Monday, November 24, 2008

Why It All Went Wrong

In December of 2004 we listened to new Notre Dame football coach (and '78 ND grad) Charlie Weis tell us about the "decided schematic advantage" and the "nastiness" that Notre Dame would have under his watch.  The Notre Dame faithful ate it up.  He was one of us.  He understood the history and tradition at Notre Dame and he had a great big shiny Super Bowl ring.  We knew that he "got it."  He would be the first coach since Lou Holtz who "got it."

Except, he doesn't get it.

He learned from Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick who both took a very business-like approach to the game.  Obviously, this worked very well.  These guys won a ton of games and a handful of Super Bowls.  In the NFL.  Unfortunately, the college game is much different.  You're dealing with young kids who rely a lot more on emotion to play the game.  Aside from knowing our X's and O's, you have to know how to get the kids fired up for the game.  Charlie thinks that this is the NFL, where the players get plenty motivated by their large salaries and their fear of losing their jobs to the next guy in line.  He doesn't understand the importance emotion plays in the college game.  He's said as much in his press conferences.  I believe that's a major reason why this team has yet to play a complete game.  He doesn't get them fired up before or during the game so they never get the benefit of an emotional burst and don't know how to reach down deep for that little extra when they need it.  Unfortunately, they needed it about six different times this season and only came up with it once - during the first game of the season.

Because Charlie doesn't get it, his team doesn't get it.  Until they do, they'll never play to the level of their talent.  Thanks for giving your best effort, Charlie, but it's time to move on.

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