Friday, December 17, 2004

Considered thoughts on Charlie Weis

Goofball's inquiry as to "What type of screwed up name is Weis" has given me cause to consider football for a moment. While I generally hold disdain for television and popular culture in general, I do enjoy a good football game every now and then. Since I lived in Dallas for over twenty years, I am an ardent Cowboys fan.

Goofball expressed reservations over Charlie Weis' last name, but I want to ponder his first name. What type of grown man refers to himself professionally as "Charlie?" Since I enjoy watching football, I often watch television during holidays with Harriet. Thus, I have been subjected to "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" innumerable times (as a rough estimate, if I am forced to watch each one four times a year for twenty years, that is eighty times apiece -- Amnesty International would take great interest in such numbers). The plot of "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" is that the young Mr. Brown cooks perhaps the world's least nutritious and least traditional Thanksgiving dinner consisting largely of popcorn and jelly beans. In "A Charlie Brown Christmas," the entire hour boils down to Charles purchasing the world's least impressive tree. In short, Charlie Brown is a putz.

What does this have to do with football? Charlie Brown is a cultural icon and part of our national fabric. People of all ages and backgrounds know of Charlie Brown. "Charlie" is synonymous with the bald headed son of a barber, who cannot kick a football or accomplish tasks basic to human dignity such as turning in a school paper or asking a red-headed girl on a date. Why would a professional in a macho sport such as football choose to have his colleagues and players refer to him as Charlie? I generally scoff as post-modern theories (where have you gone, John Stuart Mill?), but the politics of identity possess some weight. Why associate yourself with a loser in a profession based more reputation and charisma than on strategy?

The only other Charlie who rivals the justly ridiculed Mr. Brown is Charlie Tuna. I have no idea why one would want to be likened to a chain smoking, myopic Tuna.

The only positive justification for refering to yourself as "Charlie" as opposed to "Charles" or the more masculine "Chuck" is if one is a teddy bear. As Goofball points out, Coach Weis is shaped like a teddy bear, but I do not think teddy bears are good models for football coaches.

Notre Dame has made a number of questionable hiring decisions recently. Ozzie may blossom as a scholar under my careful tutelage. Mr. Charlie Weis has no tutor to ensure that he realizes his potential as a football coach. I certainly hope that Notre Dame hasn't hired its Barry Switzer. This old bear isn't sure that he can root for two teams in disarray.


Blogger TaxMan said...

Amazing isn't it. Last December, 2007, it dawned on me that maybe Charlie Weis really is Charlie Brown.

Ken Daniel
Niles, MI

8:06 AM  

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