What was already going to be a big Blue and Gold Game this year got even bigger when the celebrity coaches were officially announced yesterday. Charlie pulled out all the stops in landing Ara Parseghian and Lou Holtz as honorary coaches for the Irish split-squad scrimmage, and Tony Rice and Ross Browner as the honorary captains. And it's not just Ara & Lou as coaches, but they're bringing some of their former assistants as well.
Parseghian will coach one team and be assisted by two of his former assistants coaches, Brian Boulac and Joe Yonto. Former Irish great Ross Browner will serve as honorary captain for the team. Holtz will be assisted by Foge Fazio and Tony Yelovich who both served on Holtz' staff. Tony Rice will be the honorary captain for the team coached by Holtz.Having fan favorite players like Ross Browner and Tony Rice on the sidelines is an terrific bonus to what is shaping up to be a great weekend. In addition to the action on the field, the idea of seeing both Lou and Ara roaming the ND sidelines once again is something that all Irish fans will want to see. I was trying to think of an example of another college in terms of a relatively new head coach inviting the legends of the program to share the sideline with him, but can't quite come up with a good one. Anyone?
Okay, some pertinent questions: Who gets Jimmy Clausen? Ara would be the sensible pick. After all, Ara does have the history of turning a first year starting QB into a Heisman winner. And as for Lou...well, he doesn't have all that much luck with all-everything superstar freshman quarterbacks and pre-season scrimmages.
Will Ara decide that Ross Browner is still the best defensive end on his team and try to find him a helmet and some pads? Will Lou make a change at halftime and bring in Barry Alvarez to replace Fazio? Which coach gets the "home" sideline? Will Ara's defense and Lou's running game rub off on Charlie's team? And will Home Run Inn Pizza, the new Blue-Gold game sponsor, be able to live up to the lofty standards set by Chick-Fil-A?
Weis has already done a great job turning the Blue and Gold game into a fun spectacle for fans and recruits alike. With this latest news, the rumored defensive switch, and numerous highly anticipated position battles, there just might be a shot this year at selling out the Stadium for the game. Make sure to get your tickets early this year.