Sunday, October 14, 2007

Point of No Return

Yes, BC week is finally over, and I can finally concentrate on ND's true rivalry.

But recent posts on NDN made me think of one final R-word, and I want to throw a question out to the readership.

That word: redemption.

Obviously, the relations between ND and BC are at a pretty low ebb right now, particularly with the fans. But I have yet to hear any of the usual reports of disruptive behavior. The pep rally seems to have gone off unmolested. A lot of BC folks ended up in the tank at ND Stadium, but reports seem to indicate at least some of those folks ended up there as the result of draconian rule enforcement (I know, no-fun assholes dropping the hammer at ND Stadium, what a shock).

I don't believe any relationship should be beyond repair (ooh, another R-word). If their fans are willing to take steps towards congenial behavior and abandon previous immaturity, is that the first step towards better communication? A Catholic school with a high graduation rate is certainly worth good relations, all other things equal.

I'm not encumbered with the visceral dislike of the place some of my younger compatriots have, although I completely understand their position, so I'm definitely not Nixon in this trip to Beijing. So I'll ask those more suited: Is there any possibility of repairing this relationship, or has that ship sailed?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

No reason to. Nothing to gain. We win...we should win. We lose...all hell breaks lose. No one respects BC as a football school.

10/14/2007 08:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

El K -- I'm your age, and I can't stand them. My dad would have been 68 by now, and he couldn't stand them. It's not a youth thing.

Nothing to gain. Only downside. Same reason why BC won't play UConn. The fact they're pric*s is just an added reason not to play them. But there are lots of pric*s.

10/14/2007 09:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't help wondering if people would be more willing to continue the series if our all-time record against them were, say, 14-3 instead of 9-8. Are we afraid that they'll gain the advantage?

I think it's a natural series, being the two Catholic schools playing bigtime football. Why would playing an ACC team be beneath us? I think those arguments are silly.

10/14/2007 09:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too many BC students didn't get into to ND. So there's the inferiority complex. Then there's the bunch who singlehandedly have given the rest of the country the idea that all Irish are drunken brawlers with no culture and no class. Ireland has even passed these trailer trash bums by. If they had any brains they'd have created a brotherhood of two great Catholic schools taking on the drug lords of Miami. ( Flutie in 83, Holtz's gang in 88).
But they'll be glad to beat a truly down Notre Dame team and will choke in some upcoming game, satisfied not a get their first national championship. "At least we beat the Goldn Homers", they'll say. A movie was made about BC. I think it was called Goodwill Hunting. Matt Damon's buddies all went to BC didn't they?

10/14/2007 10:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They behaved better than they have in the past, but they were still at MSU level or worse. The BC fan who posted in Cartier that BC fans were "respectful of the traditions" is full of it. They chanted loudly during the alma mater after the game and many of them could not refrain from turning around to taunt all the ND fans behind them (though not so much after ND made a game of it).

Fine, so they are now only as bad as MSU fans. I see no reason to extend the series. I would not mind playing them occasionally, but much like with Purdue, why give them a national stage each year when their fans piss on our tradition and their team is full of cheap-shot artists? Even if we resume beating them each year as we did in the not so distant past, we would gain little from doing so. We never disrupted their pep rallies or cheered during moments of silence etc. The onus for any reconciliation is totally on them, and simply refraining from acting like complete ***holes is not much of an effort in my book.

10/14/2007 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger ORDEagle said...

Full disclosure - I'm a BC guy. As far as I could tell, everyone was well behaved on both sides throughout the pre and post game. The only people I saw get in trouble were some ND people sitting amidst the older BC crowd. Apparently they were spotted from afar pouring something into their drink cups. The Yellowjackets swarmed, confiscated their seemingly innocent drink cups and they were yanked out in no time. this was the 1st quarter. At no point were they doing anything to call attention to themselves. The BC people around them were all sitting there in a mild state of shock at what happened. They must used spotters in the press box or something.

