Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Jason Whitlock Is An Idiot

I'm not sure if everyone has seen Jason Whitlock's masterpiece over at Page 2 today, but it basically stated that Charlie Weis shouldn't have got the contract he got because Ty Willingham didn't. It's also got some fun stuff about Brady Quinn's success being why Charlie is winning, and not vice-versa, and bringing up some really in-depth stats, like opponents' win-loss records. It's so good, I thought I'd break down it's awesomeness.

I believe it was the great Negro philosopher Don King who best summarized Charlie Weis' Notre Dame contract extension: "Only in America."

Because only in the land of apple pie, baseball and hypocrisy would a major sports organization have the audacity to give a white football coach a record contract for winning five of his first seven games just a few months after prematurely firing a black coach who won his first eight.

This is starting out well. When you quote Don King and bust out the race card within the first two paragraphs, there’s no way things can end badly.

You have to be impressed with Notre Dame's arrogance.
Critics be damned! You might think the firing of Ty Willie was racist. That was nothing. Wait until you see how we treat his successor.

For the record, I didn't have a problem with Notre Dame's firing Willingham. Yes, he deserved five years. But his firing didn't strike me as particularly racist, just shortsighted and unfair. Life is rarely fair, and we're certainly an instant-gratification society. The same factors could and do lead to the premature demise of white coaches (see Rick Carlisle and Larry Brown, Detroit Pistons).

Now, Weis' new 10-year contract, reportedly worth between $30 million and $40 million … that strikes me as racist. Because there's just no way Notre Dame, or any school for that matter, would do the same thing for a black coach.

The contract is racist? How do you know this, Jason Whitlock, with all of your connections from Kansas City to South Bend?

How do I know this?

Because Willingham was far more impressive in the first two months of his initial season than Weis has been in his, and all Tyrone got was a pat on the back.

That’s right, because there’s nothing more important than records. Ty’s team didn’t score an offensive touchdown for nearly the first month of the season, while Charlie’s first game was a statement win over a Pitt team in primetime, followed by gutting out a road win at Michigan, but I won’t talk about particulars without letting Mr. Whitlock explain himself.

Sit down before reading the next couple of sentences, because what I'm about to tell you will shock you.

Oh god.

Charlie Weis has not proven that he's the second coming of Joe Paterno, or Jimmy Johnson, or Pete Carroll, or even Bob Stoops. Charlie Weis has not won one football game that he wasn't supposed to.

Um, last time I checked, we were underdogs at Pitt and Michigan, so technically, we weren’t supposed to win those games. But again, keep going, Jason.

Notre Dame has beaten a mediocre Michigan team, a Dave Wannstedt-coached Pittsburgh team that is .500 only because the Big East is terrible, the third- or fourth-best team in the Mountain West Conference (BYU), a bad Purdue squad, and a Washington club with one victory (vs. Idaho).

Yep, and before the season started, people were “Eee gads!”-ing that the Irish would struggle to break even over their first six games, let alone have a winning record. It’s not exactly Charlie’s fault he whips teams so thoroughly they don’t bounce back, or that pundits (you, Mr. Whitlock) can’t predict shit, or the fact that in every game, win or loss, his offense has looked pretty damned good, with the exception of the second half against Michigan. With a team that went 6-6 last year and had no sort of consistency, the fact we know what we’re getting every week is pretty nice.

Please don't tell the CIA I told you this -- this information is classified top secret -- but the combined record of Weis' victims is 17-24.

That information is actually available to anyone willing to add up the records of Notre Dame’s opponents, but I guess that’s pretty funny. The CIA and Notre Dame are in a conspiracy to hold down Ty Willingham and promote stupid white coaches who have only won at nearly every stop they’ve coached at.

I know, I know. You turn on the TV, pick up the newspaper or click on the Internet, and you're led to believe that Notre Dame, under the ingenious direction of the "Great Weis Hope," is undefeated, having hammered USC, Texas and Virginia Tech all in the same weekend.

