Monday, August 29, 2005

#5 - Media Black-Out

On with the Countdown...

Ever since he became head coach, Charlie Weis seems to have been everywhere and nowhere. The media is clamoring to get a piece of him 24 hours a day, and he'll give them as much information as they want...45 minutes at a time.

Tyrone Willingham & Bob Davie had waht could be classified a distant relationship with the Notre Dame Press Corps, and Weis made headlines by effectively ripping the media at his first press conference on January 7 as overzealous gossip-whores (naturally, he was a little more succint than I am).

Point being, there will not be any two-hour marathon discussions about the 2004 season. No treatises from anybody in the program on the differences between Weis and Willingham, other than the occasional company line of, "We have a brand new slate now."

Weis is gonna give you what you want for however long he feels like it and then go back to work. Already he's moved the weekly coaches' conference from Monday to Sunday so the first day of the week is completely his for game-planning purposes. He's taking the job very, VERY seriously and doesn't want to spend any more time being a "media darling" than he has to.

If the players follow his lead, Notre Dame ought to be a fine example of a tightly-run ship that remains solely focused on winning the next game. Not the next five or the next championship, but winning every game. Yeah, that silly "one-game-at-a-time" philosophy is old-fashioned, but it also wins football games.

And Weis is embracing the most precious commodity Notre Dame has, its unparalleled alumni network. No other program is gonna get Joe Montana, Joe Theismann, Tim Brown, & Chris Zorich to stand in the snow for two hours as honorary coaches of its spring scrimmage. In the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, here was Weis' report on a dinner meeting with some other guy who won a few games on the ND sidelines:

Before Charlie Weis opens the 2005 season and his career as Notre Dame’s head football coach Saturday night at Pittsburgh, what else would he do? He ate dinner with Ara Parseghian on Saturday night.

And during the course of the meal, it could have been a freshman undergraduate class for him at Notre Dame all over again.

“I did a lot of listening,” Weis said Sunday at the Guglielmino Athletics Complex where he unveiled the Irish’s opening-week depth chart. “…The most important thing you have when you talk to people who have done it before, he’s actually won a game here before. I’m 0-0. He’s won a few games here before, last I checked.

“Just hearing his approach from his first year when he got here to the last year before he left was an educational experience and how he approached the game and all the little sidebars that go with being the coach of Notre Dame.”

Charlie Weis grasps that he doesn't need to apologize to anybody for being at Notre Dame. This was an underachieving football team last season, despite what those idiots at ESPN would have you believe. According to Lee Corso, Notre Dame will open the season 0-6, a start that would include losing to a Washington team they beat 38-3 last September.

Until further notice, Weis should just keep on doing what he's doing, and keep the media at arm's length...or maybe longer.



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