Jesus, Me, and Charlie Weis: How the Navy Loss Pushed Me Over the Edge

Marc HalstedCorrespondent INovember 8, 2009

13 Aug 1997:   A view of Touchdown Jesus at newly renovated Notre Dame Stadium during Media Day in South Bend, Indiana. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Stockman  /Allsport
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Jimmy got sacked and all looked lost. I made my way out of the stadium and headed straight for Touchdown Jesus. We commiserated about our disappointment. He was as fired up as I was, just a little more dignified in his appearance. 

I asked why we lost.

“Divine intervention, my son. The Big Man likes Marines. Mike Floyd’s back pad? Fumbles on the one yard-line? Brian Smith’s repeated commitment to the arm tackle?  You didn’t think that was the work of mortals, did you?

I asked about the 348 yards of rushing.

“Goliath got arrogant. Did you see the way the Irish players took the field? Lemmings and lambs showed more excitement than the Notre Dame players did coming out of that tunnel Saturday.”

So what’s going to happen to the season?

“7-5. Stull is going to go all Moses on you. He’s going to split you wide open and put enough points on the board to make downtown Pittsburgh look like the Vegas strip. And Stanford? Toby Gerhardt runs like he’s sprinting through hell in a gasoline suit.”

How about a Bowl game?

“I hear late December in Detroit is nice.”

And Coach Weis?

“The Prodigal Son returned but his sins were not forgotten. Look, he’s been lit up by Kirk Cousins, Rich Gunnell, and Vince Murray. Not even Lord God himself could get one of those guys to the NFL. You can't lose that many times to Trojans, Eagles, and Midshipmen and expect to hang on to your job."

So, is he out?

“Apple, Eden, bye-bye. He put in a Herculean effort, not that I believe in all the myth stuff. Just wasn’t enough. You think God hires Noah without a Shipbuilder's Union card?  You gotta have a little background, not a few snaps of backyard football, a letter of recommendation from a sinner like Belichick, and an ego the size of South Jersey.”

He’s going to get fired?

“Norman conquest, Protestant rule, the Easter Rising. Don’t you think Irish Catholics have been through enough? 7-5 isn’t exactly bringing us back to 1066 but you can’t blame me for getting a little tired standing here every Saturday while we lose to Air Force, Syracuse, and Navy, twice!  Sacrilegious.”

Alright, alright, so who’s next?

“You wanna talk about wine out of water? Head down to Cincinnati and look up that Brian Kelly guy. The man can make a middling Big East team into a national championship contender by recruiting good players, developing talent, and treating everybody he runs into with respect.  Sound familiar?”

No, not exactly. So ND is going to finish 7-5, go to a bad bowl game against a MAC team, fire Charlie Weis, and hire a coach from the Big East?  This can’t be!  What about running the table, 9-3, the Gator Bowl, and a Top-20 ranking to start 2010? 

“I used all of that up on Lazarus. No chance. Did I mention the Syracuse loss? Four straight top-15 recruiting classes and he still struggles to get by the University of Washington? The man can’t win in his own home stadium."

So he's got no chance here? 

"When was the last time he beat a ranked opponent?  I only have so much power, my son. Blindness, sickness, resurrection? Now, THAT's easy.  Weis?  Oy vey.”

Got it.  But look, if they do fire Charlie, what about Gruden, Meyer, and Saban?

“Gruden likes Hank Jr. too much. Meyer? Are you daft? Would you leave sunny Florida and two dozen five star recruits for lake effect snow and the pressure-packed confines of South Bend?  And I don’t think Nick Saban wants to start 2010 with a hobbling Crist, Andrew Hendrix at QB, Jon Goodman at wide receiver, and a defense that would struggle against the rushing attack of St. Mary’s School for Blind Women."

So you’re saying I waited all summer, sat through this entire fall, and now I’ve got the Little Ceasar’s Pizza Bowl, Brian Kelly, and an NFL draft that robs us of Clausen, Tate, and God-knows-who-else to look forward to?  Jesus freakin' Ch-

“Whoa there, easy on the name-in-vain stuff. But yeah, you’ve got it about right. Don’t forget Manti Te’o’s Mormon mission, the probable re-injury of the ever-fragile Michael Floyd, and the collapse of what once was a top-10 recruiting class for the fall of 2010.”

Great, National Signing Day used to be our saving grace.

“That’s what Charlie prayed for every February.”

Really?  Well I’m sure he’s grateful for that deal.

“It wasn’t us he made that deal with.”