concerns... we are working hard to make our program live up to the standards we have here at Michigan..." so on and so forth.
I don't care how "hard" the job is, I don't care how "stupid" some fans can be, as the AD, YOU are the professional, you are the one hired to bridge the gap and hold things together, and you are the one who is supposed to handle your business with dignity.
If your AD can't keep his composure and take the high road when disgruntled fans start venting, then its perfectly legitimate to wonder whether or not he's cut out for the job. The point of all this isn't that being the AD of a major university isn't easy (DUH! That's why he gets paid the big $$) It demonstrates that he's really out of touch with what his job entails.
The fact that he'd even engage in this type of back and forth sends a strong message about not only his lack of professionalism, but his ability to keep his head and make smart decisions. The point is further underscored by the fact that he did this via E-MAIL... REPEATEDLY. I mean, did he seriously think these would never come out? Brian has a few, JUB apparently has a few, it doesn't take much to bring them all together.
Even if we were to assume that he just isn't much for professionalism and decorum, you'd think that a sense of self preservation would have made him go "wait... should I really say something like this to a fan in an email?" The fact that he wrote these things, then hit "send" says a lot about not only what he thinks of himself (he clearly believes he's the most clever man in the room), but of his ability to evaluate a situation and handle it appropriately.
These emails not only emphasize how out of touch he is, but they reinforce the opinion that he is not a very good decision maker. You read these emails and you think "yep. Sounds like the kind of guy who would think that trolling MSU with sky writing would be a good idea... and then would think that denying it after being caught red-handed is also a good idea."
|2 days 8 hours ago||Jump that shark! Yeah!!||
Jump that shark! Yeah!!
|2 days 11 hours ago||Plus||
simply saying you have a "policy" by which you delete emails after a certain amount of time doesn't always fly either. You have to have a reason for such a policy, and it better be a somewhat compelling one. "We're running out of space on our hard drive" doesn't fly anymore.
|2 days 11 hours ago||Uhhm,||
WD wasn't privy to the other emails that demonstrated the authenticity of his. Only Brian and the crew could have done this. Plus, WD is just a dude posting on a blog. If he had to go to this extent to "vet" something that he, himself, had 100% faith in, then he just wouldn't have posted it and this whole fiasco would have stayed burried.
|2 days 11 hours ago||This is true||
But the burden would be on the department to demonstrate that this policy was implemented as a basic matter of practice, for a legitimate reason, and not to circumvent FOIA (including potential future requests). Depending upon the judge, that could be a tough hill to climb. What are they going to argue? They were running out of server room?
I've seen judges who do not accept that argument because the defendant was unable to demonstrate that the policy was related to any practical purpose, other than to establish plausible deniability. Especially when the practice of when to destroy emails differs from the practice of when to destroy, say, inter-office memoranda.
I mean, you're right, there's more to it... but at the same time, "its our policy" doesn't get anyone off the hook without a serious, plausible reason for the policy; especially in circumstances where "the policy" also, conveniently, happens to allow the entity to deny FOIA requests.
|2 days 11 hours ago||"I am WD"||
I picture him proclaiming that as MR. ROBOTO winds down in the background...
...not sure why...
Anyhoo... you shouldn't have taken such a beating WD. As I've posted elsewhere, there were plenty of reasons to give you the benefit of the doubt. Wish I'd spoken up.
|2 days 12 hours ago||As they say...||
therein lies the rub. There are so many variables to being at the top of any profession. Read "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. It really touches on how much success and failure comes down to variables that we simply can't control. The movie industry goes through CEO's at an alarming rate, and, on the average, none seem to be much better, or worse, than any others... but the industry is still convinced that there are people who can predict the relative success or failure of a movie 3 years before its even made.