Replace the TSA guys at the airports with the ND ushers and we might have a safer country.

10/14/2007 10:56:00 PM  
Anonymous robert t. gilleran said...

1. fredo might have won the game on paper, but could not have done so without the assistance of that all acc ref crew, who were so determined to save private ryan and fredo from defeat that they made bogus penalty calls against notre dame and non calls of blatant penalties by bc.
2. perhaps fredo has graduated to become sonny, only to be taken out at the toll booth in 2 weeks by va tech at va tech without any dishonest ref assistance. those va tech coaches are just drooling over the nd/bc game film.
3. if fredo really wants respect, fredo/sonny still have a long way to go and we wish them well.
behaving like catholics, instead of mindless thugs, would be a good start.
4. in the meantime, usc comes to south bend riddled with injuries, in a state of terror because their cover on bushgate and other cheating scandals has broken down and with the pac 10 and the refs knowing that everyone is watching and that they will not get away with another theft of a win by nd, as they have, so far, for the 2005 nd/usc game at south bend.

we look foward to watching this 2007 notre dame team beat usc,

bob gilleran

10/15/2007 12:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look at the penalty numbers. BC had twice as many, for twice as mnay yards. Facts can help arguments. I don't know about the holding call, because I was in the opposite end zone. Bottom line: That game really wasn't as close as the score.

I was pretty impressed with the whole day. I'm a BC alum, and was nervous about how my fellow fans would behave. I'm sure there were isolated incidents, but for the most part it seemed like both sides were willing to peacefully coexist. I had a guy offer to beat my ass solely for wearing a BC t-shirt, but that's to be expected. I thought everyone was classier than expected.

10/15/2007 08:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Royboy said...

No need to worry. ND is on the cusp of having a great team for years to come and we will beat their butts the next 3 years! And hopefully after that we can beat their butts in a bowl game.

10/15/2007 08:54:00 AM  
Anonymous NDlaw said...

I don't really post on these boards, but I wanted to back up Robert's point. I have read a lot of negative things on the blogs about ND's mental errors, Weis's play calling/talent evaluation/ overall coaching ability, the lack of offense, etc. BUT, I was at the game, in the student section, and I think anyone who was actually there would tell you that game was stolen from the Irish by the officials.
In the third quarter, once Sharpley came in and put us on the board, and with BC losing its composure, all of the momentum was with Notre Dame. This may not have been apparent from watching on TV, as we were still losing the game, but I haven't felt that much electricity in the stadium, particularly the student section, since USC in 2005.
Three calls stick out as being particulary egregious in my mind. First, the "downed" snap on a punt. I haven't gotten to watch the replay but it looked from the stands like the ball hit the turf and Price went down after it. Regardless, the rarity of such a call (compared to the relative frequency of botched snaps on punts)suggested, even at the time, that if the refs weren't making a BS call, they were certainly keeping their eyes peeled for anything to ding us with. The next play that sticks out was the "inadvertent whistle," that was blown prior to the snap on what looked to be a particularly shifty play by ND. That was absolute crap; the official saw the Irish were getting the D off balance, and just thought something should be whistled. As a result, our offense rythym was completely thrown off that series. Finally (of course) was the phantom holding call that cost us a touchdown and the game. Had we scored there, we would have been down 6 with 6 minutes to go in the 4th, with all of the momentum and a fired-up home crowd on our side. Again, I have not seen the replay, but from those I know who were watching the game on NBC, there was no holding, and even the announcers seemed to think the call was dubious. On top of these three calls, were numerous no-calls that should have gone against BC, especially some PI's.
I have to give credit where credit is due-BC played extremely well, as we knew they would. Matt Ryan always found a reciever, even if he was being chased or dragged down by ND's defense, and this was particularly impressive to me.
However, in my opinion, the officiating crew had no intention of letting this game get away from BC. I hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but it must be said that for all the benefits of our independant status, the officiating situation, where the opposing team brings their own crew to South Bend, hurts us. While the refs weren't in the employ of BC, and I'm not suggesting they were in cahoots with BC, they are employed by the ACC. In today's BCS era of huge profit sharings for conferences who send a school to a BCS game (as well as the non-stop pissing contest thats developed as to which conference is the "strongest"), I don't think it's too out there to point out that the officiating crew's employer, the Atlantic Coast Conference, had a vested interest in ensuring that BC (#4 in the nation last saturday) beat a struggling (but promising) Irish team on the national stage, remained undefeated, and in contention for the National Championship, or at least the money from one of the other BCS bowls.
All ranting aside, BC is an extremely good football team this year. They are one of the top three teams in the country. And ND covered the spread agasint them on saturday-this was big-time improvement from where we were three weeks ago. However, but for an over-zealous officiating crew, we had an upset brewing. I think the guys will come out of this game more confident in their abilities and pissed off at last week's result. USC, on the other hand, got beat by Standford(!) two weeks ago, and squeaked by Arizona(!) on Saturday. Reggie Bush and company are gone, the wheels are falling off in South Central, and the Trojans have to play in South Bend on Saturday. Things are looking up.

