Go Irish! Beat USC
I’m a big Notre Dame football fan, have been since about 1984 when I read my dad’s copy of Knute Rockne: All American and got drawn in on the Notre Dame mystique. I was very fortunate to be a fan when the Irish won the national championship in 1988, and have faithfully watched over the years as Notre Dame’s fortunes and soared and waned. The 2012 season was one of the most adrenaline-filled thrills I’ve ever had the opportunity to witness, and while the Irish were humbled by Alabama, the simple fact of the matter is that there were 128 other teams who didn’t make it.
I find it amusing when people consistently say that Notre Dame is over-rated or inconsequential because they haven’t won a national championship in 30 years. Arkansas hasn’t won a national championship since 1964 – does that make them irrelevant? LSU won their last national championship in 2007, but before that it was 1958. There are 130 teams in Division I FBS, but only two will ever play for the title. Prior to the playoffs not even the most deserving teams would get a chance to play every year. A lot depended on public relations and winning when it counted the most.
Tonight Notre Dame plays the USC Trojans, and it is my earnest hope they thoroughly trash the surfer boys from LA. In many ways this game is an elimination round for the college football playoffs. Whoever wins remains in the mix. Loser can only play the roll of spoiler for the rest of the year and possibly get an invitation to a mid-tier bowl. I definitely hope Notre Dame emerges triumphant, but if they don’t the year isn’t totally a waste. Many (myself included) figured the best the Irish could do was 8-4. They still might do that if they lose to USC, NC State, and Miami, in which case the Irish lived up to expectations rather than exceeded them. I would prefer to win out, with our only loss coming against Georgia, but there’s a reason for a mantra I have about Notre Dame football, which goes like this:
Why do I like Notre Dame football? Because I like pain, and anguish, and suffering. Notre Dame football has destroyed more Irish dreams than the Irish Potato Famine, and that’s the kind of suffering I can get behind.
Notre Dame is a 4-pt favorite over USC. I hope they do well, but unfortunately I’m in Nebraska attending a wedding so I won’t be able to see the game live on TV, although I’ll be checking in on ESPN during the reception. The hope is that I’ll be able to watch the dominating win over USC on Youtube on Monday, reveling in vanquishing the hated Trojans once again. Even better if it’s not even a close game, although a nail-biter would be great for ratings.