Michigan football made Al Jazeera's front page. Hooray?
In regards to the way both Brady Hoke and Dave Brandon have handled the whole situation regarding Shane Morris, I have to wonder why we have not heard from the AD since the game. I am concerned that the absence of any comment on the situation screams that he is trying to distance himself from the whole situation. By doing this, I feel that he is jeopardizing the search for a new head coach. Parents would have second thoughts on sending their sons to play for Hoke, while potential coaching candidates would have second thoughts on working for a man who keeps quiet in times of trouble, I know that I would.
I live in Arkansas and thought back to the way that Jeff Long handled the Bobby Petrino situation in April on 2012. Four days after the accident, when it was to come out that Petrino may have covered up the accident Long placed Petrino on paid leave while he did his own investigation. 6 days after that Petrino was fired for just cause. That is the kind of leadership I like to see in the workplace.
I will end this e-mail with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. as I think it speaks loudly as to what is going on now.
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
Don [ed: Not That Don]
Dave Brandon's 52-hour absence during a PR crisis magnitudes greater than the one Michigan faced when he was hired speaks volumes. We were all temporarily on board the Brandon Express because he came in and talked in his gibberish way to the media about stretchgate. He spearheaded the U's reaction to the investigation, and because his one skill is handwaving at things this seemed brilliant. That was a thing that deserved handwaving.
That PR crisis did not feature literally dozens of prominent opinion-makers on college football calling for Hoke's immediate dismissal, nor did Michigan show up on Good Morning America or ABC World News Tonight. This is so much worse.
And now Dave Brandon is a ghost. When the University of Michigan desperately needs someone to step forth and be Adam Silver, they get a single 1 AM statement from the guy in charge, one that directly contradicts his own football coach. Whatever this is, it doesn't feel like an attempt to save anyone's job.
They learned nothing.
Since some people are defending the Morris incident by saying "its an isolated incident and only getting attention since we are losing", I think its time to talk about Brendan Gibbons. If that incident came out now (post Ray Rice) how would it play? Also, its another incident where you are left to wonder whether Brady Hoke is (1) devious or (2) dumb - a question that as alumni and fans of what the university stands for we should not be asking.
The thing that makes Brandghazi even more inexplicable is that they already had something like this happen to them with the Gibbons thing, where their vagueness and dissembling led Brady Hoke to claim a guy who had been expelled from the university wasn't playing because of a "family matter."
They experienced a lesser version of the media blitz that they intensified with their stonewalling, gathering ugly press. What did they learn from that? Absolutely nothing. This is the PR equivalent of Shane Morris stumbling after a hard hit to the head against Ohio State and staying in the game.
And in the light of the most recent disaster, doesn't it seem a lot more plausible that Michigan was lying about Gibbons's "muscle injury" against Ohio State? We can't trust them about anything anymore.
While I think a boycott is a good idea, I'm curious as to why you want to wait until the last home game to do it?
Mostly I thought the idea would be better if given enough time to gather a critical mass, and that it would be easier to convince people to stay away from a game that was not a night game against a theoretically sexier opponent or homecoming.
Also I wanted to give the powers that be some extra time to get rid of people. This isn't just Hoke, after all. It is also Brandon, and while you can chop the head coach off right now without raising an eyebrow canning Brandon might take some more time to canvass donors, point at the raging tire fire, and say "I hope we can agree that this is very bad and we need to move on to someone not widely hated."
I am all for people doing something for the Penn State game. A suggestion: replace GO with FIRE and BLUE with BRANDON in chants.
[After THE JUMP: more emails in this vein, and a random game theory Q]
Going or not going?
I got married this summer. Yay, right? Well, my wife's gift to me for our wedding was two tickets to the Rutgers game (we live in NYC). She shelled out nearly $500 for two 50-yard line tickets (on a teacher's salary, mind you). My question: What do I do now? Do I wear scarlet? Do I make a pun-y sign? Do I boycott the game (this would definitely upset the wife; something I probably shouldn't do 6 weeks into marriage).
Y'all can go to anything you want to. I'm not judging anyone who goes or does not go to any Michigan game the rest of the season. There was a comment left on the game column from a guy who said he was dying of bone cancer wondering what he should do with his nephew in re: going to a game. GO. Fergodsakes, go. Buy season tickets to basketball, but go.
But if you're discontent with where we are now, just do something. Anything. Students, here's a petition. If you're going to a game, bring a sign that tells people how you feel. You don't have to opt out.
