Good Bye Charlie... Hello Again Joe Montana?

Jack BentonContributor INovember 30, 2008

I grew up on the south side of Chicago, and people alike were blessed with several "birth-rights." They are as follows: you were automatically a Chicago Bears fan, a Chicago White Sox fan and a Notre Dame Football fan.

These traits were not to be questioned, especially if you grew up as I did. I grew up as an Irish Catholic kid, which also meant I had to be a Fighting Irish fan.

For most of us, including me, the love for Notre Dame became quite strong, even if you attended college elsewhere.

Given that, the ups and downs... and the fact they have been primarily downs over the last two years, and have frustrated many of you as they have me. After all we were sold on Charlie Weis hiring as being the second coming of Knute Rockne.

I'll be the first to admit that he can do a halfway decent job of recruiting, but I keep scratching my head at what the Irish Alumni and athletic directors were thinking when they chose to give him that ten year contract extension... guaranteed no less.

If you look at the last three coaches at Notre Dame, both Bob Davie and Ty Willingham have a better winning percentage than Charlie Weis.

After watching last nights debacle at USC, admittingly between commercials of another show (come on, USC was favored by 32 points and usually the odds makers are pretty close, I didn't want to lose my voice yelling at the television).

I don't think I saw a worse beating of any other Irish team in recent memory. The season has been just as bad, especially when you have a lead on Syracuse and lose!!

As for a possible replacement for Charlie Weis, I had been thinking over the last four or five games as the television networks had shown him standing on the sidelines of each game that Joe Montana would be an excellent choice.

Not just because his son Nate is a freshman quarterback at Notre Dame, but from the brilliant mind of Bill Walsh who was his coach through a vast majority of his professional career. I mean, the man knows football, he certainly knows how to run an offense, score points, win games, heck I'll bet he can even design and call defensive plays!

I don't know how good his son Nate is, but from what I have read, he's not quite as good as his father... yet, but he is only a freshman.

During his senior season at Concord De La Salle High School last fall, quarterback Nate Montana didn't exactly set the world on fire. He was the third-stringer, and he finished the season 12-19 for 166 yards and one touchdown passing, plus 33 yards on 17 carries running. He even chose to be a walk-on at Notre Dame without any pressure from his father to do so.

But when your dad is Joe Montana, maybe the greatest quarterback ever to play the game, people look at you and see potential. So 30 years after Joe Montana's senior season at Notre Dame, Nate Montana is following in his footsteps for the Fighting Irish.

Although some Notre Dame fans will be excited just to see the name "Montana" on the roster, it's certainly not realistic to think that Nate can be the kind of player his father was, and it's probably not even realistic to think Nate will play in anything more than mop-up duty. Then again, Joe Montana came to South Bend as the seventh string quarterback.

Things turned out OK for him then, so why not now as the head coach? Heck he might end up coaching another great quarterback named Montana.

If I were a betting man, or a Notre Dame Alumni, I'd surely think long and hard about it and perhaps pass the collection basket around to buy out the remainder of Charlie Weis's contract and kick in an extra dollar or two to hire Joe Montana!