The Hubris of Nôtre Dame Football
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This is getting ridiculous.
The Nôtre Dame football program has always been placed on a pedestal, for reasons beyond understanding. Well, I suppose it's not really a mystery.
There is, of course, that rich winning tradition and long, storied history.
There is the Catholic thing.
There is also the Irish thing.
Well, I don't mind that so much.
Is there a more polarizing college football program in the country? I think not. People either love or loathe the Fighting Irish, and there is rarely a middle ground.
Their latest exercise in vanity is the cleverly named Shamrock Series, which matches up the Irish with a different opponent at a different neutral site each season. Apparently, Nôtre Dame did not have enough exposure for the football program, and felt it was necessary to create a regular season series all for them. They've won each game in the series since it began in 2009, and that's just super.
And from what I understand, the television coverage and game atmosphere for this season’s installment against Arizona St. last weekend in Texas was decidedly pro-Irish.
Clearly, the opponent in these fun little matchups is a complete afterthought. The Sun Devils did not even get their own end zone, as the ever-present Nôtre Dame was painted on both sides. Also, the NBC cameras enjoyed panning the crowd in search of enthusiastic Irish backers, with not a Sun Devil fan in sight.
Speaking of NBC, they do love them some Notre Dame, as their television contract with the university was just extended through 2025.
Ah, big business indeed.
All of this is annoying enough, but it's particularly grating when the program goes through periods of mediocrity and isn't winning consistently. Of course, the Irish did surprise everyone last season by making it to the BCS title game, where they were completely overmatched against Alabama 42-14. They are currently 4-2 this season.
Anyway, Notre Dame will continue to spread college football and Catholicism across the land for years to come. And aren’t we all the better for it.