P. J. Fleck
I just watched P.J. Fleck’s latest press conference. Wow. He’s got a lot of energy… and passion. Necessary qualities for turning around a culture. And that’s what he’s best talking about – he’s obsessed with building his culture at the U of M.
Is he the real deal? I think so. Obviously, we’ll know in a few years. But it’s going to take time for him to install his culture and bring in his players.
What you don’t want to see is a coach trying for quick wins at the expense of developing a program. They were talking on the radio last night about NFL coaches who play hurt players at the expense of the future of the team because they’re trying to save their job. The Indianapolis Colts were playing Andrew Luck last year when he should have been healing … and now this year he isn’t ready to play. They then talked about how Bill Belichek is the only coach who does the right thing for the team because his job is secure … and he’s proven he deserves that respect.
I’m not saying that P.J. Fleck will be another Belichek … but he does deserve the time to build a program … and that might mean this season might have few wins … and maybe another bad season next year too.
But, as a long time Gopher Football fan, I’m excited about what’s happening. When I was in Junior High, a buddy and I used to go over to the Hopkins House on fall Saturday mornings and ride the bus with the “old folks” to Gopher games at the U of M. Obviously this was way before the disaster known as the Metrodome … and that old brick stadium was very cool. Fleck said that the Gophers haven’t had a winning culture in 50 years … he’s right. People might not want to hear that – but it’s true.
I hope he builds an amazing culture and strong relationships with Minnesota high school coaches. And that he stays. Most of these guys want to hop around. However, the best ones stay and develop a powerhouse … built on culture.
Too much of American culture has become short term – day trading, quarterly business goals, fast food restaurants, throw-away products and relationships. I think the antidote is a focus on quality and the long term. U of M Football could set a great example.
GM and Head Golf Professional