Game Time: The Decade's Five Most Lucrative Miracles

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It's a time of year to celebrate miracles (be they of the Christmas or Festivus variety), and it's also the end of the decade. So on this date of celebration, I wanted to acknowledge the Five Most Lucrative Sports Miracles of the Decade. These are basically instances where through some sort of improbable on-field occurrence, or perhaps someone else's unfathomable stupidity, or just plain dumb luck, a certain someone else was able to set up their grandkids' grandkids for a life of burying their toes in the sand at some beach club in the Carribean.

So as Dr. Lou Holtz would say....LESH GO....

It seems like it was about twenty years ago, but there was a time where Notre Dame Nation really thought Charlie Weis was going to bring them national championships. On the heels of the dreadful Tyrone Willingham Era, Weis came in and was everything that Willingham wasn't -- organized, passionate, full of bravado and seemingly working toward something big. That all came to a head when Number One USC visited Notre Dame Stadium on October 15, 2005. To understand the enormity of that game, you almost had to be a Notre Dame fan, forced to sit through the three straight 31-point shellackings that were administered by the Trojans to Ty Willingham's teams.

Without rehashing an entire game summary, Notre Dame was valiant in defeat that day, falling to USC and the Bush Push 34-31.

After this game, rumors of Weis' jumping back to his NFL roots for head coaching jobs started to surface. No one really knew where they came from, but this was obviously disconcerting to the Notre Dame brass. In a move that ended up being rather symbolic of AD Kevin White's "proficiency" (really lack thereof) in hiring and retaining football coaches, he hastily cobbled together a ten-year contract extension at over $3 million per year and an astronomical eight-figure buyout for Weis. Who'd have thought four years and 25 more losses later Weis would cash in on the buyout?

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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast