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Get your head in the game

Letter to the Editor | Monday, November 24, 2008

So here is what Charlie had to say after the game. I’m not making a case for or against his firing. This article might be emanating from my severe frustration with this day and with Weis. The game itself was a disaster, and it was my mistake to watch the press conference. And before you jump at me and defend Weis, read the entire article. I have quoted nothing out of context. I just want to make sure that people are aware of what the Head Coach of Notre Dame thinks after a loss to Syracuse. Here are some exact quotes from his press conference. In parentheses is what I get out of it.

“We challenged the one play, which … you know we don’t have replays here” (So you challenged without any legitimate certainty.) “But I was fairly confident that he had his toe inbounds” (You were confident. Hence it must be the case. How far from the play were you?).

“I know Pat [Kuntz] had to call the time-out in the second half; I’m not exactly sure why at this point” (Do you know now Charlie, or not yet?)

“At the end of the day, they had to go down the field and score two touchdowns, and give credit to Syracuse – they did too.” (That’s exactly what I need … a head coach giving credit to the 19.5 point underdog ranked 108th in the country and who got blown out by Rutgers – don’t even give me the respecting the other team nonsense.)

“That [53-yard field goal] was right on the cusp of his distance.” (Haha…good one)

“I truly separate myself from feeling bad for me. I really only worry about them [the players]. I worry about those kids and their families. I worry about my coaches and their families. I worry about my wife and kid. But I don’t worry about my mentality.” (What about the fans Charlie? Do you worry about them? Do you worry about the 80,000 people at the stadium who pay to see Notre Dame Football, and the 2 million fans that watch on TV?) “I don’t feel miserable for me.” (Well maybe you should.)

“Jimmy did not make the big mistake we’ve had the last couple of weeks. He was a lot more efficient at what he was doing.” (18 incompletions, a 17-yard sack, accomplishing nothing in the red zone … that’s the definition of efficiency.)

Three questions about the future of Notre Dame football and his job status: “I don’t like answering big picture questions like that without doing some serious reflecting on what I think is the appropriate answer.” (Ok, I buy the spur of the moment aspect, but you have seven years left on your ten-year contract. As of now, you are the big picture. Might wanna start thinking about stuff like that.)

So … no mention of any hope for the future of the program. Just ignorance. No motivation, no inspiration, no passion, no emotion. After a loss like this, I personally want a coach who keeps his head up, acknowledges mistakes and says something about getting better results. One who offers even a hint of an apology to the fans. Not one who tells me Jimmy Clausen was efficient. Not one who thinks the 53-yard line is Brandon Walker’s target line. Not one who ignores arguably the most significant questions of the press conference.

I mean, c’mon Charlie. Syracuse?

Piyush Ranade


Dillon Hall

Nov. 22