Thank you, Cade McNamara

Cade McNamara deserves nothing but the utmost respect from University of Michigan football fans. The few, but clearly audible, “boos” that erupted within the student section when he graced the field for the September 10th game against Hawaii  were absolutely uncalled for. Frankly, they were shameful. 

Cade McNamara joined  Michigan football in 2019 as one of Nevada’s all time great high school quarterbacks; twice he became  Gatorade’s “player of the year” in that state. Without experiencing any play time in 2019 and only sporadically in 2020, he was named Michigan’s starting quarterback heading into the 2021 season. That is an incredibly difficult feat very few quarterbacks in Michigan’s storied history have been able to pull off. 

That 2021 season with McNamara at the helm would end up being a year no modern Michigan football fan will ever forget. He led the team to arguably their best year since 1997, when Michigan won the National Championship for college football. Under his leadership, Michigan beat its detested rival, Ohio State, for the first time since 2011. This ended a losing streak that was nearly a decade long, something that Michigan fans had been desperate to bring to a close. That in itself should lend Cade enough credit to forever cement his legacy as a Michigan football legend who deserves nothing short of ample praise and appreciation from fans. 

But McNamara and his team didn’t stop at embarrassing Ohio State; they would go on to dominate Iowa in the Big Ten title game and bring home the first outright Big Ten football championship for Michigan since 2003. He accomplished the two most important goals for any Michigan football quarterback: beating Ohio State and winning a Big Ten title. In both cases, he did it with room to spare. 

The fact that these excellent performances would give Cade and the team he led a spot in the College Football Playoff for the first time ever was icing on the Cade cake. Quarterbacking Michigan to a playoff appearance is something that no other quarterback in Wolverines history can say they’ve done. 

He accomplished the two most important goals for any Michigan football quarterback: beating Ohio State and winning a Big Ten title. 

For all of his truly glorious football accomplishments of 2021, Cade McNamara is unworthy of audience booing when he steps onto the field at Michigan Stadium– regardless of whatever role he now plays for the team. He perhaps merits more gratitude from Michigan fans than any player currently involved with the program. He accomplished goals that Wolverine fans have held for decades. He also has the total trust and respect of his teammates who voted him captain this year. 

So from now on, when Cade McNamara comes through that Big House tunnel and steps onto the field, we should replace the negative jeering and critiques with a standing ovation and raucous cheers. It’s high time that Michigan fans display thanks for all of the incredible things Cade has done for Michigan football. 

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