|Kelly and his lads are working|
to bring toughness back to the Fighting Irish
After 4 weeks that included 2 heartbreaking losses followed by 4 hours of frustration inside ND Stadium two days ago, it seems as though we are still a team without an identity. The most recent chapter of the 2010 campaign saw us get outplayed by a clearly superior opponent. There is no question that we are not on the same level as the teams with numbers listed next to their names. So, where is our season headed? What does the 1-3 start really mean? How does it help us see the big picture?
Looking at our first 4 games from this perspective leads me to believe that our rough start can be summed up in two words: “growing pains.” As Coach Kelly has pointed out, we have already played 4 very physical teams. In the process, hopefully we have learned what kind of toughness it takes to win week in and week out against quality opponents. Hopefully we have ultimately taken a step forward by taking three steps back…
It is now clear that the 2010 Fighting Irish will not be remembered as an elite team. Even so, they still have a chance to be remembered as a team that sparked the revival of Notre Dame Football. Sure, it will be painful along the way… but since when does anything worthwhile ever come easily? As our coaches and players get knocked down and kicked in the face, they learn what it will take to pick themselves back up, strap their golden helmets back on, wipe the blood from their mouths, the mud from their faces, bear down, and earn it. Step by step, this team can begin to realign the words "Fighting Irish" with the images of mental and physical toughness they once inspired. It has been a painful start to a long process, but I do believe that tremendous changes have begun to take shape. Dedication, discipline, and steadfast resolve are now the keys to bringing Notre Dame “back to where it needs to be.”
My advice to the Fighting Irish Faithful is this: Don’t hang your head on Coach Kelly. As painful as it is, try to be patient. Try to look at the big picture and take this season for what it is, a starting point. Try not to lose hope. Try to keep the faith. It may not be easy, but the pain will make it that much sweeter when we do finally return to glory. For now, it seems as though it’s going to take slightly longer than 5 minutes. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t take as long as 5 years.