Dave Brandon Reminds Us All of the Proper Perspective

Submitted by Clarence Beeks on January 13th, 2011 at 1:44 AM

I was as big of a fan of Rich Rodriguez as there was here, but I can honestly say this: watching the entire press conference with Brandon and Hoke reignited my passion in Michigan football to a level that it hadn't been in years (despite the fact that I thought it had never wavered) in a way that nothing that Rich Rodriguez ever said did.  My personal suggestion is that this entire press conference should be required watching for every single user of this site before they are allowed to post here again.  If you listen to the last question Dave Brandon answered (from about the 56 minute mark onward: http://www.mgoblue.com/allaccess/index.html?media=221155) and you can't understand that they "get it" and this program is headed in the right direction with Dave Brandon and Brady Hoke in charge, I would suggest that it is you, not Dave Brandon or Brady Hoke, that is the one who has their priorities and has their conception of what Michigan football means out of line.

Those people who like to tear apart and like to criticize, and like to find fault, and all that stuff, they're out there and let them be out there.  They are not going to detract me or this coach or our team from getting on the path that we all want to be on.  That man is walking around with a diamond national championship ring on his finger and several, several Big Ten championship rings from Michigan in his jewelry case and those players know it.  Those players commented on it.  And they know it.  That's what those players want.  This game.  A lot of people lose track of this.  This game is about the players.  Yeah, we need fans, we want fans.  You're [the media] all important, we need the coverage that you bring and visibility that you bring.  But this is about football players.  This is about changing young men's lives.  This is about bringing leadership in here who makes a difference in the lives of young men.  And they leave here with a championship ring and they leave here with a great education and they go out and do great things in life.  That's Michigan.  Michigan men do that.  They create other Michigan men.  The guy you just met is all about that.  He's all about that.  He didn't spend as much time with a PR machine as others may and he may not be dressed up and polished and the toastmaster general like other people, and I don't care.  I want a football coach.  I want a football coach who will do with these young men what we want them to do: teach them what they need to learn and win.  That's Michigan.



January 13th, 2011 at 1:49 AM ^

Here here. (Or is it hear hear?)

Agree with you about the press conference. It was something else, and for me, it was both extremely welcome and pretty surprising.


January 13th, 2011 at 1:50 AM ^

I loved it when the reporter told Hoke, "People believe Michigan isn't an elite program anymore...". Then Hoke got pissed and said "Who said that!!!?, really, cause i want to know!!...."


any videos on that part?


January 13th, 2011 at 1:52 AM ^

Although exhausted, Brandon was really on today. What he said really hit a chord with me, and reminded me (one reason) why I came to this university. It's a special place. I always use to hate the term "Michigan Man", but to see how much Brandon believes in it dispelled that. I hope one day I'll have earned the title of Michigan Man.

Make us proud, Brady. You have my support.


January 13th, 2011 at 3:58 AM ^

The "we don't have to teach him the words to the Victors" line made me cringe. The Michigan Arrogance card is overplayed, but lines like that from Brandon are what people are talking about when they say it.

If you want to see a real pimp-hand, look at how Jeremy Foley does business in Gainesville. Decisions are made swiftly, effectively, and with authority. Even when presented with dramatic situations, drama is ultimately minimized. Michigan seemingly looks to make drama where it doesn't need to be. Brandon said he wanted to end that trend and he has failed epically.




January 13th, 2011 at 9:36 AM ^

...on the head with his "Michigan Men make Michigan Men" line. That speaks to the essence of the term. It's about character and devotion to the ideals and heritage of the University of Michigan and University of Michigan athletics.

Live it, love it, teach it, represent it.


January 13th, 2011 at 1:58 AM ^

A good leader gets people thinking about what is important. Brandon surprised the hell out of me today. Maybe because he was tired, he let loose, and let his hair down, and for the first time, I felt like I wasn't listening to a politician or corporate spokesperson. I felt like I was hearing a very passionate person talk about what he felt was right, from his heart. It was a "wow" moment for me.

Hoke did the same thing. I found the whole conference inspiring, and it reminded me why I love this university.

I said in a post yesterday that this thing wasn't a beauty contest, and that's a good thing.

But in a way, what happened today was a thing of beauty.



January 13th, 2011 at 3:50 AM ^

Did Brandon think it was right to create a facade down in Baton Rouge and jerk around his base just because he had to placate to a faction that he was scared of? Did that come from his heart as well?

Sorry but Brandon is arrogant, a coward, and appears to be a card-carrying member of one of the very factions he claims he wants to destroy. Brady Hoke is a good man and I hope he's a good coach. It's s shame that DB has made his job much harder than it needed to be with these little stunts he's pulled. What a douchebag.


January 13th, 2011 at 9:36 AM ^

I think Brandon had Harbaugh to agree to come sometime during the regular season.  Then Harbaugh went 11-1 and the NFL started to get interested. The Orange Bowl happened and his shit blew up.  Harbaugh stressed to Brandon that one day he wants the NFL and Brandon didn't want a guy jumping ship in a few years.  Brandon busted his ass to get Miles, had a deal in place for him to come home.  He flew back to A2 and MSC said no, no way in hell.  Next morning he calls Hoke and we have our new football coach.


