Brady Hoke Is Hired And The World’s Turning Into a Straight Bangin’ Post.
January 11, 2011 § 3 Comments
“If you live the sacred and despise the ordinary, you are still bobbing in the ocean of delusion.”
You know it‘s a bad decision when one’s first reaction to the news is to draw easy comparisons between Michigan football and the Big 3 Automakers decline and to scramble to the Wikipedia page for the Romanovs to confirm that yes, this moment fits perfectly within the arc of a decaying empire. The emptiness that follows, however, is a bitch. Rage or sorrow are vastly preferred, but there are no reservoirs to tap. Brady fucking Hoke man. Cataloging the emotions Michigan fans are feeling right now is for another day, so instead allow me to lay out a series of claims and accusations, a few mouthfuls of blood spat from my mutilated fan-corpse.
– This was a decision made out of fear. Fear that the thing you love is dying. Bo left a legacy that defined the second half of the 20th century for the Michigan program. It no longer exists, of course, but it was a damn beautiful thing. Rather than accepting its passage or sending it off with a grand farewell a la HST, the men and women of Schembechler Hall are puttering around an empty house making sure that the coasters are on the coffee table just how Bo liked it and that every Thursday pot roast is served just how Bo wanted it. When there are dozens of coordinators and assistants available that are of vastly greater quality (I mean, I just randomly thought of Clemson’s D-Coord Kevin Steele and checked, and yup, he’s loads better than Hoke) and you choose to go with the distant relative, you are a craven organization.
– I doubt that there is any program so enslaved to its former players. Amongst the scores of reasons why Rich Rodriguez didn’t work out was the perpetual interference with the program from men who used to run out through the tunnel. That I even have to explain what a crock of shit it is that a player who ran the Wishbone in the 1970s has any say in a program in 2011 goes to show how pervasive the idea of Former Warriors runs at Michigan. I love Anthony Carter. I love Tyrone Wheatley. I love Jim Brandstatter. I have yet to hear any convincing reason why in the hell any of them should have any influence once they are done playing. Not that there is The Michigan Brand to defend, but even if it did exist, I hardly think the players are the best to defend it. Does any other program have so many wizened old fingers meddling in one department? Does the range of ages of the players who meddle stretch as long at any school as it does in Ann Arbor (from pre-Bo to Braylon)?
– See opening quote. Oregon’s uniforms are atrocious, Southerners are intellectually inferior, Real Men take the ball under center, The Winningest Program Of All Time. Only when you finally do away with all that I just mentioned (and none of these 3 year dalliances like with Rodriguez, please) will this program succeed (and maybe even grow up?). College football is no longer the realm of Bronc Burnett (if it ever was). Stop acting as if it is.
– I really really hate it when the things I love play to stereotype. Michigan is an amazing school and an amazing state that’s reputation is one of decline and a stubborn refusal to modernize and instead smugly rest upon the laurels it acquired from the 40s to the 80s (I told you there were parallels). Whenever I explain to someone here out west that Michiganders are very proud of their heritage, the primary response is always “Proud about what?” I don’t think anyone outside the state of Michigan remembers The Arsenal of Democracy or muscle cars or Rick Leach but your damn right everyone inside the state does. And that reluctance to let go of the glorious past was, in my mind, more a stereotype than a truth. That while there might be some people who are still hooked on nostalgia, the People in Power were smart enough to avoid that obvious mistake. And now I have Brady Hoke standing in front of me telling me “no, they aren’t.”