Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2014 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 7 of 111

FAN FORUM LEAHY LAD While perusing the December 2013 edition of Blue & Gold Illustrated, I read the Anniversary column about Frank Leahy's last season, and took a trip down memory lane. I was the senior equipment manager. Coach Leahy was seated in the equipment room preparing to address the team at halftime of the Georgia Tech game when he fell to the concrete floor in serious distress. Mac McCallister, my legendary equipment boss, told me to run down to the stands to bring a priest to administer the last rites, because it appeared Coach Leahy was having a heart attack. Father Ned Joyce was the first one I saw, and he sprinted to the locker room, and gave the last rites. As you noted, Coach Leahy suffered a severe pancreatitis attack that caused him to miss the Southern Cal game in Los Angeles. You raise an interesting question about what might have been had Leahy not been pressured — either because of serious health issues and/ or a confrontation with Fr. Ted Hesburgh over the direction the football program was taking under Leahy — to step down as coach at the age of 45. Even if he only coached until he was BE HEARD! Send your letters to: Letters Blue & Gold Illustrated P. O. Box 1007 Notre Dame, IN 46556 or e-mail to: 65, he likely would have set a win/ loss record for the ages, Nick Saban notwithstanding. Dan Hammer Via the Internet DEFENSE STRATEGY I'd love for Notre Dame to get Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, but at this point in his career why would he make a lateral move? Narduzzi reportedly turned down the UConn job before they offered it to Bob Diaco. The only glimmer of hope would be if he grew up in an Italian-Catholic family wherein Notre Dame held a special and unique place. But people who are not ND alumni don't feel that way about the school anymore — and haven't for years. The defense underachieved, and I remain puzzled why the media thinks of Diaco as a defensive wunderkind. This year, the defense failed to step up when it needed to in the Michigan, Oklahoma and Pitt losses. And, of course, in the Alabama game last year, the D was totally unprepared and got run over from the very first series. John Arado Arlington Heights, Ill. Connect With Us On Facebook & Twitter

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