January 13th, 2011 at 12:20 PM ^

I don't believe that for a minute. Why would Brandon bust his ass trying to get a guy who his president would roadblock him on? Why would his president allow him to be in Dallas and Baton Rouge for several days and then wait until he came back and wasted all that time to say no you can't do it?

MSC is part of my ire too. Both searches/processes were very messy and she, not the ADs, is the constant there. Mary Sue, you just need to get some.


January 13th, 2011 at 2:08 AM ^

You were one or the most ardent Rich supporters. And you never wavered. So coming from you, it is saying a lot.
<br>And though I liked Brady's parts more than Brandon's for the most part, thank you from highlighting my favorite part. Some people forget it is about the players. After reading enough "life is tough" references to the kids Miles discarded over the weekend, I wondered if that still held true at Michigan. It does. I want most out of the program that the players are having the best time of their lives (and winning usually makes it a lot more fun). And it showed today, by the past player support Brady got today...it has been, and will be special, at Michigan.
<br>(This is no knock on Rich. The football may have had some issues, but his player treatment wasn't one of the problems).


January 13th, 2011 at 2:41 AM ^

Coach Hoke has my support and I loved the way he handled himself in the press conference. He's said and done all the right things so far. He was by no means a bad choice and there is no reason why he can't be successful at Michigan. I'm confident that the program is in good hands. 

However, I couldn't disagree with you more about Brandon. I'm still extremely disappointed in the way Brandon mismanaged the search, and he made himself look even worse in the press conference today. Brandon came off as arrogant and defensive, constantly referring to himself and his process, yet refusing to answer questions about that process (ex: mentioning 12 criteria that he had established but refusing to divulge what most of them were). He patted himself on the back about a process that led him to hire a coach he could have hired back in December. His ridiculous timetable and the "national search" that he launched on January 5th have put Hoke behind the 8-ball in terms of recruiting, assembling a staff, etc. If the recruiting class falls apart and Hoke has to settle for a less-than-stellar stable of assistants, it could affect us for years to come. And that will be Brandon's fault, not Hoke's. 

In short, now I understand why Domino's Pizza tastes like cardboard.


January 13th, 2011 at 10:43 AM ^

Well said.  I think everyone, whether they considered themselves RR fans or not, and whether or not they agreed with the new hire, will get behind coach Hoke and hope he succeeds.  But Dave Brandon acquitted himself incredibly poorly over the last few weeks, and the fact that he thinks we're stupid enough to believe that he conducted a "national search" that just so happened to turn up a guy we've heard was on his radar since the end of November proves that Brandon is a smug and arrogant asshole.

I'm fine with Brady Hoke being the face of the Michigan program.  David Brandon, not so much.


January 13th, 2011 at 3:43 AM ^

To the OP - Please do not insult Brady Hoke by lumping him in with the likes of Dave Brandon.

I wish he got individual face time at Crisler tonight like Hoke and Denard did when they got those great ovations. If DB was on the screen, I would have been tempted to boo the shit of him. I doubt I would have been alone.


January 13th, 2011 at 4:44 AM ^

great, all this blind bandwagon jumping because everyone thinks it makes them a bigger fan than the next guy, but whats the reaction when everyone including coaches and players are all sitting home watching bowl games next year? i can wish forever it won't be true but know damn well its going to happen.


January 13th, 2011 at 4:55 AM ^

I am pleased to see a groundswell of support growing for our new coach, but am somewhat dismayed by the volume of venom being spewed towards Dave Brandon by members of the MGoBlog community.

I would think that any true "Michigan Man" would take another "Michigan Man" at his word unless given compelling reason to do otherwise. I don't consider conspiracy theories based on conflicting, unreliable rumors or conclusions based on presumed mind-reading abilities to constitute sufficient cause.

I take Brandon at his word that he waited until after the season to evaluate the program and I believe that RR (whom I supported) was given the opportunity to save his job with an impressive performance in the Gator Bowl (alas, it was not to be). I also believe Brandon entered into the job search process with an open mind and a sincere intent to do his due diligence. Should he have kidnapped Harbaugh's children to force him to take a job he did not want? Just because not everyone might agree with his ultimate selection, that does not warrant attributing sinister motives and duplicitous behavior to an honorable man. I guess cynicism is an incurable disease among sports fans.


January 13th, 2011 at 12:28 PM ^

His word? He has no word. He refused to talk about the situation besides sticking up for his boss MSC. Understandable, but it still leaves a lot of questions unanswered about Dallas and Baton Rouge.

Again, I like Hoke well enough. I've never been a big Les Miles fan. I just don't appreciate being jerked around and what looked very damn much like a big show down there. Whether it was to placate a faction, whether Mary Sue stopped it -- whatever. Either way it's a major sign of the dysfunction Brandon was supposed to end but hasn't.

I understand saying support the coach, especially one who hasn't coached a game yet. I don't feel that as fans we owe the Athletic Director that same support. Piss on him all you want. He's earned it.


