And how you deal with those who disagree with you on this board. But I've never doubted that we're on the same side of the most important issue we deal with here on Rock's House. We all want Notre Dame to win. When we disagree, it's because we have different notions of what the problem is, how to fix it, or what makes it better or worse. As a short aside - this isn't the main point I want to make - this is why I was so offended by ndoldtown's statement. He basically said, we're different than you in ways that make us better (more hardworking, more ambitious, not entitled, worked for everything we got). We don't need to create more schisms on this board. I think the goals of older alumni and younger alumni and fans, especially those relating to football, are very closely aligned. Every friend from Notre Dame I've spoken to is angry about losing our first two games to inferior competition. Like you, we want and are hopeful to see drastic improvement.
As for Jenkins and Swarbrick, I still believe that they are trying to improve Notre Dame football. My first full day at Notre Dame (August 20, 2009), during a break in transfer orientation, I was self-guiding my own tour of campus using my trusty campus map. I saw Father Jenkins sitting on a bench on God Quad, and I took the opportunity to introduce myself. We ended up speaking for about fifteen minutes, covering football, Barack Obama, and my reasons for transferring from UF to ND. I was honest and told him that my love for Notre Dame began with the football team. I don't remember his exact words, but he told me he gets that answer all the time. I think he recognizes the benefits that a strong football team provides.
As for your last point, I didn't become a Notre Dame fan until 2000. I never saw Notre Dame as a dominant program. But I do have a ton of fond memories of Notre Dame football. I have stuck around in the (perhaps vain) that I might get to experience what you all did in decades past. I wouldn't still watch - and I certainly wouldn't have gone to Notre Dame - if I thought our leaders wanted ND to be just like everyone else.
for the rest of your life.
Go back and reread ndoldtown's post, but with much greater discernment than you have to date. He said none of the things you have attributed to him. He did not imply any of the things you have attributed to him. While I can see how you could read those things into what he said, the fact remains you read them into what he said, rather than reading what he said.
What he said wasn't really about you (neither the specific baloo88 "you" or the generic "alumni your age" you); it was about Notre Dame. I encourage you to take another look at it and to expand your view of what he wrote from your current narrow focus on you and toward a view toward the changes that have happened at Notre Dame.
"Notre Dame used to be a place where hard-working, ambitious people without all the advantages could go, excel and make more of themselves. Now it is to a large extent a destination spot for entitled people who have had things handed to them. Good kids, generally, but not of the sort that built the place and defined its ethos."
He's clearly talking about the current students and recent grads.
I am going to break it down, very specifically, into exactly what ndoldtown said. I am then going to tell you exactly where you are adding things he did not say. I am willing to do this in an effort to help you, because listening and discernment is a critical skill that will differentiate you from just about everyone around you in your professional and personal life, when practiced correctly and frequently.
ndoldtown's quote, in full, as supplied by you:
"Notre Dame used to be a place where hard-working, ambitious people without all the advantages could go, excel and make more of themselves. Now it is to a large extent a destination spot for entitled people who have had things handed to them. Good kids, generally, but not of the sort that built the place and defined its ethos."
I see where you went through this line by line below, but you missed the point. Let's go through it again:
"Notre Dame used to be a place..." (bold to differentiate ndoldtown's work)
As you noted below, "used to be" is an indicator that the upcoming description will be about the past, as contrasted to the different circumstances of the present.
Here is where you keep missing the point, though:
"...where hard-working, ambitious people without all the advantages could go, excel and make more of themselves...." (italics and underlining added)
"Without all the advantages." "Could go." Each and every time you have discussed this point, you get hung up on the "hard-working, ambitious people" part, but leave off the critical qualifiers. "Without all the advantages" is the difference between the son of an accountant, and the son of a high school dropout working the line at the machine shop. ndoldtown's comment isn't to say that hard-working ambitious people no longer attend Notre Dame; it is to say that those hard-working ambitious people without all the advantages have a very, very difficult time getting in, and then graduating, from Notre Dame when that was not the case in up through the 1970s, and even into the 1980s. Notre Dame is no longer a place where those people can realistically hope to go. It's out of reach.
If you miss the point of the first part, then you cannot hope to understand the point of the distinction he draws in his next sentence:
"...Now it is to a large extent a destination spot for entitled people who have had things handed to them...."
Note first what is not here. At no point does ndoldtown say that those "entitled people who have had things handed to them" are neither hard-working nor ambitious. You have added that by misunderstanding the previous sentence. You compound your error by misreading "destination spot" below.
Read without the additional meaning you mistakenly applied to it, this sentence says 2 things: Notre Dame is a much more prestigious place than it was decades prior ("destination spot") and it is increasingly populated by students who do not know what it's like to do without ("entitled people who have had things handed to them"). In this context, but "things" is better understood to be "objects." These kids have worked their tails off for the grades and extra curricular activities needed to get into Notre Dame today. What they have not had to do, generally speaking, is work their tails off to buy a car, or to earn their spending money. Economically speaking only, Notre Dame is not a place where students go to "make more of themselves," because these students already come from means and privilege relative to their predecessors. It is a destination spot.
Notre Dame is where they go to maintain the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed, in a way. That wasn't the case through the 1980s. The changes started to become apparent in the late 1980s to the early 1990s. You still had the kids without means getting in and trying to make a go of it, but the cost had passed them by, and the University did not meet full needs, even through crushing debt loads. If you didn't have the money, or couldn't work for it (which was hard to do with the cost escalation by that time), you were out of luck.
That was my story as an erstwhile member of the Class of 1996. My ex-wife, on the other hand, was exactly the entitled person who had had something handed to her her entire life, as a member of the Class of 1997. She worked very hard through school to earn her way into Notre Dame, but she never had to worry about whether the heating oil tank was going to run out in January, for example. That kind of sheltering from all hard economic choices is something we all hope to give our children, because it's undeniably a good thing. That kind of sheltering from all hard economic choices, however, is a relatively new feature of the Notre Dame student body, and it not the sort of characteristic found in the student body "that built the place and defined its ethos."
The sons of factory workers gave way to the sons and daughters of lawyers and CEOs, and that unquestionably carries with it significant change to the makeup of the place, and the mindset of the students. Older alumni do not love Notre Dame more than you, or less than you. Their love for Notre Dame, however, is undeniably different from yours. In that sense, it is much like the love you have for your children: you love each of them intensely, and no one more than any other, but you love each of them differently.
It will be referred to again and again to explain what shouldn't have to be explained. But does. Again and again.
Both for the explanation and the patience to make it.
You're obviously too dense or obstinate to understand what ndoldtown said, and you're just making yourself look worse persisting in this folly.
And the stuff before and after it.
It may sink in.
Hell, I come from a relatively affluent background, and I didn't take it as a swipe against me. He didn't mean it as a swipe against you or your peers.
He meant it as a commentary as to what the University has endeavored to become. It is somehow embarrassed about its heritage and wants to be something other than what it was.
I'm as serious as a heart attack. I also liked your opening post in this thread. I was and remain a Kelly supporter. From reading your post, I was likely more of a supporter than you were. I'd guess that's reversed now. I just need to see it before I believe it.
It was that he ascribed the terms not hardworking, unambitious, entitled, had everything handed to them, and view Notre Dame as a destination spot to current students and recent grads. I didn't care about the student body being called rich. It's true, at least in comparison to ND students of the past and most other college students in the country. It's the other descriptors that bothered me.
but I seriously doubt you'd rise and strike to defend the honor of the entire student body. If you came from a single parent background and worked your ass off for everything you have, congrats, you're blessed with something more important than wealth.
