• Open Letter to University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel

    [Photo Credit: Wikipedia] Dear Dr. Schlissel, I have been a Michigan football fan from the time when I first walked into Michigan Stadium at the age of five. When attending UofM in the late seventies I never missed a game, and I’ve missed less than three dozen televised games in the last 30 years. As a well-informed(…)

  • Questioning and trusting

    [Photo Credit: unknown] I question things…things both big and small…and when I’m done questioning I look for answers underneath the answers. I questioned G-d in the days and weeks after my father died when I was seven years old. Now in my 57th year I still question. I think about death. I’m older than my(…)

  • An Open Letter to Edward Snowden

    [Photo Credit: Wired] Dear Mr. Snowden, One day history will tell the story of how the the world’s governments put a complex network of surveillance into place… and of how the National Security Administration monitored our phone calls, emails and computer habits…and of how every one of our movements was tracked with the GPS in(…)

  • Rutgers University 26 – University of Michigan 24

    [Photo Credit: quoteslides.com] Though it is not my intention to blog about University of Michigan football issues, Michigan is my school, and I love my school. I’m saddened with the state of the football program. That the program is in a free fall makes me even sadder. Invoking the words of President Harry Truman—“The buck(…)

  • QUOTE – Carlos Castaneda

    “We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”

  • Open Letter to Michigan Head Football Coach Brady Hoke

    [Photo Credit: annarbor.com] Dear Coach Hoke, The Michigan football program is in disarray—your answers are sorely lacking—the Michigan Concussion Disaster (per today’s New York Magazine headline) is inexcusable. This is your last straw at Michigan, and if you want change, you need to be the change (paraphrased from Gandhi). A good place to start would(…)

Open Letter to University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel

Open Letter to University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel
[Photo Credit: Wikipedia]

Dear Dr. Schlissel,

I have been a Michigan football fan from the time when I first walked into Michigan Stadium at the age of five. When attending UofM in the late seventies I never missed a game, and I’ve missed less than three dozen televised games in the last 30 years. As a well-informed fan I know the team and I know the program and I know that both are in trouble.

If I were in your shoes here’s what I would do:

1. Without delay fire Dave Brandon. The Michigan Athletic Department has become a Grand Central Station for public relations gaffes and both Brandon and his department have become an embarrassment to the university. Fire Brandon with cause and hire a top-notch law firm to renegotiate/void his $3 million buyout – a buyout he does not deserve.

2. Fire Brady Hoke, also without delay. Coach Hoke is in way over his head and has no business coaching a major college football program. Evidence is everywhere. Stop the bleeding! I used to say that Hoke was instilling mediocrity. No longer – the program is in complete disarray.

3. With a new athletic director in place and after a proper search, hire the best available coach in the nation. In the words of Greg Garno of the The Michigan Daily, “[Michigan] needs someone who can coach better than the guy across the field. They need someone who can bring a fresh idea and a new idea to a program so attached to its past.”

Though I am critical of both Brandon’s and Hoke’s job performances such is not the reason behind my suggesting their immediate firings. Neither is the latest debacle in East Lansing, or Coca-Cola/ticket-gate, or Shane-gate, or Stake-gate, or a 5-11 record in their last 16 games.

It is a matter of honor.

At the Monday press conference after the Minnesota loss Brady Hoke said Shane Morris hadn’t suffered a concussion and that he hadn’t spoken to his boss. At 1 a.m. on Tuesday Brandon sent out a press release and contradicted his coach, stating that Morris had suffered a “probable mild concussion” and that Brandon had been in constant communication with his head coach and everyone else involved.

One, if not both, “Michigan Men” have publicly lied.

The University of Michigan is the kind of institution that should demand better. I call on you restore order and dignity in Ann Arbor.

Sincerely,

Robert Hamburger


Questioning and trusting

Questioning and trusting
[Photo Credit: unknown]

I question things…things both big and small…and when I’m done questioning I look for answers underneath the answers.

I questioned G-d in the days and weeks after my father died when I was seven years old.

Now in my 57th year I still question. I think about death. I’m older than my grandparents were when I first knew them…and I thought they were ancient.

Questioning and wondering is my nature while fear seems to be my default feeling, though I wish it wasn’t.

Over the years I’ve learned trust more. I’m learning to be less attached to inconsequential things—-and that many things that I though were important were in fact—-inconsequential. I’m learning to trust even though the future, at times, seems more precarious.



An Open Letter to Edward Snowden

An Open Letter to Edward Snowden
[Photo Credit: Wired]

Dear Mr. Snowden,

One day history will tell the story of how the the world’s governments put a complex network of surveillance into place… and of how the National Security Administration monitored our phone calls, emails and computer habits…and of how every one of our movements was tracked with the GPS in our cell phones.

In the words of George Orwell, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” You told us the truth…and you told us the truth before the history books caught up with us.

We deserve to know the truth of our existence. Thank you for your extraordinary courage.

