All work and no play is far from how the University of Michigan Wolverine football team operates.

Some fans, teams, and coaches get so wound up in the winning aspect of a season that they forget, especially at the college level, that these players are still young and need to have fun. I can honestly say after watching the games, press conferences, and post game celebrations of the Wolverines that this is a team that knows how to have fun.

Brady Hoke was something that this team needed. Watching Rich Rod on the sidelines the previous three seasons always made me uneasy. He just looked angry all of the time and players such as Tate Forcier would sulk on the sidelines when they were taken out for a play or two.

The first time that I saw Hoke get mad this season it honestly made me laugh because it looked so out of place. It’s not uncommon to see him on the sidelines–arms crossed, eyes focused on the game, but still smiling and looking like a giant teddy bear.

The players themselves have also given me some of my best memories of the season. The team this year just seemed to click. Never throwing from the quarterback to one specific player. Robinson being switched out for Gardner when need be without questioning it. The right decisions were made, consistently.

The press conferences were something that I enjoyed probably more so than the games themselves, and not just because they didn’t bring me to the brink of a heart attack every two minutes. You could tell how well the players got along and how much fun they were having. They never took full responsibility for anything, choosing instead to give credit to the team as a whole. They laughed, joked, pushed each other playfully, and were never afraid to ask a reporter, “Umm…can you repeat the question?” after they missed the first part of it because they were having too much fun.

The Wolverines went 10-2 on in the regular season, finally prevailed over Notre Dame and Ohio State, and after winning the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, rightfully deserved to celebrate.

After the press conference, players wandered the field, heading towards the bus. A few stopped and celebrated with us, throwing the long settled blue and maize confetti back into the air for some great photo opportunities.

As I was packing up my bag, ready to leave the stadium, I heard some players yelling across the field, “You better hurry up and get your butt on the bus! If you miss curfew, you’re going to be in big trouble!”

As I looked across the field I saw whom they were threatening, and as Coach Hoke laughed while making his way across the field, I couldn’t help but smile and think, this is a happy team. This is Michigan football.