The independent voice of Notre Dame Athletics

  • Thanks, but No Thanks

    by Mike Coffey

    The alleged book on us here at NDN is we’ll find any opportunity to be negative, even during the best football season you could imagine. If the actual content both here and on the boards the last couple weeks hasn’t dispelled that notion by now, I trust the presence of actual sociopathic ND haters can do the rest of the job.

    8-0 has done little to dampen the spirits of our favorite little bridge troll, John Feinstein. That blue and gold stick has been lodged in his hindquarters for long and long, so he’s not going to let something like an undefeated football team get the better of him. On Sunday, fresh off the team’s upset win in Norman, he fed himself a couple questions and couldn’t resist tossing this back in the mix:

    Question 11: With all the glorifying of Notre Dame to come this month, should Declan Sullivan’s death two years ago this past week, be completely forgotten?

    Answer: Absolutely not. He never should have been in the video tower and the excuse-making that came out of Notre Dame in the aftermath was sickening, most notably Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick claiming conditions felt “normal” to him just before the tower collapsed.

    Lest you think this is the first time Feinstein has used Declan Sullivan as the whetstone for his anti-Irish axe, he had this to say two weeks ago. If you go to his blog (which hasn’t been updated in months so I’m not about to link it, Google’s your friend here), he’s got a whole category dedicated (for lack of a better word) to the kid.

    In order to make the rest of this conversation possible, I’m going to ask you, dear readers, to make some assumptions for me. Let’s assume John Feinstein actually gives half a crap about Declan Sullivan or his family or the charity associated with him or anything else related to a very brave Notre Dame student who lost his life in ridiculous and entirely avoidable circumstances, and doesn’t just see him as a punch line he can use for his own benefit. Let’s also assume there are human beings out there who actually believe and/or would need to ask that dumbass question in the first place.

    No, I’m sorry, I take that back. I can’t make those assumptions, as it requires me to bypass too much of my neocortex. No one with an IQ over 50 would make those assumptions, so I’m not sure what that says about Feinstein.

    Sorry again, that’s a lie. I know exactly what it says.

    John, buddy, allow me to speak for the Notre Dame fandom in this case. Trust me, if there’s any who don’t want me speaking for them, they’ll let me know in the comments as they always do. The answer to your repeatedly-asked question is “no”, so please stop dishonoring Declan Sullivan and his family just so you can get your Snidely Whiplash on. We appreciate your volunteering to be the Irish Conscience, but we’ve got plenty of qualified applicants for the job.

    No, Declan Sullivan’s death is not OK, even though we’re 8-0. It wasn’t OK either of the last two seasons when we were 8-5. It wasn’t OK when the women’s basketball team was in the national title game twice, the soccer team won the national title, or the men’s team beat the #1 team in the nation and was ranked in the top five. We could win every national championship in every sport from now to St. Swithin’s Day, and it still wouldn’t be OK. No one with a brain has thought, thinks, or will think it is.

    In fact, I’d go the other way. I know two or three of my fellow ND alums for whom it will never be OK, and I’m sure there are more out there. While they’re enjoying this season, Sullivan’s memory sticks in their mind, and their feelings about Brian Kelly and Jack Swarbrick likely will never be the same because of what happened to him. But they’re private people with private opinions, unlike you, who really should have no dog in this hunt. They’re also members of the Notre Dame family, just as Declan Sullivan was and always will be. We, as that extended family, are qualified to judge (in a limited fashion) Notre Dame’s response to his death. You, as an allegedly disinterested observer, are not.

    The only truly qualified people in this situation are named Barry and Alison. They live in Long Grove, IL, and two years ago this past Saturday, their son died. After their own prayerful meditation, they’ve chosen not to hold Notre Dame responsible. That’s the choice they’ve made, and as noted, they’re the only ones qualified to make it. I’m not about to second-guess that choice to make my own hay. You might want to chat with them the next time you’re tempted to do so.

    Do us all a favor, John: Stop using Declan Sullivan as a poking stick. He deserves better than to be the instrument of delivery for your hackneyed scorn that isn’t borne of any real concern for his life or anything else about him. How about donating some of your ducats to his memorial foundation instead? With all the eyeballs you’ve pulled in continually exhuming him, it’s probably the least you could do.

    20 Responses to “Thanks, but No Thanks”

    1. David Tuskey says:

      Well done. Feinstein has been spewing his venom on many issues which makes one just roll their eyes. My favorite was on The Golf Channel this summer. He turned the first morning of The US Open into an indictment of the golf community and it’s racist and sexist ways. It was so out of place within the context of the conversation that the others on the panel just ignored him as thought he was not there. I think that is a good idea.

    2. Frank Johnson says:

      Feinstein’s behavioral disorder is quite common on NDNation’s Political Forum.

    3. It is well recognized here, that the only authoritative position on Declan Sullivan belongs to his parents. It is well recognized here. And excellent preventive measures are already in place.

      There is another different matter that sociopathic haters COULD take up as a worthy cause, though. The series of heinous acts voluntarily perpetrated by an assistant coach somewhere else, under the false cover of the two institutions he represented. There are real benefits from continuing reminders of awareness and vigilance.

