While Notre Dame football fans can only hope that Saturday’s loss to Navy expedites the firing of coach Charlie Weis, two other renowned private schools with major football programs are celebrating top-10 upsets this week.
Stanford beat then-No. 7 Oregon 51-42 and Northwestern beat previously undefeated and eighth-ranked Iowa 17-10 on the same day that the then-19th-ranked Fighting Irish lost 23-21 to the Midshipmen in South Bend, Ind.
But Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald is trying to distance his program from the other brainiac institutions.
“Even though we’re similar academically, we’re in a little different boat as Stanford and Notre Dame,” he said. “We’ve been consistently winning since 1995. They’re still saying they can do it, but we’re doing it.”
• HERE’S TO YOU — Even in retirement, Brett Hull has the knack for scoring winners.
“I accept this honor for all those playing pickup, beer league and senior hockey, who never got the opportunity that I did,” Hull said in his Hockey Hall of Fame induction speech Monday in Toronto. “For every mom up at 5 who drives to practice, and every dad working overtime to buy equipment and a pair of tickets to take his kids to an NHL game.
“Every teammate that sacrificed, every trainer that patched me up and every stick boy who brought me a cold one after the game.
“We’re supposed to be here celebrating what I did in this game. But I want to talk about what this game gave to me. That’s everything, and more than I could ever dream of.”
• OLD SOX — The Boston Red Sox have signed the 43-year-old knuckleballer Tim Wakefield to a two-year, $5 million deal, all but guaranteeing he will finish his career with the team he joined in 1995.
The extension puts Wakefield in position to eclipse the team’s career record for pitching victories, which is shared by Roger Clemens and Cy Young at 192. Wakefield has 175 wins with Boston and 189 overall.
YardBarker.com, however, notes the deal is subject to league approval of Wakefield being permitted to use a walker to get to the pitcher’s mound.
• AGASSI’S WORST OFFENSE — Andre Agassi’s revelations in “Open: An Autobiography” that he threw matches, used crystal meth and hated tennis haven’t seemed to hurt the Las Vegan’s reputation.
While coming clean he could explain his greatest offense: furthering the popularity of the mullet hairstyle.
• NO FAN OF JETS FANS — Miami Dolphins linebacker Jason Taylor, to Sirius NFL Radio, on New York Jets fans: “They’ve had a lot of fun at my expense. I’ve had some fun at their expense at times. It’s the times like this where you beat them and they just keep talking. They just keep going and they just don’t know when to be quiet. You know, I’ve said a lot of things about Jets fans in the past, and I’m sure at heart most of them are good people.
“The Giants fans are a different type of people, just put it that way. There’s a little more class on the Giants side and some Jets fans take the ‘cl’ out of class.”
COMPILED BY JEFF WOLF LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL