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They both seem to like Notre Dame about as much:
http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/8264 ... gnificance
Demoting Notre Dame
By Rick Reilly
I once loved Notre Dame football.
My dad went to Notre Dame and flunked out and I still loved Notre Dame football. I loved Lindsey Nelson telling me "neither team advanced the ball so we move to further action in the fourth quarter" while my mom was yelling, "Get ready for mass!"
But I grew up.
I don't love Notre Dame football anymore. Notre Dame football has been living a lie, as Lou Holtz likes to say. Outlined against a blue-gray October sky, nothing happened. The echoes are in REM sleep. It has failed to advance the ball.
If I told you about a team that had lost 10 of its last 12 bowl games, had dropped nine of its last 10 to USC, had led the nation only in disappointment, you'd figure that team would be halfway down the Mountain West standings. But Notre Dame still gets perks and love from the NCAA and BCS as though the year is 1946.
I'm declaring an end to all that.
In Europe, if you play too much bad soccer for too many years, you get "relegated" to a lower division, moved down, demoted. It just happened to the Blackburn Rovers.
It needs to happen to Notre Dame football.
If Notre Dame isn't a factor this season -- and it hasn't been a factor in almost 20 years -- it's time to take it down a literal peg.
We can't demote Notre Dame from its conference -- since it is far too noble to belong to any piddling conference -- but we can demote it in stature.
From now on:
• Notre Dame no longer gets its own television deal with NBC.
• Notre Dame no longer gets to be the only school in the country with an inexplicable seat at the BCS decisions-making table.
• Notre Dame no longer gets its yearly undeserved hellahype in preseason rankings and preseason All-America teams.
In short, until Notre Dame football starts winning again, it's Rice to me.
That hurts your feelings? Watch "Rudy" 'til you feel better.
Can you explain to me how a team that hasn't won a national championship since 1988, a Heisman since 1987, or more than eight games its last five seasons still gets treated like the 1967 Green Bay Packers?
Notre Dame has won 86 games since the turn of this century. Oregon has won 111 games since then. TCU has won 119. Boise State has won 136. Do they have their own TV deals? Do they get to be the only school that sits with the BCS conference commissioners, deciding how a playoff is going to work?
Somebody needs to stick a pin in the still-inflated Golden Dome. Look, the ACC wants Notre Dame. Would die to have it. But word is, Notre Dame won't go if it has to share TV and gate revenue with the rest of the conference, like everybody else. The Irish people love to share. The Irish athletic department? Not so much.
If college football won't put its foot down and force Notre Dame to join a conference -- as every other sport at Notre Dame has -- then the least it can do is stop paying it a bowl bonus of $1.3 million when it DOESN'T go to a bowl game. That's right: Notre Dame gets a $1.3 million bowl bonus simply for dressing up the stupid leprechaun.
I hear what the Domers are saying. They're saying, "Notre Dame doesn't have to be in a conference. Notre Dame is unlike any other football power. Notre Dame is a national brand."
Sure, and girls are still wearing leg warmers.
Notre Dame is not a national brand any more than USC, Alabama or Stanford. A national brand? What would its slogan be, "Dominating Navy just about every year"? What kind of national brand loses to freaking Tulsa (2010)?
SN: State of Notre Dame
Notre Dame hasn't won a national title in more than 20 years. Are the Irish still an elite program?
Please, NCAA and BCS, stop leaping to attention every time caller ID says it's Notre Dame. The Irish haven't finished in the top 20 in any poll in five years. They can leave a message.
When did I quit on Notre Dame? When it quit on itself.
Last season, against USC, the Irish were trailing by only two touchdowns, 31-17, with about seven minutes left when USC got the ball. But Notre Dame didn't use any of its timeouts, and it had a hatful of them. It let USC waste as much time as it wanted and never got the ball back. Good job. Good effort.
"They did give up," USC quarterback Matt Barkley told ESPN 710 radio in L.A. "I wouldn't have wanted to be on that sideline."
You are not royalty anymore, Notre Dame. Turn in your tiara.
When your NBC contract expires in 2015, do the right thing and don't renew. Lower some expectations until you can turn this thing around. And you're a Mars Rover trip from turning it around.
Wait, what? Coach Brian Kelly is the savior? Really? Because he looks to me like he's doing a very good impression of Bob Davie so far. He's opened with back-to-back 8-5 seasons. Wow. Give him a sitting ovation.
And with Kelly throwing the QB job up for grabs again, instead of just handing it to Tommy Rees once his one-game suspension is up, this season looks like 7-5 to me, with Ls to Michigan State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh and you don't even want to know what USC will do to the Irish in the Coliseum. Cue the DentDoctor.com Bowl.
Somebody needs to make Notre Dame play by the same rules as everybody else. If there's anything we've learned from the Penn State mess, it's that nobody gets to live on a pedestal anymore.
You flunked, Notre Dame. Go back a grade.
Reilly was nicer than I would be but I appreciate the effort. One of my wife's employees is engaged to a domer and I had to meet him tonight. I wanted to throw him out and told him he's corrupting the poor girl that works at the store, but my wife made me be cordial.
"I'm Winston Wolf. I solve problems."
Does BobB have to polish Notre Dame helmets, too?
http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/8697 ... led-us-all
Notre Dame fooled us all
By Rick Reilly
If you hate me, you'll be delighted to hear what happened last week.
