Monday, September 29, 2014

One Way This Could Have Gone Better

In an alternate universe, Brady Hoke steps up to the podium and delivers the following opening statement:

Good afternoon, everyone.  After the game on Saturday, I watched the footage of Shane taking that shot to the head.  I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't catch that live, and I didn't see him stumble afterward.  That's on me.  We as coaches need to be aware of our players' safety at all times, and I failed there.

As a staff, we should have immediately gotten Shane out of that game, regardless of whether he wanted to come out.  Shane's a tough kid and a fighter, so of course he wants to stay in, but it's our job to sit him down there.

I've been talking with the staff, and I'll be talking about it with the players, but when you see a teammate that doesn't look right, we need to alert the coaching staff and the medical staff so we can get that player looked at.  I'd rather lose any game than leave a player on the field who might have a concussion.  This is a program where we value toughness, but playing with a head injury isn't toughness, it's just dangerous.  We can't let that happen again.

Again, if I'd seen Shane take that hit or stumble like that, he never would have gone back in the game.  When Devin lost his helmet, we could have called a timeout or sent Russ out there.  Russ is a good kid, and he could've taken that snap.

We're lucky that Shane's only got a high ankle sprain.  He's been fully evaluated by the medical staff and he got an MRI that seems to show everything's OK with his head.  Regardless, he should have been pulled from the game immediately, and I apologize to Shane, his family, and all of our fans for not doing that.  That's not what Michigan is about, and we have to do better.

It is, of course, not enough to save his job, but it does calm the waters enough to stave off an immediate canning. He's fired on December 3, with the Wolverines sitting at 6-6 and on their way to play in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, where Interim Coach Greg Mattison ekes out a win over Rice. 

With Dave Brandon desperate to save his job, the Wolverines offer buckets of money to Les Miles and anyone whose last name is Harbaugh. Due to poor proofreading, the Wolverines sign Joani Harbaugh to a 5-year, $5.5M per year deal with a buyout starting at $10M. Shockingly, the hire proves successful and Harbaugh begins a 14-year reign as coach of the Wolverines, winning four Big Ten championships and one national title. The story later inspires the heartwarming and hilarious feature film blockbuster Lady Coach, starring Viola Davis in the Joani role and featuring Tracey Morgan as Tom Crean, as well as the smaller, but fiercely loved Mrs. Coach, reuniting Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler.

1 comment:

Chris Morgan said...

6-6 ? Yes, this is an alternate universe…