But honestly, did you even look around you on campus when you were there? Notre Dame has significantly...significantly increased the Spaulding Smails/Danny Noonan ratio.
It is what it is, kid.
handed to them.
Or did I make that up?
He did not say that you or your classmates are not harworking or ambitious. Look, the message is obviously lost on you. Consider that older, wiser and smarter people have tried to set you straight. Consider that your feeling may be hurt unnecessarily. Consider you may have it wrong. Consider letting it go, like now.
Let me go through this line by line.
"Notre Dame used to be a place where..."
Doesn't "used to be" imply that Notre Dame is no longer the place he describes.
"...hard-working, ambitious people without all the advantages could go, excel and make more of themselves."
Whom is he talking about? Administrators? Quite a stretch, don't you think, to say that he's talking about administrators making "more of themselves". I think the simpler explanation is that he's talking about students.
"Now it is to a large extent a destination spot for entitled people who have had things handed to them."
Yes, entitled and haven't worked for what they've gotten. Those who get to Notre Dame aren't seeking to excel and better themselves. We've reached our destination.
"Good kids, generally, but not of the sort that built the place and defined its ethos."
I'm supposed to believe that he's referring to the administration as "good kids"? Come on. It's simpler, yes, to reason that he's referring to students.
You tell me just where I'm mistaken.
For the record, Andy brought it up.
"Yes, entitled and haven't worked for what they've gotten. Those who get to Notre Dame aren't seeking to excel and better themselves. We've reached our destination."
That's your inferral, he didn't say this
"Good kids, generally, but not of the sort that built the place and defined its ethos."
The place wasn't built in the last few years. My generation is not like my grandfather's generation who went to ND. I don't see how that is controversial.
The real problem is the quoted statement above. You lept from his quote to a conclusion that isn't there.
I don't mind that he says we are different from old students. Yes, we do come from more wealthy backgrounds from the most part. Even I, a son of a single mother who is an accountant, have probably had more advantages than the average Notre Dame student from the first half of the 20th century. But there's no mistaking that he did use the terms "entitled" and "had things handed to them" to describe students today and he did say that we view Notre Dame as a destination spot.
If he was trying to land a blow against the leadership at Notre Dame, he missed with those three sentences and hit the current students and recent grads.
Is that he's trying to say those are the types of people ND is targeting now, and the atmosphere they are attempting to cultivate as well.
Assumptions as mine. You must admit that if one is to believe what you just wrote, he has to read a lot into ndoldtown's post.
But I'm content to leave it alone from here. I really do appreciate you taking the time to explain what you thought of ndoldtown's statements.
Also, Fernando Torres is still a bust. Luckily for your Blues, Chelsea have made a few other smart buys (Meireles, Mata, and Luiz, in particular) that have really saved their bacon.
My feelings certainly aren't hurt. I understand what you guys are saying, and I think it's wrong. I do get that he was making a point about the leadership at Notre Dame, but in doing so, he did make judgments about the students. I'm going to drop it here, because this really is a stupid argument. We're getting nowhere.
If we were 2-0, none of this shit would have ever been brought up.
Between Catholic feeder schools, Sunday morning replays and storied tradition, we were able to overcome the obstacles that Hesburgh et al threw in our way. As ESPN and other networks started televising virtually every college game, we lost one advantage. Florida and Texas schools began to supplant PA and Ohio schools as the hotbeds of major high school talent. Kids from these schools didn't grow up "whistling the Victory March".
Lou Holtz was able to stem the tide for a time, but then Malloy decided we needed more obstacles. Now, we have been wandering the desert for 15 years.
Swarbrick does give me some hope with training tables etc. I hope Kelly succeeds, but he sure as hell won't if the administration makes him do it with 2 hands tied behind his back.
This shit is bad for all of us.
This is an excellent little piece. But really, it's even more befuddling than ACross indicates.
A lot of people blame decline on "the priests." But the priests ran ND much more tightly during its years of brightest football glory than they do now.
A lot of people lament that Monk and Jenkins aren't Fr. Hesburgh. But Hesburgh ran Leahy out of town on a rail and started many of the institution-transforming policies that Monk and Jenkins have developed.
ACross criticizes a lack of transparency. But nobody could see inside the decision-making process at all before the board of trustees was created. Nobody would care about transparency if things worked.
Etc., etc. etc. Objection, sed contra, respondeo.
There's a terrible lot in this world that is broken, and there's a terrible lot at the University that's broken, under the Dome and in the Gug. Maybe it is fair to criticize the clerical leadership: not because clerics are inherently lousy leaders but because the CSC has been saddled with feckless men. Maybe it is fair to criticize the lack of transparency: not because transparency produces effective results but because it would help identify the causes of the poor ones. Maybe it is fair to lament that Monk and Jenkins aren't Fr. Ted: not because Fr. Ted was a great president but because two decades of flabbergasting failure at every level makes his tenure look great by comparison. (Let's all pine instead for Fr. O'Hara: he knew what was what.)
It's a terrible situation, and a terribly complex one: a decades-long train wreck in which all sorts of things you love are destroyed. I certainly don't know what to do about it.
Instead of immediately angering people, as is the wont of most of your stuff. I hope the improvement isn't ephemeral.
Felt pretty down myself. Then that hopeful side entered my psyche yet again....namely with this thought: Either Kelly turns it around (and I haven't given up on that possibility), or Pope Urban will be tanned, rested, and ready. Either way we'll come back, maybe sooner, maybe later. Like they say, hope springs eternal.
which (minus the lack of hope) was excellent. Personal issues aside, it's tough to read your post without feeling the pain behind the keyboard.
What was happening under Monk, Beauchamp(sp?) and White was grotesque; they were simply milking the goose to the point of induced coma. Since then, I've seen the forest reforesting, albeit slowly.
The C4C wasn't perfect, but it did set in motion a set of positives that are still happening. The coup that led to Jenkins led to Weis, but it was more important for Monk to go. Jenkins may not be Hesburgh, but he's an ocean away from Monk.
Some of the changes since then, like the gutting of res life, have been sweeping and almost head scratching in scope. Cappy, Kirk, Poorman, etc. have fallen as if they were on a hit list.
Other changes that point to a commitment to winning:
> Training table
> The Gug
> Gutting Res Life (and dealing fairly with Michael Floyd)
> Ditching 7-4-1
> Early entries
> Seemingly making more allowances in admissions
> Staying independent (this could go soon)
> New team trainer
> New nutritionist
Of course, none of this matters without a good coach. We can disagree on that. You can hope, I can do my probability calculations, either way we're all better off if Kelly is the guy. I think you may yet be surprised.
We know that the problem with the football programme has virtually nothing to do with Kelly. He's just one of the latest symptoms. It is all about the corrupt, nefarious, cowardly, arrogant leadership of the institution. We know that this is a battle to the death for the soul of the institution. That battle must be fought with holy anger and unrelenting intensity.
I am an outsider - look at my handle. I care enough about this - stupid, I know - that it makes me hit things and cry in private. As an outsider, however, my ways and means to fight that battle are relatively limited. I hope and pray that powerful alumni with relatively efficacious means can do more.
You are obviously one of the right-minded alumni in at least some position to make a difference - the kind of difference that an outsider can never make. In this an other recent posts, you seem to be losing some of your anger and vigour - dare I say some of your will to win this battle. That deeply troubles me.
Both the choices the school makes and what happens to the team.
You tell me -- how angry were you, really, on Saturday night? I slept just fine.
Admittedly I slept well, but I was understandably preoccupied.
I did get to watch USAFA lay a rotten egg on the field against TCU. It was horrible. TCU responded to its loss to Baylor by manhandling USAFA, and the game was never in doubt.
