Friday, December 03, 2004

Propaganda worthy of a Saturday NDBC broadcast.

I like Geoffrey Norman's occasional sports writing for National Review Online. He strikes me as a perceptive guy with a good feel for team sports.

But he's all wet here, with his comments on the state of the Fightin' Irish football program.

Thesis: Golly, but Notre Dame would win more if it just weren't so darn pure.



Cue sound of ten pounds of projectile vomit filling a five pound bag.

Wipe face with cool, damp washcloth


Actually, no--all-wrongy. Twaddle, in fact.

Disclaimer: I'm about the polar opposite of an Irish fan. One of my favorite questions (heard multiple times) asked since I became Catholic is "So, you have to root for Notre Dame now, right?"

[Load up the Krusty the Clown groan: "Oyyyy."]


Moving on.

Notre Dame's problem since the Holtz era can be summed up in three words: No Lou Holtz.

The fact is, the game hasn't changed much since 1988. There were plenty of standardless rogue programs graduating (or not graduating) kinesiology majors back then, too. Barry Switzer's Oklahoma and Jimmy Johnson's Miami ("Catholics v. Convicts," anyone?) racked up the titles during that era, but ND was still able to compete with them under Holtz and remain an elite program.

The painful reality is that ND has gone into a spiral, and is suffering because it hasn't had a marquee charismatic coach since Holtz left. Davie was positively awful, and it will take time to repair the damage he inflicted on the program. Time Willingham was not given, though I will concede that Willingham might not have been the guy.

Or is someone actually going to try to suggest that *Nebraska* needs to lower its standards to confront its sudden decline since Osborne was elected to Congress? Is this what the Washington Huskies have to do, paragons of mediocrity (or worse) since the retirement of Don James?

It's the coaching, stupid. When/if ND gets a name coach, these halo-burnishing purity discussions will get mothballed, tout suite.

And not a moment too soon. It's ruining everyone else's digestion, Domers.

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