Top line coaches come in all shapes and styles. Some "nice guys" have made it, like Bill Snyder or Dick Vermeil. Some are successful because of, or in spite of, their total dickishness. Some are a genius on one side of the ball and are smart enough to surround themselves with top notch assistants. Some are big picture guys. There is no one "tell" when it comes to identifying a guy who can captain the ship of a big time college football program. Some say Nick Saban would be successful no matter where he is, he's just that good, but recall that he left MSU because he didn't believe he could compete nationally there. He knows it has to ALL COME TOGETHER. The school, the coach, the circumstances, the situation... it all has to align if you want to have a string of success and not be a school that rises and falls every few years, or worse, never rises at all. Bo+Michigan+Canham = SUCCESS. But that was far from guaranteed at the time.
The most you can do is reduce the variables, find candidates with qualities that appear to replicate other successful coaches, pick the one who strikes you as the best fit, and roll the dice.
|2 days 12 hours ago||I stayed out of it||
But gave WD the benefit of the doubt myself... mostly because the athletic department never came out and issued a denial after Olbermann mentioned it. To me, if it was 100% untrue, they would have issued some kind of statement. Instead they kept quiet, so I figured it was probably legit.
The fact that a FOIA request turned up doesn't always mean a whole lot, but for some reason a lot of people took that as "proof" that the email was a fabrication. The first thing I thought was "well, all that means is that they're deleting emails."
Likewise, if I'm in WD's shoes, how else do I verify something? If I know for a fact that my source is legit, say it is my aunt, or dad, or someone I implicitly trust (or someone I know simply isn't savy enough to fake it) then I wouldn't "vet" it either. I mean... whats the point? You know what you've got. Besides, if you don't trust a guy when he says his info is "legit," why are you going to trust him when he says "I vetted it, and it's still legit?" As Ace, et. al. have shown, there is no way to prove "beyond a shadow of a doubt" that it was authentic. The best you can do is show that the FOIA denial proves nothing, and then demonstrate that the email is in-line with other things that are out there from DB and isn't an obvious fake. Only a place with that type of knowledge and resources, like this blog, could have done that anyway.
Damn... now that I look back on this, I feel bad that I didn't speak up.
|2 days 16 hours ago||Thanks.||
I don't post often, as you can tell, but when I do, I try to be thoughtful.
|2 days 17 hours ago||Not sure who||
Not sure who this is directed at... if you're referring to my post (maybe you're not), all I can say is I've never had any personal interaction with Dave Brandon, so I don't know if he is, or isn't, a nice guy. Word is that he's not, at least not always, but I'm not speaking from personal experience there. I know Hoke is, from personal experience.
DB may be a "nice guy," I don't really know. Both he and Hoke have "bungled" things. Hoke, bungles beacuse he's in over his head, DB bungles out of hubris. Brady makes mistakes when he has to come to decisions on the fly, DB and his group have the time to THINK about the moves they make, and then bungle them any way... and then lie about them... then ignore the fallout... then offer up lame half hearted explanations which usually involve placing some of the blame elsewhere.
Say this about Hoke; we may not think he's being candid enough at press conferences, but the first words out of his mouth are always "I take full responsibility for that." He never pretends that someone *else* paid the sky writers, or someone *else* miscommunicated with the corporate partner, or says "nu uuh, we never banned seat cushions... oh wait, I mean, we never MEANT to ban them..."
|2 days 18 hours ago||I think Wojo nailed it||
This article was spot on, at least he captures the sentiment from my perspective perfectly. Some folks want to bash Hoke, but he doesn't deserve that. A critique, however, is fine, and it is legitmiate to say that this is simply too big of a stage for him; especially when things start to spiral out of control. It's easy for things to go bad fast at a place like Michigan, much more so than a Ball State or SDSU, because the expections are so much higher and demands are so much greater. While in some respects you have more margin for error here given the "cache" of the school, which brings in more talent and resources; but on the flip side of that, once the negativity gets rolling and the downhill momentum starts picking up speed, it takes some serious know-how to reverse things. This was the first time in his career that Brady was faced with a series of problems hitting him all at once at a place that doesn't "let things ride" for very long. He wasn't up to the task. Gotta call it for what it is.
