Thursday, November 12, 2009
Navy-Notre Dame continue to clash
Posted by ESPN.com’s Graham Watson
It’s come to this.
After becoming the first defensive coordinator since the Kennedy administration to lose to Navy twice in three seasons, Notre Dame’s Corwin Brown decided to take a couple of shots across Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo’s bow.
Brown was upset about comments from Niumatalolo that he felt were disparaging to the Irish’s preparation and game plan.
After Navy's 23-21 win last week, Niumatalolo told the press, "I think the one thing that helped us, and I really hope this doesn't come across wrong, but I think the thing that helped us this year was last year because we knew that they'd line up the same way.”
Brown took what seemed like a harmless comment personally and fired back to his own media Wednesday evening. (Direct quotes courtesy of Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune.)
"I thought it was very disappointing, what the Navy coach said after the game," Brown said. "He didn't want something to be misconstrued, but then he said it, regarding how we prepared and what we prepared to do. I'm going to tell you this -- we came out in the second half, minus one mess-up, they don't get anything.
"Whether you think it's the right thing to say or not, in this profession, with all the classy guys that I've watched and played under and studied, they would never say a thing like that."
Then, after accusing Niumatalolo for ripping Notre Dame, Brown proceeded to go on a 100-word rant ripping Navy, it’s game plan, scheme and apparently some hits he felt were malicious.
"What I think is crazy is a lack of imagination for what they do. I don't ever get up here and talk about the illegal cut blocks. They hit [Brian Smith] illegally last year and put him out. They hit [Robert Blanton] on one of the most malicious plays I've ever seen since I've been playing. And I called him about it. And I told him I thought it was very poor. He probably thought I called because we lost; I was going to say something to him before the game but I didn't. Very malicious. And in this game, which we're supposed to be playing for our kids, you don't let your players do something like that.”
All of this, of course, will be chalked up to sour grapes and to some extent it is. Regardless of what’s happening on the field, you don’t take out your frustrations with another coach in the media. You also don’t call out a coach for making disparaging comments about your team and then turn around and do the same thing.
Two wrongs still don’t make a right regardless of whether either was actually wrong. The only thing this does for Notre Dame is continue to keep it in the spotlight and add fuel to an already blazing fire.