Friday, February 16, 2007

Weis on Trial

While I'm the first to admit that this title is a bit of a misnomer for it is technically the doctors who operated on (and almost killed) current Notre Dame Fighting Irish Head Football Coach Charlie Weis who are on trial, in reality it is Weis. Whether doctors Charles Ferguson and Richard Hodin are found guilty of medical malpractice when performing gastric bypass surgery on Coach in 2002 is almost irrelevant to Weis, for Charlie does not need the money—and win or lose—the publicity will weigh heavily upon him. And yet, Weis, whose battles with the bulge will now become known throughout the world, plods on with little to gain—except the knowledge that he did the right thing.

It wasn't supposed to be like this. Weis, after coaching Tom Brady and the Patriots to victory in Super Bowl XXXVI, feared he would "drop dead" if he didn't soon take off some pounds, so he decided on the procedure, and checked into Massachusetts General Hospital under an assumed name. But instead of having a routine surgery, complications found Weis receiving Last Rites before he miraculously pulled through. And while it's hard to deny that Mary had a hand in Charlie's recovery (for Weis would have never left the Patriots to coach at Notre Dame if he had died), one wonders if humility is also part of her plan, as every detail of Weis' lifelong struggle with obesity will (through this trial) now become public knowledge. In the short run, one would think that admitting he was unable to control his own weight would hurt Weis' dictatorial control with which he controls his team. But in the long run, humility (as well as always doing the right thing) IS what makes a coach a man—if not a legend or saint.

Well done Charlie—you might not be the fastest man to grace the hollowed ground of Notre Dame Stadium, but by going through with this difficult decision, you have definitely shown all the right moves!

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