Friday, September 02, 2005

Go Irish!

Originally uploaded by The Gulde Family.

One characteristic that benefits all athletes is the ability to play with abandon. Players are said to have "left it all on the field" when they've expended a total effort.

Based on this picture, it looks like Francis might have what it takes. (By the way, the smaller version to the right doesn't do her justice. Click on the picture to blow it up and see the full francis scowl.)

She and I have been throwing the ball around and talking about Notre Dame football, getting ready to cheer for the Irish in the opener tomorrow night. Most Notre Dame kids grow up knowing one ND fight song: the Victory March. Based on daily repetition, there's a strong chance Francis will know the Victory March, Hike Notre Dame, Irish Backs, On Down the Line, and the Alma Mater - all before she's two.

I didn't set out to be one of those parents who brainwashes his kids. I can't help myself, though.

* UPDATE - 9/6/05 *

Because the game kicked off at 7:00, Francis only watched part of the first quarter. I think she was asleep before the Irish took the lead for good. For those of you who don't follow college football or the Irish very closely, Notre Dame beat the University of Pittsburgh 42-21 on Saturday night. The game featured the debut of two head coaches: Charlie Weis for the Irish, and Dave Wannstedt for the Panthers. Having endured ten depressing years of ND football, this game was like something out of a dream.

Notre Dame went down 7-0 on a longish pass to Pitt's best receiver running a post route right by one of our untested cornerbacks. This is nothing new. In the last ten years, I've probably seen that scenario play out thirty times. The difference came when the defense adjusted and limited that guy to three more catches for short yardage.

ND's defense is not what people are talking about, though. See, Charlie Weis is this guy ND hired away from the New England Patriots. The Patriots, with Charlie coordinating their offensive attack, have won the last few Superbowls in the national football league. He is understood to be intelligent and creative when it comes to moving the ball down the field and into the endzone on offense. At least against Pitt, Weis's experience translated into a more potent ND offense. ND's scored six touchdowns on Saturday. That's a pretty good statistic, but it means a lot more when you consider that it took the previous coach an average of four games to score that many touchdowns.

One game doesn't make a whole season (especially not a game against Pitt), but I'm optimistic about this team and those to come. I just feel like ND football is in the hands of a guy who cares as much as I do whether we win or lose.

Another thing about Weis: he never played college football. He was a backup lineman in high school who attended Notre Dame as a student. He was a student in the stands from 1974-1977. I love that.


imron said...

while chatting about sports, i did finally see the stacking video. she has a mean "spike" of the ring rack after she's finished with it. also, is francy left handed?

Laura Donoghue said...

Wow -- that girl looks like she has what it takes to suit up -- she has the pre-snap "get outta my house" ferocity of a nose tackle.

imron said...

on the update, congratulations Matt on ND beating Mich - that must have felt very nice!