This time next week, a few hundred thousand people will be descending upon South Bend, and preparing to fill Notre Dame stadium to capacity for the opening of the 2009 football season. But this weekend, the Notre Dame football team will “go silent.”
“The University of Notre Dame football team will ‘go silent’ over the next four days as it continues its preparations for the 2009 season opener against Nevada on Saturday, Sept. 5. The next news coming out of the program will emerge on Tuesday, Sept. 1, when head coach Charlie Weis unveils the depth chart and hold (sic) his traditional Tuesday press conference at 12 noon ET.”
That’s what I’m talking about…
There is nothing cooler than when football teams go radio silent. I always think that the group must all be growing Rocky IV beards and working out in 95-degree-heated sauna rooms with Foreigner montage music playing as they prepare to embark on “the mission.”
While we won’t hear anything out of CW and the crew this weekend, he did give us some insight into what was going down this weekend in his Thursday press conference:
“The biggest things we go through this weekend, are getting ready for a game operation. Taking them at 2:38 when the first guys go out. Making sure everybody goes through the hole pregame from 2:38 to 3:43, including shaking hands four minutes before the game starts. That really fires me up… We’re actually going to practice that, too. When we get to next week, I don’t want to be worrying about guys not knowing how we do things, or exactly how it runs down. You say pregame warm-ups, that could be a fire drill if you don’t practice it.
“Now it turns into mental and pregame, as if we’re going to play a game on Saturday. We’ll go through our Saturday game day pregame operations, do some special team call outs, do some carded Nevada periods, and then Sunday they come in, we’ll watch a bunch of Nevada tape, run and lift, and before you know it, it’s Tuesday and now it’s for real.”
Okay, so maybe it isn’t quite as exciting as dead lifting boulders and out-running a Mercedes driven by Russian spies up a snow-covered mountain. But practicing pregame is important, too. The season opener is an overwhelming experience, even for Notre Dame students not playing football.
Freshman or not, it’s important to walk through the basics, prepare to prepare if you will, so that remembering where you stand during stretch is one of the last things you need to focus on.
We’ve all got final preparations to make. I suggest we all get started.