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File / Associated Press
Scott Weiland (right) achieved stardom with Stone Temple Pilots, then Velvet Revolver and is now balancing a solo career and shows with STP. He's also a huge Notre Dame fan.

Fame And Notre Dame: Stone Temple Pilots Frontman Scott Weiland Part I

Scott Weiland grew up surrounded by Notre Dame football. His father played for the Irish and he had thoughts of playing for them himself. Instead, Weiland chose music where he became the lead singer for Stone Temple Pilots and became a star in the 1990s. Weiland's latest solo tour begins Tuesday in Tucson, Ariz. Last week, Weiland chatted with Insights for 20 minutes about his love for Notre Dame, his thoughts on the future of the Irish and his athletic beginnings. This is the first of two parts.

Irish Insights: How did you start becoming a fan of Notre Dame?

Scott Weiland: "Well, my dad played football for Notre Dame for two and a half years, and I have his helmet and it's in my son's room in our cabin up in Washington State. It's a field version with a leather helmet, one plastic bar and the old black cross across the top. He played for, I believe it was for Terry Brennan, after Frank Leahy. They were not really the glory days but to be able to don a Notre Dame uniform and go out there on that practice field and on Saturdays, that's something that tends to run in the family pretty thick."

II: I'm sure with your dad, you grew up rooting for Notre Dame, but when did you get the bug?

SW: "Saturdays were always a big deal. We grew up in the Midwest in Cleveland so we got a lot of the regional games, this was before they got the contract with NBC so we would get a lot of regional games and then once they got the contract with NBC, Notre Dame has played more than just about any other sports team, even professional sports team around the world."

II: So what's your routine with Notre Dame?

SW: "My routine starts early. I get the Blue and Gold printouts every day once spring ball kind of starts and even before that I look to see how recruiting is going and keep an eye on that because it's fun. It's kind of like playing fantasy football. Hopefully this season, the hype that they've been getting in spring season isn't a fantasy this year. I read Blue and Gold, Irish Eyes as well as subscribe to the magazine and look at the players that they are recruiting, the ones that are coming up and the ones they are trying to get a couple years from now. It's sort of like chess, you know. It really is kind of like chess. I think Charlie Weis is a great recruiter. I think Corwin Brown is a great recruiter and I think the combination of Corwin Brown and Jon Tenuta is pretty undeniable as a defensive combination when it comes to coaching."

II: On game days specifically, what do you do? Do you sit with your kids and watch the games? Do you kind of go off?

SW: "That was one thing my wife was always pretty cool about. She, because kids, they don't really get that, understand the whole idea of having to pause a game and play and pause and play and pause, it doesn't really do much for the momentum of watching the game. She would always take the kids to a friend's house and go swimming or go on a playdate or something like that. For the most part, I kind of like to have a couple friends over and watch the game at my house. I preferred that to going to one of the Notre Dame clubs. I found that a little bit distracting. It was fun to drink the beer and that but I prefer to watch the games at home. I can analyze what's going on and it's a little bit easier to play armchair quarterback from my own armchair."

II: Following on that, you wrote a letter in 2007 begging Charlie (Weis) to stay…

SW: "Yeah, that was after a couple great seasons and I think that there were definitely some rumors that he might move on back to the NFL and Jim Rome made a comment with the wit that only Jim Rome has and so I kind of, playing in a playful sort of sense, decided to respond and it was fun. Just the fact that Jim Rome took notice of the fact that I'm a sports fan, and I really am… Notre Dame football, I'm very, very passionate about it. There's two (teams) I really follow, the Lakers and Notre Dame football and I used to follow the Lakers as much as I do Notre Dame and I always have Notre Dame. It takes up a lot of time, though, too, to really follow a team.

"There's certain things within professional sports that I don't, I don't know, that I don't find as appealing. I think that there's, within college sports, I still like the idea that the coaches are mentors and teachers and that they are teaching these young men how to be men and how to be better men and you can see people grow up in a lot of different ways in a period of four or five years, sometimes three years. I think that's an amazing thing. In basketball, where it's more prevalent to just opt out and get a deal in the NBA, I think there's not as much, that sort of acting like a gentleman isn't quite as prevalent and it's probably because people don't finish school quite as often.

"I was having a conversation with another friend that is a Lakers fan and while we are really happy with the win (Wednesday), we were really bummed out by the two technical fouls by both players and, you know what, it's gotten kind of overboard.

"I think there should be a rule where players have to finish four years of college before they can enter into professional sports. I think it's good for a lot of reasons. I think it's good for education. I think it's good for character and I think it just sort of prepares them better for life.

"There's a lot being said right now that if Jimmy Clausen has the type of season that everyone thinks he's going to have, that he will enter the Draft this next year. I think that that would be the worst thing that he could possibly do. If he has the kind of year that everyone is hoping that he has and they get into a big BCS game, then all the top skill players will be seniors and should set them up to be favorites to play for the national championship. That's my own personal opinion. You always have to worry about getting injured and stuff but you can get injured out there on the pro football field as well."