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Comments on Weis

Letter to the Editor | Monday, December 8, 2008

I enjoyed Ryan Shestak’s letter Monday for its frankness about Weis. “…you’d have to say he’s the exact opposite – an obese, foul-mouthed, uninspiring leader…” I graduated from ND the same year as Weis, although I started in 1970. While he grew up in New Jersey, I grew up in Wisconsin under the year of Lombardi. My junior year in high school our football team was in last place and my senior year we were first place. My football coach wanted me to go out for ND football even though I weighed 145 lbs and was slow.

I feel compelled to mention this in light of Ryan’s main argument why Weis is not successful: “This is obviously the result of Charlie never having played football and therefore being unable to teach the fundamentals and intricacies of the game.” The first year Weis was coaching in South Bend I was hosting a weekly hour long TV show through cable access with another ND alumnus. It was mentioned quite frequently during that fall season that Charlie could not be a successful head coach for three reasons.

He has never played the game, and like a Judo or karate teacher, he can not give out what he does not possess. Second, he is undisciplined personally as seen by his weight problem and therefore as head coach severely handicapped in instilling the discipline of tackling and blocking which Lombardi says makes up the core of what football is. Thirdly, at a Catholic university it is imperative that the coach be a role model spiritually. Lombardi and Holtz went to Mass almost every morning.

When I was attending ND it was understood by many serious Christians in the area that the diocesesan bishop, Pursley, had said in private that Notre Dame was under the control of a dumb spirit called Titan, in Greek Colossae. (cf. The Institutes of Lactantius, Father of the Church) It is my belief that Notre Dame’s obsession with trying to win football games is primarily a spiritual problem.

Peter Helland


class of ’78

Dec. 8