However, I reject the notion that Hoke can't be a "great guy" if he doesn't show some occassional "dickishness," a-la Dantonio or Kelly. Hoke is who he is. "Dickishness" just isn't something that's in his DNA. We can debate all day about whether or not having a bit of "prick" in your personality is required to be successful at the highest levels (Bo certainly had it, so did Lloyd), but "great guys" don't have to also be surly on occassion, and they can be appreciated for being fundamentally decent, even if that means they don't have what it takes to win at the "big time" schools.
I was a student manager during Hoke's first year back in '95. Mattison had been the "boss" of the student managers until he was promoted to DC after Coach Mo was shown the door. Hoke was awesome to us. Unlike Mattison, who gave us our orders (through the senior manager) and sent us on our way, Hoke actually "talked" to us as a group... asked us how we were doing, whether we needed anything to make our jobs easier. Mattison was a nice enough guy, but he, like so many other coaches, was so laser focused on his own responsibilities, that the managers were generally treated as a set of tools to keep things running. We knew we we're doing okay if we weren't getting noticed (kind of like O-lineman). Hoke, though, approached it differently. He took the time to make us feel important, and when we did our jobs effectively, he let us know. The only other coach that really took the time to connect with us was Lloyd. All of the coaches were decent to us (save maybe Bobby Morrison, although he grew on you after a while). Freddy J and Les Miles, especially, would joke with us, chat with us, but only Brady and Lloyd actually told us that we really "mattered" to the team and reminded us that how well we "executed" made a difference.
To tell you the truth, I cringed when Coach Hoke was hired. I genuinely like Brady. You can't help but like him. He's not just a great guy, he's an AWESOME guy. But, I never felt like he possessed the mental accuity, that "CEO" quality, that was required to be a HC at the highest level. (Whether or not he could be enough of a "dick" on occassion wasn't something I thought of.) Back in the day, I figured he'd eventually find a defensive coordinator gig and live out his life flying under the radar at some school like Washington State or Rutgers. But then had some success as a head coach, said all the right things at his initial press conference here, pooped gold his first season, and I became hopeful. If he could hire the right coordinators and get Michigan rolling enough that they we could basically just stay the course and "maintain," maybe we'd be alright.
Well, it started unraveling in multiple ways and, unfortunately, he wasn't able to stop it. Now, my biggest fears have been realized. I feel bad for the players, I feel bad for us fans (GOD it sucks living in the Lansing area right now) but I also feel VERY, VERY bad for him. This was his dream job and he desperately wanted to come in here and reestablish this program. Not for "him," but for us, for MICHIGAN.
What sucks about all of this the most, for me personally, is that I'm passionately in love with a sport where, more times than not, the pricks survive and the good, decent guys get eaten alive, usually by their own fan base. Based upon his decency as a human being, alone, Brady Hoke deserves to be considered the next Bill Snyder while guys like Urban Meyer should be sitting between Lou Holtz and Mark May on Saturdays pontificating on what Jimbo Fisher should be doing with Jameis Winston.
Unfortunately, being a good, decent person, alone doesn't make one a great head coach at this level. Brady probably never should have been hired. But we can't blame him for taking the job (although we can blame Dave Brandon for extending the offer) and we can't blame him for being what we always knew he was. His game management and ability to develop players is fine when everything goes like its supposed to... unfortunately when things start going south he doesn't quite have the accumen to staunch the bleeding, at least not at this level. I'm as dissappointed as anyone that he isn't "better" at this, and Brandon probably shouldn't have hired someone who didn't have a track record of not just building up a program, but managing one through tough times and high expectations. Again, though, that's on DB. But one thing I think we can all agree on is that it was nice knowing that he wanted to be here and genuinely loves our school. He's no Lane Kiffin.
So, let's wish him well, send him off, and hope that this athletic department has learned something.
The big lesson? I guess it's hire a coach who isn't "quite right" in the head. Outside of Bill Snyder, they seem to be the only ones capable of thriving in these elite jobs.
|3 days 17 hours ago||Baffled||
Personally, I'm just baffled by the whole stake thing. I get the motivational thing, but all week Hoke had these guys clamped down, mouths shut, focus on the game... the message seemed crystal clear. And then, BOLDEN of all people?! He doesn't strike me as the kind of guy that is all... I dunno... STUPID about stuff like that.
