There has been much talk about how much the program at ND has declined over the last two years. I have been pretty amazed at how fast the Irish started this season and how fast it came to a screeching halt after the drubbing they took at the hands of the Trojans.
With all of that said, it is time for the young players and coaches to stand up and fight. Football is about passion, intensity, and hard work. Nothing in life is easy or will just be handed to you. You have to stand up and fight for it.
The Irish this year have fought hard in the first half of every game. But they must drink some bad Gatorade or start studying for exams at halftime, because they do not come out geared up to put people away in the second half.
I want to see an Irish team fight and fight for four quarters. Weis said a few years ago that he was going to bring a level of nastiness to the players. The only nastiness I have seen is how they play the second half of football games. To truly take the next step, this game has to be played with such ferocity and passion it's as if they are playing for a National Championship.
Take a look at the top tier teams, and I will show you teams that come to practice with a blue-collar approach to the game. They are there to have fun, but make no bones about it, they are there to outwork their opponent and pound them into the ground, a la Oklahoma and Florida this year.
I have talked about leadership on this team, coaches, and players. But it just boils down to one thing—go out and kick someone's butt. I will always be a die-hard Irish fan 'til the day I pass away, but it kills me every Saturday to watch a group of young men just roll over and believe something bad is going to happen.
Being competitive at ND is not enough, but going out there and pounding your opponent into the ground is. Even the great teams of the past didn't win every game, but ask their opponents if they would like to face them again, and you will probably get a resounding NO.
ND isn't about the championships, Heisman trophies, or even the All-Americans. It's about guys who showed up every Saturday and stood up and fought—guys who came from blue-collar backgrounds and understood the responsibility they had to themselves, their families, and to the University.
When this team can show me they are willing to stand up and fight like the players before them, then I will be satisfied. Win or lose, stand and fight 'til the end.