clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Notre Dame? Echoes Don’t Play Football.

New, 110 comments
Notre Dame v USC Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Welcome back friends. I hope everyone got their fair share of love and peace-on-earth this holiday season, but it’s time to get back to business, and my business is hate. I’m not going to lie, I’ve been a Notre Dame fan this season. When it looked like real USC was going to spring the upset on The Fighting Irish in the final game of the season, I was on the edge of my seat, grinding my teeth, and silently praying for Notre Dame to pull it out.

Now don’t get me wrong, I hate Notre Dame, I was born in Southern Indiana and raised as a Purdue fan. I’ve hated Notre Dame before I even knew about hate. In fact, hating Notre Dame is the only thing that brings my dad’s side of the family together. It’s a split Purdue/Indiana family, and things can get tense during basketball season, but whenever things start to cross the line, hating on Notre Dame always brings the fractured Schneider clan of Southern Indiana German Catholics back together. In a way, Notre Dame has saved several tense Thanksgivings in Huntingburg, Indiana.

Here are a few undeniably true facts about Notre Dame

Notre Dame are Poseurs

Notre Dame’s dream in life is for their little piece of North Central Indiana farm land to be magically picked up and moved to a quaint little piece of land in New England. Notre Dame breaks one of the unwritten rules that immediately casts you as an outcast in polite Southern society….

They are ashamed of their roots.

Notre Dame is the midwestern high school kid that religiously reads the New Yorker, wears an oversized, off brand, overcoat and pilled cashmere scarf they found at a thrift store in Elkhart, and considers themselves a musical theatre connoisseur because their theatre class took a field trip to see a production of Fiddler on the Roof in Chicago. They park their car a ½ mile away from school and trudge through the snow because they are ashamed to drive a rusted out Ford Ranger from the mid-90s. They don’t have friends over to the house, because they are deeply ashamed of the wall-to-wall late 70’s green shag carpet that covers every floor in their house. In fact, they don’t have friends, because their affectation is so ingrained that they actually believe they are better than their peers. They have convinced themselves that not only are they special, but that everyone else is a poor provincial rube that can’t possibly understand what it’s like to be Notre Dame.

Notre Dame hasn’t steadfastly refused to join the Big 10 because they want to remain “independent” or because of their rather meager NBC TV contract, they’ve refused to join to the Big 10 because they don’t want anyone to associate them with the midwest. You’ll notice that they were willing to join the Big East as a partial member, and then join the ACC (once they added Syracuse of course) as a partial member. Notre Dame has convinced themselves that they are an elite, east coast school, even though geography puts them roughly between Chicago and Toledo, a few miles south of the Michigan border in St. Joseph’s County, Indiana (this factual information will hurt Notre Dame fans more than anything else I say about them in this article).

You want another example of their east coast envy? Look no further than this season, when they dressed up their little striped pants and Cosplayed like they were the Yankees, while playing a football game in the outfield of Yankee Stadium.

Look at this shameless tweet

Can you imagine Clemson coming up with a trash alternative uniform and playing a game in the outfield of SunTrust Field while insisting that the crowd do the tomahawk chop?

You can’t, right?

That’s because Clemson is happy being Clemson.

That’s the big difference in the programs.

Clemson is proud of being an Engineering and Ag school tucked in the northwest corner of rural South Carolina. Clemson doesn’t need to be the New York Yankees because being Clemson isn’t just enough, it’s everything. We don’t hide from the fact that we might not be the most sophisticated or metropolitan campus in America. We refuse to “put on airs” and pretend that we’re something we’re not. For better or worse, we’re Clemson, and we’ll always be Clemson.

Notre Dame, on the other hand, will always desire a level of class and sophistication their rural Indiana campus simply can’t provide. Notre Dame isn’t happy being a small, private, midwestern, Catholic school with a football history rooted in the distant past. They will always yearn to be “The Harvard of the Midwest” because being Notre Dame just isn’t good enough for some reason.

It’s sad really.

Brian Kelly

Speaking of poseurs, does anyone else look at Brian Kelly erupting on the sideline and think, “this man is out of his depth and attempting to convey strength by screaming until he passes out.”

The thing is, Brian Kelly isn’t a particularly bad coach, but he’s not a particularly good coach either. When things go according to plan, he’s fine. When things go wrong, they go really wrong, and no amount of Brian Kelly screaming and frothing can put The Fighting Irish back on the right track.

