Imagine my surprise when I open my Google reader this morning, expecting most of my news to be about the exceptionally high amount of sports figures leaving this world far too soon, when I see none other than our once proud head coach, Brady Hoke, staring back at me from my screen.
Like many BSU fans, when Hoke left for the sunnier pastures of San Diego State, he stopped being relevant to me. He was just any other coach. I didn't feel the need anymore to defend him, praise him, or celebrate him..
However, this morning's piece on the Hoke by Jay Christensen, otherwise known as the Wiz of Odds, leaves a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. The Wiz infers, through his opinion and others', that Hoke is simply going about it all wrong out in SDSU. He isn't playing nice with the media, shutting them out of practice, and generally running his program the way he wants, without a lot of outside consulting and influence from those who may, or may not, matter.
There are some statements made regarding the floundering economy, the "value hire" of Hoke, and the fact that were it not for a general craptacular financial situation right now, Hoke wouldn't have even been considered.
What The Wiz, and others fail to realize, is that the fact that Hoke was a "value hire" is totally coincidence and an end result of a poor approach and funding from Ball State. Even though his annual salary is only 7th out of 9 in the Mountain West Conference, that would put him in the upper third of the MAC. Additionally, in real dollars and cents, you're looking at several hundred thousand dollars in his pocket.
SDSU got a slam dunk grand slam homerun insert other cliche here hire when it comes to Hoke. The guy built a winner in Muncie. IN MUNCIE. In post-Bill Lynch Muncie to boot, which is somewhere akin to building the Empire State building out of a box of half shredded lincoln logs. And newsflash to the SoCal beat writers and people who think they are in the know in San Diego... the one thing your team is going to have with Hoke at the helm is toughness. It's heart. It's his ability to demand excellence on the field and off, because there is only one king in a castle occupied by the Hoke, and that's Hoke himself, and no amount of open practices is going to help foster that image.
So yes, beat writers, time to actually dig for stories. Sorry alums who hang out and get their feel goods from hearing the whistles and the contact. Your time is done. It's time for something new. Something different. For the last dozen years, SDSU has been on a backslide from mediocrity to general irrelevance and failure. Maybe it's time for change.
Alan is the creator and editor of OverThePylon, viewable here
Hoke Doing Things His Way
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