Michigan Monday -- Brady Hoke's Perfect Storm
By Tony Gerdeman
Monday, July 4, 2011
Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon floated a trial balloon last week – “We're interested in doing a mascot” – he announced.
A Michigan mascot idea is a dumb idea.
How many cool mascots are there out there? There’s Ralphie the buffalo in Boulder. There’s nothing like being at Folsom Field and seeing her stampede onto the field. I’ve always wondered if making her run before 54,000 fans should be considered cruelty to an animal - but that’s a story for another time. Students at Oregon love their duck – but what else are you going to do if your team is named the Ducks. And then there’s the story of the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs.
Brandon says it will be good for kids, stating, ‘But there's a generation coming up, and you've got to connect with them and keep them excited."
I say there’s enough magic walking into Michigan Stadium just as it is. If a kid isn’t hooked on that experience, forget about them!
Dave, look at the stupid mascots around the Big Ten – a gopher, a badger, a buckeye nut. Don’t stoop to the levels of lesser schools.
I agree with Brian Bennett of espn.com – “Many Michigan fans cherish their tradition of non-tradition with mascots. For them, a big fuzzy costumed animal belongs at a theme park, not at the Big House.”
Friday, March 18, 2011
Jim Tressel lived up to his reputation – a cross between a weasel and a slime ball. I’m thrilled he finally got caught, and caught at a big one. Not only did he get caught violating rules, he’s been caught covering up.
All eleven NCAA football coaches who have been caught not reporting violations to their superiors have been fired. The press is saying that Tressel seems to be keeping his job because he’s a winner. I say he’s keeping his job because his superiors are just as rotten as he is. The OSU president, Gordon Gee stating at the recent news conference: “Are you kidding me? ... I'm just hoping the coach doesn't dismiss me.” How many of you could break a major “company” rule and have your boss say that?
The OSU could have avoided a lot of bad press had they simply given Tressel a more just punishment. The weak punishment will only bring greater scrutiny by the NCAA and hopefully the sanctions will be all the tougher. I mean, how can players be suspended for five games for selling merchandise, and their coach who lies about is only suspended for two?
I say let the OSU keep their coach if that’s the kind of guy they wanting running their program. However, I implore to the NCAA that they suspend him for the full upcoming season.
The tide is turning, with Michigan on the rise, and the OSU leaking.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
First, I think it’s ridiculous that high schoolers announcing where they are choosing to play college football is a national sports event. I guess that’s what happens when cable stations have too much time on their hands.
Regarding the national signing holiday and the Hoke Era at the University of Michigan, we’re off to a very good start. Though many had written off this year’s class as a result of the coaching change, Hoke and his staff finished strong. More importantly, Hoke’s first class exceeded expectations. If Hoke keeps it up we’ll be in good shape soon enough.
Compare the new Hoke era to the rough start of the former Rodriguez era – not an ounce of bad press on his San Diego departure, he didn’t lose his prize recruit to the OSU, and not one defection from the football team.
Hoke is proud to be a Michigan Man, and it shows. He is no different than the few who might be reading this post on my new and unknown blog. Hoke is captivated by the Michigan Football and when one loves the program and his job as much as Hoke does, magic can happen. Though this may not go down as one of the greatest classes ever, it’s a class to be proud of. Now, let’s watch the new recruits exceed expectations.
Monday, January 17, 2011
I remember Bo’s first game against Ohio State – we beat the buckeyes 24-12. At the age of thirteen I was riveted to the television for the famous 10-10 tie in 1973. When Michigan Football is in your blood, it’s in your blood.
Hoke understands this – he was a kid from Ohio who was smart enough to know which was the better of the two schools - UM or the OSU. Such is what I ascertained he was speaking about when he said he knew the rivalry from both sides of the border. He didn’t say as much as he’s more of a gentleman than I am.
At 52 years old, I’m the same age as Hoke. Growing up, I too was aware of how the big state schools ranked academically. My parents had them Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan State. The OSU was not even on their list for me... nor was it a wish of any parent of a halfway smart kid.
Michigan was the best school of the bunch, and it remains so. Michigan is academically superior to the OSU and attracts kids from all over the US – Ohio included. For that reason you’ll always see a half dozen or more Ohio kids on the Michigan team, yet hardly ever does a kid go south, football player or otherwise. When I was coming up through school, I aspired to go to one of two schools – Stanford or Michigan. For reasons other than lack of football scholarship, I applied only to Michigan.
There’s something special about Michigan Football that a few down years will never tarnish. No knowledgeable football fan in this country needs to look for the name of the team on the screen when the Wolverines are on the field. Even those who are not Michigan fans know the program has put together good teams more often than not through the years. Not a day goes by when wearing my Michigan cap on the streets of Telluride, Colorado that I’m not greeted with at least two “Go Blues!” When your school owns a color, it’s especially special.
This is not the first time Michigan Football has struggled – nor will it be the last. It’s no fun not having beaten the lesser school for six years, yet let’s not forget they had their John Cooper years only to re-emerge as a power. It is time for Michigan to re-emerge. It’s time to make beating the lesser school a priority again. Let’s get back to basics.
Hoke understands this. As well, he understands the Michigan magic. He’s made a believer out of me. I’m fired up listening to him and reading his interviews. Denard looked into his eyes and saw whatever he needed and chose to stay. That’s good enough for me.