My brother spoke to me this evening by phone and expressed the concern that readers might think I have a special angst, or personal vendetta, against Coach Charlie Weis, the football coach at Notre Dame. The truth is I respect the Irish football tradition immensely. Seeing a game in South Bend is a glorious experience and the university is a class place. I walked on the field the night before a game against Alabama some years ago and then watched the Irish bury my team in every way the next day. The fans were classy and the place was first rate. So, Irish fans, please do not think I am against you. My point is that this is a very bad team and this is, to all appearances, a very bad coach. The university will make their own determination about him and I expect, as I have already indicated, that he will get one more season to show that he can win as a head coach.
Bottom line: Notre Dame is good for college football much like the Yankees are good, in their own way, for baseball. You love them or you hate them, at least in most cases. But true, serious fans respect them in every case. I am not a Yankees fan but I love Joe Torre. I did not like Billy Martin! I am obviously not an Irish football fan but I loved Ara Parseghian and Lou Holtz, two excellent coaches at Notre Dame who had real class.
And it must be said again: Congratulations to the Naval Academy, who could have quit on Saturday but simply refused to lose. Paul Johnson is a truly great coach! I rooted for Alabama to hire him in the off season before they landed Nick Saban. Coach Saban has his own critics, and some for good reason, but a winner he is and will be at Alabama.