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Weis lets dying boy call first pass of UW game
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Old 26 Sep 2005, 01:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Weis lets dying boy call first pass of UW game

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200....ap/index.html

-----------------------------------------------------------

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Charlie Weis doesn't usually let anyone else call plays on offense. He made an exception for 10-year-old Montana Mazurkiewicz.

The Notre Dame coach met last week with Montana, who had been told by doctors weeks earlier that there was nothing more they could do to stop the spread of his inoperable brain tumor.

"He was a big Notre Dame fan in general, but football especially," said his mother, Cathy Mazurkiewicz.

Weis showed up at the Mazurkiewicz home in Mishawaka, just east of South Bend, and talked with Montana about his tumor and about Weis' 10-year-old daughter, Hannah, who has global development delay, a rare disorder similar to autism.

He told Montana about some pranks he played on Joe Montana -- whom Montana was named after -- while they were roommates at Notre Dame.

"I gave him a chance to hammer me on the Michigan State loss, which he did very well. He reminded me of my son," said Weis, whose son, Charlie Jr., is 12 years old.

Weis said the meeting was touching.

"He told me about his love for Notre Dame football and how he just wanted to make it through this game this week," Weis said. "He just wanted to be able to live through this game because he knew he wasn't going to live very much longer."

As Weis talked to the boy, Cathy Mazurkiewicz rubbed her son's shoulder trying to ease his pain. Weis said he could tell the boy was trying not to show he was in pain.

His mother told Montana, who had just become paralyzed from the waist down a day earlier because of the tumor, to toss her a football Weis had given him. Montana tried to throw the football, put could barely lift it. So Weis climbed into the reclining chair with him and helped him complete the pass to his mother.

Before leaving, Weis signed the football.

"He wrote, 'Live for today for tomorrow is always another day,"' Mazurkiewicz said.

"He told him: 'You can't worry about tomorrow. Just live today for everything it has and everything you can appreciate," she said. "He said: 'If you're [in pain] today you might not necessarily be in pain tomorrow, or it might be worse. But there's always another day."

Weis asked Montana if there was something he could do for him. He agreed to let Montana call the first play against Washington on Saturday. He called "pass right."

Montana never got to see the play. He died Friday at his home.

Weis heard about the death and called Mazurkiewicz on Friday night to assure her he would still call Montana's play.

"He said, 'This game is for Montana, and the play still stands,"' she said.

Weis said he told the team about the visit. He said it wasn't a "Win one for the Gipper" speech, because he doesn't believe in using individuals as inspiration. He just wanted the team to know people like Montana are out there.

"That they represent a lot of people that they don't even realize they're representing," Weis said.

When the Irish started on their own 1-yard-line following a fumble recovery, Mazurkiewicz wasn't sure Notre Dame would be able to throw a pass. Weis was concerned about that, too. So was quarterback Brady Quinn.

"He said what are we going to do?" Weis said. "I said we have no choice. We're throwing it to the right."

Weis called a play where most of the Irish went left, Quinn ran right and looked for tight end Anthony Fasano on the right.

Mazurkiewicz watched with her family.

"I just closed my eyes. I thought, 'There's no way he's going to be able to make that pass. Not from where they're at. He's going to get sacked and Washington's going to get two points,"' she said.

Fasano caught the pass and leapt over a defender for a 13-yard gain.

"It's almost like Montana was willing him to beat that defender and take it to the house," Weis said.

Mazurkiewicz was happy.

"It was an amazing play. Montana would have been very pleased. I was very pleased," she said. "I was just so overwhelmed. I couldn't watch much more."

Weis called her again after the game, a 36-17 victory by the 13th-ranked Fighting Irish, and said he had a game ball signed by the team that he wanted to bring to the family on Sunday.

"He's a very neat man. Very compassionate," she said. "I just thanked him for using that play, no matter the circumstances."

------------------------------------------------------------------

Weis is a class act. He made a promise and he kept it, no matter how illogical it seemed at the time. Very fitting that the play ended up a 1st down.
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Old 26 Sep 2005, 06:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Charlie is one cool guy. Here's hoping that he is the man that leads ND to its rightful place among cfb's elite.
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Old 26 Sep 2005, 06:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Classy.
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Old 27 Sep 2005, 05:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Nice Gesture. I still love Watching the MSU game the same. Planted that flag right on the 50 Yard Line. Classic.
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Old 27 Sep 2005, 05:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Very cool
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Old 27 Sep 2005, 05:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I was at the game, they did a whole story about him on the Huskytron before the game and how the Irish were playing for one of their biggest fans. It was a pretty amazing moment, I even had a tear in my eye.
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Old 27 Sep 2005, 06:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_One
Nice Gesture. I still love Watching the MSU game the same. Planted that flag right on the 50 Yard Line. Classic.
John L. Smith later said they were planning that.
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Old 27 Sep 2005, 07:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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They Owned Touchdown Jesus.
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Old 27 Sep 2005, 08:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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John L. Smith later said they were planning that.
JLS is one crazy motherfucker. He has climbed the Himalayas, ran with the bulls, skydived and done a whole lot of things.
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Old 27 Sep 2005, 08:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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That's a really classy move....kudos to Weis
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Old 27 Sep 2005, 08:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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JLS is one crazy motherfucker. He has climbed the Himalayas, ran with the bulls, skydived and done a whole lot of things.
...and because he's crazy, is why I love the guy.
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Old 29 Sep 2005, 11:31 AM   #12 (permalink)
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nice touch by Weis.....
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Old 29 Sep 2005, 11:54 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Saw the news on ym local station. That was a class act. Even when the play looked like it wasn't a good idea they pulled it off.

Kudos to the guy.
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Old 29 Sep 2005, 08:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Well they were playing Washington..Not that hard to execute a pass to the right..Even if they were backed up.
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