I'm not sure what else Hoke could do. I mean, he's clearly in over his head, too big a stage, blah blah blah, no question there. But the players still listen to him, they don't discount him or second guess him or talk behind his back. It just seems so ODD that they'd run out there and put a tent stake in the turf. Take away the whole contrived "DISRESPECT" card that Sparty is always going to play (I thought Baumgardner had a pretty good article on this) overall the gesture just seemed I dunno... WEAK.
It's like the players listen to him, but have also adopted his habit of not really thinking things through.
|6 days 17 hours ago||Oh goddamint.||
|6 days 18 hours ago||I loved how the helmets||
I love how the helmets back then appeared to have been base painted in maize with the blue over top so when the "battle scars" started accruing it revealed maize scratches underneath.
I remember as a kid thinking thaty you could guage how "tough" the other team was by how much maize they were able to reveal under the blue by the end of the game. To my kid brain, that was how you measured the worthiness of your foe.
|1 week 1 day ago||So...||
You're saying... there's a chance?
|1 week 5 days ago||IKEA. yay. <br>*waves tiny flag* <br>(tiny white flag)||
|3 weeks 1 day ago||I don't know about you...||
...but when I take the red-eye from LA to New York, I always fly USS Enterprise style. And I'm not talkin' any of that 1701-A shit... for me it's strictly Soverign class boyeeee.
|3 weeks 1 day ago||This. This makes some sense to me.||
This. This makes some sense to me.
|3 weeks 1 day ago||and now||
Here we are, 3 years later, the "glow" of hiring Hoke is gone and this board is openly considering who will be our next coach while he's still on the sideline. We now attribute the success of 2011 to Denard who, we now believe, won inspite of Hoke's clear ineptitude. Oh, and we're the ones calling him fat.
It's amazing how quickly we go from "there" to "here."
|3 weeks 3 days ago||I feel like we've got a||
I feel like we've got a little revisionist history going on. We now look back on the '11 season and act like we won despite Hoke. Like Denard somehow overcame or was masking his ineptitude. But if we go back and look at the write ups, Brian lauded Hoke quite often for how he managed the game, how he (save the MSU and Iowa games) used Denard effectively, how he knew when to take a calculated risk... We loved Hoke's demeanor when Hagerup botched that snap against OSU and mused at how other coaches would have screamed at the kid. It seems like if we were winning in '11 DESPITE Hoke's ineptitude, it would have been pointed out at the time. No one cried foul when he won conference coach of the year. We universally felt he deserved it. Now it's "well, Denard is the only reason that season was any good."
|3 weeks 3 days ago||No. We still had one time out left after that.||
No. We still had one time out left after that.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||Reflecting on life's absurdities ...||
Much like I did when Rich Rod's run was coming to an end, I started going back and looking at the board when he was first announced as the new coach. What we all thought after the ND win in '09, Denard in '10.
The trajectory of Hoke's popularity on this site is nothing short of astounding. The "meh" he was met with at his hire; the "WOW" he got after his "fergoddsakes" press conference, the absolute LOVE we had for him after beating Nebraska and OSU. We applauded his attitude, his positiveness, his clear love for his players... but we also applauded the fact that he knew when to hit the gas and when to pump the breaks. He took risks and he let his coordinators coordinate. We were proud that he wasn't Bo Pelini or Brian Kelly, or Urban Meyer... or even Nick Saban. Some even went so far as to say that they'd rather we lose a game or two every year if it meant we didn't have someone like Saban as coach.
Things went well for us that year and some of it, we knew, wasn' sustainable... a lot of 50/50 plays went our way and we were expecting a regression to the mean re: turnovers. None-the-less, we still thought Hoke was on to something... just read what we were saying then after he won B1G Coach of the Year:
Now... it's like we're not even talking about the same guy. Now, we act like he's been inept since the get-go, like no one actually considered him even decent that year. He was loved for everything we now hate about him. We loved that he was an every-day guy with no pretense, now we call him a fat guy that claps too much and doesn't yell enough.
