University of Michigan and Lady Luck

The Big House

          You hear more than 100,00 screaming fans, see a sea of maize, feel the ground tremble beneath you, and smell greasy food wafting through the cool air. The sacred grounds have a history longer than most programs, with fame and notoriety to match. Many victories have been won in this stadium and many dreams have come true. There is only one place this could be; Michigan Stadium. The University of Michigan has a historic football program filled with high points, but due to the violation of one of Machiavelli’s theories, the program now lies in shambles.

In Chapter XXV of Machiavelli’s “The Prince”, Machiavelli speaks of fortune. Overall, he states that for success to be continuous, man must be able and willing to adjust when fate changes. He says that if adjustments cannot be made, success will be short-lived and the tides will turn against the person. Needless to say, fate has changed for the University of Michigan’s football program, and the inability to adjust has led to the sorry sight we see now. While some say that Machiavelli’s principles put forth in “The Prince” are outdated, it is clear that is still has very real applications in today’s society.

As I sat with all of my friends last night, eating succulent wings and waiting for the game to begin, I began to think about the reasons why our football team is so unfortunate. Then it hit me; “unfortunate” is the key. Michigan used to have a noteworthy football team that was feared and revered by many. Fate and skill were able to carry Michigan to the top and have them reign as princes. However, fate took a turn on the team. For example, in Brady Hoke’s first year, Michigan went 11-2. But over the past couple of years, it has only declined. This shows that even under the same head coach, who presumably changed nothing, fate has changed and the team could not. Due to this, they are not nearly as successful as before. As Machiavelli said, failure to adapt to change will be the downfall of any entity.

Brady Hoke

Despite the major role that fate plays in the success or downfall of a prince, it is not the only aspect that constitutes success. The other essential player in this is the prince himself. While Brady Hoke is probably the furthest possible thing from a prince, he is the prince in this situation. But since his subjects are angry and the nobles are looking towards getting rid of him, there will be a new prince in town soon. Hopefully this prince will be able to save the team, and with a little help from Lady Luck, University of Michigan’s course may change totally. The battle has been lost, but the war is far from over.

The “Prince” that was once the University of Michigan’s football team has fallen, and for now the horrible usurpers that are Ohio State and Michigan State have taken the throne. But they should not get too comfortable because after all, fate has to change again. It is only a matter of time before Michigan is back on top. So subjects to this once-mighty kingdom, hear me out; Do not lose faith in your team, never doubt that we will be the best again, and most of all, go blue!


One comment

  1. jackozicz · October 9, 2014

    I really liked the idea that Michigan has been standing still in the sense of change. I agree, Brady Hoke hasn’t really done much to change Michigan football. When he went 11-2 and won the Sugar Bowl he used all of Rich Rod’s players and a worse version of Rich Rod’s electrifying playbook. With Rich Rod we knew we would let up a lot of points, but we also knew that we would score at least 20 or 30 every game. And now it’s an accomplishment if we even get into the red zone. You got your metaphors a little mixed up though. Is Brady Hoke the prince and Jim and John Harbaugh, Les Miles, Greg Schiano, and other potential coaches the princes to be? Or is Michigan the prince with Ohio and Michigan State the princes to be? You could make the argument for both, but I would like to think that Hoke is the prince and Michigan is one of the principalities in the NCAA. Hoke hasn’t really improved anything. He hasn’t changed and as you pointed out Machiavelli says that fortune favors people who change when their luck is running out. Hoke is likely to be fired and Dave Brandon will most likely follow. How should the new coach and AD duo change Michigan football? We definitely need a little bit more luck.


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