Among the wonderful nuggets included:
"My players were like my sons."
Coach Hope talked about the "football family" and how he went to the bowl game because he wanted to see his guys play... and that if it had been his son, he'd be there, so since the players were like his sons, he showed up. I know it's nice for football coaches to be the senior figure that perhaps some kids don't have in life, but this just comes across as a big too far to me. Perhaps one more indicator that he was too close to his players to be a disciplinarian or to hold them accountable.
Hope said he "allowed myself to become the scapegoat" for anything that happened with the program.
IMAGINE THAT! The head coach being responsible for any and all aspects of the program. Meager (by comparison) as his $1M salary might have been, he was the head man and thus all aspects of the program are ultimately his responsibility. It seems ludicrous that I even wrote that sentence.
Danny thinks he'd still be in the black and gold had the fans only shown up more. (Oh and another win would have sealed the deal.)
Hope said that he felt that if attendance had remained in the high 50,000s or more, or if he would have won one or two more games, he'd still be there. I guess that's possible, but is he honestly not making the connection between his stewardship and the plummeting attendance and dearth of wins?
Following up on Hope's somewhat petty, vague and completely Hope-like interview with WLFI, the talented Mike Carmin demonstrated how I think many of us gleaned he felt about Hope all along in a very good column you can read here.
Carmin pulls no punches, calling out the odd inconsistencies and lack of details in some of Hope's most overt claims (such as how poorly he claimed Burke handled his firing). Carmin also detailed a meeting Burke had with the coaching staff after the Penn State game back in early November:
During an interview in January with Burke, I asked when Hope was informed of the decision. He told Hope the Sunday following the victory over Indiana, but met with the entire coaching staff after the loss to Penn State in early November.
“I sat with them after Penn State – all of them,” Burke said. “I said, ‘Guys, we’re driving off a cliff. You’ve all been around these games long enough. We’ve got to do the best we can to finish this thing off on a positive note.’
“You can read into that but I wasn’t threatening. I don’t like surprises and I don’t want people to be surprised. I looked around the room and said, ‘You all know where we are, don’t you? The fan base has given up on us and the best thing we can do is try and give these kids the last three games.’ ”
I hadn't heard that before and I find it very interesting, when you consider how Hope reacted at the very end. It sounds like even beyond the fact that it should have been unsurprising to Hope given his results on the field, that Burke essentially told them the end was near earlier in the month.
A few of you have said that @HopefulDanny on Twitter should be adding to this -- but frankly, how could he? This nonsense that the real Danny Hope is spewing forth is hard to top in terms of silliness.
And as an aside, why isn't Mike Cleff -- the Sports Director at WLFI -- not pushing Hope for clarity on his weird answers about Burke, responsibility, etc.? Why didn't he ask about the meeting that Burke had with the coaching staff in early November after the PSU game?