I'll see USAFA play a second time this year, at ND. I know that transitive properties don't apply in college football; however, if ND fails to take care of business against the team I just saw roll over and play dead against TCU - if USAFA pulls off some sort of "spunky, spirited service-academy" win against ND this year - I'll draw conclusions anyway.
BTW, the reunion was fantastic.
I will probably watch next Saturday. A calm and well reasoned post from ACROSS is much appreciated. He has a lot to offer. Apathy is not an answer. The Letter from the Willingham years, although deprecated by the Administarion did get noticed. Keep fighting for the University that I graduated from in 1981.
Whether by design or sheer incompetence, the last 15 years are conditioning us closer and closer to accepting mediocrity on the field. It has become increasingly difficult to respond to those who say we will never return to football prominence. I find myself dispirited on the eve of what may soon no longer be an annual trip to ND for a game. When you have memories of ND football greatness from the early '70s through the early '90s, what we are being fed is distasteful and makes one less likely to come back for more.
I came into this season with a "show me" but positive attitude about our chances for success. I made this weekend's plans early this summer. After seeing simply "more of the same" in weeks 1 & 2, I'm not giving up, but I may soon need to be revived if week 3 is in fact "more of the same." Fool me once, shame on you...
Perhaps someday we'll actually meet.
I used to get so pissed at some of the things you would say or the way you would respond to people. Lately, I have really enjoyed your posts. This post is one of your best. Just like the rest of the posters you mentioned, I'm also sure you're a really fun person to be around in person.
I mentioned to him "Man, it's a bummer that you've never seen the Bengals when they were a decent football team. They weren't bad back in the 80's." He said, "Yeah, I'll bet that was fun." Then I added, "Or Notre Dame for that matter." He answered, "That's not true. They usually win more than they lose."
That made me sad. When you don't know what you're missing, you don't miss it.
Sweetie must really have cut your balls off.
Good stuff, though. Well, not so much the house paint thread.
Really you guys have been saying the very same thing above for the past ten years on this board, but with much more vigor.
A couple days ago Beijing pushed the door ajar for Big Ten membership.
Bizarro Rock's House.
You have, for years, carried a very important message, or messages, forward on this Board when others would not or could not. We haven't always agreed, but I have always respected the message, if not the manner of its delivery. As to the manner of delivery my concern has always been less about hurt feelings and much more about the message getting lost in the shuffle. Bravo.
...which was the original sin of the entire period of decline. Jealous and small men could not abide the prominence of the football program or its head coach. Monk's crowd thought that any guy in turf shoes and a blue windbreaker could keep the ND football machine going, and they set about to prove it by replacing Holtz with Davie. Worse, they were ashamed of having a championship football team, and hit pieces like Under the Tarnished Dome sent them scurrying under their beds. Major college football is déclassé and unaspirational (if I may coin a term). If the administration had to tolerate it as an opiate of the masses of alumni, then they were content to milk the brand. But the commitment to winning that would necessitate the hiring of a charismatic, driven, accomplished coach was not in new strategic plan. Not for this effete generation of clerics and academics. Such a figure would be sure to eclipse them, and that just wouldn't do. And what would the AAU think?
In addition to his performance at a dinner at my house in Prague in 1997 (reported here several years ago), my enduring memory of Monk is of him leading a rag-tag group of war protestors at the ROTC commissioning ceremony that preceded our graduation. There he was, shambling around the field, his posse carrying home-made signs with the usual '60's era crap, ruining what should have been a proud day for the fledgling 2nd lieutenants and ensigns and their parents. A man with a decent heart and better manners might have offered a mass for these young men, some of whom would soon be sent to the field.
Cross is now a wuss. He should get divorced and re-join Chuck, Cash, JVan, and me in the meanie posse.
My career in the Notre Dame student section started with high hopes and a #2 ranking. I, along with all the students at the time, were excited to be part of ND's resurgence and had some real optimism after the 2005 season. We all know how my four years ended up turning out. I am old enough to remember some good years (1993 mostly), but even though I was alive, I was too young during the '88 season. My childhood friends don't understand how I'm an ND fan because no one my age has witnessed any sort of real success.
It is what most of us feel on here but another part of me wants to think if we just do the basics of holding on to the damn pigskin a little better then we are 2-0 and feeling pretty good about everything. Losing brings out the worst in all of us and winning masks those same traits. ND is close to being very good but the turnovers are just killing this team. Hang on to the damn ball and all will get better.
People at work (namely young Michigan grads) have asked me this question about the recent and somewhat encouraging future schedule.
I had to inform them that we own those Austinites and our recent troubles shouldnt determine our scheduling.
Here's to hoping a standard of excellence will someday return.
Texas football isn't what it used to be.
given Rockne's difficulty in getting UM back on the schedule in the Yost era. But that's an old anecdote, like most of the championships listed on their scoreboard.
I have been on these boards since 1996 or so. I have read a lot of your stuff.
This post was one of your best, no sarcasm here. We are all tired of this shit.
We can all agree that 18 years of this shit sandwich is way past enough.
I hope Kelly can win, win big and become the next great ND coach.
I am 54 years old, a third generation ND fan. I have lived and died with ND football since 1964.
It is mostly dying now.
this weekend. My memories of nd only go back to the early 90's growing up in southbend/mishawaka. I want to win again and I hope kelly can turn it around - he's what we got right now
significant team accomplishment in the past 15 years. Only three times have we survived mid October without two losses and in two of those years our lone loss was a blowout ('98 and '06). All three of those years ended with a loss to our arch rival followed by a loss in the bowl game. All they've experienced is countless pep rallies where coaches and players have had to awkwardly attempt to drum up excitement by declaring that despite the season being once again in the shitter that this team will show "great character" and "never give up" as it attempts to rally to earn a birth to play the ACC #5 team in the Who Gives a Shit Bowl during Thrifty Car Rental Bowl Week.
I couldn't agree more with the post. I especially appreciate that instead of ridiculing young alums and current students, you express sympathy. I really think anyone that went to school after 1996 has been the biggest loser of the last 15 years. We have never truly experienced what ND football is supposed to be. I haven't entirely given up on Kelly, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to be optimistic. Such a disappointment, yet again.
the Grinch's heart grow three sizes. I don't quite know what to make of it.
I find the most pitiful part is the excuses that start to form in my own mind and the hope that still tries to creep out. "Maybe they do just need to come together as a team." "It's still bad attitudes from Weis, that's what it is." And then I remind myself that we can't get a play call in from the sideline. Or that Denard Robinson is on the Heisman list, again.
I fear that the fun days will never be back. I would hate to see that happen because I had a lot of good times watching Notre Dame in the 80's and early 90's. I remember being 11 years old and telling my dad that I had made my own college football poll before the 1988 season. I said that I had picked Notre Dame number 1. He looked a little surprised, but he said, well they could pull it off. (If I had been able to gamble at that young age, I could have made some good money)
Now after watching so much ineptitude, I just don't know how much more I can take and still come back for more.
has been planned. Watching yet another coach and another team perform without basic tenets of leadership and teamwork makes me think ND has chosen the demise of football deliberately.
Twenty years ago, did ND decide football was too blue collar, low-brow for it? Perhaps thinking ND won't be like Harvard if all those regular folks from around the country wear its t-shirts and cheer for its team? So, to become more Harvardesque, perhaps ND decided to let the program slowly fade away?
Perhaps they thought...
Let's start with coaches who seem like good hires to many. Hire the shining stars on their way up, rather than those already capable of the job. As each coach fails, the alumni who love football with grow more frustrated. Sure, some will take their donations away, but ND gets millions more from the high-brow alumni and doesn't care about the football fan money. How much could be coming in from such people anyway?
