"We have to worry about Notre Dame.I can't worry about Michigan. I can't worry about Michigan State. I gotta worry about Notre Dame. I gotta worry about me. I gotta worry about my coaching staff. I gotta worry about my players. And you want to know something? Justifiably so, after you lose a game like that, the scrutiny that you come under after a game like that has to be expected. It just comes with the territory."
-Charlie Weis, Notre Dame football coach
Notre Dame was soundly defeated by Michigan yesterday afternoon at the home of the Wolverines. Having attended many a game at U of M, I'm familiar with the intimidating (and large) atmosphere of their stadium and, as I watched on TV as Notre Dame took their third pounding (and subsequent loss) of the season, it sometimes appeared that U of M was playing a high school team that wandered into the stadium by mistake.
I've watched both teams for years. And over all those years I've never seen a Notre Dame team in need of so many prayers. Some are saying it's because the school puts academics over athletics. According to Wikipedia, "Since 1962, Notre Dame has graduated 98.74% of its football players in four years. As of 2006, only 13 football players in this time have left Notre Dame without finishing their degree requirements. Also of note is the 90% graduation rate of ND's African-American players". Hmm. It is college - football. College. Football. But, alas, fans want wins, not just degrees and these stats aren't going to be plastered across anyone's TV screen during a game, are they?
The coach vows to take them back to basics and training camp, but the reality is they have a four hour Sunday practice today and , of course, face another opponent next week. Notre Dame is in trouble but I do have a suggestion for those folks who shine the Notre Dame helmets - make 'em as bright as you can and let's hope for a lot of sunshine. Maybe the glare will distract the opponents.
Oh - and pray for Notre Dame.
[visual description: Photo shows a huddle of Notre Dame players, their gold helmets shining in the sun. One player holds his helmet up above the others.]