Nothing is improving for the Maze and Blue and the Tigers are preparing for the Playoffs after winning the Central
Dysfunction at Michigan
Brady Hoke held his press conference yesterday and did his best to explain what happened with the Shane Morris situation on Saturday. He said pretty predictable things like he wouldn’t put an injured player like that back in the game and to his knowledge Morris didn’t have a concussion. Now we’re finding that’s not entirely true. Overnight Dave Brandon came out and said Morris did indeed have a concussion. Things are bad for Hoke and Brandon and they aren’t going to get any better now. Everyone is seemingly running and trying to save themselves and everyone is denying they saw anything wrong.
Most everyone assumes Hoke will be fired but I don’t think anyone thought it would be for non-football related things. I will say that I like Brady Hoke. I think he’s a good guy and a good Michigan man. He loves the university and football program just as much as any fan. When he is done at Michigan he very well may stick around here and get another job at the University. I think he’s a good man of integrity too and isn’t it there flat out lying about things. When he says he didn’t know about Morris being injured I believe him.
The problem is that if he didn’t know he should have known. He’s guilty of something here and it’s bad. He is directly responsible for everything that happens on that sideline and the fact that everyone in the stadium except him and the training staff saw that vicious hit is a problem. Someone needs to do and say something to Hoke and to the training staff. I know they are all denying that they saw this. It’s really amazing to me that none of these guys saw anything. Now that is indeed a lie. I don’t know who saw it and who didn’t, but I know someone saw what happened to Morris. After all, we are talking about the main player most people watch and there was a vicious late hit. There’s no way in the world that everyone missed it, but if any of them actually admitted they saw it they are then at fault and no one wants that.
This is a gross misjudgment if nothing else. The thing that gets Hoke fired might just be the same type of thing that got the NFL in trouble. No, not domestic abuse, but rather public outcry to a giant mistake. Another thing not in his court is that Brandon is coming out against him. I figured if there was one person in the higher ups that would stand by Hoke it would be Brandon. After all Brandon is the guy who made Hoke his biggest hire. You usually only get one chance to hire a coach for your big time program and you’d think Brandon would want to protect his biggest hire. Instead it appears he’s also turning against him. You know Brandon is feeling the heat. Do remember, the fans were chanting “Fire Brandon” at the game. Tonight they are planning a Fire Brandon rally on campus. Perhaps the heat is getting to him that he might be trying to save his own butt and to do that he needs to turn on Hoke.
While I can say I like Hoke, I can’t say the same thing about Dave Brandon. I liked him when he came in, and he did some good things early in his time. Those times were short lived because he made a lot of changes to the athletics department that made a lot of people mad and there is a ton of dysfunction in the athletic department. There seems to be more politicking than ever at the university and the people with the deep pockets are allowed to make way too many decisions. He has made some big mistakes from paying to have “Go Blue” painted in the sky over East Lansing to releasing this report at one in the morning hoping no one will see it. At this time I just can’t imagine a scenario where Hoke isn’t fired. In the same way I can’t imagine a scenario where Brandon is allowed to hire another football coach. For both of these guys it just seems to come down to when rather than if.
Tigers Preparing for Playoffs
With all the football going on I haven’t had a chance to get to the Tigers. I would like to say I’m proud of myself though. While I was watching three screens on Sunday (Tigers, Lions and Packers/Bears) the game I chose to have the sound up on was the Tigers. I always like that question of “if the Lions are playing a game or the Tigers are playing a big game which will you watch”. Usually that question comes in the presence of a meaningful playoff chase game for the Tigers and a preseason game for the Lions. This time it came between a game where the Tigers can clinch the central division or the Lions are playing a bad New York Jets team that no one around here cares about. The thing is, I know so many of you, if you could only watch one, would only watch the Lions over the Tigers. That’s why I said I chose to have the sound up on the Tigers game. Sorta my way of saying that’s the more important game. But I know football still rules the day and that’s why I need to fill your minds with my football thoughts before getting to a team that slipped into a Central Division championship.
Through all the Lions news and Hoke news the Tigers did indeed clinch the Central Division. It marked the fourth straight years. There was a big celebration and I was certainly happy about it. On Sunday we saw the Tigers biggest acquisition this year step up and pitch a huge game when the Tigers needed it most. All of that is great, and the most important this is that they didn’t need to play in a one game playoff or play in a one game wild card game. All of this did come with the same concerns though. I saw some articles saying that winning the Central Division vindicates this time somehow. I don’t know how that works though because this team hasn’t done anything except the thing they were supposed to do.
I can’t help thinking that this team still largely underachieved. A Central Division championship doesn’t vindicate anyone in this team. I say this goes under the category of doing what you’re supposed to do. You were supposed to compete for a World Championship so let’s not make this into something bigger than what it is. They are a team that stumbled through the regular season and won the division by one game. They should have won it by 5-10 games. To go home ecstatic about this would be wrong. Sure, go ahead and be happy about it. There’s nothing wrong with that. But you can’t act like this team has accomplished anything yet. Unless this team at least gets back to the ALCS they will be looked at as a failure.
With that being said they are in a good place now. I really like their match up with every team in the AL. And why not? They have the pitching advantage on just about everyone. But for this team to really accomplish something big they can’t go out there with no fight like we’ve seen so many times before. If they want validation for this season go out and exceed expectations because they are running out of time to be considered one of the best teams in baseball.
On Tap for Tonight:
American League Wild Card Game. Oakland @ Kansas City.