9/27/2014 – Michigan 14, Minnesota 30 – 2-3, 0-1 Big Ten
Look at this photo and tell me he is not concussed, TELL ME. (Photo Credit: Leon Halip, USA TODAY) pic.twitter.com/FNR75YG2Sv
— Joshua Henschke (@JoshuaHenschke) September 28, 2014
Brady Hoke is too incompetent to be Michigan's coach. He's too incompetent to be responsible for 85 kids who might get badly hurt at any moment. Hell, he's too incompetent to run a Hooters. Do not eat the chicken at Brady Hoke Hooters. That's not chicken.
And that's the nice way to interpret the information presented to us. It's one thing when Michigan is sending out ten guys in their dinosaur punt formation, one thing when they have the country's worst offense relative to available hyped recruits two years running. It's one thing when Michigan is pretending to try by getting Devin Funchess's ankle mangled in the waning moments of a 31-0 game. These are all fireable offenses, but year-end fireable offenses.
It's another thing when the Yakety Sax chaos that has come to symbolize the Hoke regime puts one of Hoke's "115 sons" in danger, as it did Saturday.
Shane Morris had just taken a headshot from a defensive end. He momentarily lost the ability to use his limbs. There was no real reason for him to be in the game anyway, what with his 49 passing yards and air of being totally overwhelmed. And Hoke threw him out there, because he "didn't see" his quarterback stagger onto one of his offensive linemen.
Even if that implausible excuse is true, somebody did. The announcers did. Doug Nussmeier—who was desperately trying to get his quarterback to fall on the ground—did. There were 80,000 people still in the stadium looking at the quarterback, and
knew Shane Morris had just had a very bad thing happen to his brain. When he was left in, they booed vociferously. This is where we're at: the guys booing in the stands are doing so because they fear for the players' health.
This is a long, long way from the "they ain't got no heart" guys from the Rodriguez era. Booing is now the only agency you have when something reprehensible is going on in front of your face. It's gone from childish to necessary.
Brady Hoke had no idea, and even more damningly nobody on his sideline had the sense to overrule the guy who purports to be the head coach. Some guys started yelling at Russell Bellomy to get his helmet on when Gardner lost his a couple plays after entering; Bellomy tried about 50 because he never dreamed he'd go in a game again. Morris re-entered the game. Did he have a concussion?
"Shane's a pretty competitive, tough kid. Shane wanted to be the quarterback. Believe me, if he didn't want to be, he would've come to the sideline, or stayed down."
That is unacceptable. Brady Hoke should have been fired walking off the field.
Dave Brandon is too stupid to be Michigan's athletic director. After a day-long lambasting culminating in ABC's World News Tonight slamming the program, they released a breathtakingly tone-deaf statement that is a flat-out lie.
We generally never discuss the specifics of a student-athlete's medical care, but Shane Morris was removed from yesterday's game against Minnesota after further aggravating an injury to his leg that he sustained earlier in the contest
This is how Shane Morris aggravated his leg injury.
Who are you going to believe, Dave Brandon and his lawyers or your lying eyes?
It does not matter whether Morris was concussed or not. What matters is that Shane Morris showed obvious signs of a concussion immediately after taking a wicked head shot and was permitted to stay in the game, then re-entered some 90 seconds after departing, well before any serious concussion check could be completed. The NFL's process takes 8-12 minutes. The NHL requires players suspected to have sustained a concussion to be removed from the ice and taken to a quiet place for evaluation.
Michigan was flagrantly negligent about Shane Morris's safety. Period.
And then they lied about it. To your face. Because they think you're too fucking dumb to do anything about it.
Michigan's athletic department has been insulting the intelligence of their fans for years with offended statements about how they weren't really going to do the thing they said they were going to do and the thing you're mad about definitely is your fault, not theirs. That was bad enough for petty things like noodles; this is the athletic department lying to the nation about a matter of real import.
Brady Hoke is either a liar or an idiot, and my guess is both.
— SI_DougFarrar (@SI_DougFarrar) September 29, 2014
This opinion is universal outside a small corps of true believers who have inexplicable faith in the people who are just in charge of the Michigan athletic department. Hoke has been condemned by the ESPN announcers, Deadspin, Business Insider, Yahoo, Andy Staples, Nick Baumgardner, Wojo, Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel, USA Today's Nicole Auerbach, CBS, CBS again, USA Today's George Schroeder and virtually every other person to offer an opinion about college football this year. Hell, a news program aimed at olds did a segment on it, just after they talked about ISIS.
The die has been cast. Until Brady Hoke and Dave Brandon are removed from this program, This Is Michigan: incompetent liars.
I can't stand by and watch this anymore.
This program is broken. The coach is too dumb to be in charge of other people. The athletic director is so loathed that when the remainder of the student section started to chant something after the concussion fiasco, they went with "FIRE BRANDON." Tickets go for two cokes, and that's too expensive.