10/15/2007 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

This issue is tricky – I think I would prefer not to play them. The series has generated so much ill will that I don’t see a good way to carry out the series without always dredging up really bad memories that are harmful to our respective traditions. BC has an academic and a religious tradition that we can respect; their football tradition is on the rise, but it simply doesn’t rise to the level of teams that automatically garner respect based on prior accomplishments. This year didn’t have any major problems, but you can tell that both sides still have a major bur under the saddle. On the one hand, the BC student fans did make a lot of noise during the alma mater. On the other, I know that some female BC students were subjected to some truly offensive verbal abuse by our students. Frankly, the latter behavior is worse, because you could give the BC fans the benefit of the doubt of not knowing what we do at the end of games. Some teams it’s fine to love to hate, like Michigan or USC. BC may be a bit risible at times, and they are run by Jesuits, but they aren’t neanderthals like people from Michigan. If we stopped playing them, there could be Catholic solidarity based on other factors – but as long as the series continues, we’re just inviting each other to act like jerks.

10/15/2007 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Brendan said...

You guys are unbelievable. If you had won this game all hell would have broken loose. The blogs would have been full of "Fredo" this and "Sonny" that. No student, player, or coach at Notre Dame was around for the glory years. Those are long gone for now. They might come back soon, but Notre Dame is not the team it used to be. Who cares if BC fans were pumped and chanting during the alma mater after the game? We won, and quite frankly if Notre Dame came to Chestnut Hill and won, chanting at the end would be expected if not encouraged. We are college football fans just like the Irish faithful are. It just so happens that this year, and in the previous 4, Boston College has had a better team. I'm sad to see that you think BC kids are punks and you have to scan the police blotter and circle every incident of a drunk BC student getting put into the tank (I'm sure all of us, ND or BC, were between the ages of 18 and 20 at one point and decided to have a beer or two). Its sad for me to see a school which I respect, scramble to get a grasp on years that are now two decades in the past. When you start winning games again, I'll be willing to listen to it. But give the Eagles some respect, 7-0 doesn't lie. Neither does 1-6.

10/15/2007 10:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Joel said...

Big Irish fan here. I gave my tickets to my parents as a gift and watched the game at a sports bar. I am going to disagree with those that say that the refs screwed us and definitely discount any conspiracy theories in this regard. BC was penalized several times on personal fouls, and, as an Irish fan, I thought the calls were pretty weak in some cases. The block in the back by the kicking team is rarely seen, could have easily been left alone like many of those are. The punt fiasco was simply a case of a poor snap and a 5th year punter that wasn't smart enough to squat to catch the ball as opposed to taking a knee to field it.

