Friday, July 21, 2006

Weis = media darling

I just finished listening to Colin Cowherd (from Eastern Washington) talk to Kirk Herbstreit (former Ohio State QB). They both quickly stamped out yesterday's talk about a poorly written article that claimed Notre Dame had engaged in negative recruiting. The kid accredited with making the statement (Jamie Cumby) issued a prompt clarification and retraction. Also, the university in question (Clemson) issued a statement as well.

Herbstreit stated that Coach Weis was the most candid coach he has ever spoken to, and absolutely does not believe that he would ever engage in any such behavior. Then, Cowherd started going through his perseason top ten - The Irish were #1, and Hebstreit agreed.

Two years ago, the Jamie Cumby incident would have been a major story that dragged on for weeks, as fork-tounged Willingham refused to actually denty negatively recruiting in between blah-speak about moulding young men.

To see the difference between Coach Weis and Willingham, all you need to do is listen to them for a couple of minutes. The following are the most recent examples:

Coach Weis:
"I find it quite amusing a student-athlete already enrolled at another university has decided to be the team spokesman on Notre Dame recruiting practices. We do not use negative recruiting tactics. If supporting Notre Dame academics can be misconstrued as speaking down on another school's academics, call us guilty. This is an obvious case of negative reporting against Notre Dame by other institutions. Maybe they should look in the mirror."

Coach Willingham:
"My first order of business was to identify exactly what is a blog? My first resource was to ask one of my children to define and inform. Their definition of a blog as "an internet chat site of posted personal opinions and ideas," left me a little unsure, not that they were incorrect. Not being comfortable with that definition I sought a more technical definition, and Google provided the technical assistance: "A public web site where users post informal journals of their thoughts, comments, and philosophies, updated frequently and normally reflecting the views of the blog's creator." I do not know if I fit either definition exactly, but this will be my initial journal or newsletter. . .
"I have always believed that it is extremely important to have a sense of self and direction. Our football program must develop that knowledge of "self," and what the team desires to accomplish. . . Not only stretch our talents and skills, but provide a strong foundation for life."

I'm sorry, but Ty Willingham is uninspiring. He spends all of his breath paying lip service to integrity, and all of his time playing golf - I don't think he spends more than 10% of his time coaching. Coach Weis spends all of his breath and time representing the interests of the university, the football team, and his players.

And he is damn good at it:

Herbstreit (ESPN) on last year's recruiting pre-season:
"[Notre Dame] won’t have a problem in recruiting. There have already been eight to nine verbal commitments from very quality players. To receive that many commitments this early is rare; something is happening there. Weis did a great thing in hiring his staff, he went out and hired former head coaches and recruiting coordinators from big conferences who can coach and recruit." (Notre Dame signed a top 5 class)
"I like the future of the program. A lot of high school kids want to play there and recognize what Weis has done in the NFL and three Super Bowl rings. High school kids want to know who can get them to the NFL."

#1 recruit and Notre Dame commit Jimmy Clausen:
"Honestly, I wasn’t really looking at Notre Dame before Coach Weis came. I was real honored and blessed to get a scholarship from a guy like Coach Weis that has three Super Bowl rings on his fingers. It all came down to Coach Weis."

Colin Cowherd (ESPN):
"You have to be blind or in severe, irreversible denial to not see ND recruiting is back in a big way."

Gene Wojciechowski (ESPN):
"If it's possible to quantify an attitude, a confidence, then this program feels different. It is more sure of itself. It has its swagger back, which figures, since Weis could write the definition of the word in your Webster's. "

Dennis Dodd (CBS):
"Weis is very, very good at [controlling the message]."
"Weis waved his wand in 2005, turning an uncertain, unaccomplished wannabe into his Next Brady."
In a Mastercard commercial parody: "There are some things about being a football player you just can't teach. For everything else, there's Charlie Weis."
"Weis is a veteran coach with all the answers. Really." (in coach Weis' second year)

Stewart Mandel (Sports Illustrated):
"I was there [for the USC-Notre Dame game] that day, and what I saw was an extremely well-coached team that gets the maximum ability out of every player on the field."

Tim Dahlberg (Associated Press):
"In just one season, Weis has resurrected a team that was foundering under Ty Willingham and restored the vaunted Notre Dame name to the top of college football’s elite. He came within a whisker of beating the nation’s No. 1 team in the game of the year, made a Heisman candidate out of quarterback Brady Quinn, and brought back the swagger in South Bend."

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