Pete DiPrimio, sports columnist and college beat writer for The News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind., takes his best shots on the world of Notre Dame football.

Wednesday, November 15

Good Body Guards Are Hard To Find

Coaching is a tough business, and not just because you can get fired for a few too many losses. The injury to Penn State's Joe Paterno shows that even standing on the sidelines can be dangerous.

Charlie Weis understands that as well as anyone. He remembers twice during his New England days getting rocked by opposing players.

He was coming off stomach by-pass surgery and needed a cane for support. He told the two backup quarterbacks, Damon Huard and Rowan Davie, that their job was to protect him. They were to stand on either side of him and ensure he stayed safe. Nothing else was more important.

"You're not playing," Weis said, "so just protect me."

Instead, Weis twice got flattened -- once against the New York Giants, once against the Buffalo Bills.

"I got run over," Weis said. "I went right to my back. Fortunately, I didn't get hurt in either one."

Pain was left for the next day's game film review session.

"Not only did I get humiliated as they rewound me getting run over about a hundred times, but you can bet Damon and Rowan were taking a verbal beating from me at the same time."

The gist of that verbal message -- one job, one job, and you screwed it up.

So what does this have to do with Saturday's Notre Dame-Army game? If you have to ask, you'll never understand.


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