Irish Blogger Gathering: Heart of Darkness Edition

This week’s Irish Blog Gathering is hosted by OC Domer.  In case you missed last week’s inagural Gathering Post, Subway Domer came up with the idea of doing a weekly set of questions amongst a bunch of the Notre Dame blogs.  Check out my response to last week’s gathering if you haven’t done so already.

1. Who was your first Notre Dame hero?

Rocket Ismail and it’s not even close.  I grew up watching the Notre Dame teams of the late 80’s/early 90’s and Rocket Ismail was by far my favorite player and still is. I’ve actually been lucky enough to meet Rocket a couple of times now.  The first time was after the Blue Gold game in 2007 outside the Gug and the most recent was at the Irish Legends Autograph Show during the Michigan weekend.   We also got to interview Rocket for the Podcast a few weeks back and that was literally the coolest moment I’ve had working on the site since I started working on UHND in 1999.

2. When was the first time the Fighting Irish broke your heart?

Unfortunately one of my very first memories of Notre Dame football which I still remember to this day was the 3rd and 42 against Miami in 1989 when it looked like Notre Dame was clear on its way to a second consecutive national championship.  I was still pretty young for this game, so I don’t remember a whole lot of the details from the game.  I just remember feeling completely devasted for the first time watching sports.  Luckily as a Philly sports fan I have become rather used to that feeling over the years.

3. Let’s suppose for just a moment that for whatever reasons the Notre Dame football program begins to slide into what looks like long term mediocrity, or even long term suckitude:

  • NBC doesn’t renew the television deal, and the package offered by the Versus network makes it clear that remaining independent will mean a lot less $$$ than joining a conference and sharing in their TV deal. Should the Irish join a conference? If so, which? Why that one?
    Unless Notre Dame absolutely has to join a conference, I am all for remaining independent.   If forced to join a conference, I would like to see Notre Dame in the Big East.  I wouldn’t want ND in the Big 10 after terming them down and the MAC is just out of the question.  If nothing else, joining the Big East would at least enhance some of the basketball rivalries as well.
  • Over time, Notre Dame becomes the football peer of Duke and Syracuse, lucky to win four games a year, rarely posting a winning season. What should the University do? Drop football? Join a conference (or a lesser conference)? Drop down to Div-IA (the FCS Division)? Schedule 12 cupcakes each season?
    Honestly, I don’t even want to think about that happening so I am going to answer by saying that it wil just never happen so no need to think about.
  • The Indiana legislature has been taken over by a coalition of tee totaling, non-violent religious groups that outlaw both beer and football, and the University is forced to end the football program. To which college football team do you switch your allegiance, and why?
    For some reason I have always liked Clemson and Cal.  Don’t really know why either.  I could never consistently cheer for a Big 10 team and I would not want to root for a traditional power in place of Notre Dame.  Clemson’s got the cool uni’s and produced Brian Dawkins from my beloved (and struggling) Eagles and Cal runs an exciting offense and produced another of my Eagles, DeSean Jackson.

4. While on campus on a football Saturday you stop by the Knights of Columbus building to get your traditional steak and gristle sandwich. You also take the opportunity to pop inside the building to use the restroom before following the band over to the stadium. While waiting in line for the bathroom and watching the endlessly running Rudy on the K of C television you make the acquaintance of an older gentleman with a beard. He’s rather short, but very energetic for his obviously advanced age. You allow him to cut in line in front of you. When he comes out of the restroom, obviously relieved, he thanks you and and then steps in really close to you and whispers in your ear. “I’ll grant you two wishes. The first – Notre Dame will beat any team you choose for the next ten seasons. The second, the Irish will also lose for ten straight years to any team you name. Quick now, what two teams will they be?!” You blurt out your two answers, and he disappears into the crowd. What two teams did you pick, and why?

I’d want to beat USC and lose to Navy.  Of all of our yearly rivals, Navy is the one I respect the most so if there was a team we had to lose to, why not them?  As for beating USC, that was an easy decision after the way they have owned us since 2002.

5. I’m a terrible predictor. I’m pretty good at analysis, but I’m no good picking games because I almost always pick the Irish. But we need to get on the record here. Notre Dame has games left against North Carolina, Washington, Pitt, Boston College, Navy, Syracuse, and USC. Pick the winner of each of those seven games. Assign each pick points based upon your level of confidence in the pick. Most confident pick gets a 7, least confident pick gets a 1. Each value 1 through 7 must be used once. A perfect score of all picks correct would be worth a total of 28 points. The member of the Irish Blogger Gathering with the highest point total wins a prize of my choosing at the end of the regular season. In case of a tie, the tiebreaker is the member who has the best overall season based on quantity and quality of posts to their blog from now through the end of the season, as voted by the members of the Gathering.

  • 1. Notre Dame loses to Pitt – Their running game can give our defense a lot of problem.
  • 2. Notre Dame beats UNC – I think we’ll be able to pass on the pretty well.
  • 3. Notre Dame beats Boston College – The Eagles are sound fundamentally, but we have the fire power to win this one.
  • 4. Notre Dame beats Navy – It’s not 2007 anymore.
  • 5. Washington – With Jake Locker out, this game should be a lock.  I have Syracuse lower since Washington is on the road.
  • 6. Notre Dame loses to USC – We don’t have the firepower to hang with USC yet and we won’t catch them napping like Oregon State did.
  • 7. Syracuse – The Orange might be the worst Div 1 team this year and this game is at home.  It’s a lock.

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  1. Thanks SD. Hey, if we have to lose to someone for 10 straight 10 years I’d rather it be a team like Navy that I fully and completely respect and root for whenever they aren’t playing Notre Dame.

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