In a particularly memorable episode of The Sopranos, Tony's nephew Christopher thinks he has a near death experience after being shot.
As he lays in his bed in the ICU, Christopher tells Tony and Paulie he visited hell.
"I saw hell. It's an Irish bar where it's St. Patrick's Day every day forever and ever. The Irish guys win every hand at cards and every roll of the dice."
Charlie Weis' own version of professional hell comes to a merciful close today, as the Fighting Irish face Stanford in the final game of a disastrous season.
As much as Weis wants to emphasize the fact that Notre Dame hasn't finished a season with back-to-back wins since 1992, no statistical quirk is going to salvage the worst campaign in the school's storied history.
Then again, you can hardly blame Weis for trying to find a season-ending theme that doesn't include abject humiliation.
Humiliation—as in a school-record six-game losing streak, 38-0 losses to Michigan and USC, and a loss to lowly Navy, whom the Irish hadn't lost to since 1963.
And then there was the the win over Duke last week.
After four straight losses—two of which were to service academies—the Irish defeated the Blue Devils 28-7 in South Bend. You would've thought Weis' team had won the National Championship.
Players celebrating, fans ecstatic—all for a less-than-dominant win over a team with zero talent.
If that's not a clear indicator of how far the Irish have fallen, I don't know what is.
There may not be any card games or dice rolling, but Weis and Co. have definitely entered that bar Christopher saw in the Great Beyond.