Fickle Comment Count

Brian November 26th, 2013 at 12:51 PM

disasterimage_thumb[1]

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.

433401[1]

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).

1900: $27
1910: $48
1920: $29
1930: $41
1940: $45
1950: $34
1960: $35
1969: $38
1981: $30
1990: $35
2000: $47

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.

--------------------------------------

10898747414_ee4872cd18_b[1]

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.

Comments

Zoltanrules

November 26th, 2013 at 6:19 PM ^

WTF are Brady and Brandon thinking? For ten years we have been watching meaningless or bad football by MIchigan standards, yet are asked to pay Brandonized prices. I support the kids 100%, especially poor Gardner. They generally represent the school well off the field and are busting their humps....I support Brady Hoke too (he doesn't have to be Lombardi) but he needs to hold his staff acountable for lack of imagination, team softness, and lack of player development.... The top brass also needs to stop being so smug. I remember the mid 60s and the BIg House being nowhere near full. If things go the way I expect for the remainder of the year and prices as they are, coupled with a God awful non-compelling 2014 home schedule, it is easy to see where this could be headed.

GoBlueTal

November 26th, 2013 at 6:20 PM ^

One of the most common whines from other teams fans and *cough* ESPN bloggers regarding Michigan fans is our propensity to point at history. That we all know we won the first Rose Bowl and got it cancelled (temporarily). That we know we are the winningest program in history. That we all talk about our past - and these same people use it to mock us when we're down.

Get some perspective, people! This is a crappy season. Lloyd had crappy seasons, Moeller had crappy seasons, BO HAD CRAPPY SEASONS! Even the best teams have down turns. Bama was a laughingstock, Florida is a laughingstock. Texas missed a bowl. I hadn't heard a peep out of USC when I became a fan up until Caroll came along.

History is on our side! This too shall pass!!! We didn't become the winningest program in history by panicking and throwing in the towel on this team.

Go Blue

Blue X2

November 26th, 2013 at 6:22 PM ^

I could not agree with you more Brian!! You are a very good writer and you nailed it in your post. Brandon, Hoke and Borgess don't get it. This is so evident from their comments. They are immune from this and are getting paid regardless of the pathetic product their produce.

The joke is on us because we are the ones paying the ridiculous prices and keep showing up hoping the Michigan we love reappears. I fear it is gone forever. I have little hope these mental midgets have any chance to compete at the level needed.

Sad but true. Brian nailed it and the systemic problem is much greater than the symptom that was exemplified in Hoke and Borgess comments.

hajiblue72

November 26th, 2013 at 6:50 PM ^

So if you ran a major corporation and there was no short supply of buyers buying your product at 30 you would sell it for $15 why? Get real and quit whining about ticket prices. Until there are empty seats nothing changes.

08mms

November 26th, 2013 at 9:14 PM ^

Bc Michigan football =/= a business. I watch those on Sundays and watch vastly better talent and coaching to which I have no higher attachment other than who will make my fantasy team and home geographic region look less silly. At its core, college athletics to me is a group of kids who were at the same academic institution which I attended and at which I became the adult I am today learning to play a game and playing for pride of school in between sitting through the same English lectures I was studying in. Since I was there, I've watched Michigan athletics with the same pride as when I read about students winning academic awards or getting roles on Broadway, it was a bunch of fellow highly motivated kids working their ass off to show the world they could be great at something (or at least better at it than those bastards in South Bend or Columbus). I understand you need some of that business mindset to keep the athletic department operational and that extra $ buys better support for student athletes, but I'm not a fan of the mindset that turns support for a unique aspect of the universities educational mission into a "product" to be sold like a goddamn minor league hockey team.

Low Key Recidivist

November 26th, 2013 at 7:31 PM ^

What is fandom at it's core?  

You who have suffered through the last Carr years and RR and now you are blasting the Coach for providing coach speak to a ridiculous question?  Are you having an existential crisis?  What the hell?  Why am I using some many question marks?

Step away from your advanced metrics, your statistics, your insufferably high intelligence and just be a fan. Or eat a cookie - you'll feel better.

 

93Grad

November 26th, 2013 at 7:14 PM ^

university like a brand then you should not be surprised when those ticket buyers start to make ticket decisions like a commercial transaction weighing the high cost in terms dollars versus the expected low benefit in terms of a curb stomping by our most hated rival for the 9th time in the last 10 years.

blue_shift

November 26th, 2013 at 7:18 PM ^

Honest question: could any coach succeed in this environment?

You have a "CEO" that micromanages to the point of watching film with the coaches, like he's Lyndon Johnson personally picking bombing targets in Vietnam.