Stephen Ross is defending Brandon, and I feel helpless. The thing I love most in the world has been held hostage by unacceptable people. So I'm going to do two things.
I'M NOT GOING TO THE MARYLAND GAME. (Unless Hoke and Brandon are gone.) This is going to break a home attendance streak dating back to the 1997 opener, when I was a freshman, but it's the only thing I can do to show my disgust at the state of the program. I'm not selling my ticket—not that I could sell it for anything. I am eating it. I urge you to do the same. Yeah, it sucks for the players. I am more concerned about sending a message about the program as a whole than making anyone feel bad.
Do it for all of us. I hate it with the fury of a thousand suns, but this is the only thing we have left.
I'M RUNNING FOR REGENT IN 2016. I don't know how or with who yet, but the board of regents is a broken institution that privately conspires to vote unanimously in favor of everything, in violation of the law. They accepted the presence of Dave Brandon; they run the worst FOIA office in the country; they are supposed to be the check on an increasingly overpaid and unaccountable administrative class at Michigan. They are failures.
Leaders and best. I still believe that. Goddammit, I do. I started the Every Three Weekly with Amol Parulekar and Mike Chu and Paul Malewitz and Michigan allowed that to happen despite it being an obviously not-great idea for them. I learned how to code; I didn't go to my discrete math class for the entire semester and that was cool; I got my brain rearranged by Stephen Kaplan in an immensely productive way. Michigan is awesome. It is awesome in spite of the people in charge of the university's front door.
I love this place, which gave me my education, livelihood, and wife. I am going to do the thing I can to try to help it.
Because this is not Michigan.
[After THE JUMP: more reasons to fire Brady Hoke.]
There's not much point to going over what happened in the usual way Michigan sucks so hard that it doesn't matter anymore. Michigan was comprehensively outgained and blown out by a team that lost 30-7 to TCU. A bowl game is unlikely, to say the least.
But here's some more stuff about why Hoke should be fired.
Giving your players the best chance to win: fail. When Sam Webb said he thought Morris would start during our Thursday roundtable on WTKA, Craig, Ed, and I all involuntarily groaned at the same time. Morris had given no indication he was anywhere near ready, and that played out as Michigan's starting quarterback managed 49 yards passing while being just as turnover-prone as Devin Gardner.
By halftime Michigan had just over 100 yards of offense and it was obvious Gardner should be re-inserted; Hoke refused. Morris started hobbling around on one leg; Hoke refused to take him out even then. Morris fumbled without being touched by an opponent; Hoke still did not take him out. Without the Morris injury, Gardner would not have shown up at all.
That is a slap in the face to a guy who was a warrior last year in the face of horrendous pass protection. Michigan was prepared to lose this game to teach Devin Gardner a lesson, because "uh, Shane Morris was our quarterback." Brady Hoke was willing to throw the entire team under the bus to make a point.
Clueless tempo item of the week. Near the end of the first half, Michigan called timeout just before Minnesota spiked the ball. This was because they were trying to substitute while the opponent was in an extreme two-minute mode and got stuck with twelve guys on the field.
The reason they called timeout doesn't really matter; the mere fact that Michigan had no ability to project what would happen after a Gopher first down in that situation is yet more gross incompetence. It feels like nobody on this staff has ever watched the end of a half of football, weekly.
"I quit" of the week. Hoke once again quit when victory was still distantly possible. After Gardner drove the team to a touchdown, he kicked an extra point instead of going for two to find out whether he was 2.5 or 3 possessions down, then kicked deep. "I quit," he said. Then facing fourth and ten down 16 with 4 minutes left, he punted. "I quit," he said again.
This has been a pattern in every one of Michigan's blowout losses: offenses that huddle and run the clock down to nothing while trailing by multiple scores in the second half, coupled with starters still on the field. Brady Hoke quits when down, but he wants to keep up the appearance of trying. This is why Devin Funchess is going to spend the year nursing an ankle sprain.
I get why he quits—I also want the games to be over as fast as possible. It's still embarrassing to the program.
Shoe-throwin' quote of the week not related to Shane Morris. Oy.
I think field position was a part of the game. We've got to do a better job. A couple of punt returns went for way too much yardage.
You don't say. Michigan was lucky to only be down three points at halftime; their first two punts should have been brought back 20+ yards but for the incompetence of the Gopher returner, who let one of the punts drop and fumbled the other.
On the severity of the Morris incident. This is the only place on the internet other than the Pravda-like Wolverine where you will find people defending Michigan's actions in the aftermath of the helmet-to-helmet hit on Morris, some even going so far as to assert that the problem might have been with his leg even before the athletic department asserted so.
