With the Irish heading out to lovely Hawaii for their bowl game this year, I've been tasked with hosting the bowl game edition of the Gathering. In keeping with our destination, this Gathering is Hawaii themed.
For those of you too lazy to google the Hawaiian phrases to figure out what they mean, I'm including the translations in the answers.
Hele mei hoohiwahiwa. There has been some controversy about the Irish accepting a Christmas Eve bowl bid, as we are a Catholic institution, and many feel that the bowl game will get in the way of celebrating Christmas. Give me your thoughts.
I like the Christmas Eve game. Christmas Eve is not a holy day of obligation, and the timing of the game will let everyone attend Midnight Mass right after (barring overtime...) Christmas Eve has always been a time of family celebration, and Notre Dame has always been an integral part of my family.
Light a fire, grab some egg nog, hang the stockings by the chimney with care, and then turn on the game. Idyllic.
`Onipa`a. The Notre Dame administration has decided to stand by their man and bring Coach Weis back as head coach next year. What specific changes (a) do you think ought to be made in the offseason? (b) do you think will be made in the offseason?
(a) Hire a proven college offensive coordinator that is given free reign to run the offense and have an open competition at quarterback.
(b) Latina will be the sacrificial lamb, and we'll hire some decent but not great O-line coach (read: another Latina) to replace him. Haywood will be gone, but will either be replaced by another neutered OC that will be given limited control of the offense, or Weis won't even bother hiring a coordinator to replace him. More of the same.
Pupukahi i holomua. What are your expectations for next season?
Unite to move forward.
My expectations for next season are, at minimum, a BCS berth that is at least a very close game if not an outright win. An offense that scores a lot of points. An opportunistic defense that is strong against the pass. A win over USC. Failure at any one of these should result in a quick termination of Weis' contract at season's end.
O ka makapo wale no ka mea hapapa i ka pouli. Also, if we start looking for a new coach next year, who do you think we (a) can get, and (b) would be the best possible hire? (i.e., is all of this Urban Meyer talk hot air or substance?)
Only the blind gropes in the darkness.
My feeling is that Notre Dame could get any coach they truly wanted, if they would sell out to get them. However, I think Notre Dame looks first and foremost for a person that is going to be a good representative of the University. In fact, my sense of every hiring decision ever made by Notre Dame has two steps: (1) put together a list of every coach in the country that would be a good and ethical face for the university (2) pick the one that is the most likely to be successful in the opinion of the university president. My hope is that Swarbrick's hire represents a fundamental change in that philosophy.
(a) Honestly, I don't know. probably another good to middling coach with lots of upside. A guy like Brian Kelly or Mark Dantonio.
(b) I don't like Urban Meyer. I have serious questions about his character and integrity, going back to stories I've heard from when he was an assistant here. But, he has a desire to eventually end up at Notre Dame, a history with the University, a proven track record, is named after a pope, and could bring instant credibility to a long-suffering program. So he would be the best pick on paper.
But I still want Bob Stoops.
`A`ohe lokomaika`i i nele i ke pâna`i. 'Tis the season, so tell me: What is the best gift you are giving someone this holiday season?
No kind deed has ever lacked its reward.
A DVD of White Christmas, a CD of Frank Sinatra's Christmas favorites, a bottle of red wine, a sprig of real mistletoe, and a handwritten letter.
Mahalo nui loa na ho'olaule'a me la kaua. What are your predictions for the game? Will the Irish be celebrating on the long plane ride home, or will this be another long offseason of listening to the chatter about our decades-long bowl losing streak?
Thank you for celebrating with us!
After breaking down the matchups, I think the Irish give their fans what we've been asking Santa for for over a decade. A bowl win. Party at the Te'o house after the game!