Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Notre Dame Football 2007: Is Charlie Weis no longer a Weis guy?

For John the Baptist came neither eating food or drinking wine, and you said He is possessed by a demon. The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said,Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard ... But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.
–Luke 7:33-35

Head Coach Charlie WeisThe preceding passage from today's gospel reading pretty much sums up modern sports writing in general, and their treatment of Notre Dame Head Coach Charlie Weis in particular. For example, the same writers who once praised him as a disciplinarian for reigning in his players, now call such "childish" treatment "old-fashioned" and out of touch with today's athletes, and point (of course) to Notre Dame's 0-3 record and Demetrius Jones' indecent departure. Likewise, many who proclaimed his play calling as genius now call him just another NFL'er unable to adapt to the college game. Do sports writers realize that the average sports page readers have too short of an attention span to track down a column they wrote, say three months ago that clearly contradicts what they just wrote? Or do they not care as long as their ever-changing voice is heard, and their bombast broadcast?

Charlie Weis, like Christ, did not change overnight. "Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8), and the fact that many of the same people who praised Jesus on Palm Sunday called for his life five days later speaks about human nature, not divine. I doubt Charlie, he of three Super Bowl rings, forgot how to coach overnight, and I believe his play calling would still be admired if his line still blocked and the center didn't snap the ball over the quarterback's head. And while siding with Demetrius over Weis may not be as bad as backing Judas on Holy Thursday, I have a hard time believing Jones when he says that the team knew he was going to abandon them before the Michigan bus when Weis was seen scrambling around to locate his former starter, not to mention a back-up scrub quarterback, when Demetrius was found AOL. Yes, it will be difficult for Charlie to rally an under-sized, under-talented team, and I pray not only that the Holy Spirit give Weis wisdom, but that Our Lady watch over his health, which has never been the same since his botched weight reduction surgery. And I pray for Weis' family, especially Charlie Jr., who will surely need divine strength to deal with all the taunts one receives as a "loser" in high school. The day will come when Notre Dame will be good again and Weis will once again be praised. May this season serve to show Weis that his consolation can only come through Christ, and his family always comes before football, no matter how great an apostolate Notre Dame football, when serving Our Lady, can be. So hang in there Charlie, and as the little girl used to say ...

Go Irish! Love Our Lady!

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