June 19th, 2012 at 8:39 PM ^

Yes, and sometimes he acts like the one hippie vegetarian grandchild who forces Thanksgiving dinner to be turned into some sort of new-age tasting festival of a bunch of tofu garbage.  Thanks David, but turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce have served everyone well for more than a century, so don't touch it!  He still loves the family, but sometimes things are just fine as they are and should be left as such.


Ron Utah

June 19th, 2012 at 4:29 PM ^

This is a match made in heaven, IMO.  Brandon is a businessman who is results-oriented, but has enough understanding of Michigan's traditions to see how to use them to his advantage rather than trample them, but it also willing to innovate and change things if he believes it will build and strengthen the UM brand.

Hoke is completely genuine, and actually lives and breathes the family, tradition, integrity philosophy he preaches, unlike most big-time coaches (ie Meyer, Saban, Miles).

I think you can point to the University's drug policy as Brandon's awareness of UM being held to a higher standard, and his desire to keep the university "cleaner" than other programs.  But you can point to his willingness to have multiple (even silly) jerseys because current players and recruits like it, even if it doesn't honor tradition.

Hoke...well, his speech at SMSB pretty much sums it up.  Opening every team meeting by asking what team number (133), how many B1G Championships (42), and beat (ohio) is pure genius.  He honors tradition, reminds of the goal, and focuses on the rival.  Brilliant.

Zone Left

June 19th, 2012 at 10:04 PM ^

To play Devil's Advocate here, recruits are the marketing target for a major college program. We can complain all we want about the clown show jerseys, but young kids seem to like them. Brandon is many things, but among them is an excellent marketing executive. He was able to sell subpar pizza for and mailbox stuffers successfully for a long time. Michigan sports, in contrast, are very easy to sell and no marketing message is going to change the number of people in Michigan Stadium on Saturdays.

Brandon is trying to do what he can to make the program better, and to him, that means an aggressive, vibrant marketing campaign. I'm not a fan of the silly jerseys or the piped in music, but Brandon knows people like me won't walk away and he knows some top recruits might be more attracted to that environment. He's smart, we'll bitch, but ultimately, we want happy, excited players and recruits that win a lot of games. He's actively working on making that happen.


June 19th, 2012 at 10:32 PM ^

College kids playing big time college football are going to be excited about things, especially new/different things.  If you ask them how awesome it is to wear their brand new bumblebee uniforms they will say it is super exciting.  If you ask them how awesome it is to wear the exact same helmets and uniforms Michigan players have been wearing for the last umpteen years they will say the same thing.  "The players/recruits like it" is about as weak as an argument can get.

Plenty of schools haven't done the goofy uniform thing (Alabama, Oklahoma, Auburn, USC, Texas, Penn State, etc. all come to mind, though I could be wrong) and they are all still raking in high profile recruits.  Michigan and Ohio State similarly didn't suddenly benefit from a transition to Pro Combat status. 

If anything it hurts the brand long term not to maintain a strong degree of consistency, and you also run the risk of crediting stupid gimmicks for any and all successes, which only leads to more and stupider gimmicks.

Whether or not people eventually walk away isn't really the issue.  If someone keeps pissing in your Cheerios, that guy is an asshole, even if you really fucking love Cheerios and still aren't about to throw them out.

Zone Left

June 20th, 2012 at 12:07 AM ^

I'd agree that the Devil's argument isn't the best one, but Brandon probably believes, based on his long, very successful career in businesses focused on marketing that constantly need to change to stay ahead, that this type of stuff is necessary. His worldview has been very good for him, so I doubt he's going to change now. 

Regardless, I think we can agree he's not intentionally pissing in our Cheerios, he's probably just really tired in morning and tends to miss the toilet sometimes...


June 19th, 2012 at 6:30 PM ^

Articles like this and a coach like Hoke are what make our tradition, excellence, and standard next to none. Hoke may not be the best X's and O'S guy in CFB, but he is by far the best "person". He is the epitomy of a Michigan Man and I am proud as hell to call him my coach! GO BLUE!!


June 19th, 2012 at 8:01 PM ^

If the team stumbles this season – and let's face it, we are a couple of ACL's away from mediocrity – it won't change my support for Hoke one bit. Of all the right things he's said, all the right notes struck, all the feet that haven't gone mouthwards – one thing stands out. When Hagerup muffed that snap and came to the sidelines, the way Hoke treated him is one of the best examples of coaching on any level I've ever seen. I hope every kid we are recruiting and their parents see that clip. That's how I'd want my son treated. I've always hated the opposite, when coaches ream out kids during games. Didn't like it when Bo did it, didn't like it when Rodriguez did it. If you're gonna blast a kid, don't do it on national TV in a stadium full of people.



June 20th, 2012 at 3:09 PM ^

Exactly! I should have mentioned him. Hoke is the Anti-Kelly, which is high praise indeed. But kids who go to ND deserve to get screamed at. They made the punishable mistake of deciding to play football for Brian Kelly.


El Fuego

June 19th, 2012 at 8:24 PM ^

I'm sure we all have read our fair share of Brady Hoke fluff pieces and while I love them as much as the next guy, they did get a little old for me.  Everything was just recycled from previous articles by other people.  Hoke is changing the rivalry... bringing Michigan back... loves the school... blah blah blah.  Tell us something we don't know.

Michael did a good job of looking at this from a different perspective (Hunter Lochmann) and discussing some other questions, like the "Can he be bigger than the school?" types of questions.  A very enjoyable piece by Mike. 

Valiant Victor

June 19th, 2012 at 11:05 PM ^

I will never forget the day of Hokes press conference..I was off of work for the day ice fishin on a lake nearby when all of a sudden i remembered: Press conference at 1pm!!! I busted my ass to my car turned to the station and sat there, lit up a cigarrette and wondered what the heck i was in for ..I had never seen a picture of Brady (always pictured him as a skinny guy :) )..His voice on the radio commanded my attention..."we would have walked to get here"  made my mouth open wide.."This is Michigan fer godsakes" made me pound my fricken steering wheel over ans over with such Michigan Pride..I was captivated..just from the mans voice. I loved Brady Hoke before i realized what he even looked like. Call it a man crush , call it what you will,I do not care..and Go Blue!


June 20th, 2012 at 9:10 AM ^

Has anyone ever heard anyone in the athletic department call them O-State?  This is coming from a local guy who should know better.


June 20th, 2012 at 10:18 AM ^

Mike Hart, for one.  I remember pretty much all the players seemed to call them that in the interviews leading up to the 2006 game.  I only remember because it threw me off at the time, like "who calls them O-State??"