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 1960’s 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 – 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 1990’s has Notre Dame football even been considered among the elite of the college football world – 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 wouldn’t, couldn’t work in today’s 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 – 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 – 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 it’s that emotion that Notre Dame drives that has kept the program relevant and now being a win away from playing for the national championship … there will be more attention on this title game than any other in the history of the BCS and TV ratings too.
All I’m 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 isn’t 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, it’s time to stop hating and accept it.
About Hank Bonecutter
Hank Bonecutter is a retired broadcaster, currently blogging at www.clarksvillemotorcycle.com where he hosts “Dodging the Roadkill a Bikers Journey”, chronicling his travels and experiences on his Harley Davidson Ultra Limited touring machine.Â As a contributor to the Clarksville Sports Network, Clarksville Online and more, his passion is motorcycles, sports and family.Â He writes a popular feature at Clarksville Online titled, “My Two Cents” and publishes his travel journal at “Dodging the Roadkill.”Â A media consultant, and social media advisor, he primarily keeps his followers up to speed on the latest motorcycle news and events.Â Contact Hank at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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