Pat Haden is a bit of an enigma when you discuss USC and Notre Dame.
Haden has seen it all...from the field at The Coliseum, from the press box calling ND games and now from the AD's office at USC.
Many were not happy when Haden started calling ND games. I know I was perplexed when he took the job but Haden treated ND fair. In all the games I watched, I admit there weren't many unless it was 'SC or Navy, he always seemed to be balanced in his analysis. That is not something we are accustomed to in today's shrieking, biased coverage that we witness on Saturday's.
In his three varsity meetings with Notre Dame from 1972-74, the winner went on to claim the national championship in at least one major poll each time. His trip to South Bend with the 1973 squad is a treasured memory despite the sixth-ranked Trojans’ 23-14 loss to No. 8 Notre Dame in a rainstorm.
"Coming out of that tunnel at that stadium I had dreamed of playing in as a kid was almost as daunting as the opponent we were facing," Haden said. "You felt the weight of the significance of that series. Now it was your time to be great. There’s only one brand in college football, and that’s Notre Dame."
When you look at all that he did at his time at USC (including now as AD) it is hard to believe that he was so enthralled with ND yet still chose USC. He was that close to going to South Bend.
Haden has been a great ambassador for USC, even when many were against his broadcasting Notre Dame games. He is lot less of a homer than that insufferable Joe Theisman is...and I am a huge Redskins fan. I am still a bit unsure about how Haden will do as USC's AD but with what we are facing I think he is best caretaker to get us through the mountain of crap we are facing. His time on the Board of Trustees coupled with his business acumen and his dedication to USC athletics gives him a unique perspective.
Haden has pretty much seen it all...