I just saw the tweet about Brady Hoke and the whole "Chicken" fiasco. Let's dig deeper into a mostly non-story because YAY IT'S THE OFFSEASON.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Brady Hoke on Notre Dame: "They're chicken" <a href="http://t.co/TZEn93RLX3" title="http://sbn.to/19nJ7Bb">sbn.to/19nJ7Bb</a></p>— Maize n Brew (@MaizenBrew) <a href="https://twitter.com/MaizenBrew/status/334311992716304384">May 14, 2013</a></blockquote>
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First, Hoke is just paraphrasing what Dave Brandon said to reporters: see I. Maisel's article from September. The hiatus is frustrating to Michigan and Notre Dame fans alike because it is usually the first rivalry game of the year that both fanbases can get really excited about and the 2nd most anticipated game of the year for both schools with OSU and USC coming later, respectively. I know many Michigan fans would say MSU is the #2 rivalry, but nationally, ND is the numero dos on the hit list behind
he who must not be named Ohio State. In addition, the way ND cancelled the series surely rubbed many in the Michigan AD's office the wrong way. One hour before game time. Jack Swarbick is an intelligent, shrewd businessman. Did he know he would cancel more than hours ahead of the game? Obviously. Scheduling decisions like this are not made on a whim and if the bonus of putting the Michigan AD's office (particularly scheduling) in a bind is a fringe benefit, all the more reason. For two respected programs and universities, that's a little bush league.
"The decision to cancel games in 2015-17 was Notre Dame's and not ours," Brandon said in a release. "We value our annual rivalry with Notre Dame but will have to see what the future holds for any continuation of the series. This cancellation presents new scheduling opportunities for our program and provides a chance to create some new rivalries."
The Irish beat the Wolverines 13-6 over the weekend in the latest game of a storied series that dates to 1887. They've played every year since 2002 and regularly since 1978 after not meeting from 1944 to 1977 or 1910 to 1941.
The final two games of the rivalry with take place Sept. 7, 2013 at Michigan Stadium and Sept. 6, 2014 at Notre Dame Stadium.
Brandon told the AP he was handed the letter on the field in South Bend, Ind., about an hour before Saturday night's game.
Second, let's look at the Brady Hoke angle. This comment came at a very pro-Michigan luncheon in Grand Rapids. He didn't say this at a Michigan presser or during a preseason national feature. It's pandering to the crowd to build excitement about the program. I love Michigan as much as anyone in the alumni base, but this is good marketing to your base. This is Paul Ryan at an NRA meeting and Barack Obama at a Planned Parenthood. Brady Hoke, for being the affable, big, genuine head man that he is, is not stupid. He had to know this would get publicity and it did. It also displays confidence. Always good for the squad and the donors. Which leads us to point 3.
This will be the largest recruiting weekend in the early season. Michigan is planning on rolling out the Maize and Blue carpet for a who's who of national recruits from multiple recruiting cycles. You want the hype train chugging at full throttle. Not only for national media attention, but for the players, the fans and the atmosphere. Brady Hoke is doing this for you Da'Shawn Hand and Jabrill Peppers.
I don't know if the poultry comment was retribution, pandering, or designed to build excitement, but Brady Hoke just told Brian Kelly he'd meet him in the school yard at 3:05 for the whole world to hear in a giant game of media telephone.