It finally happened. NBC parodied Rudy on Saturday Night Live last night with guest host Houston Texans star DE JJ Watt. In the skit embedded here, Watt plays the role of a player who doesn’t want to give up his jersey for “Robby” in this case. And to be honest, it’s pretty damn funny.
Now what is surprising to me is someone at Notre Dame had to sign off on this because the interlocking ND is evident throughout the entire skit, and there is no question that Notre Dame is who is being portrayed here. There’s no way NBC could have done this without Notre Dame’s consent here.
What’s surprising in this is that there is a bit of colorful language – albeit bleeped out for the broadcast. To be honest, it was a pretty shrewd move from Notre Dame from a recruiting perspective because it gets Notre Dame’s name out there associated with one of the biggest stars in the NFL. Oh, and that star, JJ Watt, is also one of the most beloved sports icons in the state of Texas right now. And wouldn’t you know, there happens to be a ton of talent in the state of Texas and those prospects haven’t exactly been running to Notre Dame in recent years.
I’m sure there will be some of the old school variety who hate this skit just like there’s some who hate field turf, hate the jumbotron, and hate alternate uniforms. But, this gives Notre Dame a nice little bit of exposure during the Super Bowl at a time that Notre Dame wouldn’t otherwise have been on the radar.
Uodate: I’ve been alerted that no one at Notre Dame needed to approve this since SNL is covered under parody laws (I’m no lawyer). That said, given Notre Dame’s relationship with NBC, I would be more than a little surprised if Notre Dame wasn’t given some sort of heads up about this. If they weren’t, well, then I’d be equally surprised if there weren’t a few folks at the University who had a few words with NBC since Saturday.