Friday, January 23, 2009

A Distant Memory

I suspect I may be writing a scathing blog about a certain UO team so I will try to endear myself to Duck fans by railing on Notre Dame football. This post is slightly dated but is something I have to do.

I grew up a huge Notre Dame fan. When I was a kid my family did not have cable (my parents waited until I left for college) so I only watched the games that were on the national networks. Add to that the fact that my dad is a Catholic from Iowa and there was only one team to watch. We would spend every fall Saturday watching Notre Dame beat up on people. We visited the campus, I purchased and still have a #3 jersey and I subscribed to Blue & Gold Illustrated. Name any player from the 90s and I remember them.

It will be a very long time before I forget watching Notre Dame defeat Florida State, then lose shortly thereafter to Boston College. I remember it like it was yesterday. Over the course of a week our basement in Virginia saw a wide range of emotions from a 10-year-old. I also remember Lou Holtz running out onto the field in a big game (can't remember the opponent) and pulling a player off of the field for being an idiot. I read books about great Notre Dame coaches, memorized lines in Rudy and even caught NBC's one or two obligated broadcasts of Notre Dame basketball. Who can forget the great LaPhonso Ellis?

I say all of this because the Notre Dame I grew to love no longer exists. And it has nothing to do with the won-loss record. There is one (well, he's nearly the size of three) man that has screwed Notre Dame up to a point where I hope the team fails. Charlie Weis is a joke. He has managed to ruin something that was once great. As this last season unfolded I hoped Notre Dame would lose every game. I tried not to watch their games because it was embarrassing. If only I had decided not to watch their bowl game. After seeing that abomination I have no choice but to renounce my membership in the Notre Dame fan club. Let's review:

1. This day in age it is not very nice to make fun of anyone for any reason but Charlie Weis is too easy. He is an arrogant snob who curses the individual that decided donuts should have holes in them. The guy is so pathetic that he sued the doctors that botched his shrink-the-stomach surgery. Not sure what the medical name of it is. I mean come on, take Obama's advice and be responsible for your own actions coach. Your lack of care for yourself (this includes the snot running down your upper lip into your mouth on cold days) reflects poorly on the team.

2. At first, you may think the first point is a low blow but it leads to a greater point, Charlie Weis' laziness translates into the way he coaches. His inability to pull his face out of a pasta dish has left his players far too cocky for a .500 team. And even worse, he is so lazy that he has pulled an Ernie Kent and dumbed down the Notre Dame schedule. As I grew up I always knew Notre Dame was going to play quite a few top teams. Now, Weis has decided the best way to save a job is to play the absolute worst BCS conference teams, every military school and USC. How can a true Notre Dame fan stand behind such a schedule?

3. Jimmy Clausen is a chump. During the Lou Holtz days a guy like Clausen would not even be allowed to step on campus, let alone quarterback the team. No one has had so much hype and been such a pansy. Watching him think he was the greatest player ever at the Hawaii Bowl made me puke. After every touchdown he would taunt the Hawaii sidelines and fans. Hawaii's defense was so bad it would be the same as me taunting third graders at a spelling bee. I look forward to the day that Clausen gets drilled by a military school linebacker and has to be carted off the field.

4. I have been over the coach being a lazy (insert any four-letter word you prefer) and having that trickle down through the program. You add to that the fact that the team loses more than it ever has and you have a sports equivalent to California's budget crisis. I'm all for losing control of a team if you win games but games must be won.

5. People go back and forth on loving and hating Notre Dame. It is this way because they used to be dominant. Now, they are anything but. There is no way anyone under 20 cares one way or the other about Notre Dame. They are now terrible. A lot of people point to losing Syracuse this last year as a really bad moment because the Orange had such a pitiful record. What seems to be forgotten is that Syracuse had already fired its coach before the game started. In the future this should be written into every coach's contract: If you lose at home against a team with less than three wins that has already fired its coach you must be terminated without compensation.

It would be too easy to point out what is wrong with Notre Dame without providing some solutions. The program has fallen apart and I have a very simple two-step solution. By following this advice Notre Dame may be able to save face.

1. Hire a head coach. Weis seemed to do a fine job calling plays from the press box during the bowl game. He was able to sit down, drink lots of soda, venture over to the press box buffet, drink lots of soda, partake in some chips and dip and eat some more buffet. As long as the intern remembers to laminate the play sheet to avoid grease marks Weis would be perfect for the OC job at Notre Dame.

2. Join the WAC. The WAC would still let their games be broadcast on NBC so that would not be a problem. By joining the WAC, Notre Dame would be able to improve its strength of schedule and slowly but surely win back respect. It would not be an overnight turnaround but it would be a step in the right direction.

If it is decided that this process is too involved, the school could easily just fire Weis all together and bring in a real coach with enough dignity to restore the luster to the gold helmet. It is up to those that actually have a vested interest in Notre Dame to make that happen. My days as one that cares about Notre Dame are over. It is sad to admit but I have to do it. I would be a terrible father if I rooted for a coach and a team that was so lame.

1 comment:

John@Beermigos! said...

Well said, sir. I loved Rudy, and while not always the biggest Notre Dame fan, I was never a hater either. "Cursing the man who created the hole in a doughnut," that's pure gold.