Here’s how I think this plays out…..
A group of players (who might not be ready yet) will out themselves as the first openly homosexual players in the NFL and they will be the only thing anyone anywhere talks about
These players will become inundated with media appearances and press requests. All the while being supported by the league, society and almost every other player with comments like “If the dude can play who cares if he’s gay or not?” At the same time these players will become the face and focus of anti-homosexual groups and wonder to themselves “was it worth it?”
A handful of players will make remarks about their unease of sharing a dressing room with a homosexual player. Or maybe some will talk about how their interpretation of God’s message/teachings tell them that Homosexuals are evil and unnatural or “As long as we ain’t in the shower at the same time”.
The players mentioned in step 3 will soon feel the burn of the media’s hot glare. They will be vilified and compared to the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Chef Boyardee etc.
Within days if not hours, all of the players who made the “controversial” remarks will recant what they said or tell the media they were misquoted. Some will apologize, reading from well crafted and eloquent statements written for them by their agents (the players from the SEC will obviously struggle through the big words). They will do this out of fear for losing their jobs because of the negative publicity they have received and not because their felling on the subject has changed. They will learn that in today’s society Freedom of Speech only applies to those who choose to be politically correct.
It being 2013, all of this will be consumed, analyzed, processed, reacted to, over reacted to and untimely forgotten in about a period of 6 weeks.
All the players who came out will be cut in the off season because they weren’t that good in the first place. Let’s face it, if they were Pro Bowlers TMZ would have already outed them.
It doesn’t matter the sport or franchise, every fan feels a certain unexplainable connection to their favorite team. Part of the lure of being a rabid fan is the thought that somehow we are directly joined at the hip to the players on the field. No matter how silly the notion might seem we feel like our actions have a direct result on the final score. I for one am no different. For instance, I love Lucky Charms and used to eat it every morning on game days. Both the cereal and my team have leprechauns as mascots so it seems like a natural parallel. As it happened I was in Portugal for the first three weeks of this season and was unable to get my hands on those pink hearts, gold stars, purple horseshoes, green clovers, blue moons or pink balloons. I was so afraid that by not having my usual bowl of diabetes inducing treats I would somehow negatively affect the Irish. As you all know Notre Dame won all three games while I was away. The result, I haven’t had any Lucky Charms upon my return home and won’t have any until after the season is over. If you believe the ridiculous logic I’ve just tried to explain and you hate nail-biting games….I apologize. I apologize because the close game the Irish played this weekend was 100% my fault.
A few hours before the game I was talking to my friend about ND’s season so far. The thought came into my head that other than the Purdue game the Irish haven’t really had to play any “exciting” games. For the most part Notre Dame has methodically and systematically taken apart their opponents. And in that moment I let it happen. I let the idea travel from my brain and exit my lips. I said “wouldn’t it be awesome if with the whole world watching and College Gameday in South Bend if the Irish played a last second thriller?” And of course because I said it out loud, my request came to fruition. I could care less what type of game is played; as long as it results in a “W” I’m happy. Nail-biter, 40 point blowout or turnover fest makes no difference to me as long as we win. I know some people are different and like their wins vanilla and can’t handle the excitement, and to them I say “I’m sorry”. To everyone else I say in my best Chris Farley voice “Holly shnikes that was an awesome game!”
The first thing I noticed about this game is how much it reminded me of the classic 1988 encounter with Miami. When you break it down the similarities are spooky.
- Notre Dame was unexpectedly undefeated
- Notre Dame was playing a top 25 team
- The game was in October
- The Irish were playing a team that had embarrassed them in recent years
- The Head coach was in their third year at Notre Dame
- The Atmosphere was electric on campus all week before the game
- The Irish defence was the biggest factor in a game that came down to the wire
- A player who was converted from WR to safety made an interception in the game
- The Irish caused multiple turnovers
- There was a play in the game that the opposing fan basses will say cost them they game and that ND had the refs in their pocket
Granted some of those are a stretch, but for the most part I think I’m spot on. The one thing I want to address is the last play of the game. Just as the Tropical Storms of Miami still complain about the turnover that wasn’t in the 88 game, I’m sure the Stanford Leafs will also single out one play and say they were screwed. First things first, while Miami has a point that the turnover was not a turnover they also seem to forget that there were two fumbles by Walsh that day that were called incomplete forward passes. The first incarnation of the “tuck rule” if you will. As far as I’m concerned it all evens out and the best team won that day. Stanford has less of a leg to stand on. There’s no way the ref’s did ND a solid. The field officials were from the Pac 12 and the replay booth was Big East, the conference ND just dumped. The replay clearly shows that the runner’s forward momentum was stopped and that he was being pushed back. Before he stretched out for the goal line you can see the side judge running in with the whistle in his mouth waving his arms and the ND players running away from the pile in celebration.
