Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Of Queens, Quarterbacks and Questionmarks: Pray Pray to ol’ Notre Dame

Today is the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, the great memorial the Church instituted to honor the greatest Woman of them all. Today we also find ourselves less than a week and a half away from the Fighting Irish’s opening game, and Coach Charlie Weis has yet to name a quarterback. In fact, the only thing we have heard about the trio of signal callers vying for the job is about their off-the-field car controversies—sophomore Demetrius Jones borrowing a friend’s automobile which happened to contain marijuana, and freshman Jimmy Clausen driving a 23-year-old friend to buy beer, which turns out to be against the law in Indiana. No news about junior Evan Sharpley yet, but whether that makes him the front runner in the quarterback derby at least until he gets caught on some minor infraction such as double parking when picking up a professor’s Viagra prescription, remains to be seen. What is certain is that the vultures are circling, the anti-Notre Dame (and anti-Catholic) critics are chirping, and if you haven’t already, start that Novena to Our Lady for the Irish now.

The quarterbacks’ brushes with the law, if they can indeed be called that, are, according to Weis behind them. While no one has gone so far as to say Jones was framed, both the University and the South Bend police are convinced Demetrius had no knowledge the substance was in the borrowed vehicle. As for Clausen’s case, it is important to note that the beer was not opened and neither he nor his friend were drinking. Even Coach Weis was unaware of the Indiana law that stated “a minor cannot have alcohol in an automobile unless a parent or legal guardian is present.” Still just as pro-athletes have no place going to rowdy bars or strip joints, minors need to have discretion even being in the presence of liquor, and Clausen seems to have learned his lesson. But if either have learned who the starting quarterback is they are not letting on, and despite all the hype, Weis’ plan to not reveal the mystery until the day of the opening game against Georgia Tech September 1st, is miraculously still intact. But with so many team holes left from last year’s graduations, one wonders if Weis is maintaining secrets to keep Tech in the dark, or because Charlie is still in the dark too.

My guess is, it is a little of both. If Coach Weis not showing his hand makes the Yellow Jackets prepare for both a runner (Jones), a passer (Clausen) and something in between (Sharpley), it’s not bad strategy, and it takes a guy truly in command of his squad to pull this off. On the other hand, it is hard to doubt the scouts' assessments that the Irish’s talent level is down.

Currently, many Fighting Irish Thomas readers are involved in novenas for “important” things such as the pro-life movement and the success of the upcoming rally to stop the opening of the new abortion mill in Aurora; and to many praying for a football team, even one bearing the banner of Our Lady, seems trivial in comparison. But it is not. Never forget that young boys, Catholic and otherwise, rarely appreciate the complexities of the Catholic faith, but they know football. When you pray for Notre Dame, you are praying for them, for when they see a Catholic football team uphold the faith of Our Lady on the field, they are more likely to uphold it when they are in the position to do so with a young lady several years later. When the Queen triumphs, their women become queens too. So get out your beads and let Jones, Clausen and Sharpley know that Our Lady is behind them, watching over the quarterbacks and the rest of Her Golden Boys too.

1 comment :

Pristinus Sapienter said...

Mother Mary knows how impoverished her Fighting Irish would be without the Moms of coach Weis and his trio of field leaders bringing them to this world intact.

A whole squad is each member lucky in both their mothers, Mary and Mom, whether they play for Notre Dame or Georgia Tech, or any team.

Saturday: Our Lady 27, PPA 17. With Mary and our Lord, we all know that one victory is part of a whole season of seasons of these conflicts. And, thanks for being on Our Lady's growing field team, that day. I'll hold you in my prayers.

The next: Notre Dame 28, Ga.Tech 21, and the defense will surprise as much as the offense. Still, the season is just starting. Lots of prayers still needed. Place all available kneelers at the Grotto.

And, any going to the Aurora travesty and the Grotto, remember to pray gratefully to your Mother in heaven for having been on your team when your Mom brought you into this world. Struggle as mother Mary did, so many of your sisters and brothers 'lost' their Moms and their Moms 'lost' them, and never had the chance to get on the field of life.