Dec. 14, 2005
The courage of young Montana Mazurkiewicz and the integrity of Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis live on, thanks to the entrepreneurial and charitable efforts of three students at the University.
Weis and other Notre Dame coaches and student-athletes visited with Montana in mid-September at his home near the University’s campus to boost the spirits of the 10-year-old who was fighting brain cancer.
During their meeting, Weis asked Montana to call the first Irish play of the upcoming game against Washington on Sept. 24. The youngster called for a “pass right.”
Montana died the day before the game, but Weis stayed true to his word.
On Notre Dame’s first possession against Washington, the Irish were backed up on their own 1-yard-line following a fumble recovery. Despite the precarious position, Weis called for quarterback Brady Quinn to roll out to his right at the back of the end zone and pass to tight end Anthony Fasano. The play worked for a 13-yard completion.
“It was almost like Montana was willing (Fasano) to beat that defender,” Weis said.
“It was an amazing play,” said Montana’s mother, Cathy. “Montana would have been very pleased. I was very pleased. I was just so overwhelmed I couldn’t watch much more.”
In a tribute to Montana, Weis and their successful play-calling, and to raise money for the Mazurkiewicz family, Notre Dame juniors Scott Coyle, Brian Veith and Pat Argentieri have designed a navy blue wristband inscribed with the words “Pass Right.”
All proceeds from the sale of the $3 bands are being directed to Montana’s family to assist with medical and funeral expenses. The project, which fulfilled an assignment in the students’ entrepreneurship class, has raised more than $2,250 to date.
“It’s a tangible way for people to remember what happened,” Veith told the campus newspaper The Observer.
Coyle said the project will continue as long as there is interest.
“The family really appreciates and needs the help,” he said.
Wristbands are still available and can be purchased online at www.passright.org