Monday, April 28, 2008

Something Smells Rotten

For those of you who don't know me or my style of fandom, here's a brief sampler: I am an unapologetic optimist, especially when it comes to Notre Dame and Notre Dame football. I mean, I'm the same guy who got verklempt while showing Rudy to high-schoolers. The glass is always at least 2/3 full and usually getting fuller. Let me explain why I believe this. When it comes to sports, I always view them in the context of the university as a whole. This is the university where I connect most deeply with my faith, my family, and my closest friends. No 3-9 season or BCS meltdown or 14-year bowl streak can take that fact away. Notre Dame football might not be the best program, but (in my mind, at least) we are the most good. Do I print out the GSR after a 3-9 season and claim that we are the #3 program in America? Of course not. However, I believe that a 3-9 team that upholds the Notre Dame tradition (an oxymoron I know, but bear with me) is much more likely to return to success on the field than an independent set in South Bend, Indiana uprooted from its tradition will achieve a long run of on-field success.

Why the rant? Namely so that you can understand this simple fact: I'm pissed. Started when I flipped open an ESPN the magazine and saw this:
For those of you who haven't seen it, it's a full-page ad where a group of 4 ND defenders gang-tackling a Siegfried interhall player (while wearing the hideous Bob Davie adidas jerseys, no less). This doesn't make sense for either side: when you think adidas deodorant, think Notre Dame football? God forbid the flip side: when you think Notre Dame football, think adidas deodorant? Don't we have enough money with the NBC deal, the 2 BCS bowl appearances we don't split with a conference (even though we sort of do due to a separate bonehead deal that also shows a lack of belief in Notre Dame and its ability to achieve), the IndianaDisney Bookstore, and the 200+ consecutive home sellouts? What does this ad help us achieve? It doesn't seem to move along construction on Purcell Pavilion at Meijer Court at the JACC, the hockey 'rink', or the fencing closet. I refuse to see this ad on all fronts, but I would even consider stomaching this ad if some teams didn't play in the college equivalent of the Vet and we weren't forced to call on the local California high school band to take the Coliseum for our marquee matchup with our chief rival.

That vent has been stewing for a few weeks, thanks for letting me get that out. Let me be clear: After all this, I do believe that Dr. White is a good man who badly wants success for Notre Dame. There are times, however, where his view of success and mine could not be more different.


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