Who am I and Why Should You Care?
I’m a dead president. A famous whiskey (middle name is Daniel). Or, you know, just a regular guy. Some of you may know me from my time as a player or musician, but if not here’s a quick bio for you:
My name is Jack Kennedy. I was a walk-on QB during the 2009-2012 seasons, graduating in May of 2013 with degrees in Physics and Math. Currently, I am a full time rapper and producer (yes, my parents did nearly have a heart attack when I told them what career I was going to pursue). At the bottom of every post I’ll leave a song for you to check out. I hope you enjoy and at the very least, I can broaden your musical horizons a bit.
The Blog, The Blog, The Blog
This blog will of course be based mainly around football and people connected with the program. There is some great content coming that I think will offer a creative look at what Michigan Football is like as a former player, while touching on the current state of the program. We’ll bring some other former players by the blog to check in from time to time. A lot of guys are doing amazing things and I can’t wait for you to get a chance to see Life After Football.
But now onto the good stuff. Let me start by saying this – I’m here to be honest. That means I will probably say things that you agree with, and some things you won’t. By no means do my views represent all former players, and we’ll have a few come by to share their own. I’m a pretty laid back guy, so most of my responses will be measured and thoughtful. I think you’ll find my views illuminating if nothing else.
Dave Brandon, the Athletic Department, and Fan Response
The big news this week was Dave Brandon stepping down. Of course, this year hasn’t been what anyone had hoped. As a former player, it hurts to see the University portrayed in such a negative light. Everyone in the athletic department truly does have the student athletes’ best interests in mind, and everyone I’ve dealt with have been both good at their job and nothing but kind and helpful. I hope during the change no one loses their jobs because so many people in the department work hard and help student athletes immensely.
The year has been hard, but the Athletic Department is in good hands. It’s important that you know the people who work for Michigan are both competent and good people. I really believe in my heart that we are headed in the right direction. I know everyone at Schembechler “gets it”, and think in the future fans will feel more appreciated. Yes, even if tickets are expensive. Unfortunately that’s the nature of college athletics right now.
Still, I understand the public frustration. People pay a lot of hard-earned money to watch games and they want to see a winner. I don’t see a problem with fans being upset that we lose – that’s how it should be. Who wants to play for a program where losing is accepted by the fan base? That’s when you become irrelevant. Criticism is something that comes with the territory. Anytime you perform in front of millions of people, regardless of what you do, some people won’t be happy. And no, they’re not all “haters”. That’s just life.
Where I think it goes too far is when you have a CSG President saying the Athletic Department has “broken its trust” with students. You have some people saying Coach Hoke doesn’t care about his players. You have people questioning his integrity. It’s headline grabbing; people trying to make themselves important and piling on criticism because it gets their name out. Yes, prices were high. No, Shane shouldn’t have gone back in the game. The Brandon emails, if true, are disappointing. We all know this. The Athletic Department also knows this and is working to fix the problems.
So can fans “complain” and still support the team? Of course. I think fans have every right to do so. It’s when the criticism is personal that it needs to stop. The fan support at Michigan is incredible and much greater than that at most programs. People want us to win. We want to win. No one wants to win more than Coach Hoke and the current players. They all understand that this is a results-based game and are constantly searching for ways to get better.
Clearly Michigan wouldn’t be what it is without the fans. I’ve been in the Big House when its empty, when its full, and everything in between. I promise you it’s a different place with the people in it. In fact, the fan base is a tradition just like the football itself; it’s one of the main reasons I wanted to play here. You don’t have to be happy with everything the team does. Just know that everyone within the program is doing their best and has only good intentions.
Indiana, Coach Hoke, and Moving Forward
I’ve been long so I’ll keep it short. I love Coach Hoke and his staff and hope they keep him. I’ll dive more into this on the bye week.
Indiana was a good win, but…its…Indiana. The team played hard and did what they should have. Still really happy to see the positive vibes from the guys and it was great to see Drake Johnson and Amara Darboh emerge. They are both really good guys who deserve success.
Below is that song I promised. Oh — and the writing will get better as we go along. You know, physics and all that. I’m a numbers guy. Till next time!