Last Sunday, instead of trying to seek out ridiculous tweets for our (almost) weekly “Twitter Overreactions” series, I snagged a single tweet that intrigued me and addressed it. You can see that here, if you wish. In it, I said it’s our job as fans to remain critical of Michigan and demand more from the team, if not because that’s what you want to see, at least because it’s on par with what the coaching staff publicly says it expects. Our goals should match. However, I didn’t mean to confuse anyone: I am hesitant to criticize Brady Hoke and the rest of the coaching staff.
If you’ve ever played a competitive sport—I’d say at the high school level or above—then you’re well aware of the important relationship shared between the coaches and their players. It is absolutely vital that both parts believe in the other. They need to be able to work well together, grow together, and ultimately succeed together. That is the very essence of what a team is.
So when I see Michigan get beat up by a good Utah team, I try my best to not jump with claws extended toward the coaching staff. It’s so easy to point a finger in every which direction, but how much of it is justified? And maybe more importantly, how much of it is due to our gut instinct to blame anything and everything? I’m trying to pause and think before I jump ship.
When Michigan loses, I get angry. We all get angry. But when Michigan loses, I’m infinitely more worried about what’s going on behind the scenes with the team. What are the coaches saying to their players? What are the players saying to their coaches? Who’s owning up to what? Who’s getting emotional? Until the players begin making it obvious that this whole thing with coach Hoke is not working, I will remain uncritical of the coaching staff in the broad scheme of things.
Sure, I’ll still throw out some sarcasm about play-calling and development, but as far as calling for the heads of these coaches, I won’t do it. I can’t do it until I know it’s deserved, and I’ll only know it’s deserved when the team indicates it is.