It was a knee-jerk reaction when I blurbed yesterday about Brady Hoke. Not that I am not extremely disappointed in the way the magical national search was conducted...I most certainly am. But I wrote "unbelievable how the mighty have fallen" and that is far from the truth. The reality is, we haven't moved much at all. You can't fall if you fail to ever take a chance or make a stand. This job was offered to no one but Brady Hoke. Nobody else was going to get it, and nobody else wanted it. Because according to Dave this job is about tradition. It's about making men. It's about the classroom and future husbands and fathers. It's about former players stopping by and showing you their Big Ten championship rings, but neglecting to mention what happened when they went to the Rose Bowl. It's about getting the band back together, believing in a system, and evoking the spirit of Bo...and never being able to catch a mobile quarterback. It's about getting guys that want to play for Michigan...guys from Michigan...even though all their other offers were from MAC schools. It's about taking 2-star recruits and molding them into 3-star level talent, so they don't look completely inept when they face a team full of 4 and 5 stars.
It's about a lot of things, but it certainly isn't about competing on a national stage...for national championships. And that's what I wanted. And before most of you pussed-out on RichRod, back when the Lloyd-led Wolverines folded to App State and got manhandled on our home turf by Oregon, that's what you wanted too.
You can't fight the fact that Auburn and Oregon played for the National Championship with teams that were exactly what you were going to have if you could have found a way to support RichRod on any level. The reaction to the hiring of Hoke and the feedback from the press conference was cult-ish. There was applause. Several times...by the press core. Hoke choked back tears at the presser, but he won't be vilified tomorrow on talk radio like RichRod was when he did the same. And while part of me couldn't help but be happy that something seemingly positive was flowing out of Schembechler Hall, I was mostly sad at what could have been.
I will never really know what went on in the coaching search, but I think I have an idea. Hoke was the only guy ever considered. DB went through the motions to appease the fanbase, dropped hints to the press as needed, then pulled the trigger on his man. He lied to us in so many ways...on so many levels. And today he talked down to me...to us. He forgets that he works for us. He can get up there and tell me what this is all supposed to be about, and what we need to think about Hoke to be a "real" Michigan fan, but it is I, the actual fan, that has the power here. I pay his salary on a number of levels, through my fandom...and as a public university through my taxes. Dave Brandon answers to me...to all of us.
Dissent is the ultimate form of patriotism.
But alas, Michigan Football is a great portion of my life. I could never take a stand against the team. It's a sad but true fact that I will follow Brady Hoke into the fire. Once he hits that field, I will fight for him, I will stand up for him. In this whole mess of a situation, none of the problems I have are with the man himself. I hope he turns out to be the second coming of, well, Urban Meyer I guess. I don't know...I just know that I don't want to go back. I endured the pain of 3-9, 5-7, and 7-6 so that I could marvel at a few 13-0's, not go back to 8-4. And that's why I'm disappointed. If we weren't going to see this thing through, we should have just done what Lloyd wanted and hired one of his guys back when he retired. We could have at least preserved the bowl legacy, and probably knocked off little bro at least one of those three times. It would have been a lot less headaches to just stay in our shell the whole time and embrace the mediocrity.
Dammit...I was trying to end this on a high note. Positivity! Hokemania! Charles Woodson likes him! Yeah!
OK. Go to bed. 75 days until spring practice.