Saying goodbye to Ty
| Tuesday, November 30, 2004
It might be a good idea, whenever you find yourself chanting for the firing of a football coach, to take a step back and consider whether you are living in a world of reality or, as would appear more likely, a world of fantasy, where the good old alma mater would go 11-0 every year with a roster full, not only of first round NFL draft-picks, but also future doctors, judges and senators. This sounds crazy when put into print, but entirely too many of Notre Dame’s alumni and a distressing proportion of its student body apparently feel exactly this way.
It is indeed telling to view the results of a poll on ESPN.com, which appeared on the site shortly after the announcement of Coach Willingham’s dismissal. Two-thirds of the respondents thought that the University did not give Coach Willingham a “fair chance to build a winner at Notre Dame.” These people are thinking rationally, practically and sensibly. Obviously they are not football-rabid Notre Dame alumni. Three years is not a long enough time to rebuild a program.
There is way too much pressure on the football coach and team at this University, and we’d better be careful. If we keep firing coaches after three years because they haven’t won a national championship yet, we’ll find it hard to find people crazy enough to want to coach here. I am a loyal Notre Dame fan and will support the next head football coach, whomever that person may be. I wish I could assume that everyone else will as well.