    4. AustinIrish says:

      I am legitimately dumber for having read that WP article and the quote on this blog. I needed those brain cells, man!

      I always wonder what would satisfy these trolls – no celebrations after games, only endless press releases about Declan? Replace games on NBC with public self-flagellation? Because after all, having had a tragedy at your school prevents you from ever enjoying anything again.

      Of course that’s a rhetorical question – nothing will satisfy them and I know that it’s only grade-D trolling. Unfortunately, using tragedies to troll isn’t restricted to 4chan.

    5. Well Done! I don’t often agree with your opinions, but on this one, you are spot on… Good job Mike!

    6. Atlantadomer says:

      I’ve disagreed before, but not this time. Spot on, Mike.

    7. Mike Coffey says:

      And just so this doesn’t get lost when the post ages off, I’d like to share NDN poster OldIrishFan’s JF experience:

      “1966 Army completed a season and went 8-2. Serious consideration was made at West Point to allow the Cadets to attend a Bowl game. Army had taken a long standing position (like Notre Dame) that Bowl games would interfere with the academics of their football players. An author whose name I can’t recall had done a significant amount of research including in person interviews with many of the Army team and coaches with the idea of turning it into a book. Feinstein caught wind of this and got involved with the blessing of the aforementioned author. The project then turned into a TV segment that aired during halftime of an Army Navy game. The segment was well done and was received very well. However, Mr. Feinstein took full credit for the piece and never gave any credit to the man who had done the yeoman’s service for the piece. I know an Army player from that era who states to a man that no member of the 1966 team wouldn’t speak to Feinstein after that. They viewed him as a pariah for his actions against a man who they had come to like and respect. That’s John Feinstein, Sports reporter.”

    8. Stop drawing attention to this clown. Don’t visit his website, don’t go to the W Post site. This is why he does it. The less eyeballs, the more likely he moves on.

    9. jjwilliams says:

      Well said. Rest assured that the more successful the season is as it progresses, the more resentful and let’s face it–jealous– haters will surface, both in and out of the media. They are there, always have been and always will be. Even acknowledging their existence only takes away from enjoying this very special season. They will never come to terms with the fact that their favorite program lacks the history, quality and mystique that ND has.Our best rebuttal is to constantly add to the history, quality and mystique of everything we do, on and off the playing field.

    10. . . . thank you Mike. Your remarks were indeed appropriate for the inappropriate actions of a self-serving individual.

    11. I’ve never heard of John Feinstein, and would like to keep it that way.

    12. JohnCochtoastin says:

      Coffey you’re on a roll these last few weeks. Feinstein does not view sports through the same spectrum most fans view it. He views it as political. That US Open piece was political. His dislike of Notre Dame is political. Declan Sullivan – God rest his soul – is a tool used to denegrate a political foe.

      To Feinstein the fact that Augusta National and The University of Notre Dame are revered by the masses is viewed as a personal challenge to him. He is the learned one who grew up among DC elite and the opera. He will to enlighten all of us hoi polloi who adore those places.

    13. John T. Riely says:

      Feinstein’s stock in trade continues to center on the one last vestige of bigotry acceptable in the US:
      Christian and Catholic bigotry. He is unapolgetic in his bigotry towards Catholics and he and his writngs should be rebuked early and often by men and women of good faith.

    14. Well said. Whenever Feinstein is on the TV I turn the channel.

    15. Cool Breeze (PV1x) says:

      Good article, Mike, but I don’t even know who this muthahuker Finklestein is.

    16. I don’t disagree with this article but at the same time I think it’s a bit negative and does nothing to change the reputation you speak of in your opening line.

    17. Mike Conroy says:

      Excellent response Mike.

    18. I’m sure he is busy right now writing a scathing book in the spirit of “Under the Tarnished Dome.” I’m sure he can’t wait to cash in on our particularly heightened level of media attention right now.

    19. I’m glad someone pointed out Feinstein’s awful and truly evil article on Duke lacrosse. The worst parts of that were that he didn’t apologize and that he believed that 40 Duke students (his alma mater) committed and covered up a heinous crime. The story was BS from the start and folks who were paying attention knew it–except for people like Feinstein who for some reason were predisposed to believe the worst. Here’s what he said:

      “You know, I don’t want to hear any ifs, and, or buts. These kids have acted disgracefully, just by the fact that not one of them-I don’t want to hear about the code, among buddies and among teams. A crime was committed. There were witnesses to the crime. They need to come forward and say what they saw . . .

      They won’t, and that’s why I’m saying the hell with them-strip their scholarships”

      He’s a jackass.

    20. Kevin Doherty says:

      Excellent statement Mike! Those of us who truly care about the University and it’s response to the Declan tragedy can and should be proud of it. No other school would have taken the blame and the heat the way ND did. Feinstein is very misinformed. The haters will continue to come out in force if we keep winning and rising in the BCS standings, and we will need your staunch (not curmudgeonly at all!) defense going forward. Please keep these type of posts coming.