Thursday, August 16, 2012

Rick Reilly gives America reason to love Notre Dame again.

There are maybe dozens, nay hundreds of reasons not to support the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. But there is at least one good reason out there now to support the team from South Bend - ESPN columnist Rick Reilly said not to.

"I don't love Notre Dame football anymore. Notre Dame football has been living a lie, as Lou Holtz likes to say. Outlined against a blue-gray October sky, nothing happened. The echoes are in REM sleep. It has failed to advance the ball.

If I told you about a team that had lost 10 of its last 12 bowl games, had dropped nine of its last 10 to USC, had led the nation only in disappointment, you'd figure that team would be halfway down the Mountain West standings. But Notre Dame still gets perks and love from the NCAA and BCS as though the year is 1946."

 Okay, Notre Dame still wants to get treated like it's still something special? Don't we all? That the Irish can still be at least be interesting while being mediocre in sports is still quite an achievement (as opposed to being interesting and pathetic which is a whole lot easier).

"Can you explain to me how a team that hasn't won a national championship since 1988, a Heisman since 1987, or more than eight games its last five seasons still gets treated like the 1967 Green Bay Packers?"

The same reason America lets New Hampshire pretty much decide who the contenders and pretenders in the Presidential race every four years. But lets not get into politics, shall we?

"Somebody needs to stick a pin in the still-inflated Golden Dome. Look, the ACC wants Notre Dame. Would die to have it. But word is, Notre Dame won't go if it has to share TV and gate revenue with the rest of the conference, like everybody else. The Irish people love to share. The Irish athletic department? Not so much."

Ah, the "I want you on my team / So does everybody else" card.  So what if ND doesn't want to share it's broadcasting rights money from NBC? Beggars can't be choosers. The ACC would benefit more from the face time on NBC even if it didn't get the cash. Not conventional wisdom I'll admit. But Notre Dame is worth it. If only for the same way having a slightly banged-up copy of the original Action Comics #1 from 1938 is still worth more than the first issue of the Action reboot last year.

Thank you, Rick Reilly. Thank you for giving America a reason to love Notre Dame again. If only to spite you and the jealous temple of narcissism that is ESPN. 

(via ESPN)