You have an AD that pays Nick Saban money to a Matt Millen coaching staff (Greg Mattison excepted).

You have an AD that still touts this program's history while ignoring the the team's performance on the field NOW.

Does the Alabama AD care about what the Crimson Tide did 30 years ago? 20? Even 10? Only as a matter of pure historical interest. They want to win today, and they've taken steps to put themselves in that position. You only need to tout your football team's history when you're not winning games today.

Did those mouth-breathers in Columbus need to go out and get an "Ohio Man" during their last coaching search? No. Meyer's ties to Ohio were a matter of secondary importance - they went out and got sombebody who they knew could help them WIN.

Listen, it's great that Michigan won in 1969. It's great that there've been some memorable victories. But the only history that's relevant now is that we've beaten our chief rival once in a decade. Think about that - ONCE in a decade.

I love Michigan, but this program needs to start focusing on the present - which means winning football games and competing with Ohio - or it risks spiraling into irrelevance.

State Street

November 26th, 2013 at 7:20 PM ^

I'll be genuinely interested to see how Hoke's career arc turns out after he (at some point, not necessarily Sunday morning) leaves the University of Michigan.  He's unique as a head coach in that he's never coordinated a defense.  DC seems to be too much of a "macro" position for Hoke, as he is even now just a glorified position coach.

Does he try and snag another MAC Head Coach job?  Does he lateral to a DL Coach position at a BCS level school?  

Honestly wouldn't be surprised if he hung them up for good and transitioned into a sort of consulting role after his time in Ann Arbor is up.

Where Michigan and Hoke go from Saturday will be interesting to watch.

A2D2

November 26th, 2013 at 8:27 PM ^

Hoke won't be a TV analyst:

Greg Gumbel:  So Coach, how do you SMU will adapt in the second half to Oklahoma's stunts?

Brady Hoke:  Awwww Wellllllll, we'll just have to see how many things go right, while other things could get in the way. Sometimes games just seem to take on a life of their own, in several layers this could be a turning point for some people who think it's all over after this half can be.  But he's a good boy that just has to coach 'em up while they seem like a safe bet.

Greg Gumbel:  okay, now here's a word from our sponsor

Director:  .........and we're out.

Greg Gumbel:  get me aspirin - NOW  - he is friggin killin me!

markusr2007

November 26th, 2013 at 7:50 PM ^

around 3:30 p.m. EST. on Saturday. 

Fickle: changing often, changing opinions often, marked by lack of steadfastness, constancy, or stability :  given to erratic changeableness

So if we took the coaching decisions regarding the offensive line this year as an example.... oh forget it. Brady Hoke doesn't know what "fickle" even means.

 

jblaze

November 26th, 2013 at 7:52 PM ^

whether you care to acknowlege it or not, you actually and subcontiously lead hundreds of thousands of M fan opinions. Your early Hoke unhappiness was eventually quelled, but this post is the 1st shot fired. I was unhappy and sort of tuned out everything after UConn. Now I have this post to almost quit the one hobby/ passion (outside of my wife and kid, but including work) that I have. A crushing loss to OSU would be it.

This has happened to me before. As a long-time fan of the Dolphins, when Marino retired, there was a huge void in me as to never really care about an NFL team since.

emo.

smwilliams

November 26th, 2013 at 8:08 PM ^

A lot of prominent sports writers have compared being a fan of a particular team to being in a bad relationship. That tether, that link to something we have spent so long loving, only for that love to fade into ambivalence or hatred or fury or sadness is present in both those scenarios. Fickle? I don't consider it to be fickle for a person to want to express their displeasure with a largely parasitic relationship (the university takes money, time, etc. away from the host while supplying little tangible benefit in return) by refusing to take part in said relationship for a brief period. How are fans supposed to be display their fury if not by refusing to provide the team / university money? I didn't go to Michigan. If any alum out there sold their seat to an Ohio State fan, and took that cash and donated it to an underfunded sport or a non-athletic program, I'd say that would be a damn good way to express the general sentiment of a Michigan football game.

Sports, above all, are supposed to provide entertainment. We become attached to teams based on a variety of different aspects from living vicariously through athletes to participation in a brotherhood based on a shared culture. When a team is no longer entertaining, why continue with any measure of support? To declare yourself a "true" fan. Are people who stay in abusive relationships, "true" wives or husbands? (not trying to ignore the difference between domestic violence and a team losing a few games, one is much more serious than the other, obviously).

