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Example of what is good in sports.


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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.''

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wow, thats a great story. Its almost unbelieveable how they where really concerned about whether they could do the play or not, and that they actually got it to work. I think most people would be like, "oh well, we'll try to fit that in later." Great move.

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