Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Post-Halloween: The Dark Side

I saw a fair number of Jedi Knights and Darth Vaders collecting candy at my front door last night, which got me to thinking …

Charlie Weis has got to be a Star Wars fan. No, not because he looks like Jabba the Hut. That would be too obvious. It’s because, as all Trojan Jedi know, Weis has joined the Dark Side of the Force. We and the rest of college football should beware.

You think this is silly? Sure it is… but maybe not so much.

After calling out Weis a few times for saying stupid stuff, it appears that perhaps he’s not that stupid. Yes, we respect him for being an intelligent offensive coach, but maybe he’s saying stupid stuff on purpose, to make us think he’s stupid, while he pieces together his plan to take over the galaxy … I mean, the BCS … while we stand here laughing with our fingers pointing at his fat tummy.

You think this is paranoia? Certainly it is… but maybe not so much. As Yoda has warned us: “Beware of the Dark Side.”

To be sure, Trojan Jedi aren’t the only ones who recognize the subversive, Palpatine-like behavior of the “Irish” head coach. Greg Couch of the Chicago Sun-Times has a sense of what Weis is really up to in South Bend.

Life as Notre Dame's football coach is a week-to-week existence. You are a hero, you are a god. And then you are pounded by Michigan, and you are doubted. […]

That much I know. And then there are things I suspect: Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis has said recently that NFL teams have called to see if he'd consider leaving South Bend and that the Irish aren't being treated fairly in the polls. Maybe those are simple statements, disconnected. But they are suspicious.

Is Weis playing a power game with Notre Dame? […] Maybe Weis, who mixes thin skin and thick ego, agreed with all the savior talk but doesn't want to put up with the other stuff Irish coaches face. […]

Last week, reported that ''at least two owners'' had contacted Weis during Notre Dame's off week to see if he could be pulled away. Weis confirmed it but said, ''I'm not going anywhere.''

Hmm. Two owners? How did the reporter find that out? Did two owners just happen to leak that in the same week? Possibly. Incredible coincidences happen. […] But it would seem more likely that Weis, whose autobiography was ghost-written by another writer, planted that story. […]

Planted it, confirmed it, then reconfirmed his love of Notre Dame.

''Everyone knows I'm staying here until they fire me or I die,'' he said last week at his regular news conference. […]

His pledge of allegiance to Notre Dame was the same as a guy telling his wife that women at work keep asking him out, but ''Don't worry, honey, I married you for life, and I'm not going anywhere.'' Would a wife feel comforted by that? And why would the guy say it in the first place?

They still love Weis at Notre Dame, now that time has passed since the Michigan game. But it turns out the love isn't based solely on his magnetic personality. Also, other coaches can match his genius. UCLA has less talent than Notre Dame but almost won anyway. It took a miraculous comeback for the Irish to beat Michigan State, a terrible team with a terrible coach. […]

Weis is pumping poll voters to help ensure the Irish a BCS bid. […] That's what Weis needs.

But maybe this season isn't as smooth as it appears. If the Irish beat USC, then Weis will be king. But if they lose the way they did to Michigan?

As Weis said, no matter how many times he tells NFL teams he's staying, darned if they don't keep calling.

''Sometimes they just don't get it,'' he said. ''But I keep on giving the same answer.''

Hmm, indeed. We like to criticize Weis, but putting Karl Dorrell and John L. Smith in the same solar system with the “Irish” head coach? That's just wrong. But, I digress …

Couch may not be a Star Wars nerd, but it’s clear he’s got Weis pegged as a subversive conspirator who feigns loyalty to gain personal power. This is exactly how a Star Wars nerd would describe a Sith Lord. I know, because I am a Star Wars nerd.

Again, as Yoda has warned us: “Never underestimate the power of the Dark Side.”

You think this is silly? Of course it is … but maybe not so much.

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