Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Wisdom of Michael Jagger and Judge Harold T. Stone

It's kind of funny, today reminds me of the last five minutes of the pilot episodes of two very disparate television series.  In the opening episode of House, fictional Michigan alumnus Greg House reminds fictional Michigan alumnus Lisa Cuddy of the words of the philosopher Jagger, who said "You can't always get what you want".  Later in that episode, Cuddy reminds House of the second part of that kernel of wisdom, which is "But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need."

That's what I think about the coaching search of 2011 and the resulting hiring of Brady Hoke as Michigan's head coach; he's not necessarily what people wanted, demanded, or thought they were going to get when Michigan decided that Rich Rodriguez was not the right way to go as Michigan's football program headed into the future.  But Harbaugh was always going to have one eye on the NFL, and Les Miles comes with some baggage, the likes of which it would have taken some serious whistling past the graveyard to overlook with a "Michigan man" straight face.

So here we have Brady Hoke.  In Brady Hoke, we have a coach who wants to be the head coach at Michigan and probably never, in a million years, thought he would have a shot to be the head coach at Michigan, but well, he was on the list.

(You've got to skip ahead to 3:50 for the relevant phrase)

Say what you will about that list, no one can deny the fact that Brady Hoke was on Dave Brandon's list, even if he was at the bottom of it.  When Dave Brandon called, he not only listened to Dave Brandon, Brady Hoke said yes.  Which brings me to a serious question: Don't you want someone at Michigan who wants to be at Michigan as much as we want to cheer for Michigan?  Don't you want someone leading Michigan who gets glowing reviews from virtually every former player who offers one?  

Isn't that what we want out of our head coach, someone who brings players to Michigan, who steeps them in the tradition of being a part of the fabric of Michigan's history, who understands that Michigan is a special place to those of us who call it alma mater or those of us who have chosen to bear the colors of Michigan on our shield.  Someone who takes those players and leads them to victory.

And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, "We're gonna vent our frustration
If we don't we're gonna blow a 50-amp fuse"
Sing it to me now...

The entire last four years feel suboptimal, there is no doubt.  Every fan has their own issues with what has happened in the last four seasons or four off-seasons, but the reality is, none of us is very happy.  We lash out, we express our anger, our dismay, our frustration at each other because we have nowhere else to direct it.  Were I a snarky MSM writer, I might suggest that we have gotten what we deserved and we need to accept the new reality of our football lives.

But, in the absence of results on the field, I'm choosing to believe that Brady Hoke is the right choice for this particular moment in Michigan football.  I'll be critical when and where criticism is warranted.  But if Coach Hoke represents a new beginning, or perhaps a restoration after a misunderstood interregnum, then we need to look at it with the fresh eyes that a new beginning deserves.

You can't always get what you want.  You can't always get what you want.  You can't always get what you want.  But if you try some times, you just might find....you get what you need.

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