HE'S THE SAME FUCKING GUY. But when the results are different... everything gets looked at through a different lense.
I'm not saying the board is right or wrong... hell "the board" as an entity has changed since then, posters come and go, but it is an interesting peek into the human psyche. We thought it was working in 2011 because of how he does things. We think it's not working in 2014 because of him doing those same things. In hindsight, the data suggests that '11 was a fluke, which is fine. But I'll never forget how it felt that year to think that we were FINALLY back on the big stage, on the up-swing as a program for the first time since 2006, and how happy I was that it was a guy like Brady Hoke that was taking us there... instead of a Lane Kiffin.
|3 weeks 3 days ago||*sigh*||
YESTERDAY. It was such an easy game to play...
Doubt anyone will ever see this comment... but here it is:
It's 10/6/14, we just lost to Rutgers and the shine is off Brady Hoke. All of the stuff we complimented him on over the course of the amazing season captured above are now things we want to hang him for.
No headset? Good in 2011, bad in 2014.
Doesn't yell at the players? Good in 2011, bad in 2014.
In 2011 he's a wiley game strategist with a feel for when to get aggressive and when to pull back. In 2014 he's an inept cave man who doesn't even know how to get 11 players on the field consistently.
He was a genius, now he's a goat.
On 11/28/11 Rich Rod is ripped apart as Hoke demontrates what a "REAL" coach can do with the likes of Denard and Molk and Martin.
On 10/6/14 Hoke is all but gone and the board looks longingly at a 5-0 Rich Rod coached Arizona team (which just beat Oregon for the second year in a row) with some posters lamenting at how he was run off without getting that fourth year.
To read what Brian wrote above... to see the comments... and to compare them to what's going on now. Laugh or cry?
|3 weeks 5 days ago||There was a time when we were||
There was a time when we were glad he wasn't Brian Kelly, now that's what we want? He encourages instead of yells. He stays positive even when it's not going our way. He doesn't whine like Bo Pelini. Maybe his is in over his head, and this whole thing was a mistake from the beginning. Fine, but some of the stuff is just uncalled for.
|3 weeks 5 days ago||WD?||
It'd be nice if WD would pipe up here with a little assurance that the whole thing was legit. That would help a little...
|3 weeks 6 days ago||Yes...||
The date is right, it was after the ND WIN, obviously, not loss. Brian was waxing poetically about the forces that were swirling around the program and about how, for one day at least, it looked like RR and Tate Forcier were going to make a run at silencing them.
|3 weeks 6 days ago||Gotta keep perspective||
College football, hell, SPORTS, is fickle and can change in an instant. We're all bemused/bewildered by the state of our program, especially when we look at Arizona right now; but at the same time we could be reading an article about RR getting fired from Arizona in two years saying:
"despite memorable victories against the likes of Oregon, Rodriguez could never win consistently enough to hold onto his job. His ability to beat very good teams from time to time only made the losses to clearly inferior opponents all the more frustrating as his tenure wore on."
Sports, man. It rarely fits into a neat little narrative, despite the fact that this is how its always packaged and sold to us.
Right now it feels like this story is going to play out a certain way; Michigan continues to flounder while the coach they ran out of town has wild success somewhere else. Dantonio's prophecy fulfilled. What a perfect comeuppance... for everyone but us. But this story is going to take many twists and turns before the final chapter is written and, in the end, it probably isn't going to be quite so "paint-by-numbers" as it looks today.
Although today kinda does suck...
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Reminiscing||
and I ran across this snipet from Brian, dated 9/12/09 just after the ND loss. I don't know how it makes me feel right now, just... well... GODDAMNIT.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||*sigh*||
although, we did manage to find a GREAT parking spot.
|5 weeks 5 days ago||For the first time in 22||
For the first time in 22 years I am contemplating leaving a game at halftime.