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"We like a boy who will look his coach right in the eye when he is talking to him. If a boy comes up to me and starts talking while he is looking at the ground, I begin to wonder if he isn't hiding something from me. We ask all our men to step right up, address us clearly and look directly at us during the entire conversation. This is a good habit for a boy to acquire and carry through life...We also stress the proper method of meeting people. The lads should shake their hands firmly and inform them that they are glad to meet them."—NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL by Frank Leahy, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1949.
Freddie Leahy, who will never see 5 again, listened carefully to the man crouched beside him in the great living room of the big red-brick and white-trim house overlooking Lake Michigan. Together, the man and boy somehow conjured up a picture of a football coach giving last-minute instructions to a second-string quarterback before sending him streaking into the game.
"Put out your hand, Freddie," the man said softly. "That's the boy. Now look him right in the eye. That's it. Now say, 'I'm very glad to meet you, sir.' "
Freddie Leahy suddenly whirled and looked at his sister, Mary, who is 4, and at his brother, Christopher, who is 3, then peered out the window at Lake Michigan, sparkling in the Sunday morning sunshine.
Freddie turned back and looked at his father, who is also the father of Mary and Christopher and Jimmy and Jerry and Flossie and Sue and Frank Jr.
"I want the flag," said Freddie.
Freddie took a long breath and said almost all of it.
"Sir," said Frank Leahy, gently.