Even Obama Gets It, Notre Dame a Joke
Hail to the Chief.
After giving the commencement speech at the school, Obama went to an Indianapolis fundraiser and addressed the controversy surrounding his visit. He said all that pro-life, pro-choice hubbub "paled in comparison to what to do about the football team."
"That's an issue we may not resolve within my four years," Obama said.
"Eight!" a spectator shouted.
"All right, well, maybe in eight we might get it done," Obama said.
How about never, Mr. President? Concentrate on saving the banks or GM or Rosie O'Donnell's career. We want Notre Dame to fail.
By "we", I mean anyone who believes you should earn your place in this world. The Fighting Irish have remained a member of college football's aristocracy. Could somebody please tell me why?
Yes, they were once an empire to be feared. So were the Ottomans, but you don't see them signing an exclusive deal with NBC.
You can't really blame the network for televising every Irish home game. As many people want to see them lose as watch them win.
I'd like to see them lose 219-0 every Saturday, which isn't very journalistic of me. We're not supposed to get emotionally involved with our patients. That objectivity is what separates us from fans who at this very moment are composing comments that I:
A) Don't know anything about college football.
B) Am hopelessly jealous of the Irish.
C) Am a moron.
I'll plead guilty to B and C. As for A, I know enough to know the Irish have never had to live by the rules governing the rest of football society.
This view started forming 1966 when unbeaten Notre Dame tied unbeaten Michigan State 10-10. The Irish actually ran out the clock instead of trying to win. For that they were awarded the national championship over the Spartans and 11-0 Alabama.
Then came 1977, when No. 5 Notre Dame beat No. 1 Texas in the Cotton Bowl. Third-ranked Alabama beat Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, but the Irish jumped all the way to the top and claimed another crown.
Think that would have happened if the roles had been reversed?
I recognize the Irish have "mystique," but just because Knute Rockne coached there and Ronald Reagan played The Gipper doesn't mean Notre Dame should be able to job more deserving teams.
Now along comes the Anti-Gipper. Notre Dame is a perfect comedic target for Obama, since he is out to redistribute the wealth and cut fat cats down to size. I don't expect the government to take over NBC, but it would be nice if Obama would impose a new rule:
In order to have your own network, teams must have more than one top-10 finish since the year "Cheers" went off the air. Notre Dame has just one cameo appearance in the AP top 10, in 2005, since finishing second in the last poll of 1993.
The Irish have NBC, their own MSNBC Web site and a special BCS status. Give those weapons to Urban Meyer or Pete Carroll and they would rule the universe. Give them to Notre Dame and you get one more top-10 than Bemidji State since '93.
Notre Dame hasn't won an actual championship since The Gipper was in the White House. At some point, perhaps after losing nine straight bowl games, as the Irish did before their epic Hawaii Bowl win in December, you'd think the fascination would subside. You can only live off the Four Horsemen for so long, right?
Wrong. The mystique is a trust fund and Notre Dame is the brat who keeps living off Daddy's money. Instead of wasting it on Dom Perignon, the Irish throw it away on Charlie Weis.
Whoever thought he'd be the next Rockne? Weis did, of course, as did the usual adoring media. It's the same delusion that made Ty Willingham the savior, Ron Powlus a Heisman shoo-in, and every recruit a double blue-chipper with a cherry on top.
And wouldn't you know it, on the heels of a seven-win season and an Aloha Bowl win, the Irish are back!
Word is that Jimmy Clausen is ready to become Joe Montana. Weis has shaken up his coaching staff. Spring practice was phenomenal. Expect an 11-win season.
Given Notre Dame's cushy schedule, it just might happen. If ACORN is in charge of voter turnout, the Irish will probably be elected to the preseason top five. If they beat USC, they'll probably be awarded the Sears Trophy on the spot.
That would depress me so much I'd need to see a priest for grief counseling, but that's okay. All I want is to live in a country where you get what you deserve.
If the Fighting Irish ever truly awaken the echoes, I'll buy the first leprechaun I see a green beer.
Until then we should follow the lead of our Commander in Chief:
Consider them a joke.