Each year, more and more football-loving alumni give up. After the slow decline over twenty or thirty years, long-time fans who loved Lou, Ara and Leighy will be long-gone. Recent alumni are less interested in football and will not bother the administration about it. They will donate to ND because of research, not football.
I admit, I don't read every post here and could have missed discussion of this premise. Go easy on me. I just cannot believe that such obvious principles of teamwork and leadership are missing accidentally. Repeatedly.
and took some heat for it. I think there's a reasonable possibility that the demise of Notre Dame football has been orchestrated beginning with the ouster of Lou Holtz. The best way for the administration to de-emphasize a program of this magnitude and importance is not by coming out and stating that intention. That would cause a revolt. The best way to de-emphasize the program is by generating activity that appears outwardly to add value -- that provides the illusion of trying -- while systematically installing leadership that is incapable of ever delivering winning results.
"Gee, guys, we tried our best. It just didn't work out."
I wanted to believe Jenkins was the cure. But then I watch him hire an AD who has no experience managing a high-profile sports program. Then I watch that AD hire a football coach who has no experience coaching an elite football team. Then I see that football team perform sloppy, erratic, mistake-prone football.
Eventually, I come to the conclusion that this is the plan. This is by design. And then it all makes sense.
But at least I'm not alone in wondering. Hopefully Kelly will be successful--that would show 'em!
"high brow" types.
You can see this with the de-emphasis of football, the focus on the Director's Cup, terms like "aspirational peers," the flowers in the stadium, and even things like the long period where you couldn't find the leprechaun on any items in the bookstore (it was all the school seal or the block ND).
Monk went out of his way to kill the program. Jenkins has provided more support to the program, but has not given it the full-throated defense it needed after Monk's assault. Had Jenkins followed Hesburgh, I think we would have been fine. Now we have a BoT loaded with aspirational peer types, which makes taking bold steps to create the conditions for football success more difficult.
and will not bother the administration about it. They will donate to ND because of research, not football."
Do you have any evidence at all to back up that claim?
I will say that I have several friends who live and die with Notre Dame football. Several of us chose to go to Notre Dame because we grew up as ND fans, academics be damned. And I, for one, will not donate a nickel until that school wins, or at a minimum competes for, a national championship.
As a percentage of the student body, the attendance at games is smaller than years past. I thought it was common knowledge that the current student body is less interested in football than the student body of previous years. Is that inaccurage?
Do you have numbers to support the attendance thing, or is that just conjecture?
indicator anyway. The administration controls how many tickets students have access to (I assume they control that, not the athletic department), so they probably buy all of the ones made available.
By the way, that part of my post was supposed to be what the administration is thinking. But, I suspect it's true that recent alumni care less about football than past alumni. Frankly, how could they not? Why would they care about it?
As far as the student attendance thing, every student is guaranteed a ticket if they want one, so the administration really has no control over student attendance.
As far as the interest level on campus, it's hard to compare eras, as nobody went to school in both the '80s and late '90s/'00s. I would agree that it's hard to believe that a student could be as excited or care as much about an 0-2 team as a 2-0 and national championship-contending team. But your original post asserted that the students graduating today "don't care as much about football and won't bother the administration about it." I will say that ND students graduating today are desperate for ND to have a great football team. The losing years while a student if anything only has made us more hungry for football success. Footba is still an integral part of the identity of an ND student. 15 years of losing hasn't changed that. Maybe 30 or 40 years will, but student interest in ND football hasn't died yet.
the percentage of all students interested in football is bound to decline.
ND certainly has more international students now than it did in the 70s, 80s, or 90s.
There is probably a higher percentage of students that don't give a rip about ND football. I guess that means student attendance is probably slightly down too. I was more disagreeing with the idea that many students that are graduating today won't care about football after they graduate because of the losing. The vast majority still care deeply about ND football. Fortunately the 15 years of losing haven't changed that yet. So, Monk's plan at least so far has failed.
Of course I don't take attendance, but I've been going to games since 1972, and I went there for 7 years. I had a streak of 30+ years without missing a home game that I ditched during the Weis debacle. The student section isn't packed the way it used to be, but the composition of the student body has changed.
Nobody blames current students - there was a malaise during the Faust years, too. Not as extended, but it was there.
We had night games. We had fewer games. We had better teams to watch.
In conclusion, the students who go are great. There just aren't as many.
Not so much the content, but the tone. I've been a member since the days before this board was called NDNation. Our times at ND overlapped and I know I've met you and I'm pretty sure we have some mutual friends from back in the day, as I spent a lot of time OC in the NE Neighborhood as a freshman.
While I don't mind your posting style most of the time, the malaise of the past 4 coaching regimes had made you a caricature of yourself. You are a guy that cares. Over the years you have had a pretty direct way of getting your point across. Since the Weis regime, your posts have been less insightful and increasingly belligerent.
I don't blame you. I'm at the point where I have devolved to the point where its better for me to watch games by myself as the vitriolic swearing can get quite embarrassing.
I don't know what's happened to you lately, but you seem to have recovered your perspective. I hope I can do the same. We both hope that the Administration will, too. When I take a step back and realize that the downward spiral actually began about 1990 (shortly after Monk/Beauchamp came to power) I become more and more discouraged.
While I've seen some good things happen in the past few years, (the Gug, training table, more appropriate Reslife action) it sill seem to me that we are doing the bare minimum instead of being the leaders we were throughout the history of college football.
It's good to have you back. I just don't know where ND is headed at this point. So much of what made ND a special place has been cast to the side. To paraphrase a famous quote from the movie Casino. "It should have been paradise, but in the end we fucked it up." That's what I think about ND football since 1988.
Andy is a smart guy who has many good ideas. A delivery style like this will carry them more effectively to a larger audience. If it someday becomes necessary (and we all know that it might) to build a consensus for change that delivery style could come in handy.
Bacchus is also correct that the PTB caused this fiasco by succumbing to unwarranted or exaggerated attacks in the early '90s and easing Holtz out.
Still, some who criticized earlier Presidents, ADs and HCs early and often are hoping against hope that Fr. Jenkins, Swarbrick and Kelly can get this turned around.
Not because we fear gambling losses or need to wear ND gear to take credit for something we did nothing to impact. But because Notre Dame has a positive track record of turning out well-balanced graduates who strive to excel in body, mind and soul so as to better service others in the family/career/community games they play. For almost a century an Irish Football program that wins with integrity has helped to shine a light on this greater message that (imo) is unique to ND. But we all realize that losing with integrity is no more inspiring that winning without it.
I can't pretend to a very good Catholic, nor would I suggest that every religious person is well-intended or bright. But some are. And for 8 score and 10 years they have had a major impact on the longterm value of Notre Dame in the world -imo. I had an opportunity to speak with Brian Teo about this and, even as a Mormon, he agreed. I think he's right.
Hopefully Fr. Jenkins, Swarbrick and Kelly are cut from a different cloth than their predecessors. If not, hopefully their successors will be.
At least when something bad happens in my personal life I usually can do something to fix or change it, when Notre Dame flounders I have no power to fix it I just have to sit there and watch it waste away it is heart breaking
at Notre Dame?"
My response was, "As good as the Women's Soccer Team." BI's note how many years have passed since the Men's Football team was great has not gone unnoticed.
Got to put the 'failing' in there. If you do the same thing over and over and it always succeeds, you be insane not to continue doing it...
The expecting "different" results covers that scenario.
Of course it 'covers' it, as you said. But I suspect you would agree that the whole point of the saying is to comment on people who beat their head against the wall doing the same thing over and over again, fail at it, and then continue doing the same thing without any recongnition of the facts. No one comments on someone who does the same thing over and over again when it succeeds.
