...Sorry I have not blogged in a while, but I've been tremendously busy trying to get life in order at Chez Mercogliano, and Chez ISU Media Relationville, and Chez Holt Arena, and that stuff comes first, but we are on road trip time for ISU basketball, so I have minute.
In case folks missed it, and judging by the fact that the message boards and Journal web chatter went crazy over this, but nary a peep was heard after this resounding news, maybe you did, but Idaho State is on a little road trip to South Bend, Indiana.
So we are over at practice today, and honestly, it was totally cool to see Touchdown Jesus, and to be amazed at the fact that Notre Dame, liking to keep things quaint, has this for a scoreboard. Anyways, I'm over there taking pictures, and i asked a very nice women who showed us around the arena when we got there a simple question...can we maybe get a chance to walk inside the football stadium? Figured this would be a cool thing, and Cody was curious. Well, as I was going to ask her, a person comes up to her and talks to her...and I give her space, and then ask the question about the stadium. She was like...maybe tomorrow, we just called a 6 pm press conference for football.
So I go online, and I read a report from the New York Times, which is since gone, because obviously the news has been updated...and I'm thinking "wow...I'm here for a little piece of Notre Dame history". Well, updated my facebook status to this...
"Well this trip got even more interesting...press conference for tonight apparently regarding Notre Dame football, and now New York Times is reporting Charlie Weis has been fired...can't believe I'm here witnessing this...FYI, Notre Dame's SID staff is off the charts helpful and superb! Bernie and Sean rock", while I uploaded the men's basketball relase, which contained this...
"While the game is foremost on the minds of the Bengals, Idaho State is in the midst of watching a national media storm, with ESPN and other national media outlets having converged on South Bend to cover whether or not Charlie Weis, Notre Dame's head football coach, will be fired, despite having about $18 million left on his contract and the Fighting Irish going 6-6 this year after losing their last four. "
Now, do I mention that he was fired as if I was told anything? Um...no....I had no clue (now I'm not stupid either), but there is nothing there breaking a story, correct? Correct? Then I get hit with the news that I have scooped ESPN! Don't belive me, click on Eye on Sports Media and come back when you are done laughing.
Now, given that I don't like to be the guy in the news, I'm not overly comfortable with this, but I really didn't scoop anyone at all, but the notoriety from Chris, who really has a must read site over at EOSM, is making for some fun on this trip.
That all being said, it is truly amazing to be here during this time...you can't help but run into someone with an opinion...it's the talk of everyone. Hell, i got a pretzel at the mall today, and the young lady that was the manager was talking about it with me. It's when things like this happen, and then when I'm sitting courtside tomorrow night that I think to myself...what a job I have...how much fun is this really? I mean, travel really blows sometimes (we left on Thanksgiving night for this trip, so I missed the Thanksgiving family movie for the first time in 14 years), but stuff like this cushions the blow. In the last month, I was picked by Jared Allen to give his induction speech in to the ISU Sports Hall of Fame, I've watched basketball games from Utah state and BYU, and now the Weis thing....one of my old friends Mike Pace said to me in a message on facebook "You live a fun life", and you know what...he's right. I try to be greatful every day...
An amazing time to be here for sure, and pure luck as well. Funny thing is...with all this going on, no one even really knows there is a basketball game here on Tuesday night, which is kind of funny.
COACHING NEWS ON FOOTBALL
Gothca, I have none really, and I know Brad is going to touch on this as well, but I haven't been around enough to know what's going on, and when I last saw John, it was prior to all this happening.
Personally speaking, I'll miss all three guys, especially Brian, who always came down a few minutes early to talk football with me, get the lay of the land so to speak. He has another child (his second) on the way, and a little more stable job teaching and coaching high school football is where his heart was for he and his family, and so I'll miss the guy. Sadly, he started hitting his stride late in the year with his play calling and figuring out what worked with our depleted group, but it opens a door obviously for the next person, which I'll get to in a second.
I know it was hard on John to make these changes, especially to Mike Havens and Cherokee Valeria, who really rebounded from his incident with a DUI over the summer. I always apprecaited the fact that Cherokee is a stand up guy, and I was glad he got a second chance after that. He did a good job of recognizing how important it was to give back to the community after that, and he did a nice job of setting up community projects like the elementrary school reading programs and things like that afterwards. Also, while the offensive line struggled, Mike Havens was in his first year with the line, but he played at ISU, graduated from ISU, and will always be a Bengal. I really wish all those guys well...I lvoe this staff, and hopefully John can bring in some quality folks, and I'm sure he will.
I don't however know who he has lined up, and that's the honest truth because again, I haven't been around (ask my wife...I have almost forgotten what she looks like). I know there is chatter about Mike Dunbar, but really I'm not sure. Someone with that pedigree would be awesome.
HOLT ARENA UPDATE
FYI, there is a court down in Holt...stands are around it, and there is an indoor track set up as well. Hopefully by the time I get back the pole vault mats will be set up so they aren't blocking my office door anymore.
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