Not because of the losing. Not because Michigan is 1-8 in its last nine games against power-conference opponents. Not because Michigan has lost three games before October for the first time in its history. Not because Michigan is, by any objective measure, absolutely terrible right now. Terrible is doable. I have seen terrible. I have coped with terrible. I have watched terrible without any real prompting.
Brady Hoke has to be fired because he threw a 20-year-old quarterback under the fucking bus.
You do not need to be Dr. James Andrews to see the following from the two videos above (thanks to the intrepid MGoBlog for pulling the footage):
- Quarterback Shane Morris is starting his first game of 2014. It is not going well.
- He is hit hard by Minnesota defender Thieren Cockran. The hit is helmet-to-helmet and should have been a targeting penalty. It is not, because I don't know. Morris is visibly wobbly.
- SHANE MORRIS STAYS IN THE FUCKING GAME. SHANE MORRIS STAYS IN THE FUCKING GAME. SHANE MORRIS STAYS IN THE FUCKING GAME. SHANE MORRIS STAYS IN THE FUCKING GAME. SHANE MORRIS STAYS IN THE FUCKING GAME. SHANE MORRIS STAYS IN THE FUCKING GAME. SHANE MORRIS STAYS IN THE FUCKING GAME. SHANE MORRIS STAYS IN THE FUCKING GAME. SHANE MORRIS STAYS IN THE FUCKING GAME.
- And after being removed, he goes back in.
Michigan site calls for Hoke's job
Michigan site calls for Hoke's job
ESPN's announcers at the game said he should have been pulled. Good Morning America said that he should have been pulled. ABC News called Hoke's handling of Morris into question. The student newspaper, the Michigan Daily, has called for Hoke to be fired.
Shane Morris was carted off the field at the end of a game with a leg injury. In a statement, Hoke said that he was removed for aggravating an injury he'd suffered earlier (raising the question: "if he was so badly injured, WHY DID YOU PUT HIM BACK IN THE FUCKING GAME?"). Michigan apparently considered this conversation regarding the treatment of Shane Morris to be over (until Hoke's Monday press conference disaster). As do some commenters on the internet, who are morons.
Hoke says he didn't see Morris look wobbly, making him Mr. Magoo's moronic football coach cousin.
Not OK to leave Morris in even if it was just a leg. Wasn't OK to let Gardner play w/ broken bone in foot. Not OK to keep Funchess in at ND— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) September 29, 2014
Shane Morris is 20 years old. He was born on August 4, 1994. He is a football player who has likely been told his entire life that you stay in the game and you play for your team and you sacrifice for the good of the people who depend on you. Someone, anyone, had to take him out of this game, and no one did.
This is not about wins and losses. Hoke failed at his most basic responsibility: keeping his players safe.
I am an extremely loyal person. Too loyal. Especially to Michigan.
Hoke demurred to protect a player dismissed from the university for a violation of the sexual misconduct policy, and I didn't really say anything, because apparently I'm only a feminist until it gets awkward and uncomfortable. Brady Hoke explained away losing in a dipshit manner to opponents less hamstrung by idiocy, and I sighed and tried to move on, because I'm a Michigan fan.
I went to Michigan. I came to Ann Arbor when I was 17. My mom was an alcoholic, so much so that she had to bring a handle of gin with her to the hotel where we stayed the night before I started orientation. Very few people know about that.
Because of that, because I was very, very lonely (the children of alcoholics tend to be), and because I desperately needed a fresh start, Michigan became my home, and Michigan became my family.
On Easter Sunday of 2007, my mom went into a coma for a month. I watched old Michigan games every single day to try and feel something that wasn't absolute terror. I watched Michigan beat up Drew Brees, Braylonfest against Michigan State in 2004, the last second of Michigan beating Penn State in 2005, and the entire 1997 national championship game. I got choked up when Bob Griese got choked up because his son Brian was being named MVP.
And if I hadn't had Michigan games to fill up my time alone in my dorm room at South Quad while I waited for someone to call me and tell me that my mom was dead, I have absolutely no idea how I would have survived. I've never been prouder of being connected to something the way I am proud to be connected to the University of Michigan, even when I had to pay tuition on a credit card (DON'T DO THAT) because my parents couldn't afford to.
I love the University of Michigan, and I shouldn't. Because this is what happens.
Petition to fire AD Brandon
Petition to fire AD Brandon
I'm angry because the person Michigan pays many millions of dollars failed at his most important job. I'm angry that the athletic department and David "The Brand" Brandon seem to find the fans of the football program to be a necessary evil rather than a critical element of the success of the team. I'm angry that fans will likely take this out on the players, whether on Twitter or on message boards, because fans are idiots.
I'm angry at myself for letting my love for a football team and a university get in the way of being logical or having some semblance of perspective. I'm angry that I can't even avoid a game I don't want to watch, because I might miss something amazing, so I spend hours refreshing the gametracker on my iPhone. I'm angry that I put so much into this game and this team and this stupid program and can't entirely remember why. I'm angry that I let down these players by supporting a coach who puts them in dangerous positions because I love an idea of Michigan that likely never really existed, because of course you can be the winningest program in college football history when you beat the shit out of everyone around the time Calvin Coolidge was in office.
I will not be watching Michigan play Rutgers. Do not tell me I am not a good fan. Do not tell me that a real fan would always be there for the team. I have been there for this team and loved this team and cried for this team and lost my shit for this team. But I cannot in good conscience support the coaches who are putting this team at real physical risk.
Brady Hoke has to go. Dave Brandon has to go. I don't know whom you hire or what happens next. The future is too vague and speculative, and the vagaries of the hiring process are best left to someone who isn't me.
I do know that I cannot continue to partake in Michigan football until something changes. I do know that I believe in, like, four things, and chief among them is "avoid being morally shitty." To support Hoke right now would violate that standard. I do know that Michigan and its fans and, more importantly, its players deserve better than this.
Go Blue forever. But not like this.