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  • Too Old for Hide and Seek

    by Mike Coffey

    From Deep Throat on down, a lot of good has been done by anonymous sources over the years. But the age of the Internet has brought them out of the woodwork like carpenter ants from a falling tree, and the degree of accountability has fallen in direct proportion to their multiplication.

    And now, Weis vs. the Media has finally brought out its entry. In a recent article, Mike Freeman of CBS Sportsline referenced a “prominent Notre Dame booster” to comment on how Charlie Weis allegedly treats the people around him. Here’s what that person, whose name was withheld in “fear of reprisals from Charlie Weis”, had to say about the coach:

    “Am I happy with his X’s and O’s? The answer is yes, without question. How could I not be? But am I happy with how he has treated some key alumni and supporters like myself? No. He has treated some of us horribly. He has already alienated some boosters, alumni, members of the athletic department and others around him. He at times can be arrogant, moody and nasty.”

    I don’t know who this “prominent Notre Dame booster” is. But we’re fortunate at NDN that we get a pretty broad range of readership, so my chances are relatively good this guy reads our site or knows someone who reads it (or someone who can read it to him).

    So I’ll take my chances and talk to him via this medium. In the words of the commercial, today I salute you, Mr. Prominent Notre Dame Booster. And I’m here to tell you:

    You’re a shitheel.

    Yes, I realize profanity can be unbecoming of a person of my advancing age who strives for professionalism, but I believe in simplicity in communication.

    So you’re a shitheel.

    When I was at Notre Dame, I learned about something called accountability. When you’re asked to do something, you’re held accountable for the results. When you ask something of someone, you’re accountable for that request.

    That’s why when the Call for Change letter was being circulated, 412 of us signed it with our real names and everything. I wanted to see changes made at my alma mater, and I felt asking for such changes anonymously was not the Notre Dame way. So my name was on it. The first signature, as a matter of fact.

    (Yes, I mention that a lot. I’m rather proud of it)

    Did I think there was a possibility there might be blowback? Sure. I was in the final stages of a book on ND basketball, and having ND withdraw its support for the work would have been quite the kick in the fruitstand. I like going to ND football games, and I’m sure ND could have tweaked my lottery results if they really wanted.

    But as I said, it’s not the ND way. If you want to criticize someone, you look them in the eye and do it, and you’re willing to put your name behind it.

    But now we have you, Mr. Prominent Notre Dame Booster. You give a lot of money to the school, and you most likely get perks associated with your “generosity”, which you obviously enjoy. But Charlie Weis has put your nose out of joint. You want to say so, but you reeeeeeally like the perks you get for being so Prominent in your Boosterism.

    So you decide to have your cake and eat it, too. You whine to a journalist about how injured your precious feelings are, which enables that journalist to write a lame attack piece. You get your pound of flesh without jeopardizing your football tickets or sideline passes or whatever undeserved gratifications you get from Notre Dame, while also enjoying the satisfaction of knowing you got back at Charlie Weis for being such a jerk.

    In short, Mr. Prominent Notre Dame Booster, you’re sackless. You’re a wuss. When other people put up, you shut up. You sit in your prime seats with your parking passes and team access, smugly thinking how you gave that big meanie what-for in the press but didn’t have to actually look him in the eye and back it up.

    How wonderful for you. And how awful for a Notre Dame education, which takes a major hit being used the way you’re using it. I know mine is worth less right now than it was this morning because it turns out that a gutless worm like you may be in possession of a similar sheepskin.

    If this cowardly behavior is indicative of how you live your life, it’s no wonder you have to buy your access with money because the chances people would pay attention to you without it are certainly much lower. Say what you want about the SBT writers that brought Weis’ wrath upon themselves, but at least they had the balls to stand behind their article and look Weis in the face while doing so. You can’t even do that much.

    I call upon you to make amends, Mr. Prominent Notre Dame Booster. Show us you’re really a Notre Dame Man (or Woman). Pick up the phone, call Charlie Weis, and acknowledge yourself as the source of the quotes. Be enough of a human being to be honest in your dealings with Notre Dame and its football coach. Don’t pat people on the back one minute and stick a knife in it the next. Show us you have integrity. Show us your Notre Dame tuition wasn’t wasted.

    Signed,

    Mike Coffey
    Notre Dame Class of 1991

    (see, using your name isn’t so hard)

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