Time Magazine isn’t the place you’d usually look to find valuable insight on the plight of Notre Dame football. Yet, even the venerable magazine took the time to weigh in on the plight of the Fighting Irish football team.
Here are a few snippets from the article, slightly amended by me:
What’s wrong with Notre Dame?
Notre Dame’s winning football tradition began in the ’20’s. As the
glory years rolled on, the teams in the bright green jerseys acquired
an air of invincibility. Football fans who had never been in Indiana,
much less in South Bend, adopted the team and learned to cheer, cheer
for old Notre Dame. In recent years the cheers were mingled with an
occasional catcall, for Notre Dame was running into trouble. So what is
wrong with Notre Dame?
One of the changes is the fact that far fewer Catholic high-school
football stars automatically long to go to Notre Dame. Too many other
schools with bright new reputations are making too many good offers.
Rival recruiters score points by warning boys that Notre Dame’s
strait-laced supervision eliminates a carefree campus life; e.g.,
freshmen have a 10 p.m. curfew. After one mauling of Notre Dame this
year, a Chicago priest cracked to a Protestant friend: “I didn’t mind
so much that the lad was kicking those extra points against Notre Dame,
but I did mind his crossing himself before each one.”
Caught between a tough schedule and tough academic standards, Weis
may be able to produce an occasional good season, but the golden days
of Notre Dame are likely to be gone forever. One thing is certain: Weis, who can return to the pros at any time, will never be content
merely to lose honorably at Notre Dame. Says he: “I will not coach a
team unless it has the potential to be great.”