Wednesday, October 27, 2004

“Why Carlyle Holiday Sometimes Misses Catching Punts” – An Inside Look at the Bob Davie Years

by Ellen Fitzgerald - Special to KankaNation

[Editor's Note: I wanted to massively edit this for flow, as I, too, have the same problem of thinking of things to add as background as I'm typing. But, I decided to leave it as is to capture the true essence of Ellen.]

Ok now I’m sure most of you all are thinking, “What does Carlyle Holiday’s performance this season have anything to do with his former coach, Bob Davie?” Well, to the untrained eye, they have absolutely nothing to do with each other, but to someone, like myself, who had the unique opportunity to observe Coach Davie on a daily basis, it has some meaning. I hence, give you my theory on this topic with a side order of some humorous Bob Davie stories.

Back when I was under the tutelage of Bob Davie, who I like to call B Diddy, Carlyle Holiday was a mere back up quarterback to Matt “I like to walk like a model” LoVecchio. Because of this, he had a bit of extra time on his hands. Now, in those days, the quarterbacks used to have their practice area, where they would congregate at the beginning of practice, right where us managers were shagging punts for the kickers. Now, one day, early in the season, a few female mangers, including myself, were shagging punts for the kickers like we did at the beginning of every practice.

Before I continue I guess I should explain how the beginning of practice went. The mangers get to the practice fields very early to set up the field, play manager football, and hang out. Towards the end of the manager football game, the kickers show up and a while later the rest of the team trickles in. As more players come, the mangers get practice rolling by tossing the ball around with the QBs and shagging for the kickers. As this is going on the coaches jog in.

Now back to the matter at hand. So one day, Coach Davie comes into practice and notices that female mangers are shagging punts for the kickers. This causes him to stop mid jog and approach us. He looked around with that confused look that you all know so well then said in his infamous Texas accent, “I don’t want you girls catching those footballs”. We all just stared at him and wondered why; we knew that we were doing a good job, but then he continued with his reason. “Girls shouldn’t catch punts because you might knock your teeth out and if you knock your teeth out, no man will marry you.” And he was serious.

Now a bit more background information for you. Bob Davie was seriously obsessed with other people’s love life. Apparently he is a very happily married man who loves his wife, and her cooking, very much and wants the same for others. He was always asking the graduate assistants about their dates while running defensive plays, trying to set up football players with mangers, and giving the female mangers tips on how to get a man.

So this brings me to my theory about Carlyle Holiday. I’m guessing that during the 2001 season, while he was just a back up quarterback, he was hanging around when Bob Davie told the female mangers that they should catch punts. He probably didn’t hear the whole thing since he is applying this to himself even though he is not a female. I guess he still wants to make his old coach, the man that recruited him to run the option at Notre Dame, proud of him by letting the ball bounce or missing it entirely so he won’t lose any on his teeth and will meet a nice girl and live happily ever after.

Ellen Fitzgerald is a periodic contributor to KankaNation. She is the website’s expert on sketchy stories involving old Notre Dame football players and all things that go on at Giant’s Stadium. In addition, she is a brilliant theorist on such sporting issues as “Why the Best Defensive Players Have Crazy Names and Hair” and “Why I Don’t Believe in Offensive Pass Interference”. She can be reached at efitzge2 @