That’s about as far from the truth as possible. A lot of columnists wrote that we proved we were back on the national scene after the USC game, which we were, although again, I’m pretty sure nobody wrote that we were undefeated. Then again, when you’re losing season openers to BYU, hanging in there with the champs does feel like we’re hammering the top three teams in the country.

Sadly, it's not true. Weis' greatest accomplishment so far is that he led Notre Dame to a close loss against USC. Buddy Teevens (Stanford) and Karl Dorrell (UCLA) put the same thing on their résumés last year. But they're still waiting on their 10-year, $30 million-$40 million contracts.

Buddy Teevens and Karl Dorrell’s teams hadn’t lost by a combined 93 points the last three years, including last year’s terrible decision to call two trick plays in a row deep in Trojan territory when the Irish running game was churning out the yards and keeping Matt and Reggie off the field. Ty’s average margin of loss to USC: 31. Charlie’s: 3. Respectability is nice.

In case you've forgotten, in 2002, Tyrone ran up an 8-0 record against Maryland, Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State, Stanford, Pittsburgh, Air Force and Florida State. Six of those teams -- all but Stanford and Michigan State -- played in bowl games that year. The combined record, including bowl games, for those eight clubs was 60-43.

Again, we didn’t score an offensive touchdown for three games, and we dominated those teams with scores like 24-17, 25-23, 21-17, 14-6 and 21-14. That last one was against Air Force and was the worst game I’ve ever attempted to watch between two undefeated teams. Those sure were impressive wins, and it’s good to see Ty maintained that level of consistency through the next two and a half seasons.


And how 'bout this?

Willingham won those eight games with Carlyle Holiday, an option quarterback recruited by Bob Davie, running Willingham's West Coast passing offense.

Then, as we discussed at dinner tonight, promptly threw Carlyle under the bus the next season when things turned badly. Of course, he had Brady Quinn for the next season and a half, so things would probably improve. I wonder what Jason thinks about the whole Brady thing?

The Great Weis Hope is beating marginal teams with a Willingham-recruited quarterback -- Brady Quinn -- so talented that some NFL draft experts suggest he would be taken ahead of Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart.

…are you serious? This is where Jason gets hilarious. Nobody - NOBODY - talked about Brady going ahead of Leinart coming into this season. Brady would occasionally put up some nice numbers, but he was prone to happy feet and there wasn’t a single person who watched them play last year and said “Yeah, that Quinn guy…a lot better than Leinart.”

Charlie Weis has turned Brady Quinn into the pro prospect that he is. Ty had him for two years, and our offense was ranked 80th. 80th.

Yes, Weis is doing a nice job working with the offensive talent Willingham recruited. But while Willingham inherited offensive personnel recruited to run the football, Weis inherited players recruited to operate in a pro-style passing offense.

Forgive me for not being shocked that Weis is getting points out of all that mature, experienced talent Willingham left behind.

That mature, experienced talent sure wasn’t used last year. Jeff Samardjiza might as well not have been on the team, and MoSto wasn’t busting out 200-yard receiving games. Maybe if this great Ty Willingham offense had shown any signs of consistency – consistency, people, is all we’re looking for – he’d be around to continue slumming around in mediocrity. While I thought Ty should have maybe got another year to prove himself, there’s no definite that we’d be in any better shape this year than we were by the end of last.

Again, we were ranked 80th offensively.

I'm sorry if this column comes off like a vicious attack on Weis. It's not. I think Weis has a chance to be an outstanding head coach. I'm actually rooting for Weis to be successful. Two members of his coaching staff -- defensive coordinator Rick Minter and tight ends coach Bernie Parmalee -- go back to my Ball State playing days. Minter owns the best football mind I've ever been around, and he deserves another head coaching position. Parmalee, my former teammate, is as good a human being as you'll ever meet. I consider Minter and Parmalee friends. If Weis succeeds, it means my two friends will benefit.

It’s good to know that the success of Our Lady’s Racist University can somehow help you, Jason Whitlock.

