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Brady Hoke On Why Toughness Eludes His Team: 'I Wish I Had The Answer'

By: Jeff Riger

I have to give it to the last two Michigan football coaches...

Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke not only have helped turn one of the most storied programs in college football into a laughing stock, but they also both know how to get people talking about what they say.

I make no secret of the fact I'm a card carrying member of the WMWAA. (The Wal-Mart Wolverines Association of America) Yes, that's right, I didn't go to Michigan but I have followed their athletics since I was young. I believe those credentials alone allow me to write this blog about how very sad and humorous I now find the state of the program.

I no longer even want Michigan to win; instead I want them to lose in embarrassing fashion in hopes that another laughable season will mean the exit of Hoke.

I remember going to press conferences on Mondays at Michigan. Rich Rod would sit at a square table and always made it worth my while to attend. Week after week, he gave us embarrassing audio gold while delivering embarrassing losses on the field. It was the perfect combination for... well... Michigan State fans.

Then Rodriguez got canned and MSU people were made even happier with the hiring of Hoke.

I was certain, even after the 11-2 season that Hoke would fail at Michigan. However I was concerned that he would not deliver the same audio beauty while doing so. But no need to worry! Rodriguez set the bar high but Hoke not only surpassed it, he demolished it.

-He called Ohio State "Ohio" for no apparent reason and then continues to do it.
-He uses "We are Michigan" for the answer to pretty much every question, even when it makes no sense at all. It usually doesn't.
-He hired a new offensive coordinator and then didn't have time to speak about it at the presser because he had to drive the new guy to Metro Airport. No worries though, the A.D. did talk.
-He allowed Brendan Gibbons to play in the Iowa game.
-He awfully belted out the lyrics to "You Raise Me Up" at a football banquet that even embarrassed Josh Groban.

Oh wait, that last one was Rich Rod. Damn, I miss him!

But I have to stop living in the past. It's a new season. Who cares what was already said? Hoke no doubt will give us new gems.

And we didn't have to wait long either.

Sunday at Michigan media day Hoke was asked about his team's identity. The 'hater of all headsets' said he preferred that identity to be toughness on both sides of the ball.

That's cute! Isn't it?

He probably was picturing a big block S manhandling his team the last half decade when responding to that question.

Michigan football has been a whole lot of things the past six seasons or so but "tough" is definitely not one of them.

Of course the media was also aware of that so they followed up.

"I wish I had the answer," Hoke said as to why that toughness has eluded his teams.

Brady Hoke

Really Brady, so you don't know?

My Mother had an old saying that I think fits here...

"If you don't know, who does?"

Hoke went on to say, "If I had the answer, we would have been in a little better shape a year ago."

Maybe Hoke needs this explained to him. He's the coach. It's his job to help instill toughness. If this one quote doesn't illustrate Hoke's inability to be a successful coach in Ann Arbor, I don't know what else will convince you?

Does he expect the toughness to just show up? Even if he does, how about coming up with a better response than "I wish I had the answer?"

Don't say you want your team to display toughness on both sides of the football if you have no idea how to make your team tough? He can't even BS his way through an answer? You think "the solution" will come to Brady in prayer maybe because wishing doesn't seem to be working well.

This guy blows my mind! How did he get the job? How did Hoke impress David Brandon enough to get hired? How? Oh wait! I have a theory. Maybe Brandon just wanted to hire a guy that would allow him to watch film with the coaches?

Ding, ding, ding! That must be it?

I remember back in 2002 when former MSU head coach Bobby Williams was asked by a reporter if he had lost his team. Michigan State had just fallen to 3-6 on the season and Williams responded, "I don't know."

Ron Mason, the athletic director at the time, fired Williams, claiming the "defining moment" was when his coach didn't know if he had lost his team.

Mason said, "I felt if he wasn't sure, who was?"

Mason and my Mom kind of have the same saying.

Hoke wishing he had the answer as to why his teams haven't had toughness reminded me of Williams not knowing if he had lost his team back then. I'm just hoping Brandon responds the same way Mason did. But he probably won't.

It's obvious wins and losses will determine whether Hoke gets to come back in 2015 and not his weekly quotes at a press conference. And, the good news for me is that I believe the record after this season will warrant a change. So until then, I'll just sit around and enjoy more of Hoke's weekly hits.

I do have an idea though...

Michigan football's new motto should be the following....

If you think you're embarrassed by the teams play, just wait until Brady Hoke takes the podium!

When will Michigan fans start to realize the hoke (whoops meant joke) their program has become? Where's the outrage? You should demand more than just a good tailgating experience. How about a couple of wins too?

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