There were several things in that game which resulted in our defeat, and regardless if the holding call near the end was bogus, one call an unfairly officiated game does not make, and the officials were definitly not responsible for our loss.

10/15/2007 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone needs to calm down here. We got beaten by a better team. Matt Ryan is an experienced qb with the great gift of seeing the entire field, and the guts to make a play when his team needs it.

With the benefit of watching on tv and seeing instant replays, I thought the refs made the right calls. Refs will call holding 9 times out of ten when there is a tackle/take down by an OL. The punters knee was on the ground when he caught the snap.

More enlightening to me was the way Evan Sharpley handled himself and the team. To me, it's obvious he sees the field a lot better than Clausen, who tends to lock onto one receiver, thus telegraphing his passes. Clausen needs to sit and learn for awhile, as Sharpley did under Brady.

10/15/2007 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Dports1 said...

Some non-hostile observations from a BC fan:

1) Officials were terrible both ways and made the game seem interminably boring in the 2nd half.
2) There is a very real possibility that the all-time series will tied or in BC's favor once the current set of games is over in 2010. If it is indeed 11-9 BC, can ND reasonably refuse to schedule BC while having its fans/alums/students claim that it is far superior? I'm interested in thoughts on this hypo.
3) Jimmy Clausen is not the savior. With all the hype for this kid, there is a greater chance he will be Weis's undoing rather than the captain of a 2010 BCS championship team.

I feel as though I should offer the disclaimer that I was admitted to ND in 1998 but chose BC instead (lest my comments be dismissed as a bitter ND reject).

10/15/2007 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Mike Coffey said...

"There is a very real possibility that the all-time series will tied or in BC's favor once the current set of games is over in 2010"

You lose practically your entire team next year, and your coach is a lot more interested in taking his kid to school than recruiting.

Don't count your chickens.

10/15/2007 10:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

Or, as Charlie, the pride of our English department, would say: "I could care less." (sic)

10/15/2007 12:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. I am no fan of Boston, but back-up school? Maybe in terms of pure rankings, but overall, BC is a very good school in far superior city. Boston is a great college town by all accounts. South Bend is basically blighted. The chant seemed not only forced (like Dartmouth kids yelling "back-up school" at Cornell kids), but also conceited and a little desperate.
2. ND is not a top ten school. It is not super-elite. What makes it great is that it is the best "actually" Catholic school. But that is lost if we act like a bunch of snobs. If BC actually did suck, we would be jerks to sit there telling them about it. If it is all in good fun, than admitt that.
3. And why yell "back-up" school at the BC players? Could they possibly care for a minute? Do we think that the USC players care that the average USC student probably cannot get into Cal or Stanford? I would not.
4. BC is not ND on a number of levels, but I like the idea of a rivalry with another Catholic school, to emphasize that part of our legacy. USC (who has UCLA) is our rival for best college football legacy. Michigan (who has Mich. St. and OSU) is becoming our Midwestern rival, as well rival for winningest programs. Navy (who has army) emphasizes our values of tradition and service. BC could become a good Catholic Rival.

10/15/2007 03:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I truly marvel and the selective memory of the Notre Dame faithful. Has it ever occured to you guys that maybe your behavior at the 1992 and 1993 games helped set the tone for these frayed relations? I came out to ND as a BC student for both of those games and was shocked at the arrogant treatment we recieved from the Irish faithful. I had never seen anything like it. BC competes regularly with the Ivy League and MIT, and I had never seen such behavior in my life. You guys were inhospitable winners in 1992 and even worse losers in 1993.I agree with one of the above posters . . . The rage was contained only by the fact that ND is 1-5. If you had won that game the gloves would have been off and the class would have once again shown. I hope that ND can see an attempt to mend in the generous knee BC's offense took in the waning minutes of that game. Those points may have cost us points in the computer rankings but Jags did it as an olive branch.

