Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Irish Blogger Gathering: Rivalry Edition

Here's my first entry into the Irish Blogger Gathering - Subway Domer has more details. Today, as you will note, appears to be a day devoted to using as many parentheses as possible. (Edit - I don't know why the formatting is screwed up. It won't be fixed until LATE, as I am going to the Sox game tonight).

1. This is Notre Dame. Notre Dame is the game circled on just about every opposing teams schedule. They hate us and want to destroy us. So, it is safe to say that if ND plays a team every year, that game will become a big game for ND and an even bigger game for the opponent. So, pick any team that ND does not currently play and make that team a rival and create a rivalry trophy to go along with your rival of choice.

My initial thought was to go with my first alma mater - Northwestern. There were a few things going for this beyond the personal - Notre Dame has traditionally played Northwestern (with Notre Dame on top of the series 36-8-1), the schools are both among the best academic colleges in the country (especially among the teams that play D-I football - and yes, I am still referring to it that way and I don't care), and it is short distance between the two schools. Plus, even when they are in a down year (or decade...or several decades), Northwestern is still a Big Ten school.

But then, I realized that a better choice involves a few more miles, a few points lopped off the SAT scores, and a less traditional rival to the north - Wisconsin. First, since the early 1990s, the Badgers can be counted on to be a good to almost great team (although I suspect that Bielema's lax attitude to recruiting may hurt Wisconsin in the not-too-distant future, especially once Alvarez is out of the picture completely, but that's a different topic for a different day). Second, there are lots of small, but important reasons the rivalry would be good - Big Ten, only a few hours from ND in the car, current connections between the schools (Alvarez), recent nasty comments by their coach about Notre Dame and the BCS. Third, and perhaps best of all, is the fun to be had in Madison on road trips. I grew up in Madison, and I meet more people who hear I am from Madison and then start a story with a phrase like, "I went to Madison once. I sort of remember it." Trust me, that's a good thing. If you can make it from one end of State Street (or Regent Street, for that matter) to the other without serious inebriation resulting, you are a better (wo)man than I.

As for a trophy, I think a bratwurst statue is in order - both places love them. Dorky? Yes. Do I care? No.

2. What current rival of ND (Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Boston College, Stanford, Southern California- all trophy games) would you take off of the schedule and never play again?

You know that High Life commercial where the guys are cooking ostrich burgers at their tailgate? And then the Miller High Life guy comes up and shows them how to tailgate like normal people? When I went to visit Stanford while looking at colleges, they weren't cooking anything. Because, you know, sushi doesn't require cooking. And they were drinking wine.

I'm sorry, any team with fans who think sushi is an appropriate item to eat at a tailgate is not a team we should be playing on a regular basis.

3. What entertainment rival (whether it be TV, movies, or celebrity) would you compare to ND and one of its current rivals?

Anytime I get to compare something to Deadwood, life is good - Boston College vs. ND / Cy Tolliver vs. Al Swearingen. Both Boston College and Cy Tolliver think they are more important to college football/Deadwood than they actually are. Sure, they have had some moments, but at the end of the day, both college football and Deadwood exist without BC and Cy. And because BC and Cy think they are such hot stuff, they end up screwing themselves and everyone around them. Bastards.

Plus, as much as you want to hate ND and Al, at the end of the day, you have to admit to a grudging respect for them, even if you still wish only evil things to befall them from here on foward.

(The worst thing about this comparison? Having to give Boston College the satisfaction of being compared to someone as cool as Powers Booth).

(The best thing about this comparison? I could keep making connections here for hours. I heart Deadwood).

4. List your top 5 historical college football rivalries. After that, list your top 5 college football rivalries as of 2008.

Historical - In no particular order:

Notre Dame/USC
Ohio State/Michigan
South Carolina/Clemson

2008 - Again, in no particular order:


5. There are a lot of rivalry games out there. What is a great rivalry game that may not be as well known as the ones in your top 5 and explain why it so fantastic.

