Not even a year ago when Notre Dame athletic director Kevin White offered the head coaching position of the DomeHeads to up-and-coming coaching sensation Urban Meyer, many pundits considered it a done deal. After all, Meyer had openly pined for the job at the storied school where he was an assistant some years before. After padding his resume with successful stops at Bowling Green and Utah, Meyer was rumored to be on the short list of several big time schools looking for new head coaches, and Notre Dame was truly in need. With a fan base more fickle than the private investigator from the TV show "Munk", three years of mediocrity had put White in the unenviable position of firing Ty Willingham and waiving the Irish's big pot 'o gold in the hope of luring Meyer away from Utah to South Bend. But former University of Utah President Bernard Machen, recently installed at the University of Florida, had a bigger pile of cash and successfully outbid the Irish, landing the nation's most coveted coaching prospect.
That is, as they say, "history", and history, as we all know, lends itself quite well to hindsite. Hindsite may prove the lack of Leprichon gold to have been a stroke of luck for the DomeHeads. After that ill-fated bid for Meyer, White succeeded in raiding the braintrust of the defending world champion New England Patriots, hiring away the Pat's offensive coordinator, Charlie Weiss.
And so now we have the inevitable midseason comparison: the Weiss-lead Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. the Florida Gators of Urban Meyer. And after this last weekend's games, there is perhaps no better time for the comparison. The DomeHeads were undefeated, ranked in the Top Ten and hosting the #1 USC Trojans, while Florida hosted a ranked Tiger squad from LSU. Both teams lost. But while Urban's "genius" spread offense struggled against an overrated LSU team, the Irish offense looked more like the Patriots than the Patriots have this season. Both coaches had been charged with resurrecting a former national powerhouse. And even though we are only half-way through the season, success and failure has already been determined on the field. Weiss was arguably dealt the weaker hand in terms of talent and schedule, but he has successfully guided the DomeHeads around the proverbial "corner" and back onto the plateau of the upper echelon of college football. Meyer was handed the most talented team in the SEC and has struggled to install his spread option offense, losing some but winning others in less than spectacular fashion. The best comparison, however, might be made not of the way their respective teams have performed so far this season, but how they, as coaches and leaders, have reacted to adversity. Weiss, after losing that heartbreaker to USC before "Touchdown Jesus" reemphasized his resolve and the lofty goals he has set for his program stating that they would not be satisfied by "moral victories". Conversly, Meyer, in the post-game press conference, cried tears of frustration and disappointment after losing in an ugly game to LSU. One coach displaying wisdom and uncompromising determination, the other acting like the spoiled rich kid who just got told he'd only been given a Ford F-150 instead of a Hummer, all of which makes White's choice all the more incredible.
So what does it all mean? Urban has his Gators poised for a mid-season implosion, taking a very talented quarterback in Chris Leak and all but ruining his chances in the NFL. Weiss has taken his QB, Brady Quinn, a three of spades, and made him a king of diamonds whose NFL stock is on the rise. In Charlie Weiss, Notre Dame got what it needed to turn the corner, while all Florida got was an Urban Legend and a Gator team that is, shall we say, toothless?
I work in the IT field.My office is in an open-floor-plan two-story building in a business park near downtown.My colleagues are all professionals in the same field.As a group, we are skilled in all kinds of technical, administrative, and managerial specialties.We are college-educated.Some of us even wear ties and skirts to work.The emails we exchange are free of the hackneyed banter normally prevalent in electronic mail between colleagues.Business is done in a friendly, professional, and efficient manner.That all said, you will understand my consternation at the absolute lack of respect that these fine professionals show each other in, of all places, the restroom.
That’s right, the restroom.The men’s restroom specifically (since I have not yet ventured into the women’s restroom).Every day I dread going to the restroom.I hate it.I even find myself, at the end of the day, testing the strength of my bladder by refusing to go to in the last hour or so of work.The discomfort of urinal restraint during my sometimes hour-and-a-half commute home is often more appealing than the alternative of using the facilities at work.But the lack of respect at the urinal often drives me to do so.
By now I’m sure you more cerebral types have already conjured up numerous possible scenarios in a public restroom that would constitute a lack of respect and human decency, and some of you may be right in your assumptions. But it’s not the easily-guessed conditions of the restroom at my office building that perplex my mind—it is the “why” of it.
Yes, as you have correctly surmised, the sanitary conditions of the restroom are deplorable.I cannot approach within a three foot radius of the urinal without soiling my shoes in the puddles of human waste on the floor.This may be a strange thing for women to understand, but I would venture to guess that if they are mothers, wives, or sisters to persons of the masculine gender they have at least an small inkling of the concept.My complaint is not so much that I have to deal with such unsanitary conditions (I’ve dealt with much worse in airports and road-side parks), but that they are the product of my associates and colleagues.I expected more from them.I just don’t get it, I suppose.At least road-side parks have an excuse:I mean they are often used by vagrants and people of that ilk.But restroom used primarily by a group of professionals?The real answer to why this is a problem has eluded me until today. There are only two possible reasons, in my mind, both of which can be explained using metaphorical terms from baseball:When stepping up to the plate my colleagues either have no talent and always hit foul, or they come to bat ill-equipped, possessed only of a Louisville Slugger (a bat used by little-leaguers due to its diminutive weight and length).In either case, the custodial crew of the building might be well advised to post the following notice to the restroom door in an attempt to remedy the problem:“Your bat may be short, you may be late, but if you’re going to swing, STEP UP TO THE PLATE!!”