Friday, November 09, 2007

Cue Lou | by Jay

Right about now, nobody could use a pep talk more than Charlie Weis.

"Charlie, nothing's ever as good as it seems. And nothing's ever as bad as it seems. Somewhere in the middle is where reality falls.

Now it's been a bad year. We just lost to the University of the Navy and it broke one of the biggest streaks in college football history. But we can't worry about Navy, that's in the past. It's not like they can break the streak again.

Charlie you've made some mistakes. With these young guys on the team you needed to teach them to block and tackle and that's all about practice and repetition. A fisherman without tackle dudn't catch any fish, but a linebacker who can't tackle loses football games. You've made some mistakes. But everybody makes mistakes. When Notre Dame burnt to the ground, Father Sorin said his biggest mistake was that he didn't built it big enough. And when this team has been broken down and defeated, you're going to work harder to build the team back bigger and better than ever before, because that's the only way you can achieve greatness.

Never forget you've got a family. I'm not talking about your wife and kids, I'm talking about the Notre Dame family. One of the special things about the University of Notre Dame is that they will pick you up when you've stumbled. Now when you gather 'round the Thanksgiving dinner table, do you kick out the uncle who backed over the family dog? No, you don't. He made a mistake. And poor Rover paid the price. But you stand by your family, even when they make mistakes. Our fans may be disgruntled. Hell, I'm disgruntled, Charlie. But it's because I and everybody else under the Dome want to win just as badly as you. The good thing is football fans have a shorter memory than a goldfish. People may not remember your two BCS trips as well as they should, but the beauty of it is they'll forget these losses as soon as a couple wins start popping up.

The first step in winning the football game tomorrow is believing you can win the football game. Charlie, when the big ball in New York dropped at midnight last January your coaching abilities didn't go out the window. You've had a lifetime of success and that doesn't disappear overnight. Look around you, you're surrounded by a staff that didn't come here to lose, and players that didn't come here to lose. And we know you didn't come here to lose. So look on the bright side. You're all on the same page! That's a foundation for success. You believe you can win, your coaches believe you can win, your players believe you can win. And even when the players are doubting themselves you can inspire them to win. When you squeeze an orange, you get orange juice. But when you squeeze a Notre Dame player, you get a winner, because that's what's inside us all.

Now tomorrow, we've got a challenge. The Air Force Academy is a tough and disciplined group. They execute well and they've got more heart than just about any team I've ever seen. We're gonna get their best. But you can rest easy knowing they don't get to use their jets or sidewinder missiles on the field of play. Tomorrow, they're just another group of guys in pads. And I guarantee you this: they don't have a monopoly on heart. Because if I can bank on anything this year it's that this Notre Dame team does not quit. We have players who believe. They believe in the University of Notre Dame, and they believe in their coaches. They want to win, every second of every game.

When Rockne gave his famous talk he said let's get out there and win one for the Gipper. Well, we're at 1-8 right now, so we got our One. But nobody ever said we had to win just One for the Gipper. We can win a couple more and here's how it's gonna happen.

Tomorrow I want you to find a play that's successful. And then I want you to find another one. You string a couple of those plays together and you get a first down. A couple of those and you've got a touchdown. A couple of those and you've got a win. And a couple of those . . . well that's how you get a championship. But don't forget, it all started with that one successful play.

And always remember this: You're only one win away from starting an undefeated streak. Now get out there and beat Air Force."