Because I'm familiar with it, I'm going to go with a rivalry that has lost some of its luster in recent years - Wisconsin/Iowa. When I was a kid, this game was huge in Madison. The streets would be full of Iowa fans driving erratically (not drunk, it's just a fact that people in Iowa don't know how to drive. This also applies to people from Indiana (really, people, it's not the Indy 500 every day on the roads, and turn signals are not just because we like blinky lights) and me. I could really use a chauffeur). The fans hated each other with a passion Wisconsin fans now seem able to muster for anyone and everyone (but which they traditionally reserved for Iowa and, sometimes, Minnesota). When Wisconsin sucked (it wasn't that long ago, trust me), the stadium only sold out once per year, and it was Iowa. Plus, it's a game ripe for making fun of for people from other states - Corn v. Cows, etc.

Even now, the rivalry is still there, though not as passionately as it once existed. I would love to bring that back (and I have no interest in either team, except to hate on the Badgers).

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Sorry for the recent lack of posting - work has been taking up many more hours of my days than I expected for the last two weeks. Then again, does anyone really want to rehash the Michigan State game? Yeah, didn't think so.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Back from a wedding this weekend, and work went nuts at about 4:00 - which means this is all I have time to post for the day. Should be better in the next few days, though!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Daily ND Five - September 10, 2008

Tomorrow's adventure: Mowing the lawn with my new electric mower. Bets on whether I mow over the cord? Anyone? Anyone?

At least the neighbors will be happy that the jungle that is currently my yard will be shorter.

How about some video from Saturday? And a quick analysis of why we didn't see more sacks, despite Tenuta and 59 pass attempts. (The Blue-Gray Sky)

Two: Speaking of sacks, how about some more on the subject? (Rakes of Mallow)

Three: I'm a believer (it's more fun than being a pessimist, right?). And yes, I only did that because I saw that headline and got The Monkees in my head. (The Rock Report)

Four: This would have been even easier than just watching the 4th quarter on TiVo. (Subway Domer)

Five: Supposedly, Notre Dame and Michigan have only faced off twice when they are unranked. Once, this year. The other time? Last year. (The Observer)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Daily ND Five - September 9, 2008

Surprised that I actually got to this today - I have been running around, spending more money on my car to get it fixed than it might actually be worth...anyway, an abbreviated version now, as it will be until next week. But I tell myself that it's better than nothing...

One: Does anyone ever get enough Lou? Not me. I wish I could be there this weekend! (und.com)

Two: I was not one of these people. Happily. (The Observer)

Three: One more set of thoughts on the San Diego State game. (Section 29, Row 48, Seat 10)

Four: Jimmy Clausen's hair. 'Nuf said. (The House Rock Built)

Five: Checking out what is going on with our upcoming opponents. (Irish Band of Brothers)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Daily ND Five - September 8, 2008

Back! A great weekend in South Bend, followed by amusement on the ride home (if cars now in need of $1000+ of work can be defined as something amusing).

One: I re-watched the game last night. And by "re-watch," I mean that I TiVo'd through everything to get straight to the 4th quarter. If you do that, it was pretty awesome. Or, you know, you could have paid attention to the whole thing, like some people, and have actual thoughts on the game. (The Blue-Gray Sky)

Two: Some more thoughts, mostly to do with specific players during the game. (Subway Domer)

Three: Still more thoughts. (Irish Band of Brothers)

Four: And some more! (OC Domer)

Five: Looking ahead: To hell with Michigan! (Irish Insights)

Glad to be back!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

No Daily ND Five Today

Thanks to work and a slight obsession with someone who shares my name from Alaska, I am not going to do the Daily ND Five today (plus, I have some television to watch right now, followed by packing for the trip to Notre Dame tomorrow). Instead, here's my non-preview preview of San Diego State. It involves Rockapella, in case you needed any incentive to read it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


After a week spent in the wilderness that is life without the internet, I am back! I will have a Daily ND Five up tomorrow, and probably an invite to my Saturday tailgate for anyone who wants to come by and take me up on a game of beer pong!