By the way, not only am I fun and lighthearted, but I am extremely handsome.
Anyway, I share your sadness. Yesterday, I thought about how this fiasco impacts families as I went about undoing a plan to bring my daughter and her husband back here for the BC game in November. Neither is a ND grad, but they are loyal fans, and Nick has never been to South Bend. It was to have been a "two-for-one" weekend--Irish on Saturday, Monsters on Sunday (the only weekend this fall when both ND and Bears have home games). At this point, I cannot justify the cost, particularly since the entire family will troop out to California for Thanksgiving. We'll go to the Stanford game instead, sit amongst the wine & cheese people, and watch Luck pick the Irish to pieces.
I could go down for the game on Saturday, but why? The fun has gone out of it. I don't enjoy the 2-hour drive back to Chicago late in the evening, still steaming with anger, passing station wagons filled with families kitted out in Book Store clothing. "Hey look at my wife's pink ND sweatshirt. It only cost $67.95!"
We are lucky though, you and I. We had some great years. I think back to my undergraduate years and the Ara era. My God, that was fun. Then, Devine, then Holtz. There were some bumps along the way (Faust), but I never thought I would end my years watching a slow, painful slide into mediocrity. Yet, for some, this is all they know.
And this is the saddest thing of all. We're not the biggest losers. The ones who have lost the most are current students and young alums like my daughter. Eighteen classes have come and gone without having experienced real Notre Dame football. Imagine. The most exciting moment in nearly two decades--the one time when the intensity in the stadium was electric--was a loss.
Does this make us fair weather fans? I say no, but my friends say I am. I have tried to explain to them exactly what you said above. I cannot justify spending $70 to sinane a bench and watch a mockery of a football game and drive 4 hours back home, miserable the entire trip. It is just not worth it to me anymore. Hell, it's not even worth watching it on the television.
They make it easy. ND is on TV every week, therefore, why, in this era of austerity, pay $70 for a ticket? I never said I would not watch the game. It's just that I don't invest the same amount of emotional equity in Irish football as I used to. The returns are not there, and I need to save for retirement (preserve my health).
Could this change? Abso-fucking-lutely. Bring in a top tier coach, put a quality team on the field, and I would be quite happy to have a heart attack in my seat on the 40. Chuck and Andrew could simply tell the ushers, "He's napping".
66 team is being honored. You know where to find them.
We used to meet on the first tee just behind my room in Pangborn and get a few holes in before the first class.
I don't have a ticket. These days, I feel like an enabler when I go down there. I'm afraid a couple admin types will see me and whisper to each other, "See, the fools complain, but they can't stay away. Like a moth to the flame".
I lived in Pangborn my soph (your senior year) and junior years, the latter in a basement room. My ND roomate's brother, class of '68 as well, lived in a basement room. So, we may have crossed paths though two years apart.
Yep....'66 freshman year...and all the years that followed were certainly intersting days for ND football and all other things ND.
Yep...will never stop returning - whether it is for a game or not. I wish I wasn't 600 miles away!
BTW - I truly appreciated your post of the other day, as I do with most.
The one at the end of the hall by the door facing south toward the old course. I was there my junior and senior year.
So you knew Tom McGrath? He is he brother of my former roomate.
We spent a few hours down there....especially during food sales!
I think we still have a pair available...and a pass too (I think)
My dad is emceeing the dinner for the team Friday night. He said a large group is expected
The second sentence of your second paragraph resonated with me. I said something similar to my wife as we watched the Michigan people celebrate at the end of the game on Saturday. There have been times in the past 15 years at moments like that when I would be angry. Interestingly, there was no anger Saturday. I think that is because that I never expected us to win, even when we were ahead 24 to 7 late in the third quarter. I hate to say it, but I've become conditioned to mediocrity or worse with ND football. I am really questioning why I watch when week after week, even when we manage to win, it is just no fun at all.
I had a seat in the stands pretty darn close to that final interception. When that play happened, I was filled with apathy. Four to five years ago, I would've been filled with rage/disgust.
We've definitely been here before.
Uttered by a current student at a tailgate before USF.
BTW, I actually thought about posting regarding your misanthropy after UM. There are some really simple and indisputable points that you've made for quite some time that get lost - either by your tone or simply your reputation which elicits straw men. I'll limit them right now to Kelly (and paraphrase as I remember).
Kelly's offense sucks and will continue to suck until he can run the ball when he wants to.
He is pass happy.
He should deal with his yelling.
He hired assistants that either are not prepared to coach at ND and/or do not challenge his way of thinking.
I really wish the board would focus on insisting that these issues be remedied, instead of DCEing, armchair quarterbacking, bashing players and ourselves.
P.S. You've been plenty wrong on other things. But as I mentioned above, I can't imagine that anyone could possibly dispute them.
Current students have never seen a great ND team. The oldest were probably born in 1989.
"I really do hope Kelly can turn it around and succeed. I think he can; the turnaround after Tulsa provides a basis for some hope."
I think a lot of people, myself included, share this sentiment. Much of the discord here stems from reactions by people who feel this way to posters who seem to conclude, with certitude, that Kelly is doomed to follow the path of Davie, Willingham, and Weis. Obviously, you are not doing that.
I think the ND fan base can eat its own, to an even greater degree than the fans at other major schools do. I continue to wonder how the crushing negativity affects the team and even the coaching staff. There are numerous reasons why one could reasonably believe that Kelly is not doomed to follow the death spiral of his predecessors: he has a track record of winning as a head coach (albeit on a smaller stage); he turned it around after Tulsa last year (which seemed remarkably improbable); he has improved the team in many respects (most significantly, offensive line play); he recruited very well last year; ND statistically dominated large chunks of both games, etc.
The point is that we don't know what will happen during the rest of this season, and reasonable minds could disagree as to the most likely outcome. Although ND could well spiral downhill and not win more than 2-3 games, they could also win the rest of their games. They could also go 8-4, like Holtz did in his second season. We don't know.
Yet many posts on this board (not yours) reflect a conclusion that there is simply no way Kelly will turn this around. To me, those are just as wrongheaded as the posts on other boards predicting that ND is going to win the rest of its games, or go 9-3 at the worst. Sometimes, you just have to wait and see. I think the message board (and the program) would benefit if more did that.
Maybe those of us who have such little faith in Kelly and have felt that way since at least a year before he was hired are perplexed and somewhat amazed that others don't see the almost surreal similarities that we see between him and the man he replaced. i.e. An obsession with his own offensive wizardry which results in spectacularly moving the ball between the 20's but having difficulties getting hard yards at critical junctures and a penchant for making risky in-game decisions. I could go on for quite a while detailing what I believe to be are other similarities but it's doubtful that I would convince anyone who doesn't already feel that way and I'm tired of getting into arguments on this board.
But there's another reason for the intransigence - in my case at least. I'm not going to be a patsy this time and I'm not going to let the admin off the hook for another half-assed hire. Just because they say it's time to go into return to glory mode doesn't mean I'm going to do it. I did it for Faust, Davie, Willingham, and Weis. Most of the time (particularly Faust and Willingham - I very much wanted Holtz when they hired Fuzzy and a host of people including Coughlin when we got Ty) against my better judgement. I probably would have for O'Leary also. I'm not going to do it this time when I'm convinced to the core of my being that this guy isn't up to the job. I don't care that he spent 15 years at a glorified community college, or was .500 at a MAC school or took what Dantonio started and won a crappy conference against the likes of Wannstedt and then lost a bowl to a team that continually loses big games.
