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."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Best Fight Songs

1. Notre Dame - Notre Dame Victory March
2. Southern Cal - Fight On
3. Michigan - Hail to the Victors
4. Tennessee - Rocky Top
5. Ohio State - Fight the Team Across the Field
6. Navy - Anchors Aweigh
7. Army - On Brave Old Army Team
8. Oklahoma - Boomer Sooner
9. Nebraska - There is No Place Like Nebraska
10. Alabama - Yea Alabama

Honorable Mention (fight songs):
Mississippi - Forward Rebels
Texas - Texas Fight
Texas A&M - Aggie War Hymn

Honorable Mention (non fight songs):
Mississippi State - Battle Hymn of the Republic
Auburn - Eye of the Tiger
Iowa - In Heaven There is No Beer
Ohio State - Hang On Sloopy
Stanford - All Right Now
Notre Dame - Rakes of Mallow

Monday, July 17, 2006

Best College Football Helmets

Forgive the pictures on this posting, the best collection of helmets I could find was this website that sells miniature helmets, so I used their pictures when I couldn't find a decent picture elsewhere by default.

Notre Dame

Again, I admit to some bias here, but the Irish get bonus points for not just having a gold colored helmet (like the golden dome), but for putting real gold flecks into the paint, and painting the helmets each week with fresh gold paint before the game. Besides, otherwise Michigan would have been first, and that happens over my dead body.


I hate Michigan, and the thought of them getting credit for doing anything well turns my stomach. However, the Michigan helmets are one-of-a-kind; creative, different, recognizable.

Ohio State

Ohio State's helmets are shiny, and don't go in for the cheesy "let's stick the logo on the side of the helmet" ploy. They get bonus points for the Buckeye pride stickers as well.


Alabama's helmets are legendary, and evoke the (ahem) "tradition" of Alabama football. I almost left them off the list entirely, because simply being included on this list means that they will claim yet another undeserved national championship. What does that put them at? 5,137?

Penn State

There is no simpler design in college football, and no design that is more closely tied to the roots of the team. A non-nonsense blue collar football team deserves helmets that look like they came off the rack.

Florida State

Those spears are just plain cool. And the helmets are shiny.


I don't know why. Wait. Yes, I do. Anyone with big enough stones to trot out on a football field with a pig on their helmet an proudly scream "Sooooiee!" deserves some recognition in my book.

Southern Cal

Mostly, Southern Cal is getting credit for being Southern Cal, as they (like a bunch of other teams) simply stuck their logo on the side. But it's a cool logo.

Colorado State

I think Colorado State would have jumped up much higher for simply trying to be different, if not for the fact that they haven't won a football game in, like, seventy-bajillion years. But they made the list.

Army (tie)

Navy (tie)

They may look a lot like the Notre Dame helmets, but these teams have more tradition and pride than any other schools in the country, and prove it by not cheapening their tradition with a cheesy logo.

Worst helmets ever:

Air Force

Unlike their military academy brethren, the Air Force decided that a plain white helmet with a cheesy logo is better than something classy.

Boston College

The "other" Div. I-A Catholic University, BC ("Fredo") are cheap knockoffs of Notre Dame on the field, and they wear cheap knockoffs of our helmets. They are like the little brother that wants to wear your clothes, even though he looks terrible in them.


It takes a special kind of hubris (or stupidity) to place a letter logo on your helmet that stands for university. Like someone forgot the M for Miami. Or just was so full of themselves that they figured only THEY were a REAL university.
They got high marks for effective marketing on their logo, but when it comes to class and style, this ain't it.

The second worse football helmet tradition in college football, the Gators helmet today, while tacky as all get out, is far superior to what it used to be:

I think I'm going to be sick...

However, the reigning champion of worst football helmets in the history of college football (despite any changes they attempt to make) goes to (drum roll please) ...

The University of Hawaii

Excuse me while I vomit.

Next week: Fight Songs