Friday, November 5, 2010

Old Gold And Blue, Fading Away

Western Michigan? Tulsa?

Notre Dame football fans, I tell you this: You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. These two teams are NOT great tests on the gridiron.

You ought to face this fact: the Fighting Irish are no longer a national football powerhouse and hasn't been one for the last few years. I don't know exactly why that happened, but one reason, I believe, is that it can no longer get premier players because of its strict academic requirements.

(It's not because football players are by nature stupid. But if you had a choice of spending most of your time practicing and playing football, as the professionals do, or dividing your time between going to classes and studying or football, the ones focused on football will have the advantage.

( I'm looking at you, Southeastern Conference schools. All of you, except for Vanderbilt, are not know for your academics. You continue and perpetuate the idea that in the South, "book larnin'" is for sissies and faggots.)

Notre Dame's record so far this season is 4-5. It lost -- yes, lost -- to Tulsa 28-27 last Saturday. It lost to Navy for the second straight year after a decades-long record of beating the Middies and also to a Michigan team that is down this season.

The Irish will now rest and recuperate until their next game November 13 against...Utah. Good luck , Irish. And after I wrote that sentence, I was surprised that I wished them good luck against Utah.

But Notre Dame fans still continue and want to think the Irish are a national powerhouse, and run off/fire any coach who doesn't get them a national title, let alone a Top Ten standing.

Face it: Your team is like Army and Navy. They're in Division I, the big boy category in college football, because of tradition. They ought to be in Division I-A.

They have faded, just like Ivy League football faded when the Big Ten came to prominence, and the Big Ten faded (for a while, though) when the SEC and the Pac-8 (now Pac-10) came into prominence.

As for the whole scene around the team, I have mixed feelings. Notre Dame football is like Jesus; the two of them are good in and of and by themselves, but some of their fans are among the biggest assholes you will ever meet.

That's especially noticeable for some Irish fans in the Indianapolis area. They react to critics and criticisms of the football team as if they're anti-Catholic.

There was the South Bend radio fool who said God gave Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio a heart attack for cheating against Notre Dame. If you want more details, click here for the details.

This is the kind of ignorant foolishness that some Irish fans would've believed back in the 1950s and early 1960s. I think he was kidding, but some people might've thought he wasn't.

(Michigan State, by the way, defeated Notre Dame 34-31 in overtime on Sept. 18.)

That outlook has much to do with the provincial and inward mentality -- parochial, in other words -- of midwestern Catholics. Surrounded by Protestants/heretics/non believers, they turn inward in fear of persecution or corruption by these influences outside their church.

I remind you that 50 years ago, when John Kennedy ran against Richard Nixon for president, many people wondered if Kennedy's loyalties would to be toward the United States or the Vatican. And 90 years ago, when the Ku Klux Klan dominated state politics, the Klan was known to be anti-Catholic, besides being anti-semitic and anti-black.

Notre Dame, although you lost to Tulsa, you might -- might -- go to a bowl. It won't be one of the big bowls, though, and you probably won't be going to any big bowls in the future.

NOTE: This is a post updated from one I wrote October 26. A few additions were needed to make it more relevant.

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