Swayze Howell Sheen

January 13th, 2011 at 7:43 AM ^

I call bullshit on Brandon, and am surprised by the number of people who seem to support him and his performance as of late. I was particularly offended by this comment:

This is about changing young men's lives.

If that was your real goal, you could do it for a lot cheaper and probably to a number of far more deserving people (i.e., merit-based scholarships for those in lower-income brackets).

Further, if it was just about the players, wasn't Coach Rod doing a great job with them, as people (if not as football players)? I don't know about you, but every time I heard virtually any player speak, I was impressed by how they all seemed to be good people, humble and well-spoken. If it's all about the players, wasn't Coach Rod doing just fine? 

This is about one thing: money. Anyone who says otherwise is a politician. When RichRod kept losing, it sure wasn't about the whether he was doing a good job molding the young men on the team. It was about getting boosters on board again with the program. So for DB's sake, I hope they're on board again. Because if they're not, this hire sure doesn't make any sense to me.

might and main

January 13th, 2011 at 8:12 AM ^

Completely agree: if it was really about the players then RR would still be here. RR created a team of players that I absolutely LOVE. RR was doing a fine job of turning boys into men. So DB can suck it, if that statement is what he wants to hang his hat on. He's a politician to me now. (none of this detracts from my new support for our new coach, but I see through DB and his high horse.)


January 13th, 2011 at 8:52 AM ^

Yea, I'm sure the players feel great about playing some of the worst football in the history of the program. Real character building experience. And I'm sure the Seniors felt deeply honored by RR's self serving, turned parody, Josh Grobin sing-along. The record, how do you defend the record? RR was the head coach right? Responsible for stuff like Defense and Special teams? Or was that the hidden hand of DB?


January 13th, 2011 at 10:11 AM ^

I wish Coach Hoke nothing but the best but I cannot forget the way they treated Rich Rodriguez.


(edit)  Brian, your spam filter is wack because I had to delete almost any reference to things M related in order for this to post.


January 13th, 2011 at 7:54 AM ^

and I'll say it again now.  This guy can coach.  We will be a tougher team physically and mentally.  Press conferences are press conferences, I don't get all riled up from that stuff, but I saw a Brady Hoke coached Ball State team in person and watched several SDSU games this past year.  

He is a guy with a plan and it revolves around physical play, toughness and fundamentals.  Sounds like something we can all get behind.

Go Blue!


January 13th, 2011 at 9:32 AM ^

Here's my version of "proper perspective:"

David Brandon wanted publicity and he has succeeded in getting it.  He put his ego and his personal goals and agenda ahead of the good of the athletic department whose interests he is supposed to protect.  And he lied while representing the University of Michigan.  His bumbling during the process has damaged the esteem in which many hold the University of Michigan.

He deserves to be held accoutable for his actions. He deserves no exemption for the process or its execution, only the same scrutiny that he would give any of those he considers to be "underlings." 

But Brady Hoke is now the head football coach at the University of Michigan.  No matter how he got there and whether he was "your guy" or not, he is worthy and deserving of the respect of everyone who calls himself a "Michigan fan."  I am giving Brady Hoke the same four-year exemption I felt that RR deserved. 

I realize that the hire could turn out terribly, but I also realize that Brady Hoke could turn out to be the "diamond in the rough" that AD's and GM's always seek and seldom find.  He has charisma, and appears to know when to delegate authority to other coaches and when to take control himself.  He doesn't appear to be "married" to any one scheme on either side of the ball. 

I was very critical of the "Chicken Little" approach many took toward the team while RR was coaching it.  I am still very critical of the "Chicken Little" approach.  Brady Hoke has been the head coach for less than two days, and many have already written him off.  We all have fears and apprehensions, and we all want the team to do well.  But there is a positive way to represent and a negative one. 

I choose to look at positive possibilities.  I choose to hope that Brady Hoke's charisma and drive will translate to a lot of wins for the University of Michigan.  I choose to support someone who was not my choice because I feel it is not only the right thing to do, but the most productive.  After all these years, it is still all about "the team, the team, the team."

I don't need David Brandon to remind me of that. 


January 13th, 2011 at 10:58 AM ^

I think Brandon did an admirable job of reminding us of what we should really want and support in a Michigan coach: 1) He’s in it for the players with the goal of creating Michigan men: educated men of character who excel at what they do 2) He’s in it for the University of Michigan, it’s goals and reputation.   These are values as a Michigan community we can feel proud of, rally around, and support.  And I personally was excited by the way Brady Hoke convinced me he fits that job description.  I was a RichRod supporter, and I think he tried to live into that space, too.  But for all the reasons we have discussed those two values seemed have gotten diminished in the drama.   And it’s so easy and tempting to second guess and critic the sincerity of a public figure like Brandon.  If we can let RichRod go, and some of our cynicism – I think yesterday’s press conference gave us a great focus for what we want and hope for – and a coach that looks like he can do it.  That’s pretty cool.  Go blue!


January 13th, 2011 at 5:39 PM ^

Those people who like to tear apart and like to criticize, and like to find fault, and all that stuff, they're out there and let them be out there.  They are not going to detract me or this coach or our team from getting on the path that we all want to be on.

or in other words...

Haters gonna Hate!!