But I'm asking you to participate. Michigan is not a business. It is a community. We need you write a regent, write something on the internet, write the president, put a bag on your head, hold up a sign saying THIS IS NOT MICHIGAN. We need you to tell anyone who will listen what is wrong and how to fix it. We need you to say that this is not who we are, that we do not accept the kind of response to controversy Michigan is peddling.
We need to act like a small town now. If you don't go, okay. If you go, okay, But be mad, and show it.
Michigan men for AD?
If Michigan decides to make the change we all hope they make at AD, do you think Michigan should make an effort to look at any AD candidates other than those with Michigan ties? I admittedly know very little about how good Manuel or Bates would be, but I saw some non-Michigan sports people on twitter throw out some names like the Louisville AD or others.
Manuel and Bates might be very qualified for the job, just curious if you thought it would make sense to go along the lines of the search for a new university president and try to get the best person regardless of their ties to the university. Or if in the position of AD, it does help to find someone who is qualified and has ties to the university.
Thanks and Go Blue.
If they're going to be making a change before they install a new coach I'm fine with going after a set of people you have a lot of information about and are likely to want the job. You want the new guy in an settled as fast as possible so he can start working towards whoever the next coach is going to be.
Unlike Brandon and Hoke, they are Michigan Men who happen to look like qualified candidates for the job Michigan would offer them. They have worked their way up through the athletic administration ranks by being successful at the job Michigan is (or at least should be) looking to fill.
Is this a question?
We are not making enough out of the fact that Brady Hoke, who says he would have wanted to be a Secret Service officer if not a football coach, is having a public relations meltdown that hinges on "dissembling about not being aware of something it's your job to be aware of" at the exact same time the Secret Service got caught dissembling about the fact that an emotionally disturbed veteran was able to jump over the White House's front fence and run into the East Room before being apprehended.
There has been some innuendo suggesting that my mailbag question is not a question, but I stand by it, and a medical staff statement on the question/statement distinction will be forthcoming at [mumbles] o'clock. And, frankly, I don't appreciate my character, when it comes to knowing what is and is not a question, being questioned.
THIS IS NOT A QUESTION
Also increasing the eerieness factor here: Yesterday's edition of ABC World News Tonight led with the White House invader story and followed it with Shane Morris stumbling around.
Game theory you probably don't care about much.
In the podcast you said you always go for 2 down 17 in the 4th? But if you just kick the extra point that puts you down 16, which is, as you put it, 2.5 possessions.
I don't understand what going for 2 gets you? If you make the 2 point try your down 15 points still 2 (maybe .25) possessions. If you miss you're down a complete 3 possessions.
Isn't it better to be down 2.5 possessions than 3, and isn't the risk not worth being down "2.25" possessions?
I look forward to the day when I get to stop explaining what you should do when you score and you're still down multiple possessions. Today is not that day, though.
If you are down 23 points you need three touchdowns to tie, and you need two of those touchdowns to come with two-point conversions attached. If you don't make one of those two-point conversions you need another score. So you're going for two twice and one once no matter what order you go in.
Going for two early is an advantage because you have more information. If you go for two and miss, you know you're down a full three scores and you don't kick deep. If you get it you're a little more justified in kicking deep.
There are other situations in which this is clearer. Let's say you're down 15 and score a touchdown with four minutes left. If you go for two immediately you then know if you're down seven (and can kick deep) or nine (and must onside). If you kick the extra point you're not sure which is the superior strategy because the result of the two point conversion is still undetermined.
The point here is that you're not really down 2.5 or 2.75 possessions. You're down exactly 2 or exactly 3 and are trying to figure out which is the case.
[One basic game theory rule for football: always do everything as quickly as possible. If you have to go for two, go for two. If you have timeouts on defense and need the ball back, use them as quickly as you can. The worst thing you can do in that situation is let the opponent run 40 seconds off and keep a timeout.]
That headshot seems unsporting, chaps.
Please comment as to why, when Morris was hit and clearly dazed, that no one came to his defense. Not one player got in the Minnesota defenders face. Not one Michigan man challenged him to a fist fight in the parking lot for striking their quarterback. Not one coach was ranting or raving on the sideline. It was like no one cared. Are we too nice? Do we not care? If this had been done to the quarterback from another team, all hell would have broken out. We are truly a team of Jellyfish.
I don't know. For that to happen with zero response after Gardner took a cheap shot at the end of the Notre Dame game is very frustrating. You don't need to get in a punch-up and get ejected to let the opponent know that is not behavior they're going to get away with, but at some point you need to show some pride.