COMMENTARY: For Hope, You’re Either With Him Or….Stupid?


The Boiling Point: Danny Hope once again tried his hardest to sell season tickets. And by “sell” I mean insult his few remaining fans.

I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but Danny Hope is currently on a SIX-game losing streak and is leading a team that is struggling to sell season tickets. (By struggling, I mean having a harder time selling tickets than Lindsey Lohan has finding an acting gig.) So naturally his first instinct is to reach out to what fans are left by calling them uninformed, a euphemism for idiot, in the Lafayette Journal & Courier.

The first line in Michael Davis’ story in today’s J&C says all you need to know about Danny Hope, at least from what I’ve gathered from the several times I’ve met him.

"“Danny Hope doesn’t give a damn what you think of him.”"

Yup, that about sums it up.

It wouldn’t be a big deal that Hope has this attitude, except, well, he isn’t very good at his job and needs all the support he can get. Davis’ story continues by pointing out a sign Hope has his office:

"Spend 45 minutes with him in his office at Mollenkopf Athletic Center and maybe what you’ll remember most is a motto he keeps within arm’s reach: “Never underestimate the power of uninformed people in large groups.”"

I think Hope lost the message in that one. Try this for an interpretation, Danny – Piss off the fans and your job that pays you yearly more than most people make in five-to-10 years and the well can quickly dry up.

Hope just simply doesn’t seem to get it, and I’m not just talking about football. My feelings toward the man as a coach are evident, but I can put that aside to have a serious discussion about other aspects of him, such as his complete disregard for anything like public relations. Hope has always had an attitude of not giving a damn what anybody else thinks, which he thinks makes him a great football coach. Instead, it makes him come off as a washed up jock with an over-inflated ego.

Take his story about the elderly man who gave some unsolicited advice about the team’s secondary.

"“He had no idea what he was talking about,” Hope said, in the rapid-fire cadence that is his normal speaking voice."

Hey Danny, guess what! No shit he didn’t, but that doesn’t mean you’ve got to make him look like an idiot. Last week a man did the same thing when I was doing my job. You know what I did? I smiled and said I’d work on it. And he smiled and walked away. That simple, man.

Instead, Hope takes on this Holier-than-thou approach, because he’s the hotshot football coach with the Nike contract. An example:

"“If people really knew how much preparation goes into coaching, they’d be shocked,” he rattled off one day this summer. “They just think you hang a whistle around your neck and stalk the sidelines. But those are just demeanors, and everyone has demeanors at work.”"

Wait! You mean his job requires preparation outside of the practice field? Well shoot, in that case he’s definitely much better than all of us “uninformed” folks. Guess what Danny: Teachers do a hell of a lot more than teach six hours a day and take off summers, yet people are trying to cut their jobs and benefits more and more every day. Janitors have to do a lot of prep work, like making sure they have everything they need to do a job, before they empty your trash can. McDonalds workers do a heck of a lot more than deep fry stuff, yet they work for minimum wage.

Everybody’s job takes prep. Everybody’s job has more to it than it seems.

So why are we supposed to forgive Hope for not caring about what anybody thinks outside of the “team”? I don’t question the passion of anybody on the roster, but at the same time I don’t doubt that a lot of lifelong Purdue fans take losses a heck of a lot harder than anybody on the “team.” It’s also going to be hard to put a “team” together without the support of all the alumni and fans buying tickets, so maybe Hope should stop treating the Purdue football team like Fort Knox and embrace the “uninformed” that spend their hard earned money on watching him do things like call timeouts for Notre Dame in the red zone and giving teams like Toledo, Northern Illinois and-have mercy-Indiana their signature victories of their seasons?

At some point, Hope needs to realize his “team” consists of a lot more than the guys in the locker room. Maybe then he’d get some support.

PS- It says at the end of the article that he knows the fans will support him if the team goes 7-5. How sad is it that SEVEN wins is all it takes to be happy these days?