This wasn’t the typical announcement from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This was something grander, and more emblematic of a transfer of power than an introduction to the new guy in charge. This was the coronation of a new king, and possessed all of the newfound hope of such a thing.
We were told days ago that Marcus Freeman was going to be the new head coach of the Notre Dame Football team, and given the timing of everything else that is surrounding the program, another press conference introduction in the Gug would have gone unquestioned. Notre Dame chose to do something different, and whether it was intentional or not, it was symbolic of the change coming at Notre Dame.
Just as in a monarchy, the new king replaces the old — and yet the nobility surrounding him remains mostly intact. Whether that’s the Minister of Culture Matt Balis, or Tommy Rees and the other assistants — they’re here to help support Marcus Freeman’s reign.
Does this all sound overly dramatic? Sure — but it’s also very true. The empire’s living hero, Brady Quinn, came back home to help add to this powerful change. It even had the blessing of the Church as Father Jenkins spoke at the introduction more like the priest he is than the university president that he also is — and just got back from a trip to the Vatican.
And then there was Freeman and the way he carried himself. He walked into the event surrounded by his wife and children along with the leaders of team. There was no question that Freeman had the support of everyone in attendance, and he went forward to accept the privilege and the burden of the Crown.
His speech spoke of family and the future. His confidence in his ability to sell Notre Dame to the nation’s best recruits held the same type of power as the divine right of kings. He expressed no doubt of the future, and never talked about limitations or coats of paint — he believes Notre Dame can reclaim its national championship glory, and that it can be right away.
The details are the details. While media members didn’t press Freeman too much in the Q&A, we did learn some important details about the upcoming bowl game against Oklahoma State and operation of the program. As important as those all are, I think the symbolism of the day said everything that needed to be said.
Notre Dame believes it’s a national power, and is doing everything it can to make everyone else out there believe it as well.
Long live the King.