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Monday, November 02, 2015

You have to admire the writer who can find a Stalingrad metaphor for college football coaching decisions.

One of the bloggers at the indispensable Every Day Should Be Saturday site did so with respect to some unfortunate speculative commentary by former Michigan coach Brady Hoke regarding the end-of-game stunner vs. the Spartans.

It starts here, and only gets better:
In the winter of 1942, the German Sixth Army faced a small problem entitled "perhaps invading Russia in late summer was a poor idea." After seizing 90 percent of the city of Stalingrad (which Hitler wanted mostly because it was named after Stalin, with whom Hitler was NOT THRILLED), the German army was completely surrounded by Russian troops and lacked basic supplies and ammunition.
Hitler had a decision to make: either Von Paulus' troops could attempt to break out of the encirclement, or they could be left to hold out - and maintain control of the city - until relief could arrive. While making this decision, Hitler was with Hermann Goering, head of the German Air Force and noted weirdo. And Goering had an idea, which was a bad one: supply the Sixth Army through the air with an "air bridge."
This was an outstandingly bad idea that required the German Air Force (already stretched to capacity) to fly over Soviet troops and drop supplies. This would have been a bad idea, even if they had been dropping supplies and not, say, condoms. Or pepper. Or summer clothing. Or wine. It was a bad idea, everyone knew it was a bad idea, and yet the one person in charge - one Adolf Hitler - was like, "well, sure" because Adolf Hitler was, in many respects, a doofus.
And, yes, thankfully Hitler was a doofus who was, in terms of tactical and strategic thinking, right only accidentally.

Well worth a read, if one is a history and college football fan. 

One slight dissent: I think Hoke could work his way back up to a Power 5 conference job. The tragedy of this good man was that his dream job was far too big for him.


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