Monday, October 03, 2005

Notre Dame and the pass to the right

[Update: Watch the video here. And just try to keep a dry eye.]

My alma mater has generally not had a big-time football team in recent decades, and as such I'm not much of a college football fan. But I think I'll be rooting for Notre Dame this year.

Craig Newmark tells the story:
Before last Saturday's game against Washington, Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis visited a ten-year-old boy dying from inoperable brain cancer. Weis asked the boy if he could do anything for him. The boy said he wanted Notre Dame's first play from scrimmage to be a "pass to the right".

The boy passed away Friday.

On Saturday Notre Dame kicked off to Washington, Washington drove to the Notre Dame 1-yard line, and fumbled. Notre Dame recovered. Notre Dame, first and ten, from its own 1.

Now some very generous talk with a dying boy is one thing. But the boy is gone. And this is NCAA Division One football. Real life, not Hollywood, in one of the most pressure-packed jobs in America. What did Charlie Weis do?

He kept his promise. Charlie Weis called a pass to the right and it went for thirteen yards.