10/15/2007 03:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at the last Boston College Game with my two sons and friends. And yes the way the BC fans acted in leaving the stadium was pretty bad as they used the worse language and threats and were drunk out of thier gords. But that is college football. they hated us that day. If you all rememeber BC won that game in the last few minutes when we were out Coached and Out Played.
The other times we lost we were out coached as well. But to who.

But I do think it is stupid and not very classy to yell secound choice school to their kids and alums.

That is not the ND of olde and one that I love. This might come from frustration in not beating BC. But ND and BC should keep playing every year. I think a lot of ND folks would not mind having BC AD as our own. He has done a great job getting them into the ACC and they are as of today number 3 in the BCS and the Basketball Team is doing fine too.

Lets just start beating them which we will soon and then take the high road when we do.

I know lot s of Boston College folks over 40 and they are good solid people.

It is time for the young Alums and Fans from both schools to change this hateful atmosphere.
We should be pulling for each other.

ND is not threatened by Boston College and Boston College is not threatened by Notre Dame.

BC has a fire in their belly that ND has always had and hopefully COach Weis can find it soon for our Irish this season.

I thought except for the hit on our QB that it appeared to be a clean game. Their line was better and their QB was cool under fire and their backs ran with determination.

There I said it. But we did not give up and the experience level was the huge difference in the game.

Congrats to BC. See you in the next few years.

Good luck and win out.


10/15/2007 04:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


It's possible BC will sweep the remaining games, but to steal a line from ND's detractors, Jags is winning with TOB's players right now and may experience some talent shortfalls in the coming years. I mean, a team laden with 5th year starters on both sides of the ball struggled this much against the worst ND team in decades? I would hold off on claiming the next three games. This 13-point win was easily the largest margin your 5-game win streak.

Next, you talk about claims to superiority, etc. BC is by far the better team this year and has been the better team in SOME (not all) of the preceding 10-12 years. For instance, I am hard pressed to believe BC would have beaten ND in 2005 or 2006, though undoubtedly it could have been a decent game. Nebraska and FSU lead in their relatively short series with ND, but no one is going to suggest their programs are clearly superior, or in the very least no one will say that an argument for ND's overall superiority is unreasonable, even if disputable. If BC ends up with a head-to-head edge against ND, ND fans will have to acknowledge that edge. However, leading head-to-head in a relatively short series does not equal overall superiority. The two matters are separate. Frankly, we will have much bigger problems on our hands than determining superiority vis-a-vis past opponents if we cannot find a way to beat BC one of the next three games with the talent we will have.

Finally, I don't see how a true freshman QB putting in underwhelming performances behind a terrible OL and inexperienced WR corps is damning. No one here claimed Clausen would come in and be a "savior" this year. We expected better results primarily b/c we expected a good running game to minimize his role. His role has indeed been minimal, as envisoned, but without an effective running game, it has led to a very poor offense. If you read on some other ND blog or site that Clausen was going to be in Heisman contention this year or set freshman passing records, please take it up with them.

10/15/2007 04:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only thing that pissed me off was the chanting during the singing of the alma mater.

You can't defend that - absolutely no class shown there.

Nonetheless, in general, I thought the BC fans were great - up and until that point.

This game was closer than the final score; BC was getting mighty jumpy and you could feel it slipping from them. Until the hold was called on the touchdown that never was.

Nonetheless, I would not mind seeing these guys on the schedule. I just don't want freaking ACC refs when they come to play at ND.

10/15/2007 05:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"3) Jimmy Clausen is not the savior. With all the hype for this kid, there is a greater chance he will be Weis's undoing rather than the captain of a 2010 BCS championship team."

Though it's still too early to tell, this may be a prophetic observation, but I certainly hope that it doesn't come to pass.

It is abundantely clear, even to this arm-chair QB, that of the two (Clausen and Sharpley), Sharpley has more ability RIGHT NOW to get you the W. He sees the field, has surprisingly quick feet, is strong (4th and 1's), drops back far enough (like Tony Rice did) to give himself time to throw or improvise and appears to have that intangible competitive gene that just makes some people rise to the occcasion (think Robert Horry in B-ball).

