‘A Season With Notre Dame Football’ – Episode six recap
Miko Malabute | Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Following what I had deemed as the best — if not most bittersweet — episode in the “A Season With Notre Dame Football” series, it was going to be interesting to see how the Showtime producers would respond. After all, despite the awful taste of defeat in the mouths of Irish football, there was no denying that the coverage of the game and subsequent loss brought in great ratings.
Meanwhile, it was equally intriguing to see how the team on the screen would respond to its own issues on the field. The loss to Clemson was frustrating and absolutely heartbreaking, and it is easy to imagine how that kind of loss could derail any program’s season.
But that’s not what Coach Brian Kelly had in mind. As much critique as Kelly gets when times are hard, there’s no denying that Kelly knew exactly how to refocus his players heading into Navy week. Kelly was adamant that there were no such things as moral victories for this Irish football team anymore; when your team is that good, it’s either win or lose — and absolutely nothing else. This attitude translated all the way down to his players, specifically Joe Schmidt.
“When I talked to the media,” Schmidt contemplated, “they asked me some question about, you know, how do I feel — something about, you know, taking positives away.
“I don’t see it that way … You need signature victories. That would have been a signature victory.”
But the team would only live in self-pity for 24 hours, because as soon as Monday rolled around they refocused on Navy. Credit goes to the coaches, who really helped reboot the team and help them understand that now every game is truly do or die. Schmidt was especially fired up and vocal in his leadership of the defense; meanwhile, Kelly was seen working with various players, helping them develop and get back to the fundamentals.
The episode also provided viewers the history behind the Notre Dame-Navy relationship, with the mutual respect for both institutions on full-display. But the true superstar behind this episode was Corey Robinson. With his family’s background in the Navy, it was surreal yet astounding to see how intertwined Notre Dame and Navy are, embodied and epitomized in Notre Dame’s wide receiver.
The latest installment was yet another solid addition to the series, and gave a bit of insight into the history behind two programs that pride themselves on tradition and history. But at the same time, this episode was not only about living in the past — the Irish are also looking ahead to USC, where there is clearly no love lost between the two. It should be quite the interesting episode next week.