ND: Tears Of Infinite Sadness

Submitted by CRex on September 12th, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Might as well do one thread for all the basking in the mewling of the Irish. This one from NDNation is well, something.

The highlights of the post:

-We lose because black people play football now (seriously)

-Catholics are too rich make good football players

-ACADEMIC STANDARDS (just ignore Stanford)

-Time to join the B1G

This is like the perfect storm of Notre Dame superiority, poorly disguised racism, and the standard academics excuse.

I wonder how that "Academics" excuse will play when a bunch of Northwestern MBAs and law students hang 70 on them.

Anything else pop up worthwhile today? I'm off to write my father and thank him for being the first person in his Irish Catholic family to go to Michigan instead of ND, thus setting the stage for me to avoid the fate of my cousins. Gonna be a great Thanksgiving this year!

The best paragraph IMHO:

...Shoveling against the Tide: In fact, Alabama is a convenient metaphor for the changes in the game. One of the changes relates to the fact that college football has become a game played by black men. The advantage accrues to the schools that can compete for young black men, often from disadvantaged backgrounds, representing a culture that elevates athletic achievement to the highest level. Success in sports brings cars, bling, and fame. How can they resist?...

Edit: Fixed it up, Rich Text Editor ate the HTML.



September 12th, 2011 at 3:28 PM ^

THe Liveblog at Her Loyal Sons is the closest thing we'll ever get to reliving it all over again. Just start around 11:20 pm and enjoy.


My favorite comment: after the Gallon catch on the final drive:



Did he come off the fucking bench?!?!?!? what in the fuck

Schadenfreude at its finest


September 12th, 2011 at 11:25 AM ^

The guy's analysis has the same flaw as so many others.  ND does not lack elite athletes and great recruits.  Their last four classes have been ranked #2, #21, #14, and #10 by rivals.  That's incredible when you consider how little credibility their head coach has nowadays when he goes into a recruit's home and talks about Notre Dame glory.  ND is still a huge draw and a huge name.  Notre Dame has been irrelevant for a while because of some bad coaching hires.  The right coach is absolutely going to make that program a powerhouse.


September 12th, 2011 at 11:36 AM ^

"The right coach is absolutely going to make that program a powerhouse."

I feel like that's been the take on Notre Dame after each of the last three coaches failed miserably.  Notre Dame still has some cache, but it's days of being a CFB powerhouse appear to have long since passed.


September 12th, 2011 at 11:42 AM ^

The NDNation guy is right that the failure of the Catholic Leagues hurts ND and I think that really does preclude them from being a consistent power as their bread and butter pipeline fails.

The decline of the Detroit Catholic League hurt us too though, as we also pulled players out of there.  We found new recruiting areas and pipelines (ex: Cass Tech) and moved forward.  The NDNation guy falls apart when he goes so far as to say "black people play football, we're done as a power."

At this point I'm not sure if it is the coach or more the failure of ND's AD to establish stable recruiting ties.  I wonder if the problem might be that Weis and BK had to spend too much effort to pull in their classes, which in turn reduced the time they had to focus on play development and scheme planning.  Be interesting to compare the man hours Michigan spends landing a 4* vs ND's hours.


September 12th, 2011 at 1:20 PM ^

in Southwest Ohio. The big schools are a 4-team division and the worst of the four is rated #6 in the Enquirer poll. And seven of the last 10 Ohio state champions were Catholic schools, which is probably the best run they've had since Gerry Faust was at Moeller.



September 12th, 2011 at 11:23 AM ^

I want to yell at him over the internet. I only read the first part but it was not at all veiled racism combined with further ignorance.

I love that he talks about how they don't play dixie at the ole miss games any more as if it's a concession to having black players as opposed to common decency in the 21st century with a racist song.

Waters Demos

September 12th, 2011 at 11:24 AM ^

I don't agree with your evaluation of this piece, or your purpose for posting it (schadenfreude, instead of a legit convo starter). 

But thanks for posting it - great read.  I think it raises several interesting points that could really use some honest discussion.

Waters Demos

September 12th, 2011 at 2:11 PM ^

Generally the discussion of the tension between academics and athletics, and all the concomitant subtopics that come out of it (Tressel/Pryor, oversigning, boosters, etc...).

For example, this sentence: "It is also little wonder that it was the SEC, a conference populated by schools that have long tolerated poor academic achievement, cheating, improper involvement by boosters, which embraced this sea change with a vengeance" itself raises a number of important issues, many of which have been tackled on this blog.  I'd like to see greater exposure in the MSM for the greater topic directly.

I don't care much for that part of the analysis that draws racial distinctions (though I don't believe it does so in a sinister way).  But this part doesn't ruin the rest of it.

As an MSU alum, I can tell you with sincerity that I constantly lament the sacrifices my school makes academically for purposes of the athletic program.  I would prefer that MSU move towards an ND/Stanford/Northwestern model.  Hell, we're pretty average anyway (at least in football, though in my view that may start to change a bit, if it hasn't already) - let's be average but authentic.  I'd prefer to be more like Northwestern and generally lousy (though I acknowledge the great job Fitzgerald has done there recently), instead of more like Alabama and winning MNC's.

This will never happen, and I accept that, but I admire those programs that maintain a more traditional model, and I'd like to see greater discussion of the tensions the article points out.


September 12th, 2011 at 4:29 PM ^

I am also an MSU alum (LAW) and am not trying to come across as snarky, but most schools in my experience don't sacrifice that much in fielding competitive teams. 

Yes, Stanford and NW hold their athletes to higher academic standards than, say, LSU, but not to such a degree that those athletes would qualify as the "true" student-athletes that some proclaim them to be.  The average SAT scores for athletes at virtually all schools, including top academic institutions such as Duke and Stanford, are consistently lower than those of the general student body, almost always by a significant degree.  Of course, every school has athletes who could have gained admittance without athletics, but those are relatively few even at the elite schools. 

