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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly apologized to his players in the locker room after the loss at North Carolina State, sorry that he couldnt find a way to win.Ive got to look hard at how Im doing it to figure out a way to get a win for you guys, because you deserve it, he said.Kelly has done a bit of everything to try to turn around Notre Dames fortunes. He said after the loss to Michigan State that he and his coaches needed to do better. He placed the blame for the loss to Duke on his players, saying they needed to play with more passion. He fired his defensive coordinator and told the other assistants and the players that everyones job was in jeopardy, including his own. Hes taken a more active role in coaching the defense and hes encouraged the Irish to play with more enthusiasm.So midway into a season thats quickly spiraling out of control, what move can Kelly make to help the Irish (2-4) as he tries to avoid his first losing season since his first year at Central Michigan in 2004? Kellys push this week as the Irish prepare for Stanford (3-2) is for players to finish games stronger.I need your best in these moments, he said.He sounded a similar theme following a 50-47 double overtime loss to Texas in the opener. Kelly is 21-16 in games decided by a touchdown or less in his seven seasons at Notre Dame, including 0-3 this season.We expect to win some of the close games that were going to be playing in over the next six weeks, Kelly said.The Irish were 3-2 in those games last season -- and that includes a 38-36 loss at Stanford where DeShone Kizer led the Irish on a 15-play, 88-yard drive that used up 6 minutes and 18 seconds before Kizer scored on a 2-yard run with 30 seconds left. But the Irish defense allowed the Cardinal to drive 45 yards on five plays for the 45-yard game-winning field goal that ended Notre Dames playoff hopes.The Irish havent won a close game since.Kelly said he should have done a better job preparing the Irish for close games.On the level of what we were trying to do, I think that kind of fell lower on the list of priorities, he said. I think priority one was getting them lined up and getting them to play at a high level against Texas right out of the gate. And then, we had some issues on defense.Kelly wouldnt get into the specifics about what changes he is planning to finish stronger, but said part of the focus will be on awareness.Youve got to say, `All right, four minutes to go in the game. Lets move the chains. Let us go up and down the field with that same kind of process so everybody is alert, locked in and understands. Lets go win the game, he said.Because of the close losses, the Irish have gone from being ranked No. 10 in the preseason to a team that desperately needs wins with the toughest games still ahead, including No. 16 Miami, No. 17 Virginia Tech and No. 25 Navy. The struggles have some questioning whether Kellys job could be in jeopardy. Kelly said he doesnt pay attention.Everybody has struggles. Everybody goes through some tough times. Youre going to have some adversity. If you cave to adversity then how strong are you really? 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She most recently played for Sky Blue FC of the National Womens Soccer League. "It just felt like it was my time to move on," she said in a phone interview from her hometown of Burlington, Ont.CONCORD, N.C. -- There is that lasting image of Dick Trickle in the Winston 500 lighting up a cigarette while driving his stock car with his knees during a caution lap. He places the cigarette through a hole he carved in his helmet for a quick toke and exhales. The green flag hits and out the window goes the cigarette butt and back to racing goes Trickle. "Dick always had a cigarette lighter in his car," said fellow NASCAR driver Geoff Bodine. Trickle was a unique driver with a unique name who found cult-like status before his death Thursday. Trickle, whose larger-than-life personality and penchant for fun won him legions of fans despite a lack of success beyond the nations small tracks, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said. He was 71. The Lincoln County Sheriffs Office said authorities received a call believed to be from Trickle, who said "there would be a dead body and it would be his." Authorities tried to call the number back, but no one answered. Trickles body was found near his pickup truck at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Boger City, N.C., about 40 miles northwest of Charlotte. Sheriffs Lieutenant Tim Johnson said foul play was not suspected. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Dick Trickle on his passing today," NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said. "Dick was a legend in the short-track racing community, particularly in his home state of Wisconsin, and he was a true fan favourite. Personalities like Dick Trickle helped shape our sport. He will be missed." Trickle earned his reputation as a successful short track driver before joining the Winston Cup series and earning rookie of the year in 1989 at age 48. He competed in more than 300 Cup races. Although he never won a Cup race and won only two Busch Series races, Trickle earned cult status in the 1990s. Former ESPN anchor Keith Olbermann would regularly mention where Trickle finished after talking about each NASCAR race. It caught on and drew snickers from race fans around the country. Bodine said there was only one way to describe Trickle, a native of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. "Fun," Bodine said. "Just plain fun." Trickle was never one to be told how to live his life. "Its all just sad," Bodine said in a telephone interview. "We dont understand why he would do this. Hopefully we will all learn why he would do that. There was something that triggered him to take his own life. We are all really saddened by this in the racing community." NASCAR does not keep track of short-tracck records, but according to the (Milwaukee) Journal-Sentinel, Trickle won more than 1,000 short-track races throughout the country during his prime.dddddddddddd He was a seven-time winner in the regional ARTGO Challenge Series in the late 1970s and mid 80s. Trickle also captured the ASA AC-Delco Challenge Series in back-to-back years in 1984-85 before turning to Cup racing. "Dick Trickle was one of the best race drivers of the 80s, no one knew how many races he won," said Humpy Wheeler, the former president of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "He was right there with Red Farmer and other short track drivers -- the wins kind of got so big that they blended into each other. He was a product of the rich Wisconsin soil, where they race eight races a week in the season, and he could win all of them." Wheeler said he asked Trickle to try NASCAR in the 1980s, but Trickle initially declined because he was so successful on the short track circuit. "He could not make enough money then as he could on those Midwest tracks, so he deferred," Wheeler recalled. "For a guy who really won at least 700 races, I could see why. In those days, unless you were a top Cup driver, you couldnt win enough money to overcompensate for that." Trickle eventually did move to NASCAR, settling into Iron Station, N.C., where he lived for more than 20 years. Bodine said Trickle was full of stories and popular because of it. "People everywhere knew his name," Bodine said. "Thats why they used his likeness in that movie Days of Thunder. He was such a character." The main character in that popular niche racing movie, played by Tom Cruise, was named Cole Trickle. Bodine said that a few years ago he had to back out of a celebrity cruise for patients who were on kidney dialysis. He asked Trickle to fill in. "He made such an impression on people on that ship that everyone wanted to know when Dick was coming back," Bodine said. "They loved him. They tell me he was the last man to leave most of the bars on the ship and I believe it." Bodine also recalled inviting Trickle to compete in one of his bobsled events in 2004 at Lake Placid, N.Y. He said Trickle went down the first time and crashed. After being cleared by doctors to continue, Trickle tried again and crashed in the same place. "They were doing interviews with him on TV and he was like, I dont know what happened, I did the exact same thing I did the first time," Bodine said. "And were all looking at him like, Hey Dick, maybe that was the problem." cheap falcons jerseys cheap ravens jerseys cheap bills jerseys cheap bears jerseys cheap bengals jerseys cheap cowboys jerseys cheap lions jerseys cheap texans jerseys cheap colts jerseys cheap jaguars jerseys cheap chiefs jerseys cheap rams jerseys cheap dolphins jerseys cheap vikings jerseys cheap saints jerseys cheap giants jerseys cheap jets jerseys cheap eagles jerseys cheap steelers jerseys cheap 49ers jerseys ' ' '

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