If I was Hoke here is my speech to the Wolverines before the Kickoff Classic.
Gentlemen take a knee. For some of you this is your first game of the beginning of your collegiate career here at the University of Michigan. That’s pretty astounding to think you’d be here playing against the defending national champions and I can imagine you’re all very excited to take to the field for the first time. This team was created in the 1800s as the most winningest college football program in the United States. It’s record of 895 wins, 310 losses and 36 ties is proof of this fact that this is the best FBS school in college football. And you have the privilege of playing here on this team. It is an honor to wear that jersey, that helmet and those maize pants on gameday. Michigan’s greatest have worn those colors from Tom Harmon to Fritz Crisler to Anthony Carter to Charles Woodson. Men have been canonized as heroes and legends in that uniform. That uniform though is not about the name on the back below the block M it’s about the block M above it. It’s about Michigan. It’s about tradition and passion. Heritage and honor. Sacrifice and nobility. More importantly though it’s about being a family. Being a family of Wolverines that have been on this Earth since college football first started out. This team is family. We depend on each other and count on each other to lead the way. Each and everyone of us. We are a team and nobody ever comes before the team. We don’t blame one another, criticize one another or judge one another. We win and lose as a unit. As whole.
Today is the beginning of the journey of team 133. That’s pretty big honor to be apart of. Knowing you’re about to take the field as a member of the 133rd Michigan football team in school history. You are apart of history and today you can make history. Today is your baptism. It is the moment where you earn those maize wings you place on your heads and show this school, these fans and your family in this locker room that you belong here. That you belong with this team. It is your baptism by fire and you must be ready and willing to answer the call and I know you will be. You have busted your asses off all off season in the weight room, training facilities and practices and now at this very moment is when all of that pays off. This is where all of that dedication, sweat, pain and agony that you fought through to be here comes into play. You trained for this your whole life. You went out and made your dream of playing here come true now it’s time to put that dream into action. Now it’s that time to begin your road of success here at Michigan. Don’t prove to me your worth prove to yourself your worth. Prove that you came here to do exactly what you sought to do and that’s succeed. Success is only measured by how much effort you’re willing to put forth into achieving it. Put forth every ounce of energy and electricity you have within you and I promise you that you will never fail.
Alabama is a strong team. They’re quick, fast, physical and intense but you know what? So are we. We bust our asses off no matter who we play against, no matter how high they’re ranked or how good such and such is on their team. It doesn’t matter who we play because every game we are going to play like champions and fight like a championship team and tonight we are going to show Alabama that Michigan came to play and that Michigan came to send Alabama a message and that message is “Don’t screw with us.” “Don’t take us for granted because we’ll ram this ball down your throat and put you away in a wooden box when it’s all said and done.” We’re going to hit harder, run faster and move quicker. Each tackle is going to be made with two hands, each catch made before running with the ball and each throw made with good decision and accuracy. Tonight we will test them to the brink and beyond. For you new guys this is your chance to make statement on this team and for you seniors it’s the last time you might ever play them again so make this game one to remember when you become Alumni someday. This is the kind of game where dreams become reality and legends are made. This is where you stop becoming Mike or Tim or Daniel and become a Wolverine, where you become who you were born to be. Let’s hit em hard! Hit em clean but more importantly let’s play this game like it’s the last game you’ll ever play. Play like men on fire and make them see that fire in your eyes. LET’S SHOW THEM THAT MICHIGAN CAME TO DALLAS TO PUT A WALL IN FRONT OF ALABAMA. LET’S SHOW THESE SEC BOYS HOW WOLVERINES PLAY THE GAME! MAKE A STATEMENT. MAKE A STAND. MAKE THEM REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE! AND THAT’S MICHIGAN! LET’S GO BOYS!
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