However, I temper this assessment with another belief that given 60 minutes, he may end up making just as many mistakes as Clausen, but conversly, I also believe he'll make more plays.

I say the following with great reservation: Is Charlie Weis more concerned with "credentials" then he is with obvious (to anyone) game time ability or is he simply willing to invest time now (in Clausen)to have an even greater product in the future?

Time will tell.

10/15/2007 06:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know BC fans have been less than classy in victory on more than a few occasions, but what unites us is greater than what divides us. For historical reasons, this is not and will almost certainly never be a rivalry for us, but I see no reason why BC can't become a traditional opponent.

That being said, I'd put programs like BC and MSU on a short leash. Sign them to contracts of no more than 4 or 5 years, and make it clear that we'll be taking a few years off every time somebody tears up our sod, plants flags on our field, bounces around the Irish Guard, or trashes our locker room. Whether we are up or down, an ND game is a cash cow and a big stage for a lot of schools, and there's no reason we can't use that as leverage to get ADs and coaches to remind their players that good sportsmanship is expected of both sides at ND.

10/15/2007 06:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Dartmouth grad it is "Fall-Back" not "Back-Up school."
My wife and father-in-law are ND grads and I am now a subway alum (Ivy League Football can't compare to IA).
Weis is in a rebuilding year. Much like USC in the mid 90's. I do think Charlie treated the players too much like pros and not enough like 18-21 year-olds.
1. against GT the game plan WAS there just not executed well
2. the "spread" offense look beat the pants off Michigan by both Appalaicahin state AND Oregon...why didn't ND revamp it/include Jones in the game plan?
3. D Jones was always a talented runner, why not accelerate his progress with consistent passing? Is Powlus enough to sharpen the QB?
4. I can't see downfield on TV but why can't Clausen find the open receiver? Sharpley DEFINITELY is able to anticipate the open receiver and deliver the ball (although he should have had 2 INT against BC)

I think Weis' recruiting will start to pay off in one more year. The raw talent is there. There is promise.

10/15/2007 08:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Vairish84 said...

I would like to see the series extended, but it is not practical.

One of the reasons we have our 3 game commitment to the BE was because of BC bolting the conference. If we rotate them in among MSU and Purdue, then fine. Otherwise, while it will be a shame to have the series end, so be it.

We can get the team to the NE by playing U. Conn and thus fulfill our agreements.

BC gets to fall into the every now and again type rotation with the Oklahomas, Tennessees and others of our world.

As a practical matter, whether we want to admit or not, however, BC is a rival. Look at the emotion the game arouses. They may not be our peer historically, but I discount our statements that they cre more about the game than we do. Perhaps the team does not get up, but the fans cerainly do. That is the definition of a rival.

10/15/2007 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger Brett said...

I'd like to give clarification to the concern about BC students singing through the ND alma mater - I'm a current BC student and was in the student section at the game. At BC we sing our alma mater after victories and just go home after losses. I suppose we expected that ND does the same. On behalf of my fellow students, I apologize if we ruined the singing of the ND alma mater (which, quite honestly, is way better than BC's).

On a second note, I hope that at least a few ND fans will try to understand what the typical ND reaction pre and post-game looks like to an outsider. The excessive talk about BC not being a rivalry game and coupled with the attempts to villanize our students and team are perplexing at best and pathetic at worst.

Finally, as a student who chose BC over ND for primarily academic reasons, I'd say it's about time to retire the "safety school" routine and find some new material.

10/15/2007 11:02:00 PM  
Blogger EagleInDC said...