First, I guaranteed undefeated Notre Dame wouldn't beat USC on Nov. 24 in Los Angeles. I was sure of it. Flying across the country. Trojans with zero to lose. I was so sure, I tweeted:
No way Notre Dame beats USC tonight. If I'm wrong, I'll come to South Bend + polish every freaking helmet. I can't be wrong ALL year, can I?
24 Nov 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
Then USC coach Lane Kiffin decided to run approximately 473 halfback dives at the goal line straight into the Notre Dame line. Just to repeat: USC, a team whose best two players were wide receivers, kept trying to ram it through Notre Dame, a team with the best front seven in the country. Wished he'd have checked with Dad on that idea. The Irish won 22-13.
Minutes afterward, in the bedlam of the Irish locker room, Notre Dame co-captain DE Kapron Lewis-Moore couldn't wait to get to his phone so he could tweet this:
Kapron Lewis-Moore @KLM_89
@ReillyRick ILL SEE YOU IN SOUTH BEND POLISHING OUR HELMETS!!! #EXTRASHINY
24 Nov 12
Me and my big mouth.
Which is how I happened to land in Chicago on Wednesday, which was inconvenient for my bag, which landed someplace else, which made me an hour behind schedule, which is why I drove like Brad Keselowski on 11 Rockstars up the Indiana Toll Road, which is why I suddenly had red-and-white state patrol lights in my rearview mirror.
Patrolman: License and registration.
Me: Yeah, sorry, officer. I was in such a hurry. See, I'm that ESPN guy that lost the bet? And has to come polish all the helmets at Notre Dame?
Patrolman: Oh, yeah! I heard of you!
Me (relieved): Right, right!
Cop: License and registration.
It wasn't just the tweet that made Domers so torqued. It was a column I'd written just before the season insisting Notre Dame's reputation far outkicked its performance ("it hasn't been a factor in almost 20 years,") and how Notre Dame gets far more hype and perks than it deserves ("Somebody needs to stick a pin in the still-inflated Golden Dome") and how Notre Dame should save itself the weekly NBC embarrassment ("Do the right thing and don't renew").
They wound up 12-0, No. 1 in the nation, and will now play Alabama in the BCS title game Jan. 7 in Miami.
When I finally got to the equipment room, a bunch of gleeful players were waiting for me, especially Lewis-Moore, who opened his arms wide and hollered, "EXTRA SHINY!"
Then assistant equipment manager Adam Myers handed me a pair of scissors and a piece of shiny gold sticky paper. Turns out they don't polish the helmets at Notre Dame anymore. They patch them. They switched last October to a new kind of textured graphic helmet that's so shiny they look like miniature Golden Domes. When they get a gouge in them, you don't paint them, you apply a sticky gold bandage over it, the way you would on the skinned knee of a Trump.
Over the next three hours, every player who came in wanted to watch me do their helmet. Maybe they thought I'd spit in it.
But here's the weird thing: It was fun. It was an honor. This team will never be forgotten at Notre Dame, and saying that at a school with 11 national championships is a mouthful. Imagine: They went from unranked to No. 1 and finished up beating USC, a team that went from No. 1 to unranked.
Every player I met was not only cool about what an idiot I'd been, they all seemed to have stories.
I patched the helmet of center Mike Golic Jr., whose brother, Jake, plays tight end for the Irish and whose dad, Mike Golic, was so hacked off about the column he nearly knocked out Mike Greenberg in the ESPN radio booth. "Oh, he was really mad," Golic Jr. said. "But not as mad as the time my mom took a hammer to Jake's cell phone in high school." Not a family you want to cross.
I patched the helmet of quarterback Everett Golson, who was benched, got a second chance, and became the surprise of the season. Golson plays all kinds of instruments, but piano and drums the best, not to mention defensive backfields. He's had only two interceptions in his last seven games.
I patched the helmet of center Braxston Cave, who grew up 18 minutes from Notre Dame and dreamed of wearing this helmet his whole life. He used to watch the managers painting the helmets on Friday nights with actual gold leaf dust scraped off the actual Dome.
"You should see the first day we get our helmets," says Cave. "All the freshmen go running into the bathroom so they can take pictures of themselves."
At one point, there were five seniors around, pestering me to unscrew their face masks faster, or patch straighter or disinfect the inside better.
Me: OK, be honest. How many of you thought you'd be 12-0?
Them: [Silence. Shrugs.]
Me: OK, what do you guys think of being an undefeated underdog in the title game?
Golic Jr.: They had us 12½ underdogs at Oklahoma.
Cave: And weren't we underdogs against Michigan State? [Yes -- 4.5 points.]
Lewis-Moore: And you said we were going to lose at USC.
Cave: And we won all those.
Golic Jr: So good. Let 'em. Bring it on.
True, a few students screamed &#%@s at me as I walked the campus for two days, but nothing I don't get at family reunions. I even spoke to a journalism school class and nobody brought darts.
At one point, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly walked by.
Me: Hey, Coach. I'd like to apologize. I was wrong about &
Kelly: Hold on. I don't read anything anybody writes. So we're good.
Anyway, the helmets you see atop the Irish in Miami will have been hand-patched by yours truly. Which is why they have no chance of winning.
"Thank God," Golic Jr. said. "If you started picking us now, we'd be screwed."
Couldn't help but notice that 56/59 college tackle football coaches voted for Notre Dame as the best team in college football. Three voted for Alabama on top...Tennessee, TTech and Vandy.
Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
Avatar: My cuzin Isaac Murphy - a jock I'm tying to emulate in character and winning percentage - almost 47% lifetime.
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