I cannot fathom why a certain subset of posters insists on reminding us that Brady Hoke didn't intentionally put Shane Morris in harm's way, as if that matters. A major argument they bring is that "X isn't stupid/incompetent," which… why would you be certain about that at this point? They seem to want a standard of evidence that is beyond a reasonable doubt and extend the benefit of the doubt to people who have long since lost that privilege. I tell you what, guys: it's just 99 bucks a year for a Rivals subscription.
There is always a faction that wants to downplay everything that people get mad at; the Aggressively Reasonable people spend their entire posting lives clucking at other people that they shouldn't be mad about the thing they're mad about. That combined with a desire to see Brady Hoke as a good guy causes people to say this isn't as big of a deal as everyone here is making it out to be.
Bullshit. The Michigan brand now: send your child to play for a guy who can't tell you've just been hit in the head really hard. Whether it was malice or stunning incompetence doesn't matter: either is grounds for immediate termination.
Toxic. ESPN is clowning Hoke now.
So there's that.
Toxic Part II. I heard only "Fire Brandon" from the students, and multiple reports that have filtered back to me from the student section say that they were all "Fire Brandon" chants, not "Fire Brady," except for scattered dudes who didn't get the idea. Someone even sent me some video:
There's your future season ticket base. Keeping this guy is impossible even if he wasn't running a confederacy of dunces.
WELL TROLLED, SIR. Is Special K joining the resistance? He played "Numb" by Linkin Park before the game, which is way not on message, and then as I'm exiting I hear "this is it, the apocalypse" from that Imagine Dragons song. Either Special K is a clueless dillweed or he's just as pissed as everyone else.
I'm left scratching my head wondering what Brady Hoke was trying to do in this game. In Schembechler's account of his first game against Minnesota, he admits this:
Let me tell you the God's honest truth: Even if we got beat up there in Minnesota, I would still have felt better about taking the squad I took than I would have if we'd won that game with a bunch of guys who hadn't practiced all week, guys who let their teammates down, guys who didn't take my word seriously.
So it's obvious Schembechler had a larger goal in mind; it was a "lose the battle but win the war" mentality. Oh to be a fly on the wall in Schembechler Hall so that I might understand what Brady Hoke was trying to prove with this stunt. He sat a 5th year quarterback with significant playing experience, a player so distinguished, with so much ability, talent, and skills that he was given the honor of wearing the Tom Harmon Legends jersey, for a 2nd year quarterback with one start under his belt in college. I thought maybe, just maybe, Gardner was injured. That's the only way this makes sense to me, if the objective was to win the football game. However, when Russell Bellomy couldn't find his helmet to sub in for a play, the truth was revealed. Gardner was not injured, for if he was, Bellomy would have practiced all week and would have the slightest clue where his helmet was. No, Gardner was sat to teach some sort of lesson.
I know last week I described the death of my optimism about this season, so this might sound a bit hypocritical to then attack others for voicing their own displeasure, but I am profoundly, mind-numbingly tired of people questioning the desire of college players and the people who have dedicated their lives to making them better. Now, I'm not defending the results so far on the scoreboard, nor am I saying that I believe guys like Hoke, Funk, Ferrigno, etc. are the best choices for the jobs the currently inhabit. I still believe that Hoke should be gone, as the number of boneheaded decisions (the punting formation fiasco and the lack of anything resembling tempo or urgency on offense being prime examples) has only increased since he's been at the helm. But I absolutely believe that he cares about Michigan football and is trying his best to make it a winner, just like everyone else involved with the program; to question the effort and desire put forth by the players and coaches is asinine.
…toward the end of the game two things happened on the sidelines near the student section:
- A dramatic increase in police and event staff presence.
- A rope being held along the sideline and end zone, presumably to prevent a field rush (??).
Did either of these things directly impact my, or really any other students’ lives? Not really. Nevertheless, the symbolism remains. One needs look little further than this to get a good grasp on why the students are so upset with the athletic department. Is the department so distrustful of the students that they want to keep them in line by show of force? Are they so delusional to think that the students would rush the field after a loss? After even a win over Minnesota? over Utah? over literally any home game this season? They’ve taken our water bottles so that they can sell water for $5; they’ve prohibited numerous innocuous items from entering the stadium; three separate event staff members tried to tell me I wouldn’t be allowed to bring a cowbell into the stadium; you can’t bring bags; you can’t bring food. And yet after all of this, they expect us to keep paying such exorbitant prices for tickets? To keep showing up? Don’t get me wrong, I love Michigan Football, I love the Michigan Stadium experience; it’s just that, under Dave Brandon I have yet to really experience either at the Big House.