The play was close but not close enough for all the second guessing that’s been going on since. It was a great goal line stance and a magical moment for a program that has been on the other side of these types of plays for way too long.
I’m very intrigued about next week. BYU has historically always gotten up for games against Notre Dame. It may not have looked like it last Saturday but BYU has a very stout defence. Even after giving up 42 points to Oregon State, they’re 13.6 points given up per game is good enough for 7th in the country. I don’t see Golson playing at all this week. With “Tommy cool” playing well off the bench there is no reason to mess around regarding concussions. It’s actually kind of a blessing in disguise. Golson will be able to watch the game from the sidelines and hopefully see some of the things he missed last week and come back healthy and prepared for Oklahoma the next week. Offensively the cougars are lost. I’ve seen them play this year and they are awful. If coach Kelly and coach Diaco keep the “D boys” focused I see no reason why we can’t shutout BYU.
Until next week ….
Go Irish, #5 and climbing !
Where have I been?
Before I write anything about football I think I should tell you where I’ve been. It’s been a long time since I’ve written on this blog and even longer since I’ve written about football and Notre Dame. Without getting to deep into the reasons behind my absence the quick answer is that it’s been a difficult year. In the past 12 months I’ve dealt with a heart wrenching separation, the loss of my Grandmother who was my biggest fan, painful injuries resulting from a serious car accident and a new job that involves a lot of travel to remote parts of the country. It seemed like in the blink of an eye I lost two of the most important women in my life and I was all alone. At times it was too much to handle and everything else, including football didn’t mean anything to me anymore. I would wake up in the morning only so I could go to sleep at night. For a long time I couldn’t remember what “normal” felt like. To make a long story short I’ve been feeling more and more like my old self lately. I want to do the things that make me happy again. One of those things is this blog. With that said…..I have a few quick thoughts on the season so far. Here are my Cleland Notes for this season (If you don’t know what Cleland notes are Google season 2 episode #15 of the Cosby Show….If you don’t know what the Cosby Show is it means you’re young and I hate you!)
“D” is the name of the game !
I’ve been watching ND football for a long time and I can’t remember the last time the defense “played” this well. I emphasize “played” because it’s just not the talent that’s impressive, it’s how they’re playing that’s exciting. We’ve had tall, strong, fast, aggressive players in the past but the results never seemed to match the skill sets. I’m seeing great pursuit angles, I’m seeing linemen getting their arms up on passes, I’m seeing sure tackling and confidence from an uber young secondary. I even dare to say I’m seeing a little swagger from a unit that for so long had been the weak link in the chain.
Aaron Lynch might as well be Jane because Stephon Tuitt’s play so far has made ND nation all but forget about the departure of the former prize recruit. My favorite player, Irish Chocolate has become the lane stuffing machine we all hoped he would. KaiVarae Russell, Elijah Shumate and Sheldon Day are making significant contributions as true freshmen and Ishaq Williams has made leaps and bounds in his game. Above and beyond anyone else, Manti Te’o is playing out of this world football. I knew that when he decided to return for his senior year he would be focused and give everything he had to to carry ND back to glory, but what he’s done is simply amazing. The way he played this past Saturday was awe inspiring considering the hell he was going through in his personal life. I couldn’t get off the couch when my grandmother died. This young man lost his grandmother and girlfriend on the same day and than played the game of his life under the brightest of lights with the whole college football world watching. I honestly don’t know how he did it. He is truly a special person that Notre Dame is lucky to be affiliated with. I will forever be a fan of Te’o.
Like many fans I wanted Everett to win the starting QB job this off season. I believe he has all the tools to be successful in this offense and so far so good. The thing that impresses me the most is not his knowledge of the playbook. It’s not his ability to run with the ball and it’s not the cannon of a right arm he possesses . The thing that I’m most impressed with is his willingness to throw the ball away when nothing’s there. It might sound like an odd thing to be impressed by but it shows real maturity to not try and force things that are not there and avoiding turnovers. No one’s ever said ” the turning point of the game was when the QB threw the ball out of bounds on that second down and seven play in the third quarter”. We could have been an 11-2 team last year if it weren’t for sloppy turnovers. The fact that Everett already seems to grasp how important limiting turnovers and winning the field position battle is puts me a little more at ease with our new signal caller.