Don’t take my word for it, check out his record of blow out losses at Notre Dame

2010: Notre Dame 14 - Stanford 37 / Notre Dame 17 - Navy 35

2011: Notre Dame 17 - USC 31

2012: Notre Dame 14 - Alabama 42

2013: Notre Dame 21 - Oklahoma 35

2014: Notre Dame 31 - Arizona State 55 / Notre Dame 14 - USC 49

2015: Notre Dame 28 - Ohio State 44

2016: Notre Dame 27 - USC 45

2017: Notre Dame 8 - Miami 41 / Notre Dame 20 - Stanford 38

Compare this 8 year trend of blow out losses with Clemson, who has only dropped one game (last year vs Bama) by more than one possession in four years.

If Brian Kelly were an airline pilot, you would probably be okay He’s capable of executing routine take offs and landings, getting up to altitude and riding the auto-pilot. As long as everything runs smoothly, Brian Kelly is your guy. The problems arise when things don’t quite go as planned. If an engine blows, you’re doomed, because Kelly doesn’t have the composure required to function in an emergency.

Another pilot may be able to troubleshoot the problem and keep the plane in the air, but not Brian Kelly. You’re only hope is that the co-pilot can wrestle the controls away from Kelly as he screams, “OH GOD, WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE” over the intercom while beating his head on the control panel and soiling his pants.

Brian Kelly brings a lot of things to the table, but composure in the face of unforeseen circumstances isn’t one of them.

Personally, watching Brian Kelly’s head swell up like a tick stuck on a dog’s hind quarters and while it works its way through every possible shade of red, will be one of the highlights of my Saturday. If ESPN is really into providing an interactive experience, they should put a blood pressure monitor on Kelly and provide a running read out at the bottom of the screen.

I am dying to know what numbers he hits when Clemson takes a two touchdown lead in the first quarter.

In Summary

Almost everything about Notre Dame is a carefully crafted facade.

Rudy?

The movie is a fabrication and the real Rudy was arrested for being a Con artist.

Lou Holtz?

Read Under the Tarnished Dome and get back with me.

Football Royalty?

Notre Dame has finished in the top 10 three times in the last 20 years (including this year). For reference, so has South Carolina.

Independent?

Meh, they usually only travel west of the Mississippi once a year. They are really into one off gimmick games though. I look forward to Notre Dame playing Navy on an air craft carrier at some point in the near future.

Holier than Thou?

Notre Dame didn’t officially get destroyed by Alabama in the BCS Championship because officially, Notre Dame vacated all their 2012 and 2013 games because of academic impropriety.

Touchdown Jesus?

Yes, it’s a thing, ask the Georgia fans who took over the Notre Dame home game.

Plucky Under Dogs?

Sure, if you consider a team who consistently recruits in the top tier of college football bereft of talent.

The Victory March?

I’ll take Tiger Rag any day of the week.

Jimmy Clausen?

Panther’s fans all know how that turned out.

Manti Te’o?

Thoughts and prayers.

Harvard of the Midwest?

That’s Northwestern.

You want the truth about Notre Dame?

I’ll let you in on what every Indiana resident knows about Notre Dame.

Notre Dame is an above average football program surrounded by a carefully crafted narrative. They’re not “special” or “different,” they’re just arrogant. They’re a lie that’s been repeated so many times, it has become the truth, despite all evidence to the contrary.

On Saturday, The ghost of Knute Rockne won’t be roaming the sidelines. Harry Stuhldreher, Don Miller, Jim Crowley and Elmer Layman (aka The 4 horsemen) won’t be be taking the field. Touchdown Jesus will be sitting under a low, grey Indiana sky, looking over an empty stadium.

Ara Parseghian won’t be drawing up plays in the huddle. Joe Montana won’t be taking snaps, Tim Brown won’t run a single route, the Jerome Bettis bus will be parked in the garage, and Rocket Ismail won’t return a single kick.

Clemson isn’t playing the Notre Dame mystique, Clemson is playing the 2018 Notre Dame football team, and honestly, it shouldn’t be close. The Tigers are the bigger, faster, stronger, and better coached team. The Fighting Irish are a nice little outfit this year, but they haven’t faced anything like the Tigers punishing run game backed up by a rocket armed quarterback and an entire squad of elite wide receivers.

They haven’t seen a defensive line hell bent on quarterback destruction and a squad of linebackers looking to erase any running back that manages to squirm through a crack with malice. They’ve haven’t seen a secondary that can match up with their physical receivers and beat them to jump balls.

Oh, and if any of the Notre Dame ghosts want to get involved, well, Frank Howard will have something for them.

Go Tigers, see y’all next week for my final hate article of the year.