The hardest thing is remembering the damned password.
Hola, amigos. It's been a long time since I rapped at you; but now that I've sent myself to a Twitterless Siberian gulag it turns out I have about six extra hours in the day for more productive stuff, like...blogging about the Gophers, I guess.
Still hard to believe we got PJ Fleck as our coach, isn't it? During the death spasms of the Claeys regime - yes, his whole tenure could be deemed a death spasm, but you know what I mean - when one well-known Gophertron mod indicated the U's Board of Regents voted against firing Claeys, I actually told a friend I was so pissed that at that moment, I had become a Wisconsin fan. I said something in the vein of "I hope the [EXPLETIVE] Badgers beat the living [EXPLETIVE] out of this [EXPLETIVE] [EXPLETIVE] team every [EXPLETIVE] season. Bunch of [EXPLETIVE] [EXPLETIVE] cowards!" I damn near bit my tongue off.
Of course, that proved to be #fakenews, Claeys was gone and we had Fleck shortly thereafter. I was thrilled with the hire. He built up a fairly moribund Western Michigan squad and was a monster on the recruiting trail. Further, as one of the hottest coaches in this year's cycle, he wasn't going to come cheap. But the U stepped up, maybe for first time in my life on a non-infrastructure spend, and decided to be a player.
I like Fleck, I really do. He's clearly good at motivating a certain type of player, develops and enforces an, er, unique, culture that seems like it could be consistent to success on the field and he seems to bring in coaches who share his philosophy and maximize the abilities of the players that buy in. Yes, he's only coached two games here, so the last assertion is a bit tenuous; but there's no doubt he produced talent at WMU, so let's roll with it.
It's been no secret to my 15 friends that I'm no big fan of his constant explosion of FLECKNESS in everything he does. Listening to him is sometimes like opening a envelope full of SURPRISE GLITTER where it manages to attach itself to every surface within a square mile and bits of it will still be there in ten years. Ten-year old girls might like to receive the SURPRISE GLITTER envelope, adore it even; but a lot of people want to stab their faces upon realizing they'll have glitter on their faces seven months later.
But, frankly, it's really only the ten-year old girls that matter here. Ten-year old, glitter-obsessed girls being a metaphor for highly-rated Power 5 football players and recruits, of course. They're the ones the FLECKNESS is for, not cynical and embittered middle-aged men like me. He gives them glitter and most of them love it. They put it on their clothes and throw it in the air when they score or make a big play. When Demry Croft (RIP in peace) ran in that long touchdown, he started rowing the boat. All I saw was glorious maroon and gold glitter pumping like ejaculate out the holes of his helmet. Of course, he's been launched into the sun since then, so maybe he didn't love glitter as much as I thought he did at the time.
I don't know if Fleck can win here, but I think he's got as good a shot as anyone since Holtz. The cultish approach to culture really can make the whole greater than the sum of its parts, while hopefully not killing all of our players with poisoned Kool Aid. Regardless, it's going to be a fun ride.