Friday, October 31, 2014

The Nightmare on State Street

It's Halloween and Michigan fans, weary of getting their pumpkins smashed for years by AD Dave Brandon, received the trick or treat equivalent of a metric ton of Peanut M&Ms today. The Mr. Burns of the Athletic Campus turned in his resignation to Dr. Mark Schlissel, who then told told a nation of downtrodden Wolverines about it in a press conference that also introduced interim AD James Hackett. Given the slew of public relations gaffes and miscommunications during Brandon's athletic reign, it's up for discussion whether it was a heartfelt resignation for the benefit of the university he loves or an unwilling surrender accepted to save his own face and his golden parachute. I think we can deduce which is more likely. After all, we're Michigan fergodssake!

The scene at 1000 S. State St where blood flowed regularly during
Brandon's tenure, only today reaching the executive suite.

All over the Wolverine football nation there was a deep, collective sigh of relief. The overlord of Michigan's problematic football program was gone, $3M in his pocket and moving "on to other challenges". And with thanks to the John U. Bacon, the Michigan Daily,, and the populist revolt of students, alumni, and season ticketholders, it's unlikely that "other challenges" will include a high profile run at the 2018 gubernatorial seat. Imagine those snarky emails fashioned into negative campaign ads. 

Well, Dave, we thank you for all the good times. For the fodder that fueled hours of fascinating sports talk radio, thousands of Twitter and Facebook rants, and some of the best blogging we've seen related to Michigan sports. It may not always have been good news, but it was always riveting. Kind of like driving by an accident scene and not being able to look away. We thank you for firing Rich Rod and hiring Brady Hoke, for ensuring we weren't encumbered with a modern, successful coach so we could excel under a real Michigan Man. We appreciate your creative efforts to keep the most important stat of all intact, the 100K ongoing attendance record. As an alum and former football player for Bo, you cared enough about the university to preserve that precious number over silly things like our national reputation and institutional pride. Every time we have a Coke and a smile, we'll be thinking of you. 

There. That's out of the way. 

I'm not one for long goodbyes, so I'll end it here. Think of us fondly, your Michigan brothers and sisters, as you kick a can down State Street toward your new opportunities. No hard feelings, please. If you love the university as we know you do, I'm sure you'll do the right thing and give that $3M right back to help the children or the student/athletes in some meaningful way.

You may have thought you got the last jab in by ruining everyone's Big House "white out" in your honor tomorrow, but I think I can speak for everyone who fought for your "resignation" and give you our final words on the subject:

Thanks for all your help. We really appreciated all your input! But we'll be fine without you. Have a happy life! Really!

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