Brian is fickle, but being fickle in this case is not a sign of weakness, but of strength. Of not simply idling while something you love treats you like an ATM. There have been good moments, sure, but I wish the good outweighed the bad over the past six plus years. I will watch the game from the comfort of my own home (not that I had plans to attend, anyways) and will not spite anyone who wishes to avoid being a cash cow for a program that has failed to provide them anything but a few frustrating weekends this fall.

jsquigg

November 26th, 2013 at 8:11 PM ^

It doesn't matter if Hoke is right, especially when he's been subtly throwing his players under the bus all year.  We didn't coach well enough, but it's all about execution.  Changing O-Lineman like you might change your socks and rotating safeties.  They congratulated themselves for adapting to the personnel in 2011, but now they are stubborn as mules and have always mocked a style of offense that might be most beneficial to the current players.  And it's great how many of you point to the record as a support of Hoke.  All 7 win seasons are not equal.  Barely beating two of the worst teams in FBS is laughable and unacceptable.  A loss on Saturday and it will mark the second straight year the team wins less than the previous year.  The reason that many M fans stuck behind Rodriguez is that even though it wasn't good enough, at least you could recognize it was going somewhere.  I have more confidence that Rodriguez could make a decent O-Line out of three TEs and two unranked lineman than this staff will do with there 4 and 5 star hauls, and that's sad.

Obviously everyone defines fickle for themselves.  I can afford to occasionally attend games at the Big House.  I will never root for any other team.  I wore and still wear my Michigan fleece wherever I go, which is many places since I'm a salesman.  I would argue that sometimes it is least fickle when you stand against things that you feel are ruining the program, even if those things are a bigger part of the program than you are.  Everyone has their own line, but if it takes selling your ticket, not attending games, booing at games, writing e-mails, etc. to enact positive change for the greater good, than I consider that to be as solid and unwavering as a fan can be.  I realize many fans think anything less than full support at all times is fickle or that anything less isn't "true fandom."  These same people seem to cut down any push back or criticism against coaches or administration (not always).

Last week instead of watching the game, I went down to a craft brewery in Indiana, but I couldn't stop checking updates.  It felt weird, and I know ultimately nothing I do individually will make a difference.  But I do know that positive change doesn't happen in down times without fan push back.  If you feel better as a fan because you supported everything the program does, so be it.  If you like what you're seeing and what you're paying to get the "Michigan experience," fine.  But don't expect other fans, who feel as strongly as you about this team and all the teams before, to respond in their own way, because for me and many others, to not criticize is to not care, and if that makes me fickle, so be it.

A2D2

November 26th, 2013 at 8:13 PM ^

While I am not done pulling for UM, I am SO DONE benig emotionally invested in this team.  

I pledge not to use the "first person" when referring to the team...  

  • no more "WE'll win Saturday",
  • no more "WE will kick your butts....."

Until further notice I am going into self-preservation mode.  And by the way, I am a season ticket holder who is, for the first time ever, dreading going to the game Saturday.  My daughter is home from college for the holiday and has been looking forward to this game for a year.  If is wasn't for her, I'd be at home eating leftovers.

Tater

November 26th, 2013 at 8:15 PM ^

FIRE RICH ROD!

How did that work out?  Hopefully, David Brandon won't make the mistake of firing yet another head coach after three years, screwing up yet another recruiting class and sacrificing yet another three to five years of Michigan football.

You Only Live Twice

November 26th, 2013 at 8:29 PM ^

it would be worse than just 3 to 5 years.  We'd get the reputation of a football program that does not support its coaches. Given the value of tradition in college football who knows how long it would take to live that one down.   I am NOT SAYING people have to like the OC coaches or whatever, not even saying that people have to show up this Saturday or they are bad people if they don't show up. naturally I hope M fans show up, but I recognize it is an individual decision based on a ton of different factors.  I will be there even after gashing my stupid knee on the ice in my driveway.  The exercise walking to the stadium will do it good. 

What concerns me the most is that we have fans going crazy.  I'm pretty crazy myself so this is saying something.  We CANNOT fire Brady Hoke, Brandon can't possibly be that stupid, what decent coach in their right mind would come here after that?  If it were you.... would you come here knowing you had 3 years to start from scratch to fix serious problems or would you go somewhere that you could count on support from your AD? 

Will there be changes in the offense dept, I leave that for others to analyze.  But no matter if Urban runs the score up Saturday, it is imperative we give this head coach a minimum of one more year, preferably two.  Then we could start looking and not be seen as dysfunctional.

might and main

November 26th, 2013 at 8:49 PM ^

at Hoke specifically, I do agree with you, Hoke shouldn't be fired after 3 years (nor should RR have been).  But it is a given that Borges must go.  I no longer like Hoke, but I'm even more worried about instability.  As long as Hoke gets rid of Borges, he should be given more time.  But in addition, for god sakes, they should just stop doing pressers until we're winning again.

