Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Bob Davie Column

Sept. 17, 1999


?Do we have it in us to create a future worthy of our past?? That quote was brought to my attention this past summer. When I first heard the quote it caught my attention as being particularly suitable for all of us here at Notre Dame.

When reading this quote your first inclination is to associate it with success on the football field. Do we have it in us to contend for another championship at Notre Dame? Obviously the win/loss record is a major part, but this quote encompasses so much more.

When you talk about the history and tradition that is Notre Dame football, wins and losses are only a part of the big picture. I think of how we do things on a daily basis, how our players and coaches conduct themselves on and off the football field. When you stop and think about that quote and what it means at a school like Notre Dame, that is a lot to live up to.

This quote can be applied to so many different aspects of our football team. We took time off from football during two-a-days and conducted seminars for our players. We were able to apply the quote to such off-field issues as decision-making, alcohol and of course academics.

This quote really caught my attention and it just makes sense to apply it to our team. We tell the players they are ?worthy.? Number one, I look at how they have competed and come from behind to win games during their careers at Notre Dame. And number two, I am impressed with how our players have responded to adversity and fought back from tough losses.

When you look at Notre Dame, it is not an easy place. You are going to get knocked down no matter what, whether you are a student or a student-athlete. The important thing is how you come back. I have not seen this team make excuses, point fingers or feel sorry for themselves. What I have seen is players working hard to correct the mistakes, proving they are worthy. It is not only the final result that counts. It is about continuing to do things that make you worthy. If that is accomplished, then the wins will take care of themselves.

I hope our fans can see the potential of this team. We put ourselves in a position to win each of our games, and if one thing goes differently, we are a 4-0 football team. It is like a puzzle with pieces everywhere. Right now, it seems like just a lot of pieces. Visualize connecting the pieces. Consider the youth of this football team, and the positives that have taken place. Just be patient and look at it as a work in progress. Envision that final picture!

I understand the frustration of the fans when it comes down to what is on the final scoreboard. As coaches and as players though, we truly do see the big picture.