I'm not going to pretend just because the admin and the hype machine say I'm supposed to and, if they have anyone looking at this board, I'll rub it in their faces when my expectations are met because they fucking deserve it. I would much rather be part of the rah-rah-just-wait-and-see-it's-going-to-be-ok-eventually crowd because that's much more my nature but I can't and won't do it this time and I won't pretend to be in a wait and see mode because I'm not.
I didn't post this to be confrontational to you personally 3b but you seemed genuinely interested in the motivations of someone of my ilk.
"Much of the discord here stems from reactions by people who feel this way to posters who seem to conclude, with certitude, that Kelly is doomed to follow the path of Davie, Willingham, and Weis"
Point out who and where this is happening. Please, let's put the light of day on all those who are doing it.
We should not and cannot mistake being pissed off because we're off to a historically awful start this season, as certainty that Kelly will fail.
Kelly shouldn't be compared to his predecessors, both good and bad. He will succeed or fail on his own, not because he was like Lou or Weis.
Anyone who is certain Kelly will fail, is full of it, and should be shouted down from all quarters. I don't think it's happening, so I think you're setting up a straw man.
Everyone should hope that Kelly will turn this around. But I think he's got to change things, because what he's doing, right now, isn't working. This start is historically awful by ND standards. That is a reality.
I don't know if he's going to fail or succeed, but what is happening, right now, isn't working. We shouldn't confuse stating the fact that we're off to an awful start, by ND standards, with having certainty about Kelly's prospects. Suggesting that we also accept that there is a chance that Kelly could crash and burn, doesn't imply certainty either.
Claiming that people are certain Kelly will fail doesn't advance the discussion one iota. Comparing him to Lou or Weis/Davie/Willingham is an exercise in futility. Finally, we're not in a good place right now, and people are right to be pissed off/angry/sad.
See the first line. There are many others.
I obviously didn't read the post the same way you did. Where are the "many others"? I want examples, lots of them. A single post, which is saying those who are certain Kelly is the answer are beyond hope, isn't really supporting your claim.
BeijingIrish: "It starts with a discreet chat Swarbrick has with Kelly alerting him that Stanford will be his last game."
I want people saying, specifically, Kelly will fail, with certainty, and that we need a new coach, right now.
That's not being said, and we both know it.
But hey, keep responding to something that isn't there.
This is kind of a silly pissing match, but with all due respect, I think you are the one employing a red herring. Here's what I said:
"Much of the discord here stems from reactions by people who feel this way to posters who seem to conclude, with certitude, that Kelly is doomed to follow the path of Davie, Willingham, and Weis."
"Yet many posts on this board (not yours) reflect a conclusion that there is simply no way Kelly will turn this around."
Here is what you suggested I was looking for: "I want people saying, specifically, Kelly will fail, with certainty, and that we need a new coach, right now."
There's a significant gulf there. I've never claimed people have said we need a new coach, right now. But the posts I've highlighted say, respectively, we need a new coach at the end of this season, and, anyone who thinks Kelly might still succeed is so far gone as to not be reasoned with. I think that both reflect a certainty on the part of the poster that Kelly will fail. If not, why replace him at the end of this year, and why say posters who think he could still succeed are not worth considering?
I know this is silly, but I just don't get how one could read the board and not conclude that there are several posters who appear to be certain that Kelly will fail.
Brian Kelly will fail at Notre Dame. There is still time for those changes to be made, but I have no faith he will make them. If he doesn't, I am fully convinced that he will fail and would prefer that we immediately begin searching for a replacement.
This qualifier is important
"There is still time for those changes to be made, but I have no faith he will make them"
It allows for the opportunity to fix things. I'd be curious what the original poster says.
I'll say this, Kelly cannot keep doing what he's currently doing, it isn't working.
is that it is at least more reasonable than concluding that Kelly is bound to fail, period. I happen to think it's premature to conclude that he will fail unless he makes dramatic overhauls, but I could understand at this point why someone would disagree with that.
to be (nearly) universally the position of those you suggest are certain Kelly will fail.
I will say this, I think we've all been beaten down way too much, and Cross is right. This is sad and getting old. I had a good converstation with a life long friend who went to ND as well. We have memories of the good times, but they are distant, very distant, and getting more so with each passing day.
I really am getting tired of all of this, it really does suck for everyone.
But I don't agree with your views on non-alums in their place in heirarchy of Notre Dame. Not because I think we deserve as much say, but because I think we are sometimes looked down upon like second-tier peasants by some people on here and other places with regard to the school and the football team. Sometimes that view makes me angry but hey - maybe I should have worked a little harder in attempting to get in the place.
That said, you're 110% on the mark and truth be told, you usually are. If you are able to get past persona that you sometimes come across with and really look at what is being said, you are correct as are the others you mentioned in your post. Is it always positive? Hell no - but in desperate times, you can't always turn negative into positive because you have to get your hands dirty and figure out what the root of the problem is. No one wants Kelly to fail because it isn't Brian Kelly who is failing - it is Notre Dame and that is why people get on here everyday. This isn't BKNation, it is NDNation.
Honestly - your post scares me. It seems to me that a lot of people are coming to realization that ND football isn't what it was and while I didn't go there, I am sure the school isn't what it was either. I sense that the white flag might be going up for some. I hope that isn't the case.
In all seriousness... too bad people are too stupid, or ignorant to see the position and stance your post stands for. Well done, again, of course.
Nevertheless, Kelly isn't going to change his offense. And I would be the first to admit I was wrong if he did. But that isn't going to happen. Kelly's GAS is what is hamstringing this team. It puts the defense in positions it shouldn't be in. We saw it last year. We've seen it this year. We'll continue to see it. It's high risk, high reward. That's not smart football. This team does not play to its strengths, and its weaknesses are glaring.
The train, is a coming...
Right now, however, the players are unable to execute it with a reasonable degree of consistency. This is particularly true of the quarterbacks but I've also seen it in the wide receivers.
Consequently, some of Kelly's play calls look foolish. The red zone reads are particularly complex and that compounds the problem. He's obviously not used to failure, which leads to this:
Since his starting quarterbacks are not yet at the level required to produce the desired results, Kelly must adjust to diminish the chances of failure (turnovers) at critical moments. Either the play calls or the plays themselves must be tweaked in order to put this particular group of players in a better position to succeed. Kelly can still develop his offense as the season progresses, but I can't believe that the team is currently executing his plays perfectly in practice only to fail on Saturdays. He must see and know what is not working. Hope is not a strategy on game day.
More elite players may lessen the impact of bad outcomes, but one constant will still be there, it's still high risk. My position stays the same even with elite talent, against elite competition. His offense will continue to bite him in the ass.
I'm old school, old fashioned, whatever. I believe in running first. Many didn't like Holtz's offense, but at least his special teams were special, his defenses usually played really disciplined, and just when his offense got boring or what opposing coaches thought predictable, he'd throw in a wrinkle keeping the defense accountable. Kelly, Weis, Willingham, and Davie have not done, nor were/are they capable of doing it.
Kelly's offense lacks accountability in all phases of it.
When the players know what they're doing, there should be a pretty wide-open receiver on most plays and it should be a pretty easy read for the QBs.
But let's compare the power-up-the-gut football many prefer to a spread offense and assume we have good players (but not outstanding ones) across the board. Imagine that we then play a team like Alabama that has studs across the board on defense. Do you think it will be easier to get our good-but-not-great players to consistently open holes in that front seven so we can gain 4 or 5 yards a carry, or do you think it's easier to spread the field and have a receiver that is wide open at the snap for a 5 yard gain? On paper, the spread makes perfect sense.
