A Nice Portrayal Of Weis

What looked like a possible smear piece ended up turning out alright. Actually, it was even better than alright. Though they had to mix in a few beeps here and there because of bad language, the segment on CBS's 60 Minutes portraying Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis showed why the Irish have the right man for the job, and why recruits should want to come to South Bend.

The expletive promos for the Sunday night news program made one wonder how the story would turn out. Even Weis wasn't totally sure, though he was told the previews of him cussing like a truck driver on the sideline was used to garner interest for people to tune in. He said following his Sunday press conference, "I guess we'll see tonight."

What everyone saw was an intense-passionate man that demands everyone aims for the bullseye in his program on the field and in the classroom. You also saw a confident man that doesn't care what people think, as he agreed to do the segment showing all sides of his personality, good and bad.

The story started out calling Weis the big man on campus. That his girth was only exceeded by his personality. It seemed like the story was going to live up to the negative advertisements. While they tried to stay objective, it was difficult not to sound like it was a Weis puff piece. They also called him imaginative and daring, a great teacher and motivator, a man who's main virtues are zeal and commitment, a guy that gets players to play at a higher level.

They said Weis, who is a little short on self control, patience and humility, is the man who restored credibility to the Notre Dame fight song. That his swearing on the sideline is New Jersey language, and they even got quarterback Brady Quinn to try and imitate Weis' devastating look. The face that you don't want to let down, not because he will yell, but because you are inspired to perform. It's also the same face that Quinn wouldn't call a jerk to, even though he admitted Weis can certainly be one.

Weis is 17-4 as the Irish head coach, taking over a team that was stuck in a downward spiral. He told CBS he turned things around by being unbearable when he first arrived on campus, that he tried to get players to break down. Mostly everyone survived, and the team displays the coaches cocky personality on Saturdays.

How about the mustache Weis sported when graduating from Notre Dame in 1978? Or that a man that doesn't take anything from anybody was Bill Parcells' "whipping boy" when he first joined his coaching staff. When Weis tried to throw out his opinion one day during a meeting, Parcells told him that you've been in the league for five minutes so no one cares what you think.

The program showed that Weis has his own whipping boy in young special teams and linebacker coach Brian Polian. Twice they showed Weis verbally assaulting his assistant during a football game. Polian probably holds Weis in the same regard that Weis holds Parcells and Bill Belichick. "It's nice to dish it out," Weis said.

Weis was asked if he had a high opinion of himself. He said "in coaching if you don't think you're good you have no chance." He then basically said he couldn't be out coached. "I wouldn't give that up."

The story touched on his special-needs daughter Hannah, who Weis said he has "learned more from than anybody," and his gastric surgery complications that gave him nerve damage and that noticeable limp.

While it showed Weis yelling at his players for making mistakes, it also showed him pumping up freshman safety Jashaad Gaines during a practice, telling the youngster that "you have all sorts of ability, lets just see if we can get you on the field."

Then there is the 10-year deal worth a reported 35 million. "I'm doing okay," Weis said.

With the winning, University President John Jenkins has given Weis a free pass on the language, saying that he has heard language like that in football locker rooms for years, though he joked about Weis constantly going to confession for his sins.

The segment ended with Weis saying "success is judged on winning championships. I'm not a very patient man and one can't happen soon enough."

If and when he wins a National Title, Weis will have to prepare himself for a few more national television stories.

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