As I start this, I want to be up front with you right from the beginning;† I am a Notre Dame fan and have been since the days of watching coach Ara Parseghian and Lindsey Nelson on the Notre Dame Football Show back in the 1960ís before going to church on Sundays.
Now with that out of the way.
I understand that Notre Dame football is like the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball, the New England Patriots in the National Football League, the Detroit Red Wings in the National Hockey League and Duke in college basketball Ė people either love them of hate them — there is little if any middle ground.† But most fans will also tell you that when these teams are good and winning titles, or at least in the running for a championship, their sport is better.
Such is the case with the Irish.
Not since 1988, under Lou Holtz, have the Irish won a national championship and not since the early 1990ís has Notre Dame football even been considered among the elite of the college football world Ė despite two 10-win seasons in 2002 and 2006.
People felt Notre Dame football had become irrelevant on the college football landscape and the Irish fan base unrealistic dreams of days gone by, a fight song, old movies of past glories and a TV deal — that other schools could only dream of that was undeserved.
Notre Dame was too proud, too highbrow and with expectations in the classroom that wouldnít, couldnít work in todayís world of college athletics and still expect championships.
I admit the Irish have made some mistakes over the years since their last national championship, but this team Ė which started the season unranked in one poll and No. 24 in the other, is 11-0 and ranked No. 1 in the BCS standings, with only a beaten-down USC standing between them and a shot at the national championship.
Not possible right?
Well, coach Brian Kelly Ė in his third season — has the Irish poised for not only a title this season, but in position to have a consistent team in the national title hunt for the long haul.† Still, hate is what millions of college football fans have toward Notre Dame and they root against the Irish no matter what.† But itís that emotion that Notre Dame drives that has kept the program relevant and now being a win away from playing for the national championship Ö there will be more attention on this title game than any other in the history of the BCS and TV ratings too.
All Iím saying is this; other national powers, including Alabama the prohibitive favorite to face the Irish for the BCS Championship have had slumps and no, Notre Dame isnít going to run off with multiple national championships, like in the 40s and 60s.† But the Irish are still the Irish and the game is at its best when the blue bloods of the sport are winning.
Notre Dame is among that group, itís time to stop hating and accept it.
About Hank Bonecutter
Hank is a forty year broadcast veteran, talk show host, writer, producer, and stand-up comedian. Hank is the President of Bonehead Promotions and Clarksville Sports Network.com, and is a contributing author/journalist for Clarksville Online. Hank is an advertising consultant, and social media adviser/manager for exclusive customers.
Web Site: http://clarksvillesportsnetwork.com/
SectionsRoll Call with Sarge
TopicsAlabama, Ara Parseghian, BCS Championship, Chris Austin, detroit red wings, Fighting Irish, Lindsey Nelson, Lou Holtz, New England Patriots, New York Yankees, Notre Dame