After Tommy was arrested this summer I thought for sure he would never take another snap for Notre Dame. I would have bet my bottom dollar that barring injuries to Everett, Andrew, Gunner, Brady Quinn, Tony Rice, Joe Montana, Johnny Lujack and the inability to resurrect the ghost of Gus Dorais that Tommy would never see the field again. But as the Purdue game showed us love concurs all and Brian Kelly’s true feelings for Tommy resurfaced. The Rees-Kelly bromance was and is stronger than any of us thought. In the same fashion that a jilted lover keeps giving her cheating husband chance after chance, Brian gave Tommy one more chance and Tommy didn’t disappoint. It’s 2012 and I see nothing wrong with a coach have a man-crush on a player, It’s kinda sweet.
Found this today on Youtube. It’s from The Turning Point. Only 52 more days!
I really hope that Louis NixIII (Irish Chocolate) has a break out season in 2012. His spirit and energy make him someone everyone should cheer for.
You are the matriarch of our family. You taught us what family is all about and how to treat the people we love. You never spoke about someone in terms of being a second cousin or forth cousin. Someone is either family or they’re not……and bloodlines have nothing to do with it.
You taught me many lessons in my lifetime. The most important being the valve of hard work. By hearing what you had to do and the sacrifices that you had to make when our family first came to Canada, I now understand the value of a hard days work. I also realize that because you worked so many hard days in your life…..I’ve never had to work a single hard day in mine.
I have so many fond memories of the time we spent together, but one will always stick out to me. When I was six there was a night mom and dad were working late and you took care of me. It was in the summer time and you took me to mass that night. It was so hot and dry in that church. I remember being so thirsty that I actually prayed to God that the roof of the church would open up and a huge wave of Kool-aid would wash over us. Mom said I had to be good while I was with you so I didn’t whine and I didn’t squirm, I did not say a word. When I couldn’t take it any more and I was on the verge of crying……you instinctively took me by the arm and we walked out. We went down the street to the corner store. You bought me a small glass bottle of Coke and a package of gummy worms. I drank the Coke and ate a few of the worms. You wrapped up the rest of the gummies and tucked them into my tiny pocket. You knelt down and kissed my forehead and asked ” are you ok now sweetheart?” Everyone deserves to feel how I felt that day. Everybody deserves to know how it feels to meet their guardian angel in person.
Thank you for always making me feel important. Thank you for always making my feel special. Thank you for always making me feel handsome. Thank you for always making me feel loved. Thank you for being really really bad at hiding the chocolates and cookies at you house.
I want you to know that the family is all together. I want you to know that we are all ok. And we’re all going to take care of each other, just the way you wanted. May the Lord look after and take care of your soul the way you always looked after and took care of ours
The long and often strange recruitment story of talented high school senior Davonte’ Neal has come to an end, but not as many expected. After pushing back his dicision as to which university he would attend 3 weeks past national signing day, Davonte’ s decision shocked everyone. Mainly because he made no decision, at least now during the much awaited press conference that he was suppose to make it at.
Due to what is being described as family issues, the decision was not made in the morning of Feb 21 in front of hundreds of grammar school kids as was intended. It was made later that day around 4:00pm after a lot of bad press had landed at Neal’s doorstep. I’ve only been following the phenomenon that is high school recruiting for the past few years, but this is by far the strangest thing I’ve ever seen involving a Notre Dame recruit (this type of non-sense happens in the SEC all the time).
While I’m glad that Notre Dame was able to add an explosive play maker with the addition of Neal to their 2012 class, I’m a little worried that this whole announcement debacle might be a sign of bad things to come. I’m not that disturbed with the “not showing up for your own announcement” thing. When 17 year olds are forced to make the most important decision of their lives in this fashion you’re just asking for trouble. ESPN and 24 hour news outlets have made recruiting such big business turned it into a universe onto itself . I think it’s too much pressure to put on someone that young.
The thing that worries me the most is the time he needed to make this decision. If you believe what most insiders are saying, the reason for the delay on Tuesday was because of a disagreement with his father on where Davonte’ should go. It’s said that Davonte’ wanted to stay close to home and attend Arizona. His father wanted his son to get a Notre Dame education. If this is true it could be a precursor of things to come. If the younger Neal isn’t “all-in” with the Irish it will show up in practice and on the field (see Shaq Evens as recent proof of that).
I hope this story has a happy ending and Neal becomes the second coming of Rocket Ismail like some think he can be. But if a he choose a school that his dad wanted him to go to instead of one he wanted to go to, I see this rocky road continuing for both him and Notre Dame. Here’s hoping that’s not the case.