Thursday, August 23, 2007

Clausen

This story was written over a week ago. I don't feel like finding the sources from the Tribune.If you want them, I'll get them.

So, when the Irish take the field against Georgia Tech on September 1st, a couple of things are going to be up in the air:
1. My 2.5 month sobriety streak
2. The quarterback situation at Notre Dame

Sorry, the sobriety thing is a little too personal I guess, but I like to let my reader's know that, yes, even I struggle with certain vices. I'm more like "the normal, every day peasants" than you think. Getting to the point, I've taken great interest in this quarterback situation for two reasons. First, I love Notre Dame football; there I said it. I've always been critical of the program and some of the decision making, but that’s what happens when you grow up 10 minutes from the campus. I want the Irish to exceed their very low expectations this year, and I think they have a decent chance of doing it if their young players can step up. Charlie Weis is an easy target, I know, but he is a damn good football coach. I've been quick to call him out when he's gotten to cocky over the last couple years and let his ego negatively affect his in game decision making. If you don't think Charlie's been guilty of that, watch some of the USC game out in LA last year. He and Pete Carroll were in a "I've got a bigger dick and have more power than you" match for the entire first half of the game. You'd think Pete would have learned his lesson after that national title game against Texas, but that’s for another column.

Saying all that, Charlie’s done wonders for the program with mid-level talent. Trust me; Charlie is good for Notre Dame if only because he's been able to shut up the media and Notre Dame fans in South Bend. Literally, no one gets attacked more than a Notre Dame football coach after a loss. Trying to explain how insane it is really isn't even worth my time. Even Indiana University, with our beloved Hoosiers basketball, isn’t as bad. My alma mater was calling for Mike Davis' head two years after he led them to the national championship game, but it wasn't quite the same as what you see in South Bend.

Guys like Holtz, Davies, and Willingham had to keep winning. Their first let down, and they were gone. Patience isn't a virtue over at Notre Dame, its a sin. Winning is not an option, it is a priority. So, what Weis has done should be applauded. He controls the South Bend media now. Nothing he does is second guessed, and I dare say that a .500% season wouldn't mean blood for those sharks over at the Tribune, and WNDU. I think that suggests Charlie is doing something right. How he keeps the soberly challenged Jeff Jeffers at bay is beyond me. Jeffers hard hitting questions are enough to floor even the strongest (or fattest) of men. If you're asking yourself whether or not I'm being sarcastic with the Jeffer's comment, I'm smarter than you.

So, ya I love the Irish, and am intrigued about this quarterback situation for that reason. More importantly though, I am intrigued because I'm competitive and enjoy when people have to say " you were right, I was wrong, you win, you're better than me......and a lot funnier" Along time ago, Logan revealed that Clausen had "a minor procedure" done on his throwing elbow. People over at Irish Eyes were up in arms. How could this shitty little blog know this information before national sports media? Everyone thought we had to be a bunch of full of shit losers from South Bend, who were just trying to create a little stir. I was even attacked, on a personal level, for defending Logan's story. The next day, ESPN had it up as a top story on their website. We were linked on Deadspin, with the help of Wizard of Odds, and our blog counter nearly exploded. The first comment under our link on Wizard of Odds blog was from a guy named Penn State Football, who runs a discussion board on Yahoo!. He said :"What the freak is "Log's Blog"? Come on, Wiz, what kind of source is that? Even if this ultimately turns out to be true, linking to that blog is weak." Now, I don't feel the need to comment too much on this ridiculous quote, but notice the part that says "even if this ultimately turns out to be true", and form your own opinion.

The next comment on the blog read, "Not true. This has been verified with the coaching staff." Man, I bet this guy wishes his computer would have stopped working for 24 hours, so that it could have been confirmed by the mighty ESPN. Stop posting anonymously people, it takes the fun out of my blog war victories. I like to know the opponents I'm destroying.

So, like I said, I want to give these guys an "I told ya so." Yes Clausen did have elbow surgery. I still believe Clausen won't see a snap this year; nor do I think he should. The South Bend Tribune, a couple days ago, reported that Clausen was the only quarterback not throwing any pass over 15 yards, and today Charlie came out saying that he's going to keep the starter quarterback "a secret", so that Georgia Tech can't prepare for the Irish attack. First, that’s bullshit. Charlie hasn’t named a starter because he doesn’t know who in the hell it’s going to be. Jimmy Clausen is the best QB prospect of the last decade, so to suggest he wouldn’t be the #1 with ND’s current qb situation is absurd. After Quinn’s departure, the quarterback position was literally up for grabs. Clausen arrived in South Bend in a strech Hummer Limo, which dropped him off at the College Football Hall of Fame.

