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First year Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman decided to call in the big guns and had legendary coach Lou Holtz address the team before the season.
Holtz brought the magic… No, like he did a magic trick.
With a newspaper.
Holtz coached Notre Dame to the 1988 national championship, which is the program’s most recent title.
He spoke to the team about having faith in each other and in themselves.
“If you really have a faith and belief in one another, in what you’re doing, people can tear you,” Holtz said as he tore the newspaper. “They can say negative things. People can doubt you. But you can never doubt yourself.
“You must always believe that you are part of something special. That no matter what happens, people can’t tear you down. No matter what happens, you have the faith and belief … you’ll find a way.”
Then with a flourish, Holtz put the paper back together to really drive his point home.
It was a hell of a speech.
Coach knows how to get a team going. I know that because he got a room full of 18-24-year-olds ready to run through a wall using a newspaper, some sleight of hand, and words.
He had that room in the palm of his hand; he could have blasted some Scott Joplin wax cylinders and the boys would have been just as pumped.
Holtz’s David Blaine impression aside, Freeman’s decision to bring him in to speak to the team shows that the Fighting Irish’s new coach values the history of the program and wants his team to do the same,
Holtz and Freeman chatted with each other earlier this year and there’s photographic proof of their meeting.
Looks like things in South Bend are trending in the right direction.
Meanwhile, Lou might have a shot at a Vegas residency (fine, maybe a Branson residency).
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle