I know, I've come out of my shell to post more than once this week. It almost seems surreal. The only thing that could possibly get me out here to express the voice of 'Everyman' would be something that was so ridiculous that I would have no choice but to use this medium of free expression to express my displeasure.
Or in this case: Disbelief.
I was sent a link to a few 'letters to the editor' in the ND Student Paper. While I'm normally not one to peruse the homerism rampant in student papers (The Heights included) I could find no better way to fully express the viewpoint shared by most ND students and Alumni regarding Boston College.
I especially enjoyed how they called former BC linebacker Josh Ott 'not classy' for not complimenting Freshman Brady Quinn on his loss in Chestnut Hill. Not surprisingly, Ott was a target from this disgruntled Irish fan as he had been the one to stick the dagger in the heart of those blindingly green 'Return To Glory' tees the previous year. Secondly, Quinn did not look like he was 'anything special' until his second or third season at Notre Dame. Which of course, readers of this will blame Ty Willingham. Of course, Jake Locker now looks a lot more impressive than Quinn did in his first year of starting, but I digress. The 'Faust Years happened because of Ty Willingham' argument will be shelved for further ridicule at another date.
It was this 'letter to the editor' though, that really had me smiling. Now, while being a BC alum people will blanketly accuse me of being Anti-ND or an ND-Reject. Truth is, I have several friends and co-workers who are ND Alums, and other than the usual kidding around in the spirit of friendly competition, occaisonally this streak does pop out of them. I think the Observer captures it quite well, if unintentionally.
Especially this part.
"But there's a reason we refer to Boston College as Fredo, and bull-rushing the field against our weaker, inferior little brother would be embarrassing. We would be showing them a sense of respect that they don't deserve. Storming the court against BC in basketball was bad enough when we ended their 20-game winning streak in the 2005-06 season. Let's not surrender to the same temptation and make the same mistake in football."
'weaker, inferior brother?' Guess what Irish fans? In the past 17 years, Boston College has been a better football program. I hate to break the news to you, but I'll spare you the numbers, I know how hard it is to believe when faced with data, so I'll be nice today in the spirit of Reconciliation. You may have the chip on your shoulder, and see BC as an 'inferior' academic institution. That's perfectly fine, ND homers are entitled to their opinion, but lets be honest. The arrogance, and the typical tongue-in-cheek references (see 'Backup College' t-shirts) only mask what is the truth which Notre Dame cannot face: BC has a superior Athletic program than Notre Dame. Think about it. People who were born in 1990 who are applying to Notre Dame right now might only know ND's football tradition from watching Rudy on AMC. And it's not just football these days. Soccer, Hockey, Women's Sports... majority of the BC teams are ranked ahead of their Indiana 'counterparts.' It's not that BC has been world-beaters and title-stealers. But they have been more succesful than their Irish 'rivals' in the past decade. They haven't embarassed themselves on TV like Notre Dame, nor have they fired a coach under suspicious circumstances. Where ND has been 'overrated' BC has been 'underrated' and the wins over opponents, when matched head-to-head, clearly favor the Eagles.
And at the crux of the matter, that fact just BURNS Irish fans inside. That this BC team and school Irish fans used to mock has turned the proverbial tables on them. Games against Boston College remind Domers of how far they have fallen. So they dismiss BC, rather than face them. I hear arguments of 'oh we don't see BC as a rivalry, we couldn't care less about those ND-rejects' And you know what I say to that? "Good, because as long as you continue that viewpoint BC will keep winning."
ND has all these ranked recruiting classes. They get the hype, they get the football players teams in the SEC and Pac-10 crave, because - one would say - they are Notre Dame. Yet, despite BC being absolutely killed according to Scout and Rivals ratings... why doesn't it translate into wins against a 'grossly inferior' program like Boston College?
Because, Notre Dame, you continue not to care about BC. So keep it up. The dismissals that once bothered the BC alumni and fans are now nothing more than a punchline. So much it has even been referenced in a recent 'Real Men of Genius' commercial. It's a hollow arrogance, an empty bravado that thinly veils the fact that since 2000, the Irish have not measured up to the successes of most of the Boston College athletic programs.
Does anyone think the series will be ending because BC decided it didn't want to play anymore? The Notre Dame alumni, boosters, and those who control the strings are embarassed. Because, in their youth, such losses would never have happened, thus, instead of reliving how far they've fallen each year with losses, or even competitive games against BC, they would rather drop them altogether. Can you blame them? Everytime BC and ND get together they see that kick by Dave Gordon again. That was the last moment that Notre Dame played a part in the National Title race. In fact, in the past seven years, the greatest moment in ND football was a 'close loss' to USC.
Amazingly enough, Notre Dame, the students SHOULD storm the field if the Irish take down Boston College. Domers can claim all the accolaides they want athletically, historically, and traditionally. Heck, nobody disputes Notre Dame's past. But it's time to acknowledge that in the present, Notre Dame has been a better-than-average afterthought with a fan base that is nearly as delusional as Alabama. ND would have rushed the field had they managed to win that USC game... despite the fact that it's academic standards are 'inferior' to that of Notre Dame.
I understand that the die-hard Irish fans (most of them never having attended the institution) will again dismiss this blog as typical anti-ND rhetoric. And continue calling BC 'Fredo.' Of course, they believe that metaphor describes BC well. The problem is, they assume they are one Godfather character, but in fact have most closely resembled another in the past decade.
Thank you, and enjoy the game this weekend.
(Addendum: Font size was increased before it could be blamed on Willingham)