As people have pointed out, however, there are two issues (actually several, but two huge ones as I see it) with this:
1.) If the coach insists on calling plays that don't have a high probability of success, the team is in trouble no matter what offense we run (se Davie, Bob)
2.) We should have a talent advantage over almost every opponent we play and should be able to win the up front battle against almost all of them.
Thus far, Kelly hasn't seemed to appreciate the value of our offensive lines opening gaping holes in the front 7 for most of the game against both Michigan and USF. So we start 3rd and 1 with our running back carrying the ball sideways 5 yards behind the line instead of running forward with a full head of steam and needing only a small crack to run through. Our linemen need to hold their blocks long enough for him to run 6 yards. That's asking a lot. Somebody once made the joke that Weis was playing chess while everybody else was playing football and it stuck with me because it was true. Similarly, Kelly seems hell bent on calling plays that should work on paper, but require an inexperienced or unreliable player to make a big play.
If we begin to focus our play calling around our linemen being able to block pretty much anybody, even within Kelly's offense, our fortunes could turn around in a hurry.
I was a raving idiot on Michigan's last drive, after watching stoically during Michigan's penultimate touchdown drive and during Notre Dame's go-ahead drive.
A raving idiot the likes of which my wife had never seen, and believe me, she's seen a lot.
In the aftermath, I began to wonder about my emotional investment. It's obviously too late to withdraw the many previous deposits over the past 40-plus years.
On the plus-side, I have my friends, memories and lessons learned. They can't take that away from me.
On the other hand, I have two kids at Notre Dame. We all know that football is not the most important thing at Notre Dame, but we also know that it is the catalyst, the fuel for the passion in ways that no amount of scholarship, service or spirituality ever could be.
What will they have? What will we have in common, besides a diploma?
So I offer this for everyone's consideration. And in closing, I'll note that my kids are frustrated that many students (although certainly not all) fail to share their anger and frustration, for better or worse.
Lauren has inherited Mom's skill as a "wordsmith-er".
For the people who get Notre Dame, that letter will make perfect sense. For the people who don't get Notre Dame, that letter will go right over their heads.
Your daughter is a bright girl.
whether N10 is a nephew or niece? Do we need Ne10 an Ni10?!
That link made me sick. I was still seething with anger when we went up 31-28. By no means did I think we'd sealed the win. Savoring that moment is utterly pathetic. It's like savoring a last-minute stay of execution that gets reversed moments later by the Supreme Court.
I was angry after watching us take the lead 31-28. First, I was not at all certain that that score would be enough. Second, it NEVER should have taken that. The moment was so tarnished by everything else that occurred.
What I also think is "pathetic" is that the link attached is the "best" moment of my 4 years at Notre Dame, which is to say that Notre Dame made a "nice" comeback against a mediocre team in a game that really didn't mean a whole lot.
To only have a Pat Terrell batting away a pass game at ND Stadium just one more time...
And it's the way that I look at it.
But as I think about whether there is any chance that my kids will experience the joy and exhilaration that I have experienced following Notre Dame football, I seize upon that moment not as a pale imitation (which it certainly is for me), but as a promise (better, hint) of what could be.
As I said to her last night -- I don't mean to diminish what she experienced for that brief moment at all. It's her life, that was her moment. But I assured her that a national championship would exceed that in ways she couldn't possibly understand.
And what an incredible thing that would be to share with her and her brother.
than it is now. It might even have been a tad worse. I had four years of Faust. We were 25-20-1 and never won more than 7 games in any single season.
But even then, we beat No. 1 Pittsburgh and No. 6 LSU, both convincingly, and both on the road. We also beat No. 10 MIchigan in the first home night game, crushed unranked Penn State 44-7, and beat Southern Cal three times (to start the 13-year unbeaten streak). Best of all, we hired Lou Holtz, although he didn't coach his first ND game until after I graduated.
I also enjoyed multiple national championships as a child growing up in South Bend, and of course the 1988 NC soon after I graduated. So at least I had the then-recent past and a promising future to look at, along with our other tangible if fleeting accomplishments during the Faust years.
The last 15 years have sucked beyond comprehension.
I don't think savoring that moment is pathetic at all. I think that moment is what keeps us all coming back, what keeps up our hope.
Your analogy is flawed, because we still get to play football this Saturday, the saturday after that, and so on.
Sure, we will play a game this Saturday and several Saturdays after that. The problem is the results don't really matter because Notre Dame is not among the elite and may never be again. We're like a kids soccer team where the score is not important but the kids can feast on fruit, granola and apple juice.
This board is proof of that. How many people are here discussing how much fun it is just to be involved? None. I take that back, the number is about 5...out of multiple hundreds. That loss was painful as were far too many over the past 15 or 20 years. It was painful to watch and it was painfully predictable.
And I think you're full of crap if you think the results don't matter. If they didn't matter, you wouldn't be on this board. You wouldn't watch the games on TV. The fact that you don't completely give up is proof that the results matter. Will the results birng a national championship this year? Not without some sort of miracle where we run the table and every team in the top 20 loses three times. But what if they do turn it around? What if we do run the table? What if those repeated, systematic "fluke" mistakes somehow stop being repeated and systematic? The results matter and you know it.
If I did not have a stake in NDNation, I would not watch the games. I'm forced to write about them because it's expected of me. Participation in this forum may be theraputic for some and a way to stay connected to friends for others (like me), but I feel sorry for those who actually believe there is good football around the corner. I don't think there are many such folks left and I'm certainly not among them.
I do not believe we will win or even play for another national championship in my lifetime. If I choose to make the 2000 mile trip to attend another game, it will only be to see my good friends and represent NDNation at a tailgater. The game, the team and the program are irrelevant. I value the people this site has connected me with, but the football connection is no longer what binds me to them.
I had thought about attending the MSU game but will play golf with my friends instead. I then planned to attend USC because I sort of promised Oldtown and Cash that I would meet them there. I can't bring myself to make the reservations while I search for a plausible excuse to bail out.
The results of our games don't matter because the program is not going in any particular direction. Wins and losses have no meaning in such an environment. Any talk about a return to glory is just silly. ND even stopped making T-shirts about it. At least kids soccer makes me smile.
like you CJC, I sat stone faced as the last 2:13 unfolded. I was unfazed when Michigan scored. I just sat there. As my two buddies were giving me shit, I didn't say a word. Then Rees marches the team down with 30 seconds remaining and both my buddies start saying things like "Holy crap, that was amazing" and "Congratulations." I didn't say anything. I just sat there and said, "guys, it isn't over. There is still time on the clock." Their response was "it's 30 seconds. No way. It's over"
When Michigan marched down the field, my buddies were in shock saying things many people probably said, like "no way did that just happen" or "where the fuck was your defense?" or even worse.
Not me. I just got up off my chair, walked over to the fridge, and grabbed a cold beer. My buddies said "how are you not throwing shit all over the place?" My response was "guys, I've been here before. I've come to expect it."
A loss like that 15 years ago would have killed me. Heck, even 10 years ago it would have pissed me off. Now, it appears I've joined the apathetic crowd where I come to expect the worst and hope and pray it doesn't materialize. It has. Many times.
You know, when Rees dropped the fucking ball.
I told my friend, "I've seen this before. Let's walk to the bar."
To Saturday versus Saturday September 2, 1995, when we lost the home opener to Northwestern, were in stark contrast.
Some of it is age and maturity. But I didn't have the complete and utter despair that I had the night of 9/2/1995.
It really is sad. It's sad that the last time we were close to greatness, was on a cold Dallas night in January 1994. People born after that game, will be freshman this year and next. They will have lived their whole lifes not knowing a Notre Dame team that competed for a national title.