Side Note: Just real quick, imagine Clausen arriving at SBI, getting into the limo, and telling the driver “Away to the College Football Hall of Fame we go.” To which a confused South Bend limo driver, who’s lived in the city for 15 years, says “What’s that?”

Suffice to say, Clausen arrived in South Bend as the “next coming”. He was “ready for the NFL” as a junior in High School. He was enrolled at ND during last years spring semester to get acclimated with the school, start weight training, participate in spring practice, and be spoon fed by Big Charlie.Sharpley, Jones, or Clausen? I don’t think that’s even a question if Clausen wasn’t still a question mark himself. . I hope he does play, but I think the coaching staff and Clausen’s camp are seriously considering their options. Does he want to risk future injury or make sure he’s completely healed? Is Weis willing to risk ND’s future on a year where everyone knows the team’s parts aren’t good enough to win a national championship?”

Ultimately, I believe Clausen redshirts this year, and if he doesn’t , I think it’s a shame. From all reports, it seems like he needs to take a year off to heal properly.

A friend, who’s close to Notre Dame’s program, said this about Clausen after I asked him whether or not Clausen plays this year.

“I think he will start on Sep 1st. and will never sit a game in his college career. If the injury is being somewhat hidden, then that is a different story, but baring injury, regardless of who the "best & most-ready" quarterback is. Clausen starts & never sits again even if he’s only 90% for multiple reasons.

#1) and most obvious; is the hype. {He} might as well be getting paid by ND... too much pressure from the powers that be to get him in there. Do I think its right or he should? No. But do I think he will? Yes.”

This quote sums up the attitude and atmosphere at ND. My bud basically suggests that Clausen will play, even if he’s only 90% healed. So, I guess my point is this: Logan broke the story about Clausen’s procedure and it was ultimately proven true. Now, people say our site is going to lose credibility because Clausen might not sit out this year as our source suggested?

How does this mean we are less credible? Our source said Clausen had surgery, and he did. Remember, that is the most important part of the article, as its something that had already happened. If Logan wanted to protect his own ass, he could have left the story right there. However, his source also suggested that Clausen would be out the entire year because of it. He knew that the source was reliable and wouldn’t make up some “phantom surgery”, so why would he suspect that his statement about Clausen’s status would be any less legitimate? I mean at that time, the game plan moving forward was to red shirt Clausen, and I still think that’s ultimately going to happen.

As the season approaches, we still haven’t heard a definite answer on Clausen, and many of Charlie’s answers and some reports from inside practice smell funny. Clausen’s season is definitely in question, and I think he only plays for the reasons mentioned in the above quote: pressure from the powers that be. The pressure to win at ND is very intense, and Clausen might be sent out there even if he shouldn’t be. I don’t think our story losses any credibility if Clausen does suit up. We can’t be expected to predict the future, we can only report on what’s happened, and use legitimate sources to suggest what, at that time, was ND’s plan moving forward. When the news came out about Clausen’ surgery, everything indicated he was going to miss the year. Of course Charlie wasn’t going to come out and say Clausen might not play this year, it would have only meant unnecessary media attention. From a journalistic perspective I hope it turns out to be true, but if not I’m sorry. As a fan of the team, I hope we have to eat our words.

Either way, I stand by the story.

6 Comments:

mjenks said...

I'm actually hoping that Clausen sits this year. If he's not 100%, why chance an injury? And, haven't the powers at ND figured out that all the hype from the national media about a talented quarterback shouldn't affect whether he's ready to go or not? They could ask their new Quarterbacks coach about it if they need a refresher.

Here's a little fact about Penn State: they can't expand their stadium because then fans won't be able to see the surrounding mountains from their seats. Now that shit's weak.

Bish said...

If Clausen plays at 90% I still dont think any credibility has been lost. At any other school, a 5 star, once in a decade prospect wouldnt see the light of day until he was 100%. There is no way you could account for the fact that ND would possibly make a decision like this. THey might be a tad bit insane if they play a true freshman, who is not healthy, and a "franchise mode" quarterback. Its madness!THey could be throwing their future down the drain if he is reinjured this year. LET HIM HEAL DAMNT!

Daris said...

exactly and exactly. it seems like Crewcut isn't going to carry through with his orginal idea of redshirting/sitting clausen for the year.

Supposedly Charlie was livid about this news getting leaked. He is so stubborn that I can see him throwing Clausen out there just to say "those idiots who reported he's going to miss the entire year were wrong."

I just hope he doesn't let his ego get in the way of this crucial decision.

Guy said...

Great stuff, Daris.

mjenks said...

I kinda like the nickname "Crewcut".

JaMarco said...

Well there is always help out there in the form of counseling or you could always find some girl’s shoulder to cry on, maybe in two clausen can play.