Monday, November 23, 2009

Stage 5: Acceptance | by Pat

Probably one of the toughest things to watch last Saturday wasn't ND's lack of run defense, but the sight of Charlie tearing up as he walked out onto the field, arm in arm with the senior leaders of the team. It seemed to confirm every suspicion that Charlie knows he's gone and was getting emotional over one final walk out of the tunnel. And while that still may be the case, Charlie offered that what got him choked up was the fact the players wanted him to lead them out onto the field.

"You would have to ask them about that. I had no idea they were going to do that. They just told me they wanted to come back after the 33 seniors were introduced. They wanted to come back. I was standing in the back because I hobble out there as I always do. And getting up front for what? And they said we're walking out together, and so be it. That's what you want, that's what we'll do.

I looked at Olsen, had a couple of choice words for him. Because it was probably his idea. But it was nice that they wanted that, they wanted to do that...

I'm pretty emotional. I just try not letting you see it. You know, the fact here's the only thing that got me was the fact that they wanted to do this and they wanted me up there, that meant a lot to me. You know, that's all I can say, you know.

I'm really proud of these kids. I'm really disappointed for them, especially those guys. Those guys up at the front of that list, I really, really truly feel bad for them.
Regardless of if Charlie was thinking about the looming end of his Notre Dame career prior to the game, he certainly had some sobering and honest thoughts about it during his Sunday presser when reminded of the words he spoke at his introductory press conference back in December of 2004.
Q. I'll make it real quick. The comment about 6 and 5 is not good enough.

COACH Charlie Weis: And I still agree with that.

Q. And so my question is, then, do you feel that because that's not good enough, is there a justification on the university's part to call an end to this era?

COACH Charlie Weis: You know something, if they decide to make a change, I'd have to say that I'd have a tough time arguing with that. They decided to make a change. I'd have a tough time arguing with that. Because 6 and 5 isn't good enough. Especially when you've lost five games by a touchdown or less. And several 3 point games and you're right down to the wire. My intent is to be here. But if that were the rationale, it would be tough for me to argue with that point.
And so it goes as we head into the final week of the season and likely the final week of the Charlie Weis era at Notre Dame.