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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

3 Irish Flubs

In four short days, the Notre Dame football season will, for all practical purposes, come to an abrubt and thankful ending. Because after this Saturday, there will be nothing left for the Fighting Irish to play for. Four years after the world’s most presumptuous, pretentious and unknowledgable sports fans finally watched the most lopsided rivalry in the history of college football come to an end, they’ll get to watch it happen again (for the third time in four years) - on the world’s biggest stage. Because on October 23, 2010 the brand new sparkling $1.5B Meadowlands Stadium (new home to the New York Giants and New York Jets, and football’s biggest church) will host its very first college football game, and a once proud dynasty will meet a still proud dynasty, as Navy and Notre Dame clash for the 84th consecutive time. There is no more idyllic clash in sports; and nowhere where good versus evil has clearer sides. But on the off chance you’re new to this annual battle, here are 3 reasons to want Navy to beat Notre Dame:

1. Blue-ish Bloods. There is only one thing that I hate more than blue-blooded, entitled, high-society, family-moneyed douchebags, and that’s wanna be blue-blooded, entitled, high-society, family-moneyed douchebags. I mean, the U.S. version of the gold-domed Notre Dame couldn’t be any farther from its Roman counterpart if it was on the moon. Be honest, if you didn’t already know the school was there, what exactly would you expect to find in a town called South Bend, Indiana? One stoplight? Bunch of old guys sitting in a barber shop talking about high school football? A crooked sheriff that everyone knows and a couple of crazy kids in a tricked out Dodge Charger? (Wait, maybe that's Hazzard County.) Seriously though, the closest three towns to South Bend are: Mishawaka, Granger and Elkhart. No, I'm not kidding. Now tell me you’d even guess “Indiana” if I asked you which state those towns were in, let alone whether or not you’d expect that they ring some gilded palace of learning and athletic excellence. Don’t worry, though, they don’t. Of course they think they’re better than the hard-working blue collar state that hosts it, which makes it all the more satisfying to watch the bluest of blue collared schools show them that they bleed red, just like the rest of us.

2. Glory Daze. It’s one of the most American of phenomena, and also one the most universally insufferable. In a culture where the highest values are placed on youth and success while young, it comes as little surprise when many of us hold on to the past a little longer than we should. For most, it’s retelling stories of our scholastic triumphs just a little too often to be interesting, with just a little too much embellishment to be believable, or just a little too proudly to be laughed off as casual reminiscence. But for the Notre Dame fan, it’s something else altogether. For them, it is reliving a past they know little (if anything) about. And for any of them under the age of thirty, it’s a past they can’t recall - because they weren’t born yet. The last great quarterback to come from this purported "Quarterback U" was Joe Montana - Class of ’79. Which is just 15 years later than the last great quarterback from Navy (Roger Staubach). And if 15 years sounds like a long time, it’s more than twice that long since Montana’s rookie NFL season. Despite the fact that the last time they were nationally relevant I was still an undergrad (trust me, that’s a long time ago), Irish fans talk about national championships and undefeated seasons every year. If there was ever a team made to relieve Notre Dame fans of these delusions, it’s one that uses its past successes as a source of humility and perspective rather than as a set of blinders and an excuse to treat a ten-year pattern of mediocrity as an aberration.

3. Dis-mission. At its very heart, the University of Notre Dame, its fans, its students and its football team believe that the military is something that you do if you’re not smart enough to go to college - a sort of national trade school that affords the proletariat the opportunity to, at the very least, risk their lives so that the privileged few who are fortunate enough to matriculate upon their hallowed grounds can be kept safe and free from worry from a world filled with violent and uneducated hegemony. As John Kerry famously opined, they believe that the military is a punitive occupation that you are resigned to if you don’t work hard enough in school. They pay patronizing tribute to the service academies when they come to play football - treating the games like charity exhibitions where they aren’t really going to have to play; after all, they have gifted blue-chip recruited athletes, and as far as they're concerned, we’re playing the game with a few reformed criminals, ruffians and mouth-breathers that we cobbled together just before the season. There is no greater standard-bearer for this Age of Entitlement than the Univerisity of Notre Dame, which feels to its core, that it ought to win just for showing up. If you can’t root against a team like this, and for the team they most routinely dismissed - you’re hardly a football fan, in fact, you’re hardly an American.

* * *
For 43 straight years, from 1964 to 2006, Navy walked off the field of play with the Fighting Irish in defeat. For 43 straight years, a nation of mindless Notre Dame fans, minds filled with the fictions of “Rudy” and the lisped warblings of Lou Holtz, watched their prejudices validated every November - and slept peacefully in the knowledge that no matter their own personal inadequacies, their boys in blue and gold (colors which we had first anyways) would triumph over those haggard souls relegated to paid service of their nation on the front lines of war. But then it all ended. And the opponent they least suspected rose up and delivered a long overdue comeuppance - on the their own home turf, no less. Two years later, we did it again. And on Saturday, with the arrival of a new coach and a few cupcake victories having stoked the fires of South Bend entitlement once more, good will again triumph over evil, hard work and heart will again triumph over birthright and apathy, this year’s Matt Coutures will watch their ill-fated season ended at the hands of real warriors, and maybe, just maybe they’ll realize that’s the way it should have been all along.

GO NAVY, BEAT NOTRE DAME!

3 comments:

Glenn H. Truitt said...

35-17!!! That's right, bitches! Hail the RECKONING!

Anonymous said...

motherfucking hate the irish
go midshipmen

Anonymous said...

"military is a punitive occupation that you are resigned to if you don’t work hard enough in school."

I dont see any problem with this statement... Smugness is not good, but given the option, choosing military over college is not the best move.

PS Im not from Notre Dame

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