This is how many college quarterbacks besides Powlus have had their every game televised nationally: 0.
This is what Ivanina says about him: "He likes to live up to the expectations. He likes to live up to his fans' expectations. He likes to be a crowd pleaser."
This is what Holtz says about him: "I wish he could learn to forgive himself more easily."
This is what Powlus thinks of forgiving himself: "That'd be like giving up. That's not how I am. I'll never give up."
This is what he wrote about pressure in a little blue notebook in which he jots down his thoughts: "The crown is heaviest on the head that wears it—Phil Jackson."
This is a list of some Notre Dame quarterbacks who didn't throw for as many TDs and yards in their first season as Powlus: Montana, Theismann, Hanratty, Lamonica.
This is the reason Powlus never whines about bad luck or broken bones or omnivorous expectations: Thomas Wolfgang Krug.
Krug is the guy who has the most reason to hate Powlus but is his best friend instead; who kept trying and failing to unseat Powlus; who had the most reason to transfer but stayed; who had the most reason to secretly rejoice in Powlus's record-setting trips to the infirmary, but who was instead always there when the Tylenol couldn't come close to quelling the pain. Krug was pretty good in his own right. It was Krug who came on in the Navy game last season when Powlus broke his arm, came on to throw for two touchdowns and rally the Irish, came on to beat Air Force the next week, came on to throw three touchdowns in a loss to Florida State in the Orange Bowl and yet was told that the job would always belong to Powlus.
But it was Krug who wound up with the worst break of all. It was Krug who was handed the worst X-ray of all, revealing that what he thought was a simple sprained neck would end his football career. The X-ray showed his first vertebra fused to the base of his skull and the second vertebra fused to the third, leaving his spinal cord vulnerable in between. Any whiplash could paralyze or kill him.
It was Powlus whom Krug took with him to the doctor's office that day, Powlus he needed to hold him up for the news he'd been warned he would get. They said nothing for about a half hour afterward, played cards wordlessly for another half hour, then they both cried. "I don't want this to sound like what happened to Tom made me feel better," says Powlus. "But it put things totally in perspective for me." Says Krug, "In a way, everything worked out for the best; Ronnie convinced me of that. I was lucky to find out when I did. I could be dead today. Or paralyzed. And I feel lucky I got my shot. Now Ronnie is able to finish his career. That's the way it should be.