08mms

November 26th, 2013 at 9:05 PM ^

Bc Michigan football =/= a business. I watch those on Sundays and watch vastly better talent and coaching to which I have no higher attachment other than who will make my fantasy team and home geographic region look less silly. At its core, college athletics to me is a group of kids who were at the same academic institution which I attended and at which I became the adult I am today learning to play a game and playing for pride of school in between sitting through the same English lectures I was studying in. Since I was there, I've watched Michigan athletics with the same pride as when I read about students winning academic awards or getting roles on Broadway, it was a bunch of fellow highly motivated kids working their ass off to show the world they could be great at something (or at least better at it than those bastards in South Bend or Columbus). I understand you need some of that business mindset to keep the athletic department operational and that extra $ buys better support for student athletes, but I'm not a fan of the mindset that turns support for a unique aspect of the universities educational mission into a "product" to be sold like a goddamn minor league hockey team.

allintime23

November 26th, 2013 at 9:25 PM ^

Sorry coach. Sorry we're upset that you let us down a lot. I wanted you to win twelve games this year and realistically we should have won nine but now we'll probably win seven. We've been through a lot and all we want is everything. Nobody loves the team more than me. More than us. All you have to do is try and sometimes even though I know you are, it just doesn't feel like it.

brianshall

November 26th, 2013 at 9:54 PM ^

My last account here was killed because I predicted (rightly) that the new AD would fire Rich Rod.

I can't participate in liveblogs cause after game 2 I was noting how rotten the offense was playing.

I've seen entire threads wiped out, utterly vanished, because they were negative about Hoke.

I get that it's your site, your rules. But you are such a bitch to complain so aggressively now that you are finally upset after years of banning those with legitimate criticisms. 

MGoBender

November 26th, 2013 at 10:05 PM ^

This is what DB has done to me:

I was offered a ticket to the game.  I don't want to go.  It is going to be miserable. I'm going to be berated my mouth-breathers b/c DB made StubHub the official reseller of Michigan tickets.  The weather will suck.  Special K will play the shittiest music ever.  The MMB will be marginalized.  I'll be asked to buy $4 bottles of water.  AND we're going to die on the field.

Most of those things are gameday atmosphere experiences that DB has initiated.  They take away from the pagentry of college football.  The fact that we're going to get the shit kicked out of us is secondary.

But, I'm going.  For the players.  And I'll scream my drunken ass off when we're defending and I'll be there for the seniors and I will support the team that represents Michigan and all her ways.

I love my school, but make no mistake about it - I'm not looking forward to going to this game and that's the first time I've ever felt that.

MGoBender

November 26th, 2013 at 10:36 PM ^

A little girl?

Really?  You are not helping your argument that you are unfairly targeted.

As for my presence - it will make a difference.  I will not sell my ticket to an OSU fan.  I will support the team.  Every person counts, just as every vote counts.  It doesn't mean I really want to be there, but I will be because I love my school and I will support the players that represent my school always.  I, like most Michigan alums, am decidedly not fickle.

brianshall

November 26th, 2013 at 11:15 PM ^

Does this post end the mods deleting comments, not letting us participate in liveblogs because, you know, we can be negative? 

Or does only Brian get to be negative here?

cp4three2

November 26th, 2013 at 11:19 PM ^

I do not think Brian being hypocritical, and no he's not just angry that we don't run his preferred offense. I think he and I are in the same boat.

 

The only people who don't think Rich Rod is a great coach are Michigan fans. The only people who think Brady Hoke is a great coach are Michigan fans and Jason Whitlock. 

 

Rich Rod has built juggernauts everywhere he's gone. He's had huge wins and was essentially a broken thumb from playing for a national title at West Virginia, which has turned back into its mediocre self since he left.  He improved every season and year four was set up, with the incredibly easy schedule and upperclassman superstar QB, to be a break out year. He wasn't given a 4th year for one reason and one reason alone: he's not a "Michigan Man" and he didn't know Bo. Yes, part of that was because of Rich Rod miscalculating the culture and losing bad losses, but he didn't get the benefit of the doubt, even when his track record should have allowed him to have it, because there was no help from the old Bo/Lloyd guys. 

 

Brady Hoke's track record is weak. He has never beaten a ranked team on the road. Not just at Michigan, I mean ever. The best road win of his career is beating an 8-4 Navy team in 2007. He's never won a conference chanpionship. He's never beaten a team that's finished in the top 15 (and it might even be top 20 depending on where Va Tech finished). He's a decent recruiter and he loves Michigan, but he does not have the resume of an elite coach, especailly compared to the coaches of our rivals, two of whom are younger than Hoke.

