"I know things may look bleak right now," Weis said while addressing his team from a Rascal Scooter, a half-eaten cheesesteak perched atop his bosom. "We're going to lose our last 11 games in a row and our only win came against an FCS team. But trust me, you guys are close if you keep working, stay confident and now this is the most crucial element the administration fires me and gets someone in here who knows what the hell he's doing. Believe."
Weis speaks from experience. Just three years after being canned by Notre Dame for seemingly driving the program into a ditch, the Fighting Irish are undefeated and have secured a spot in the BCS title game.
"I look at that team and have a sense of pride. I built that team," said Weis. "I recruited Manti Te'o and Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick and Tyler Eifert. That was me. Then someone else came in and taught them how to play football because, granted, I don't know a god damn thing about coaching up college players. But where Notre Dame is now? That's what Kansas has the opportunity to do."
The theme apparently was sportsmen who are in great shape.
According to sources inside the Notre Dame football program, head coach Charlie Weis has been informed of his dismissal by athletic director Jack Swarbrick and will leave the job as soon as he can fit through the door frame of his office.
"I knew that if I waited until the end of the season, this was a risk because Charlie grows fatter by the day," said Swarbrick. "But I wanted to give him a chance to turn it around. As we know, that did not happen. And when I met with him this morning, he was enjoying an assortment of pastries and I knew it was too late."
Swarbrick has given strict orders to Notre Dame staff members to not bring Weis more food until he slims down enough to exit his office. The university has also looked into other options of extraditing the process, including removing the building's roof to extract Weis by crane, and cutting slabs of flesh off of the coach. But Weis has vowed he will respond with a malpractice suit to any surgical procedure, per his custom.
Notre Dame will begin its search for a replacement while they figure out what to do with Weis.
"Charlie has a lot of weight to lose before he fits through that door," says Swarbrick. "Chances are we have the new guy hired by the time that happens. If so, we'll put him up in temporary offices until Charlie is removed. Plus, the smell will take a while to dissipate. If you can believe it, Charlie's hygiene was actually worse than his coaching ability. Yeah, you can probably believe it, huh?"
Weis says he wants to leave his office as much as Notre Dame wants him to leave.
"I love Notre Dame and want to give them every opportunity to get a fresh start," he said. "Mmmm fresh tart. Must have fresh tart."
Scene: The office of Notre Dame director of athletics Jack Swarbrick. There is a knock at the door.
Swarbrick: Yes. Come in.
(Charlie Weis enters.)
Swarbrick: Come on in. Take a seat.
(Weis sits down.)
Swarbrick: Well, Charlie, I think you know why you're here.
Weis: I do.
Swarbrick: 6-5. It's just not good enough at Notre Dame.
Weis: No, it is not.
Swarbrick: But I'm willing to hear you out on why you should keep your job. You have helped the program in some ways. Recruiting, for example. Jimmy Clausen has developed nicely. So, let me hear your pitch. Why should you keep your job?
Weis: I've got nothing.
Swarbrick: Okay, then. Well, I guess you're fired.
Weis: I can't argue with that. I'll see myself out.
(Weis gets up to leave.)
Weis: Oh! One quick thing.
Swarbrick: You thought of a reason?
Weis: Ha! No. Where can I get that $15 million severance check?
Swarbrick: At the front desk on your way out.
Weis: Sweet. Also, even though I'm going to have all that money, as you've probably heard, I'm going to try to get back into the NFL as a coordinator. Any chance you can write me a letter of recommendation?
Swarbrick: Sure, why not. What should I write in it?
Weis: Umm I've got nothing.
Swarbrick: Okay, then. Have a good day.
Weis: You, too.
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick tried to lure Charlie Weis into quitting following his latest loss to Navy by presenting the Fighting Irish coach with a tempting offer of a triple-chocolate layer cake baked into the shape of a resignation letter, with all appropriate legal verbiage painstakingly written on top in icing.
“Charlie, just take this decorating gun, full of delicious vanilla icing, and sign your name at the bottom of the cake,” Swarbrick told Weis. “And then, I promise, you can eat the entire thing and be on your way.”
Notre Dame desperately wants to part ways with Weis, but can’t fire him without picking up the tab on his massive contract buyout. That reality led Swarbrick to hatch a creative solution during the fourth quarter when he happened to see some cake mix in his luxury box pantry.
“Charlie is on record as saying that he won’t quit as head coach,” said Swarbrick. “But he is also on record as saying he will never, under any circumstances, turn down chocolate cake. From the looks of him, I think his love of cake and other sweets will take priority over anything else in his life.”
Weis has yet to emerge from Swarbrick’s office, so no one outside of that office knows the fate of the embattled coach.
“There are really only two possible outcomes,” said Rev. John Jenkins. “Charlie wrote his name in icing on the cake and then devoured it and we have to begin the search for a replacement. Or he refused the cake and we’re stuck with his fat ass. The former is both more probable and preferred.”
But Swarbrick’s secretary fears a third outcome.
“As soon as Charlie stepped into Jack’s office, I heard a sound like a lion attacking prey, quickly followed by a muffled shout,” said Mindy Connor. “I fear Charlie pounced as soon as he saw the cake, as he is prone to do, and Jack got caught in between. I don’t know whether I should call 9-1-1 or send in the duplicate cakes Jack baked for Charlie to sign.”
Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis added an additional storyline to his team's showdown with 6th ranked USC on Saturday, boldly vowing today that his team will only lose by a few points just as it did in his trademark game at Notre Dame, a 34-31 loss to the Trojans in 2005.
"That's just Charlie being Charlie. He's a brash, New Jersey guy," said Rev. John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame. "That's what we like about him. And, boy, we sure would love to lose by just three to USC again. That game was easily the high point of our program in the past 15 years."
And while Jenkins wouldn't come right out and say it, he strongly suggested that Weis could be looking at another huge contract extension with another tight loss to USC, similar to the 10-year extension he received following the 2005 loss.
"Losing by a touchdown or fewer, I think we might have our coach here at Notre Dame locked up until the middle of the century," he said.
Weis made his gusty proclamation this afternoon at his weekly press conference.
"I am just that confident in my team," Weis smirked. "Laugh if you want. But you'll see on Saturday. The days of Notre Dame getting crushed by the top teams are over. They're over. I guarantee you we don't lose by more than 10 points. In fact, I think it will be a one score defeat. And it's all thanks to my players and the strategic advantage I bring."
Those lines drew applause from several Notre Dame staffers and boosters in the room, as well as NBC reporters.
But not everyone is as pleased with Weis' words.
"Oh, this is definitely bulletin board material," says USC head coach Pete Carroll. "My players don't work as hard as they do every day to barely beat Notre Dame. They're going to be ready on Saturday."
Yet Weis feels that no matter how well USC plays, his team can match them play for play. Almost, at least.
"When we walk off that field on Saturday, our heads are going to be held high," he said. "Because we'll be looking up at that scoreboard proudly and thinking: 'Huh, a six point loss to USC. That's not bad at all. We don't suck nearly as much as everyone says.'"