Friday, January 14, 2011

Hokeamania

I IMed The Flint Skinny on Wednesday to ask him where I could watch the Brady Hoke press conference, and he responded, "In the archives of awesome."

I watched the entire hour-long press conference at work that day, and I came away impressed. The man loves Michigan. There's a good chance he turns into a wolverine when there's a full moon. He's also charismatic. He had some funny moments, like when he made up the word "multipli" when talking about his goal of winning multiple Big Ten championships.

He did a spectacular job of selling why he's the right coach: his philosophy, his love for the players, his respect for the program and its tradition...yada, yada, yada. But the part I loved the most was the answer he gave when asked about the rivalries. (At 16:30 of this video.)

Reporter: "Michigan has lost to its main rivals, it seems, in the past few years. Could you talk a little bit about the rivalries and what your thoughts are in the last couple years?"

Brady Hoke: "Sure. You wanna win'em."

Boom goes the dynamite!

I loved his delivery, but the rest of his answer shows he truly grasps the importance of the games against Notre Dame, Michigan State and "that school from Ohio." I think he understands and respects the program enough that he'd probably leave on his own if he doesn't win those games. And for the sake of Michigan football, I hope he's DOES win those games. We're knocking on the doorstep of becoming the next Notre Dame. There's nothing sadder than those Irish fans wearing those "Return to Glory" shirts for umpteen consecutive years. I didn't realize it was even possible for an annual return to glory.

I am a Hokeamaniac. I look forward to the day when we return to launching 20-yard cross-field bombs to our receivers for 2-yard gains.

(Side note: He called out a "Glen" as one of the former players who showed up to the press conference. I'm guessing it was Glen Steele. I was quite interested in this because Glen Steele was on the 1997 national championship team, and he was involved in the one play from that season that I'll always remember. Fourth-ranked Michigan went to third-ranked Penn State with experts thinking Michigan would finally lose to a superior Penn State team. On Penn State's first offensive play, I remember Glen Steele running through the defensive line and sacking the QB and giving a mighty roar as he was mobbed by his teammates. I'm not sure why, but for me, that play was the moment I knew Michigan was going to run the table. Check it out at 3:05 on this video. Another gem from that video starts at 1:05. Keith "Whoa Nelly" Jackson the best is introducing the coaches and says, "...and of course Joe Paterno's been here forever." That was 13 years ago...)

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