 

Brady Hoke is a nice guy and an average coach. There's a reason why his 12-1 season led to him going to SDSU and not a BCS team. He's Michigan's coach for three reasons. Les Miles is forbidden. The Harbaugh's wanted to try and win a Super Bowl. And, he's a "Michigan Man" who lets Dave Brandon play Jerry Jones in the film room because he's dreamed of coaching Michigan and is terrified of losing it. His sucess at Michigan has come from having one of the most dynamic players ever to play at Michigan running around against inferior oppenents and having Dave Brandon coax Mattison into being DC. Even in the Sugar Bowl year we finished third in the conference. He's middling in a terrible conference, which is bar far the worst major conference in America (No I don't count American as a major conference even though they inexplicably have the Big East's autobid). 

 

Brian's ftrustrations, if they're like mine, come from the fact that this money that's coming into the program doesn't even matter. We are in this mess because Rich Rod couldn't lure Casteel to Michigan because he couldn't give him a guaranteed contract. To make matters worse, after the failure of Rich Rod, instead of doing what OSU and Alabama did in paying top dollar for a great coach, we went bargain basement on a guy with no real record of winning championships. This has nothing to do with RIch Rod's style or even his coaching. There was cause to fire him, but only if you could replace him with someone better. Because we didn't do that, we're now in a corner. Too often the problem is that being loyal to the program's success and criticizing Hoke and Brandon has been met with being called disloyal to our past with Bo, Lloyd, etc or being hyprocritical as a Rich Rod defender (which is connected to the disloyalty of our past in an endless cycle). 

GoBlueTal

November 27th, 2013 at 11:58 AM ^

Why are fans down on Hoke, cuz the offense is getting worse.

Why were the fans down on RRod? Cuz the defenses started abysmal, got worse every year. Because he was paid to give us wins and instead gave us excuses. Because he said deliberately he didn't care what came before him at one of the most tradition rich program in all of sports. Because his teams got weaker as each year went along.

Because there's NOTHING about his tenure here to suggest that he'd have done better than Hoke. NOT ONE THING.

I don't care if he fits in elsewhere, and I don't wish any ill upon him, but I will never EVER regret that he is no longer at the helm of this team.

saveferris

November 27th, 2013 at 2:40 PM ^

Too often the problem is that being loyal to the program's success and criticizing Hoke and Brandon has been met with being called disloyal to our past with Bo, Lloyd, etc or being hyprocritical as a Rich Rod defender (which is connected to the disloyalty of our past in an endless cycle)

This. A thousand times this. At this point, the Bo Legacy hangs around this program like a millstone. That's not to mean that Bo wasn't a great football coach and ambassador for this university, worthy of having his name on the outside of one of our facility buildings; but until the Michigan culture can get past the "What Would Bo Do / Michigan Man" mentality it is locked into currently, we are always going to find ourselves painted into a corner to some extent. Let's be honest, that is the primary reason Hoke was ultimately given the job here, because he passed the "Michigan Man" eye test to an alumni base and fanbase that has deceived itself into thinking that was the only part of the formula that mattered for a coach to be successful here.

Now Hoke may ultimately prove our current concerns are unfounded and go on to great success here at Michigan. I hope he does, I really do. Nothing would make me happier than to see Brady retire 10-15 years from now with a collection of conferenece trophies, double-digit win seasons, bowl victories, appearances in the BCS playoffs, championships, etc...all with a pre-ordained successor in the wings from his own staff to carry on the program continuity he has fostered after such a rocky start. But we need to recognize as a fanbase and as an alumni culture the vulnerability to our program when we close ourselves off to certain options in the coaching arena because we cling to a philosophy of a person who stepped down as our head coach almost a quarter of a century ago and has been departed nearly a decade now.

Putting aside the Schembechler model for how a football team and football program has to be run is a healthy thing for us to do in the long run. It doesn't mean we are forgetting the man or don't care about what he did here, but at some point you need to open up to new ideas if you're going to grow and thrive. Michigan just doesn't have that feel right now.

As I said, maybe Hoke will prove us wrong and I really hope he does, but if we're here 15, 20, 30 years from now, talking about the merits of the next prospective leader of Michigan football and having "Michigan Man" enter into the equation, it probably doesn't bode well us.

Finance-PhD

November 28th, 2013 at 8:02 PM ^

I think when there is a long time successful coach there is a desire to keep doing what he was going and so they hire a guy like him or connected to him. Alabama had the same thing after Bear Bryant died in the 80's. They tried his guys and did have success with Gene Stallings but otherwise they just got through until they left the reservation and got Saban.