While some might find this distressing, I find it difficult to see how it offends the overriding goal of most academic institutions, which is to educate and serve the people.  Not to drag up the old talking points, but there are large swaths of the citizenry with limited options for gaining valuable skills and knowledge via education, due to a multitude of socio-economic issues.  Regardless of one's opinion about its cause, athletics has become a means by which a small number of individuals (and yes, disproportionately from certain racial backgrounds) gain admission to a college education that would otherwise have been denied them through more conventional channels. 

Whole treatesies have been written about the efficacy of this practice to truly bring about change in underserved communities and how it clearly benefits universities in non-academic ways, but in the end I doubt the practice has a signficant effect upon the overall culture of the student body.  Even if one presumes that every athlete at a school like UM would not have gained admittance without his/her athletic ability (which is patently false), we are talking about approximately 1000 people in a school with a little over 41k.  Same with MSU, Stanford, Alabama, ND, and Texas.  Those schools are "what they are" academically regardless of who suits up for them on the field or court, and thus I don't think schools like ND are giving up their identity to field a competitive football team.  And while it is true that Alabama probably lets in more "academically risky" players than ND, my guess is that the discrepancy could be measured in the teens at most.  Frankly, the ND rant reads more like an elitist fandom that can't comprehend the idea that the rest of the world has caught up, that having "Notre Dame" stenciled on your chest doesn't assure victory anymore, and is striking out at strawmen to account for the reality that they have mediocre coaches and an unrealistic desire to be a perrenial top-10 outfit despite the fact few, if any, teams can lay claim.


September 12th, 2011 at 11:29 AM ^

Sux to be that guy today.  He's now official designated scapegoat for the Irish according to NDNation and 1k other rags.  I bet he wears a balaclava except when in the shower.  And maybe there, too.


September 12th, 2011 at 11:28 AM ^

I remember an episode on South Park where Jesus was manning the phones on a radio talk show.   A caller asked him about the rights of an unborn child.  His answer: "I'm not touching that one with a ten-foot pole."  

The quotes may actually be paraphrases because the memory gets a bit fuzzy, but you get the idea here. 


September 12th, 2011 at 11:39 AM ^

Very informative read. Without BeijingIrish's keen insights, I would never have known how white Michael Floyd and Manti Te'o are. You learn something new every day.


September 12th, 2011 at 11:47 AM ^

"and more time is spent caring for the mums than is spent nurturing the turf on the field"

That field alays looks terrible. 

Also, this:

"You know, and I know, it ain’t going to happen. My big question is, do we want to be in the Legends Division or the Leaders Division."

blue note

September 12th, 2011 at 12:06 PM ^

Why do people feel the need to yell out RACISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! whenever someone takes a look at how race plays a role in anything? It's pretty obvious that race isssues are right at the heart of college football.

It's because of knee jerk OMG RACISM reactions like this that there are rarely any intelligent discussions on this subject.


September 12th, 2011 at 12:32 PM ^

Sorry, but implying that one of the key Reasons for the decline in Notre Dame football being "They're letting black people play now." is racist.


That's not a knee jerk reaction, amd that's not preventing people from having an intelligent conversation on the topic (Although, I feel as though you'll struggle greatly to have an actual intelligent conversation on that topic.)


September 12th, 2011 at 12:47 PM ^

  1. Terrible coaching.
  2. ...
  3. Secularization in American life compared to the first part of the 20th century.
  4. ...
  5. ...
  6. Not yet.
  7. The south is growing big time, the north is shrinking, and ND's Catholic roots probably doesn't mean the same thing to a kid from a Babtist dominated town in the south that it does to an athlete out of Joliet Catholic Academy in Illinois.


September 12th, 2011 at 2:03 PM ^

ND's heyday was when abc had exclusive broadcast right and schools were limited to two appearances per season (not counting bowl games). ND's nation-wide radio network afforded them more game-day coverage than anyone else. The higher scholarship limits allowed them to stockpile talent (UM benefited from this as well); that's why second stringers made the NFL.

blue note

September 12th, 2011 at 2:36 PM ^

OK, stating there have been onging changes in the demographics of this country and nature of college football that have helped certain programs and hurt others is racist. Thanks for clearing that up.

Based on your understanding of "racism," I'm doubting you've ever had an intelligent discussion on any subject.


September 12th, 2011 at 4:34 PM ^

I'm not sure I'd call it "A Time To Kill"-level racism, but to ignore the fact that certain fanbases always decry that football has become a game "dominated" by African Americans when their teams lose but completely ignore the fact that virtually all big-time schools have rosters with similar racial and socio-economic compositions is, at best, disingenuous.  I mean, the OP at NDNation said this:


The advantage accrues to the schools that can compete for young black men, often from disadvantaged backgrounds, representing a culture that elevates athletic achievement to the highest level. Success in sports brings cars, bling, and fame.

And then goes on to rail against schools in the SEC (read: South) being able to let in worse students/better athletes definitely seems tinged with more than a general discontent with the shifting demographics in America.


September 12th, 2011 at 1:57 PM ^

This isn't really a recent change though.  If he's talking about the middle of the 20th century, then this might make sense.  A greater percentage of African Americans playing quarterback, however is a change.  But, that doesn't explain why Notre Dame sucks, though.


September 12th, 2011 at 1:57 PM ^

Is implying that this somehow affects Notre Dame.  Specifically, that black men will go to schools that emphasize athletics over academics, and can't resist the temptation of "cars, bling, and fame."  I can't believe this has to be explained to anyone.