June 24, 2009
CHICAGO - Comcast SportsNet will provide viewers with a landmark, behind-the-scenes special entitled The Foundation of Charlie Weis detailing the challenging, yet triumphant off-the-field life of Notre Dame's head football coach. This unprecedented one-hour documentary chronicling the rarely-seen "other side" of Charlie Weis airs this Sunday, June 28 at 4:30 PM (CDT) exclusively on Comcast SportsNet.
The Foundation of Charlie Weis, narrated by Comcast SportsNet's Dan Jiggetts, will take viewers into the personal lives of Weis and his wife Maura for an exclusive interview where we learn about their very special 14-year-old daughter, Hannah.
Hannah's birth was nothing short of a miracle, but she is unfortunately severely developmentally challenged, having an extremely limited vocabulary for a young girl her age. There is no question Hannah has changed the way Weis and his family view their lives. However, this is where Charlie, Maura and the entire Weis family, along with numerous famous friends and supporters come in to play. This documentary details the birth of Weis' foundation "Hannah and Friends" (HannahandFriends.org), along with the transformation of 30 acres of land in South Bend into an area called "The Farm," where countless families of special needs children and adults in the Michiana area will benefit from programs offered by "Hannah and Friends." CSN has been given exclusive access to a private, first-look tour of the farm, where Charlie and Maura want the sole focus of this area to be placed on these individuals and their families.
In addition to Charlie and Maura Weis, additional interviews on Comcast SportsNet presents The Foundation of Charlie Weis include sit down discussions with their 16-year-old son Charlie, Jr. (who currently speaks to area schools about developmentally challenged children and recruits young teens to volunteer their time with "Hannah and Friends"), along with many of the biggest names in the sports industry including Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, Brady Quinn, Joe Montana, Joe Theismann, Digger Phelps, Mike Golic and Chris Zorich.
The one-hour special also takes viewers to the campus of Notre Dame where CSN was granted exclusive access to one of Weis' private meetings with his coaching staff, along with a visit to his private office, where he showcases the very best view of the Notre Dame campus via his private patio outside his office.
Viewers are urged to visit a special page set up on Comcast SportsNet's website (CSNChicago.com/pages/Charlie_Weis), which includes a two-and-half minute trailer for The Foundation of Charlie Weis, along with a web-exclusive interview with CSN's Dan Jiggetts about the making of this documentary. To make a donation or for more information about "Hannah and Friends," viewers are asked to visit HannahandFriends.org.
Note the following quotes from The Foundation of Charlie Weis airing this Sunday, June 28 at 4:30 PM (CDT) on Comcast SportsNet:
"You know we have enough resources to take care of Hannah, but that was one of the questions, the points that Maura brought up to me is what are we doing for anyone else? The fact that we're building this facility I think is going to do a lot of good for a lot of people with different abilities."
"Maura and I both feel blessed because we've been able to do more for the people because of the support that we've gotten from using the forum as the head coach of Notre Dame and using the notoriety of being the head coach of Notre Dame to do something good away from football has really put us in the position where we've been able to help a lot more people a lot faster than we would have ever imagined."
"We always say in our house, there is a separation of church and state. People see that small window of you on football game day when you're yelling at officials, and believe me, they deserve to be yelled at, (laughs) but that's what people are creating their impression from. They are creating their impression from you yelling at officials who just blew a call and that's a sad commentary on what it's all about because really it's all the stuff you're doing with and for your kids at the university, and the family and people with different abilities."
"Hannah is the sweetest little girl. I've know her for 9 years and every time I'm around her, it's her joy of life, it's her enthusiasm as part of the Weis family that makes her such a special girl."
"They've taken a community and basically said we can take, or we can build houses, we can create a neighborhood where children who have a disability or a perceived disability, they can overcome it, they can live comfortably. They don't have to feel like they're different...they don't have to feel like they're an exception, but they can have their own community...they're own place to live, just like everybody does, their own neighborhood, and isn't that all that we want, just our own neighborhood? 'I came from this neighborhood' or 'I came from that neighborhood', the kids have their own, and that's what Charlie and Maura have done."
"It's coming from the heart. I've known Charlie, well actually, we went to school together, been friends since then and it's been a funny ride watching him grow up from being a student to one day, actually ran into him on an NFL field, and asked him what he heck he was doing out there on the field (laughs), he told me he was a coach. It's been fun, they're doing wonderful things."
"You see Charlie on game day, you see that coaching exterior, you see him always in the coaching mode, and you don't, so anybody that can see him in this side can see the other side. Listen, football coaches, they always get a wrap for being on the job 24/7, and it's close to that, but it's not that, they certainly have other sides and it's good to kind of go inside a little bit and really see what they're about."
Comcast SportsNet will re-air The Foundation of Charlie Weis during the month of August (dates/times TBD) leading up to the start of the 2009 Notre Dame Football season.
Comcast Sports Group operates 10 sports networks that cover more than 2,400 live sporting events annually and deliver comprehensive sports news and analysis to 40 million cable and satellite homes. Comcast Sports Group's networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, SNY, The Mtn. - Mountain West Sports Network, and CSS. These networks provide live game coverage 18 professional teams, as well as college, minor league and other sports. For more information, see ComcastSportsNet.com.