Sincerely,

Robert Hamburger


Rutgers University 26 – University of Michigan 24

Rutgers University 26 – University of Michigan 24
[Photo Credit: quoteslides.com]

Though it is not my intention to blog about University of Michigan football issues, Michigan is my school, and I love my school.

I’m saddened with the state of the football program. That the program is in a free fall makes me even sadder.

Invoking the words of President Harry Truman—“The buck stops here”—it is time for Dave Brandon to take responsibility. Mr. Brandon: You have made a mess for the school you claim to love. The program has declined (wins, attendance, esteem, relevance and reputation) under your watch. Admit to shortcomings, issue apologies, especially to the students, and step down without further delay.

To the next Athletic Director: Put dollars aside and make amends to the Michigan Student Body by cutting the prices of student tickets next year by (at least) 50%. Win back the students and you will have a huge win on your hands.

And to Coach Hoke: This may be your moment of truth. Winning is an intangible magic that occurs in one’s psyche even before the game begins. I suggest this is the place where you are failing as a coach. I further suggest that you find yourself in a far bigger game as the Michigan Football Head Coach than you may have bargained for…and that you cannot expect your players to attain the physical and mental excellence that are trying to instill in them until such time as you lead by example and demonstrate the same.

The spirit of Michigan football can reawaken. Victorious Saturdays should be the norm in Ann Arbor. It begins with putting a new leader in the office, and calling forth another onto the field.



Open Letter to Michigan Head Football Coach Brady Hoke

Open Letter to Michigan Head Football Coach Brady Hoke
[Photo Credit: annarbor.com]

Dear Coach Hoke,

The Michigan football program is in disarray—your answers are sorely lacking—the Michigan Concussion Disaster (per today’s New York Magazine headline) is inexcusable.

This is your last straw at Michigan, and if you want change, you need to be the change (paraphrased from Gandhi).

A good place to start would to begin speaking in a manner that takes responsibility.

When speaking to the press you continually use the word “you” when the word “I”  (or “We”) would be proper. A few examples from your post-Minnesota and Monday afternoon press conferences:

“When your integrity and character are attacked.”
“When the ball gets outside the defense that’s never good for you.”
“You’ve got to do a better job tackling.”
“You get into this (coaching) to teach kids.”

The press’s integrity and character are not being attacked. Yours is. The press isn’t letting the ball get outside of defenses. Your lack of coaching fundamentals is. The press doesn’t need to do a better job tackling. Your defense does. The press didn’t get into this to teach kids. You did.

Start using the word “I” and people will notice. Your players will notice. Cut the third person deflective talk and speak like a leader. Take ownership.

The answer for what ails the team is not with your coordinators, or on the field, or in the locker room. The answer is within you.

Are you demonstrating both physical and mental excellence in your life?

Tackle and overcome your challenges…and in doing so you will set an example and show your players how they might break though their own limitations and rise to new heights.

The next step is yours.

Go Blue.

Sincerely,

Robert Hamburger


Open Letter to Dave Brandon, University of Michigan Athletic Director

Open Letter to Dave Brandon, University of Michigan Athletic Director
[Photo Credit: Detroit News]

Dear Mr. Brandon,

Your product is floundering:
-Michigan football is 4-9 in its last 13 games.
-The team owns the worst turnover ratio in the nation.
-The coaches are yelling at one another on the sideline.
-An opposing player is striking a Heisman pose in Desmond’s end zone.
-The students are “boycotting” games.
-An injured quarterback is playing when he can barely stand up.

A lot of this rests on Hoke’s shoulders. Responsibility lies with you.

Things for me turned the day when you had the team change their jerseys right before kickoff in East Lansing in 2011. Such was the moment when it became apparent that you were making bumble bee special jerseys and dollars more important than the team. Now, three years later (and with failed attempts to bring fireworks and drones to the Big House…and the Coca-Cola “miscommunication” fiasco) your zest for marketing gimmickry—at the expense of focusing on football—has taken its toll.

There are no quick fixes for what ails Michigan. The problems aren’t miscellaneous tweaks after five games; the problems are systemic and the reality is the Michigan program is deathly ill.

It’s time to give back the keys to the family car. Be a Michigan Man for the good of the school and step down.

Respectfully,

Robert M. Hamburger


New posts coming soon!

New posts coming soon!
[Photo Credit: euclidlibrary.org]

It’s been six months since I last posted yet I plan to start up the HStand again in early October. Though some of my focus will always be in political in nature – and what in the world are our politicians doing to us in particular – new topics will be more varied  going forward. Please stay tuned!


INTERVIEW – Dana Dupuis

Screen shot 2014-03-23 at 11.35.20 AMDana Dupius is the co-owner of Listening Impact, a company in Boulder, Colorado that studies the way we speak and listen inside our businesses. Dana discusses her work, how listening can be cultivated, and the power it holds in business and  life – and even how it might be used to further the conversation in American politics.