Bombs away in the Michigan blogosphere. MZone:
In Michigan’s 67-65, 3-OT thriller over Illinois in 2010, Rodriguez pulled Robinson after a hard hit during the 3rd quarter. “He was dizzy and had a headache,” explained Rodriguez, extra cautious his star player might have a concussion. The context is even more important. Rodriguez entered that game 5-3 after 3 consecutive losses to #17 Michigan State, #15 Iowa and at Penn State. Under fire by the media before the season and intense scrutiny by Brandon during the season, Rodriguez pulled the most electric player in college football for his safety in a must-win game. He recruited Robinson, developed him, and above all protected him over his job. If only he was a Michigan Man too.
I now call on all Michigan fans to stomach the unthinkable: boycott this obscenity until it collapses in on itself. If you have tickets, don't use them. Don't sell them to someone who will. Don't give them away to someone who will. Do not buy tickets, no matter how cheap they become, or how many Cokes you get with them. If someone offers you tickets for free, politely decline. I understand how reprehensible that will sound to some. Many will say that it is still a fan's obligation to support these players. I implore you to reconsider. I beg of you to support these players by putting pressure on those who are destroying them. These players are having their careers derailed by people who are in painfully over their heads, and one of them was put at grave physical risk by the man he trusted with his future today. Shane Morris didn't even walk off the field after the game today; he had to be carted off because he couldn't put weight on his ankle; that's not even considering the concussion he took and then continued to play with.
For starters, Morris never should have been in this huddle. But look at the play clock in the graphic above. THERE ARE A FULL 25 SECONDS ON THE PLAY CLOCK. That is plenty of time for Hoke to either: (1) call Morris back to the sideline and sub in Bellomy, who now has a helmet; (2) call a timeout, which still remains an option every second until the ball is snapped; or (3) PUT IN ANY PLAYER -- WILTON SPEIGHT, BRIAN CLEARY, ALEX SWIECA, LINEBACKER JAKE RYAN, DEFENSIVE TACKLE WILLIE HENRY, ETC. -- THAT IS NOT CONCUSSED.
Even the umpire looks over to Michigan's sideline and asks Hoke if he wants to take a timeout, to which Hoke declines, before starting the play clock.
Then Michigan's coaches failed Shane Morris. It's the coach's job to know whats going on at all times with the players on the field. Hoke admitted to not seeing Shane Morris visibly wobbling back to the huddle after that hit. How you miss that it beyond me. He could barely stand up. How could Doug Nussmeier, the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach not pull his guy immediately after seeing that. Shane probably shouldn't have been in the game at that point anyway. He was limping very badly.
I don't even know what to say abut this series of events other than its easily the most concerning thing that happened on a day when there was a lot to be concerned about. But this goes beyond football and x's and o's. This is a blatant disregard for player safety, plain and simple.
Aw man play 60 kid this is a major burn
Because you watched Michigan Football.. | pic.twitter.com/cnFEXlYvOm
— Play 60 Kid (@NatePlay60) September 27, 2014
but you're just the major burn of all major burns so ok.
And this was just a random post on the Scout message board from A1Portable but it's too good to let die with two responses:
We Are Michigan! ...
... and Brady Hoke is a MICHIGAN MAN!
That is all you need to know ... except perhaps ...
... that Michigan's Athletic Director is a former CEO of a big company that sells pizzas. Yes, that's right, Michigan's Athletic Director is a former CEO of a big company that sells pizzas!
So naturally, he is qualified to be Michigan's Athletic Director. In fact, he is more qualified than any other kind of athletic director, especially the kind who have experience running college athletic departments and hiring coaches. That is not the kind of experience that prepares a man to be a master of public relations flim-flam, which is what a Michigan Athletic Director must be a master at!
Do you know how hard it is to persuade 100,000 folks to spend more than $1,000 to buy season tickets to college football games when they could have picked up some tickets at 7-11 just by buying a couple liters of Coca-Cola? I'm telling you, that is not easy, nosiree! Don't think that any old ordinary athletic director is capable of doing stuff like that. No, it takes an athletic director who is a genuine former CEO of a big company that sells pizzas to pull off something like that. Do not try that at home!
What's that? You don't understand? That is because you are just ignorant peons who are incapable of understanding the depths of the twisted genius of the Michigan Athletic Director.
Do not question the Michigan Athletic Director! To question the Michigan Athletic Director is to admit, ipso facto, that you are not qualified, or worthy, to question the Michigan Athletic Director! You know enough about the Michigan Athletic Director not to question the Michigan Athletic Director, but you question the Michigan Athletic Director. Therefore, you do not know enough about the Michigan Athletic Director not to question the Michigan Athletic Director.
If you are an ignorant peon and continue to question the Michigan Athletic Director, you will be ignored, and then a way will be found for the experience of going to a football game to become so unpleasant that you will "voluntarily" give up your season tickets, which you could have gotten at 7-11 for buying a couple liters of Coca-Cola.
... and one more thing, WE ARE MICHIGAN! Seriously, we are.
The Penn State game is going to be epic.