I graduated from BC just before this football series started, and selected BC over one of the Ivies. At no point did I ever consider Notre Dame. Thinking back about all of my roommates and friends at BC, I can't think of any who wanted to go to ND. Most kids at BC want to be in or near a city, and like me because they had no interest in a rural campus, spending four years in South Bend never occurred to them. But I never considered ND inferior for being in Indiana, just as I never considered Dartmouth inferior for being in the woods. Just not my cup of tea.

For that reason, I was utterly shocked when I first went to a BC-ND game in 1992 and the student section started chanting Backup College. Only then did I learn that many people grow up dreaming of ND and apply to other Catholic colleges as a backup. I can understand how that could have been their experience, and if you think about it, anyone who loves ND already and also gets into BC is going to select ND. Nonetheless I had not expected such low-rent behavior from the students.

(Then at halftime the stadium nazis told us to stand up and cheer for ND as they filmed the final scene of "Rudy". If you watch the film closely you will see lots of people waving BC banners.)

The reality is that more BC applicants also apply to Harvard, NYU and Georgetown than ND, and both ND and BC are listed on the Princeton Review's list of "dream colleges" for applicants and parents.

Lou Holtz 1992 behavior when #8 ND ran up the score on #9 BC didn't help. Faking a punt to help do it didn't help either. It set the stage for the Eagles wanting and getting blood in the 1993 game. When Holtz complained about a faked BC field goal in 1994 as "not how Notre Dame plays football" it became clear that the folks in South Bend believe their own press releases. And the fact that as recently as last year, Holtz blamed losing the '93 game on a bad call during the final drive -- when all sports analysts who have reviewed the tape admit that an earlier BC touchdown that was called back should have stood -- is just testimony to the almost patholgical degree to which the ND crowd really thinks they cannot fail.

ND is a fine school, but not everyone wants to go there. Accepting that is a good start toward rational and decent behavior.

BC students should behave decently at all events, and I don't condone disrupting pep rallies etc. But keep in mind that a lot of Notre Dame's ceremonial pomp and circumstance seems awfully hokey to folks from the city. We don't understand pep rallies because we don't have them because we have other things to do. BC kids might go to Fenway Park and catch the Sox the night before a game. They might go to Harvard Square or Fanueil Hall or any of hundreds of other things people do in major cities.

I could be wrong on this last point, but I recall cheering after a few BC wins in South Bend not realizing until the third visit to that stadium with the seating nazis that you all expect everyone including the opposing team's fans to stand quietly at the end of the game as if the National Anthem is being played. Hey, it's a great tradition, but by no means typical of post-game bahavior. BC plays the alma mater after all games as well, but usually there is more of a break after the game so that those who want to stay for it can, and those who want to leave aren't stuck there while it is played. Maybe ND really should consider better educating visitors to what they might expect, rather than assuming we all grew up cognizant of ND rituals.

I didn't go to the game this year and I haven't in a while, for a few reasons. Chicago is the best part of going there, South Bend is so depressing that there is nothing to do after tailgating so you are stuck with a two hour drive back to Chicago. And while you are in the Stadium, even if you mind your own business it is almost impossible not to have some sort of encounter with the ushers who don't seem to understand that ticket holders are paying guests of the university. Finally, the seats that ND gives visitors just suck. The only way you can see the game is if you get your tickets from some major ND donor, because if you buy them though normal visitor channels they are going to stick you under the goalposts.

I don't need to fly to the middle of nowhere to be ushered to obstructed view seats by surly stadium staff and then listen to kids with a superiority compled insult my alma mater. No Thanks. I will spend my money at ACC destinations like Clemson, Chapel Hill, and Charlottsville where people are polite, or in Atlanta or DC that offer a great city weekend, or in Florida where the weather is decent.

Notre Dame is a fine school, and I am glad you all loved it. But you can keep South Bend.

Oh, and by the way, the Notre Dame brand of Catholicism, with all the statues and rosaries and candles, seems a bit immature and focused on sacramentals, at least to this twice-Jesuit educated guy.

10/16/2007 06:12:00 PM  

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