And after 12 wins, Brian Kelly looked toward to his fourth season and realized, “I need a quarterback.” So Kelly named a starter.
Kelly said, “I need somebody willing to get up at dawn, run, lift weights, work all day in the classroom, practice again and again, eat supper and then go to the library and stay past midnight at a meeting of his study group.” So Kelly named a starter.
“I need somebody with an arm strong enough to pass for 3,977 yards and yet gentle enough to pat his own replacement on the back and wish him well. Somebody to call plays, face down hell-bent defensemen, pull out a victory, have to listen as journalists and fans alike tell him how terribly he did and assure them all that he’ll be ready next Saturday – and mean it.” So Kelly named a starter.
Kelly said, “I need somebody willing to sit out most of the season behind a new quarterback. And watch him win. Then with dry eyes say, ‘Maybe senior year.’ I need somebody who can create a victory with a minute left, deliver a 38-yard pass on third down against our oldest rival, who can put us in position to tie a game and then throw for the only touchdown in overtime, take snaps and get up from sacks. And who, exam time and postseason, will finish his forty-hour testing week by Tuesday noon, then, in pain from elbow to back, put in another seventy-two hours on the practice field.” So Kelly named a starter.
Kelly had to have somebody willing to ride the bench as another player started ahead of him and yet come in midway through and race to help when he sees the wheels fall off his teammate’s game. So Kelly named a started.
Kelly said, “I need somebody strong enough to throw 411 times and heave 20 touchdowns, yet gentlemanly enough to listen to untamed tongues and ungrateful boos and tolerate the foul-mouthed fans, who will stop his college career in junior year to help a starting freshman find his legs. It had to be somebody who’d throw deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to lead, teach, drive, guide, and train and push and coach and cheer and steer and call the plays and rally the players and mount a comeback after halftime and finish a hard week’s work with a team Mass before a four-hour game.
“Somebody who’d bring a team together with the strong bonds of shared sacrifice, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply with smiling Irish eyes, when a young kid says he ‘wants to play quarterback for Notre Dame someday.’” So Kelly named a starter.
Son, in 199 years of religious study, I have only come up with two hard, incontrovertible facts: There is a God, and I'm pretty tight with Him.
Now I’m going to tell you a whole lot of things I’ve kept to myself for years. None of you ever knew me. I was along before your time, but you all know what a tradition I am at Notre Dame. And one of the most important things I ever said was, “Friends, sometime when my University is up against it and the breaks are beating the students, tell them to go out there with all they’ve got and win at everything for Padre. I don’t know exactly where I’ll be then, friends,” I said, “but I’ll be looking right over your shoulder.”