Fall camp starts in three weeks. Real stuff. Lost in the shuffle of all of us lining up, puckered up, to smooch the ass of the new man in charge (and yes I am every bit as guilty as anyone), is the fact that there will be games this year. THIS year. And while it seems that Coach Hoke and our assistants have a knack for recruiting, it's important to remember that not one of those players will be participating in the inaugural season of "meet the new boss, same as the 2007 boss."
But ya, the future, at least on paper (provided by some dudes that like to rate young boys on a scale from one to five) is bright from an incoming talent perspective.
In addition, as I've indicated before, Hoke looks like Michigan football, Hoke talks like Michigan football, I'm guessing he even has the smell of Michigan football on him, which I imagine as a cross between musty leather helmet and wet Wolverine fur. He also points very well. In short, he is a great figurehead for the program. In many ways, he has already won. From SI...
Brady Hoke has yet to coach his first game at Michigan, but so far he can seemingly do no wrong. Over the past several months, the Wolverines' maize-and-blue-bleeding coach has won over a whole bunch of initial skeptics by hiring an acclaimed coaching staff and dominating the recruiting trail. Unlike doomed predecessor Rich Rodriguez, who engendered a whirl of controversy before he ever coached a game at Michigan, the former Lloyd Carr assistant has said all the right things at all the right press conferences and alumni functions.
With a very moderate amount of success, Hoke would quickly become the face and voice of this program, something that RR's slight southern twang would have never allowed. So the question, the one that will remain unanswered until the boys touch the banner, is "if it recruits like a coach, points like a coach, talks like a coach, and looks like a coach...can it coach?"
I hope so.
I hope a lot of things.
I hope that Hoke is an absolute football genius...Mattison too. It's going to take a genius to sort out this mess of players and systems.
I hope that we aren't returning to a time where the finest athletes arrive on campus, get a step slower every year, and leave without ever reaching their potential.
I hope that we don't sit on 10 point leads in the 3rd quarter with ball-control three-and-outs just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I hope we find a kicker. Hoke promised Bubba personally that we'd have a kicker, and that it wouldn't be Denard.
Hope. Hoke. Now go make some puns.
Tailgate stuff started today, which means I've begun the slow and deliberate process of turning my family room and kitchen into a garage and catering venue. I've been working on the themes (yes, this is a dictatorship now), but there are still some kinks to work out, namely with the Notre Dame game. How do you have a theme that is prolific enough to last 13 hours? And while were at it....how are any of us going to last 13 hours? I'm taking suggestions / requests / etc...and yes I'm just humoring most of you and making you feel like you're involved.
All of that being said, Western Michigan, the first game of the season and the first tailgate of the season, will be The Luau.
Western Michigan, September 3rd 2011, 3:30pm: The Luau
There we go, you're good until September 10th now.
Also, I'd be remiss not to congratulate Desmond on his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. A much deserved honor for one of the classiest guys around.
More coming? More coming. We're back I swear.