I know I am a week late on this post, but it has taken me some time to really get over what happened October 15th.
As everyone knows, the Irish are having far from a great season, as they have been nothing short of awful this season. I have been faithful in my fandom, never showing signs of the season ending and still able to show some positives in the midst of all the negative. Well, after Stanford, that negativity has reached an all-time high. The team itself was a mix-up of different personnel and different play calling through the course of the game. I blame this solely on the coaching staff, as it was apparent that they were trying to prove a point to the players and the fans that they would take this mediocrity no more.
What they did not realize, was that the personnel switches they were making were at the key positions, through out key points in the game. These kids need to find a rhythm in the game and get adjusted. Point 1. Why the hell would Brian Kelly send Malik Zaire in the game when the Irish have a 10-7 lead? I understand that Kizer was struggling, but hasn’t the rest of the team the entire season? Kizer has been the one thing that has stayed consistent and exceptional, as he has been able to throw the pigskin all over the field and put up video game numbers. And of course, Zaire comes in and struggles (not sure that even sums it up). Imagine that! He has not played any snaps in games for 3 weeks! A couple plays later there was a safety in the back of the end zone that led to the unraveling of the team for the rest of the game. Point 2. When the Irish needed a game-winning drive to win the game with under 2:00 left, who did BK go with? Yes, you guessed it. DESHONE KIZER. Now, tell me that doesn’t sound like a coach telling the world that he made the wrong move. And once again, DeShone had not seen minutes since early in the second half, so he was again very cold and not in a rhythm. What happened? The Irish have lost yet another game.
These mistakes are why I blame this loss on the lack of coaching. I like Brian Kelly, I really do. I think that he is a great offensive mind who knows how to get recruits and put up numbers. What he isn’t very good at? Defense and player management. He has done this switching in and out previously, with Tommy Rees and Everett Golson. The only reason that it worked was because Rees had prior starting experience. This also was a one trick pony that I thought and hoped Brian understood.
Now, on to the best part of the weekend. Other than the loss, Thursday the 13th was my birthday. I was more than lucky to have a surprise gift from my amazing girlfriend Jordan of post game on-field experience. Now, this is something that many dream and few get to do. This was something that I have wanted to do since I was a middle schooler and started my Irish fandom. To say that I was like “A kid in a candy store” was an understatement.
Here is where you get to decide just how happy this guy appears.
Standing on that field was like standing in Heaven. All of the greats that have played on that field. Tim Brown, Michael Floyd, Rudy, Golden Tate, Jaylon Smith, etc. These are all guys that I have seen 46 plus rows up, but never been able to relate to the view on the field. God’s Country, Notre Dame never looked sweeter than it did that evening.
So, the loss was another awful loss in this 2016 season that hurts. BUT, my season was made. My dream to be on that field came true. Huge shouts to Jordan for making this all possible. I may blog and write that the Irish suck, but they really are the only team that I know and will love for as long as I live.
Those are memories that you remember forever. The 2016 season is not.