Trying times test character, resolve and unity of purpose. The hallowed Cathedral of College Football known as Notre Dame was currently in the midst of having their personal faith in their Catholic beliefs tested by the most hellish football season ever experienced in Northern Indiana.
Their coach was having his intelligence, competency and body fat ratio constantly questioned. Fans wondered if this season's ineptitude was some sort of payback for bad mouthing the fine character of their previous coach.
Players quit and transferred. Fans looked to the heavens for guidance, lost in the disbelief of multiple losses to service academies. The administration debated the move of giving Weis a contract, that based on his weight and fitness might end up being a life time contract. And Weis continued to test the strength of his belt.
But on Saturday past, all questions were answered. All prayers responded to.
The thunder of the Echoes was so loud that the world of sports had to stop and listen:
NOTRE DAME BEAT DUKE!
Most shook their heads in disbelief. How could this squad of non-athletic, non-blocking, unmotivated, poorly trained and completely heartless group of pseudo-blue chippers possibly have pulled off the upset of the season?
App. State beating Michigan? Ha. That isn't anything. South Florida offing West Virginia? We all saw that coming.
But ND beating Duke?
Certainly, most that saw this score on college game day quickly got online to double check that they heard it correctly.
Touchdown Jesus. The Golden Dome. Rockne. The Four Horsemen. The Gipper. Paul Hornung. Joe Montana. Add one more:
The most unexpected and glorious victory in ND's storied history.
Fans were so stunned and shocked that the Irish pulled off this greatest upset of them all, that in the moment of delirious disbelief...they forgot to charge the field and tear down the goal posts.
Yes, it's been so long that the Irish pulled off a win of this magnitude that the fans forgot how to celebrate.
Rejoice, all! Under the raised arms and watchful eyes of Touchdown Jesus:
Notre Dame 'Football' has been redeemed.
Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame,
Wake up the echoes cheering her name,
Send a volley cheer on high,
Shake down the thunder from the sky.
What though the odds be great or small
Old Notre Dame will win over all,
While her loyal sons are marching
Onward to victory.
Yes indeed. 11-17-07.
The day the prayers of the Irish were finally answered.