Monday, October 6, 2008
I read an article long ago that derided that within the first five minutes of meeting one, you will promptly learn that he is (a) a United States Marine or (b) a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. That observation was meant as an insult, so as much as possible, I try to refrain from identifying myself as a Notre Dame alum for at least the first 6 minutes of a new acquaintance. It's been three months and 21 posts and I haven't said anything, but I will now take this opportunity to point out the following:
1. It's college football season, and
2. Unlike the last two years, the Fighting Irish seem to be making a go of it, with a current record of 3-1.
Now I'm not predicting any national championships anytime soon. Touchdown Jesus only knows if they'll ever return to their days as a legitimate contender like they were back when Lou Holtz and I were there, counting every fleet yard Rocket Ismail crossed, or every lineman Chris Zorich reduced to a weeping ninny. But I can savor wins over Michigan, Stanford, Purdue, and San Diego State. No, as much as I'd love to see Notre Dame upset the USC Trojans, I don't see a repeat this season of the Irish upset of then #1 Florida State back in 1993.
I know that, like the New York Yankees, the Fighting Irish can trigger hatred from non-fans. In fact, as many fans as there are, it's probably even more fashionable to root against the Irish than for them. Let's face it, it's just not cool to root for anyone but the Underdog. And with Knute Rockne, the Gipper, Joe Montana, the NBC broadcast contract into perpetuity, and the whole College Football Tradition Thing, the Irish are anything but. Winning record or not, Notre Dame will always be the epitome of the Overdog. But I can tell you that, as uncool as it may be, I am proud to always root for the Fighting Irish, win or lose.