New Michigan head coach Brady Hoke charmed the assembled media. He charmed each member out of his or her respective pants. My dog found their back wiggling excessive. Hoke spoke with a football coach’s cadence. He was familiar and refreshingly twang-free. He mentoined effort and toughness. He pounded that podium when someone mentioned that school in Ohio. If you closed your eyes, he sounded disturbingly similar to Lloyd Carr. He worked his room and the subsequent praise has been effusive.
Hoke is ushering in a new era of Michigan football, one that is founded in character. He makes a dynamite first impression. Players love him. Former players love him. He has not coached in a rivalry game, yet he’s already bringing the intensity. He has earned the respect Rich Rodriguez never had. He’s exactly what Michigan needs. He may be the perfect fit. Shame on you, bastards, for your healthy skepticism. Even Jim Harbaugh is on board.
It’s about 48 hours into his regime Hoke has a level of command that would make Putin envious.
There’s no need to fillet the guy immediately, but the public’s overriding concerns should be addressed. What the hell happened with Dave Brandon’s coaching search? How, specifically, will Hoke rebuild this program on the field? Neither question was answered, even remotely. No one wanted to know why the hire happened so frantically on a Tuesday morning? Or, why Hoke disappeared and took the job before speaking to anyone at SDSU? Dave Brandon doesn’t want to talk about what he was doing? He’s a state employee allocating millions in public funding.
Brady Hoke loves Michigan. He can find Zingerman’s without a GPS. He knows the words to The Victors. Fabulous. Now how, exactly, does that translate into winning football games?
Michigan’s butt still fits comfortably into that worn Oldsmobile seat. That engine has a nostalgic hum. But, remember. There’s a reason Michigan was in the market for an Alfa Romeo three years ago.