I am a Notre Dame fan.
By this, of course, I mean Notre Dame football. I’m not even sure they play other sports in South Bend, but even if they do, they don’t have Touchdown Jesus.
What those other sports probably do have, assuming they exist at all, are fans with reasonable expectations. The football team, on the other hand, comes in each year with lofty goals, including the BCS Championship and Solving World Hunger.
And each year they fail, probably coming closer to solving the hunger issue than they do winning a title.
Now, Notre Dame is one again looking for a head coach, having fired Charlie Wess, the former New England Patriots offensive coordinator who just never could seem to get it together for the Fighting Irish. Despite have a loaded team this year (one that former coach and current ESPN commentator Lou Holtz predicted to be in the national title game), the Irish finished with a 6-6 record, including unceremonious losses against Navy, Connecticut and Stanford.
While I don’t think Weis was exactly blazing his own path of glory on the sidelines, the guy had a knack for bringing top talent into the school. If the Irish could string together some sort of defense – any sort of defense – the team would no doubt have a better record, and Weis would still be the coach.
Because of the lofty expectations around the team, Weiss got shoved aside (which is no easy task given the fact he weighs about a metric ton), and Notre Dame officials have started the search for a replacement. Urban Meyer, head coach at Florida, tops that list, as well he should, but there’s not a chance in the world he’ll leave Gainesville for South Bend. Yeah, the Irish might have Touchdown Jesus, but at Florida, Meyer is a god.
Other coaches on the list – Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops, Cinicnnati’s Brian Kelly – have said they’re staying put, although in Kelly’s case, he has to say that right now since his team is still undefeated and playing for a major bowl game. Once the season is over, I’m guessing Mr. Kelly will have a different attitude.
On Thursday, my friend Cory told me that Notre Dame’s updated coaching list includes Skip Holtz, son of Lou Holtz, which is about the only qualification Skip could bring to the job. I hope this isn’t a sign of how far Notre Dame truly as fallen.
The following is an undedited transcript of the chat Cory and I had about Notre Dame’s coaching search:
Kevin: that’s the worst coaching list i’ve ever seen. i half expect to see Bruce Reynolds’ name in that mix.
Cory: hahahaahaaha. it’s really a pretty gyp list. not for, say, the louisville job,.but for Notre Dame, it sucks.
Kevin: was Jeremy Davie or Todd Willinghame not available?
Cory: they aren’t returning calls
Kevin: as a notre dame fan, here’s what i hope happens: i hope they completely botch this.
Cory: sounds like you’re getting your wish.
Kevin: they had a coach who had problems, sure, but was far from terrible. they jumped the gun and fired him w/o a clear plan in place, and then all their wishlist candidates said no, so they’re forced to hire someone completely unqualified and out of their league. the program sinks even lower. after two years they fire the new coach … and hire John Calipari.
Cory: that’s probably more likely than you think.
Kevin: i’m not joking (other than the Cal part, obviously).
Cory: breaking up with a coach should be like breaking up with a girl. you don’t just dump her because you’re a little tired of her unless you have something better in mind. now, if she beats you or is otherwise abusive, that’s one thing (Eddie Sutton), but you run the risk of being notre dame. you’ve broken up with your coach, but times have changed since you started dating
Kevin: yeah, Charlie Weis was the fat chick, but he’s better than someone from The Bottoms.
Cory: you’re not captain of the football team anymore, but you’re still hitting on girls like you are. meanwhile the hot young girls who were into you have married guys like Oklahoma, Florida, etc. they’re happy there and you’re left with a single mom recovering from an oxycontin addiction. the real kick in the ass comes when you end up miserable with Skip Holtz (who is the messed up younger sister of the girl you REALLY loved) while Weis gets back together with Belichik and wins another super bowl
Kevin i hope they skip Holtz and go to the next candidate
Cory: hahahaha. the UConn guy is really pretty good, and Harbaugh seems to be real, but neither of those have that rockstar quality that we were expecting
Kevin: it’s going to see Springsteen and ending up with Cochran.
Cory: it’s that feeling you get when “On the Dark Side” kicks up and you realize that it isn’t “Candy’s Room”
Kevin: well, you’ve gone over my head.
Cory: actually, i meant “she’s the one” i think. it’s that eddie and the cruisers song
Cory: Florida’s DC is the leading candidate for the Louisville job. that sounds more impressive than the ND list.
Kevin: Hiring Skip Holtz is wanting Urban Meyer and getting Orbin Hatton
Cory: it’s Rural K-Mart
Kevin: He’s the Mountain Lightning of coaches. (that’s the citrus soda currently sitting on a nearby desk).
Cory: Hiring Skip Holtz is like when your parents told you that you were going to an amusement park this weekend, then set course for Camden Park
Cory: Skip Holtz is planning a trip to the races, only to find out that your friends are going to The Red Mile.
Kevin: Getting excited about hiring Skip Holtz is like being thrilled over the special feature of chapter stops.
As you can probably tell, no one is excited about the possibility of a Skip Holtz Era at Notre Dame. I have no idea who they’ll hire, but for fans’ sake, let’s hope it’s a good one.
Touchdown Jesus, save us all.