1) Hele mei hoohiwahiwa. There has been some controversy about the Irish accepting a Christmas Eve bowl bid, as we are a Catholic institution, and many feel that the bowl game will get in the way of celebrating Christmas. Give me your thoughts.
Of all the arguments for Notre Dame not taking part in this game, the "it's Christmas Eve" line seems by far the most lame. Let's face it, what we're really talking about here is attending Mass and, if memory serves, Mass is still offered on, you know, Christmas Day so, I'm not quite sure why the Irish playing the day before would prevent attendance. Even if your particular family tradition centers on Christmas Eve services, just hit Midnight Mass instead of one of the earlier ones. Either way, the religious objection to this game is complete bunk. The "we suck so bad, we shouldn't be in a bowl game" argument, however...
2) 'Onipa'a. The Notre Dame administration has decided to stand by their man and bring Coach Weis back as head coach next year. What specific changes (a) do you think ought to be made in the offseason? (b) do you think will be made in the offseason?
I'm glad Domer Law broke this question out in this way because I think there will be a world of difference between what should be done and what actually will be done. On the what needs to happen now, now, now side of the ledger are - fire Latina and Haywood, bring in a real, honest-to-goodness offensive coordinator, let Powlus go hang out with Beano Cook while Charlie attends to the QBs and, for the love of God, prepare an offseason regimen that is completely draconian so that this team is no longer the bunch of limp-dicked, pinky-out, tea-sipping crybabies they've been the last couple of years. This team needs to discover anger and toughnesss immediately. As for what will happen? Charlie will make one or two sacrificial firings, hire the wrong people, make a bunch of assertions which will not match reality, become consumed with minutiae and lead a largely unprepared team into the 2009 season.
3) Pupukahi i holomua. What are your expectations for next season?
Next season will likely be a 12-game version of Bergman's The Seventh Seal with Charlie as Antonius Block engaged in a chess game with Death for the future of Irish football. I anticipate that, in spite of a favorable schedule and a great deal of talent, Notre Dame will still disappoint. They'll likely lose five games with, at least, two of those losses being mind-boggling.
4) O ka makapo wale no ka mea hapapa i ka pouli. Also, if we start looking for a new coach next year, who do you think we (a) can get, and (b) would be the best possible hire? (i.e., is all of this Urban Meyer talk hot air or substance?)
While I do believe it will become necessary to begin a coaching search in earnest next year, I have absolutely no confidence that any top-flight college coach will be coming to South Bend any time soon. With it already being reported that Bob Stoops was contacted by ND and opted not to respond; one can only imagine Urban would follow suit. Notre Dame is his "dream job" in much the same way that the hottest girl in your high school was looking for a smart and funny guy who treated her well, yet always seemed to date vapid, but handsome, bastards.
With this in mind, I think the Irish may as well cast their lot with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. He loves ridiculous hyperbole, is equivocating and often contradictory, is useless in spite of a reputation for brilliance and has helped to oversee the demise of a once august institution. In short, he's Charlie Weis. Sure, it's not technically an upgrade, but he'll likely be available shortly.
5) 'A 'ohe lokomaika 'i i nele i ke pana 'i. 'Tis the season, so tell me: what is the best gift you are giving someone this holiday season?
Given my overall food consumption this holiday season, the best gift I'll be giving is that of job security to my primary care physician. In these dire economic times, it feels good to know that the various cholesterol-related afflictions from which I'll be suffering will provide at least one family with a warm home and bright future.
6) Mahalo nui loa na ho'olaule'a me la kaua. What are your predictions for the game? Will the Irish be celebrating on the long plane ride home, or will this be another long offseason of listening to the chatter about our decades-long bowl losing streak?
The Gallic name should have been a clue - Notre Dame has become the French Army of football teams. In spite of (largely undeserved) prominence, Notre Dame, like their etymological forebears, has been failing magnificently in the clutch for as long as anyone can remember. Given this history, I believe ND will, somehow find a way to lose on Wednesday. Whether it's Jimmy Clausen eating rotten poi, Michael Floyd being sacrificed at a volcano, David Bruton uncovering a cursed Tiki relic, or the team just sucking as they're wont to do; the Irish will leave Honolulu as losers.