But I still get mad, and upset. But not like I used to get. Perhaps it's age and maturity. I fear that it's acceptance and moving on.
On that cold January night in 1994, we weren't playing for a national championship.
If you're going to change it to "in the discussion" or "in the hunt" then we were ranked in the top 5 as recently as 5 years ago and that's as "in the hunt" as we were in January of 1994 when we chose not to play FSU again. Six years ago, had we managed to stop USC on 4th and forever or on the goal line, we would bave been right in the hunt as well.
Kids have seen fleeting glimpses of excellence off and on for the past 15 years and that is what has been so frustrating, and why the start of the season has been so frustrating - we see the beginnings there, but can't put it together. If the team flat out sucked, it would be easy to go apple picking, or go rake leaves, or whatever else normal people do on a fall Saturday. But instead, we sit there in front of our televisions, hoping that day is the day they put it all together again.
I was there in January of 1994. The players, the fans, everyone there, thought that if FSU beat Nebraska, we'd win the National Title. I was on a bus, heading back to Houston, while we listened to that FSU/Nebraska game on the radio. When FSU pulled it out at the end, we were all celebrating as if we had won the title.
2005 involved a loss to USC in mid October. We haven't been in the national title discussion, late into November, since 1993.
We've had glimpses, but that is all.
And that talk was delusional. It was then and it is now. We were ranked behing FSU and Nebraska; we didn't want to admit it, but they were playing for the national championship.
thanks for the perspective, and dose of reality.
Are you suggesting there was no precedent for teams jumping other teams ahead of them, based on bowl results.
See the 77 National Title.
You're full of shit if you think that no one thought we had a chance at the title heading into that Cotton Bowl. A lot of people felt that if we beat A&M and FSU beat Nebraska, the head to head principle from 89 would be used again.
Moreover, we jumped from #5 to #1 in 77 after the bowl game.
I'll tell you - in 1977 we beat the piss out of the number one team in the country in our bowl game. In 1994, we beat a team that was ranked below us.
The number two and four teams also lost their bowl games, enabling us to move up.
The only team that could have claimed a championship was #3 Alabama, who beat #8 OSU. Which do you think was more impressive to voters - a team ranked #5 beating the crap out of a team ranked #1 or a team ranked #3 beating up on a team ranked #8.
Now compare to 1994: FSU was ranked number one and won their game. There's really no chance at winning a national championship when the team ranked number one ahead of you won their game. All of our talk about "precedent" was just wishful thinking. I wanted it to be true as much as you did and I thought the polling was horseshit. But the polls were what they were and there was no way we were going to win that championship.
Moreover, FSU didn't kick the piss out of Nebraska, it was a last second field goal.
Are you really saying we had no case to leapfrog FSU? And that you knew it from the get go?
the writing was definitely on the wall that the winner of the FSU-Nebraska game was going to win the national championship.
If the voters were going to do the right thing vis-a-vis the head-to-head results, they would have voted Notre Dame ahead of FSU before the bowls. We all know that the voters wanted Bowden to get his first NC if FSU beat Nebraska.
I know that Holtz -- as he well should have -- was talking a good game. I know that many players, managers and other students close to the program believed that wins by ND and FSU would result in Notre Dame being ranked number-one.
But the reality was that it wasn't going to happen. Unfairness aside, the difference between 1977 and 1993 was that every team above Notre Dame in the polls lost in 1977.
By definition, barring a tie (which was what I was rooting for), it was impossible for every team ahead of Notre Dame in 1993 to lose its bowl game.
Did I know at the time that the case wouldn't be heard by the voters? Yes, because FSU was ahead of us.
Either way, the idea is the same, it's been a long time since we were in the discussion, late into the season.
It's been flashes, but not much else.
Both in reference to my good points and to ND's football success.
Those programs could not be sustained at their prior level as the game and circumstances evolved, but Notre Dame's downfall is entirely self-inflicted. One can argue the effect of higher academic standards but there is no good reason for this level of decline. We are still recruiting quality players, but we are bringing them into a culture where revenue is more important than win percentage.
A great piece of American history is systematically becoming extinct. Notre Dame football is now a punchline. The Yankees have become the Mets. The Green Bay Packers have become the Cincinnati Bengals. I'm just glad that my dad did not live long enough to witness this.
gut the Irish again. Probably pick apples or grapes or take my dog to the dog park. Because I can't bear to watch another clusterf*ck like the last two games.
Army and Yale were great American Universities whose alumni were leaders of the nation before college football existed.
I am sure that during the time Army, Yale, and other former powers were in their football glory, that their excellence in football added to the atmosphere on campus and was passionately discussed by alumni.
But football did not play the constant and integral role at those schools as it has at Notre Dame. I have a difficult time comprehending a Notre Dame without football.
Perhaps, it's a lack of imagination on my part, perhaps Notre Dame can go the way of Chicago,leave competitive football behind and continue to excel in other ways.
I was sad that BI wrote and felt what he feels, not because I think he is wrong but because I wish that thought had never entered his head.
Sad that I agree with him.
Sad that the administration doesn't realize that a win percentage would do more for their precious revenue than what they are doing now.
Sad that people get on here and say that if we just had a jumbotron or turf or whatever then this team would be better.
Sad that Kelly is who I thought he was.
Sad that I don't feel like watching the game on Saturday.
I'm trying to keep the faith that Kelly has continually improved each year at places he's been in the past...Each step the record got better each year, especially in the first several years.
If we can finish 9-4 with a bowl W, that is progress from 8-5 and hopefully things will continue to turnaround, albeit slower than we'd hope.
9-4 is still possible and it represents my altered expectations which, on a macro level, keep things moving upward. 9-4 or 10-3 should keep the Darby's of the world and keep momentum.
If by some awful luck/chance we start 0-3 this is nothing like 2007. That team was not developed, was getting walloped and didn't move the ball on offense. Kelly has us in decent shape, but he's working with a team and fanbase fragile in confidence and full of negativity.
I do hope Kelly succeeds.
We also all need to confront the very real possibility that a trainwreck is in progress.
such as finding an offensive coordinator and returning Charley Molnar to his proper home in the MAC/Big East indicates you're more optimistic than some.
But there are some reasons for optimism. I don't think Kelly was an indifferent (Davie), self-congratulatory (Ty), or panicked (Weis) hire. I think he was ND's true second choice, and perhaps Swarbrick's first. I think they hired him to win titles. They do finally have top-notch practice and strength facilities. They have departed from the "let God sort 'em out" student disciplinary approach. And Swarbrick has moved away from the 7-4-1 format, a Big Ten-membership greaser if there ever were one.
But wanting something and achieving it are two different concepts. The Norman Dale hire is looking less like "the field here is 100 yards long and 53.3 yards wide," and more like the guy who was forced to spend twelve years in the Navy.
They do have over 1000 yards in two games. They do have a good defensive line, a good running back, and a great wide receiver and middle linebacker. They could end the year with a decent record if they can compose themselves and play with a steady confidence. I don't think they will, but I also thought Utah would beat them by 50.
You're only a pseudo misanthrope. Your are dead on about the young generation. I want them to have the experiences and memories I had of ND football in the 60s and 70s and 80s- when we were a perennial championship contender. I pray (literally) that those days can return.
I didn't become a die hard Irish fan until my early teens (96 or so), and even more so during my college years (01-05). I spent most of my fall weekends during college trekking to and fro between St. Louis and South Bend, all to watch stunningly disappointing football. I'm ready to enjoy watching Notre Dame football, ready to feel confident that the coaching staff (and administration) is competent, and most importantly, ready to have fond memories of my fall Saturdays.