I’m not sure how long Notre Dame has been putting out the ICON videos (and I’m too lazy to find out right now- okay I looked and it was in 2011). The ICON videos have been an amazing look inside the Notre Dame football program that most people never saw.
We get the sideline conversations between players and between players and coaches. We get the pregame speech, and the halftime speech. We get the victory speech and yes... sometime we get the “we just lost” speech. All in all, it does a fair enough job of showing fans what happens on gameday, or at least fair enough for an in-house production.
What strikes me about this Texas ICON isn’t so much what is said or even what’s not said, it’s watching the body language of certain players. The most noticable to me were the actions and words of DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire.
For all of the preseason talk about how Malik Zaire is one of the better leaders on the team, and one of the traits that might set him apart from Kizer, I found this video to tell a different tale. It was Kizer leading the team, and showing that leadership while Zaire mostly looked pissed and disengaged.
While I understand that Zaire was not having the best of nights, the talk about how good of a leader rang hollow. Even on the worst of nights, a good leader can show some type of leadership- even if it’s just in his actions standing on the sideline.
I’m not trying to pile onto Zaire with the KIZER IS THE MAN talk, and I honestly feel for Zaire and the crazy situation he has now found himself in this season. All I’m saying is that Notre Dame needs to win a lot of football games this season, and right now, he appears to be more of a liability than an asset. I hope that changes, but it is going to take certain moves by Head Coach Brian Kelly to really set that in place- and I’m not so sure he’s doing that job well.