Weis just needs to earn it, like everyone else. Weis and his handlers shouldn't get away with floating the story about his $1.5 million buyout and how that makes Notre Dame vulnerable to an NFL team stealing him. The media shouldn't act like Notre Dame had no choice but to hand Weis a new deal.

Of course we had a choice, but let’s look at the benefits of putting this deal out there. For one, rival schools can’t point to Weis leaving next year as a reason for recruits not to go to Notre Dame. Secondly, it adds a level of consistency to a program that’s looking pretty good, not just for this season, but for the future. Do you think if Ty Willingham was here that we’d currently have the number two recruiting class in the nation?

We didn’t have to extend the contract for that long, but something needed to be done to squelch the rumors. Sure, ND has a flare for the dramatic and used their bye week to their advantage, but don’t you think they’d do the same thing for Ty if NFL coaches were knocking on his door seven games into the season? Now, my memory isn’t the greatest, but I’m going to say that I don’t remember a lot of fliers being sent out on Willingham’s NFL eligibility.

If the New York Giants or any other NFL team decides it wants Weis as its coach, there's no amount of money that is going to stand in the way of that getting done. Only Weis can stop that deal by saying he'd prefer to remain a college coach.

Which he did, when he came here, but try explaining that to high school kids who are being pulled every which direction by opposing coaches and retarded columnists.

You think Weis is the only college coach the NFL has ever been interested in?


After winning a national championship, Stoops has had to turn down the NFL almost every year. You think an NFL team wouldn't give Carroll another opportunity?

Teams would be ecstatic to have either of those coaches. They both have really big, while not as big as Weis’s, contracts. I’m not sure why Carroll or Stoops jumping to the NFL has anything to do with Weis.

This is a gigantic overreaction by a school administration that should know better. They watched Willingham experience early success and then struggle. Notre Dame has no clue whether Weis can recruit or sustain success.

We currently have the number two recruiting class in the country. I’m not sure if I mentioned that earlier. Also, I’d like to point at Charlie’s Super Bowl rings as maybe a sign that he knows what he’s doing. While it’s true Charlie doesn’t have that big win on his resume, he also doesn’t have that big loss, and despite the fact there’s still some season left, Ty couldn’t exactly claim to be “Bad loss” free by the end of his first campaign.

Let's call this exactly what it is: greed and stupidity. Just like Terrell Owens -- but with far less proof -- Weis and his advisors reached the conclusion that the Great Weis Hope outperformed his contract. So Weis and Notre Dame concocted an excuse for the South Bend skies to rain money, and the fawning, lazy, hypocritical media co-signed for it.

Well, if the Eagles wanted to, they could have just let TO go, just like ND could have chosen to let Weis go. However, Weis isn’t crazy and doesn’t short-arm some catches, so ND thought it might be a good idea to keep their new prized coach around. Again, they didn’t have to give him the extension, and there are certainly some cons to it, but why not just confirm what both Charlie and the University wanted?

Maybe had Willingham tried push-ups and sit-ups in his driveway, he would still be Notre Dame's coach. Never mind. T.O. tried that.

I don’t exactly think TO is the best analogy to bring into this, but I’ll just ignore it. Maybe Jason would understand things better if he was actually around. This University, moreso or just as much as any other school, has a love affair with it’s alumni. The fact that a native son who worshipped ND football when he was here can come into town, resuscitate an offense and give the program a swagger again is huge. I’ve been harping on it for a while, but it’s nice to just have consistency. Give Weis a year or two to find that Reggie Bush, and it won’t just be consistency, but consistent greatness.

While Charlie’s contract might be a little extravagant, it’s not racist. It all comes down to the fact that Ty wasn’t getting any NFL interest, and the University didn’t have to react. If Ty had Carlyle Holiday putting up 40 points a game and didn’t need lucky bounces and breaks to win every game, then he might have been looked at the same way Weis is now, but he wasn’t.

You can blow smoke all you want, Jason, but the fact is in two years, I think this column will look a little ridiculous. Charlie’s going to be successful, and if he isn’t, you can claim a victory over ND, white people and all of the people who are mocking this column. I just don’t think we’re going to have to worry about that.

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