We have established this Blog to share any and all thoughts and discuss issues relating to Notre Dame Football.
We are Subway Alumni Notre Dame Fans who love IRISH Football and The University of Notre Dame Du Lac. This is the place to interact, learn, discuss, perk interest, argue, keep you informed, have some fun and maybe help perpetuate the traditions and history of Notre Dame Football.

Check out the archives, for some great posts or scroll down the right side for the most popular. At the bottom of the Blog, we have added 50+ neat pictures of the Notre Dame Campus.

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Feel free to make comments to the posts. We read and try to answer all of them.
Email us at: dragonspress@gmail.com
Welcome Aboard!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas, God Bless, Happy New Year

Joe Montana Scrambling In My Christmas Tree
Well here it is Christmas Eve.  A good time for a short reflection over some alcoholic spirits and a large tray of finger foods that is only going to end up in places where we don’t need it.
This Blog was started on March 26th, 2010 and 371 posts later we are still going like that little pink bunny and the drum.

A number of Notre Dame oriented websites and blogs have folded since we started Subway Alumni Station back in March.  Bleacher Report has exploded on the college football reporting scene and they always seem to have a couple of Notre Dame stories each day.  Some pretty good, others quite lousy and shallow.  Ha! We should talk.   People in glass houses should not throw stones.

Our purpose and direction has changed a little and we still do not claim any great insight into college football.  But we are having fun.  When the fun stops so will we.  This brings us back to the title of the post.

We have been greatly blessed this year with good health (well almost except for getting thrown off a bike), beer money when we needed it, good friends, the opportunity to watch the Irish play twice, and hope for the future.

This country’s economic situation is touch and go.   At least two of the three branches of our Government are dysfunctional.  The moral decline of the citizenry in America continues.      

We hope and pray things will get better.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Champs Sports Bowl and Notre Dame

Blatantly Stolen From the Champs Sports Website
Well well, Champs Sports Bowl, week from today.  Be there or be square.  The Station crew will be sitting in section 225 screaming our lungs out and grousing about the Indian chant and tomahawk arm waving idiots from FSU.

Last time I looked Notre Dame was a 3 point underdog, unranked, going against 25th ranked FSU.  It is obviously good to be the underdog and not have to worry about over confidence and taking things too lightly.

See that FSU had to discipline three street thugs and they will not be playing.  Week to go and anything can happen with those morons.

Sure would like to see a thumbs-up from Tyler Eifert and another year.  Nice Christmas present for ND Nation.

So what’s our prediction?

Everyone is talking about how good FSU’s defense is and that they are fast and athletic.  Hmmm, if Notre Dame brings their best defensive game to the Bowl, it could be a low scoring affair.  FSU has struggled on offense this year.  Hmmmm, that sounds familiar with the Irish as well.

Notre Dame 24—Florida State 21

Most valuable player on Offense – Andrew Hendrix --- 12 for 16 and 191 yards passing, 1 TD and 61 yards rushing on 5 attempts.

Most valuable player on Defense – Harrison Smith --- 8 tackles and 1 interception

Most valuable player on Special Teams – David Ruffer --- game winning field goal


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Swag, Bowls and the Gift of Receiving

Fossil Watches
Well it’s that time of year again when Santa brings SWAG to all the nice boys who made it to one of the thirty Bowl games this year and the beginning of next.  Not all Bowls and Santa treat the boys the same way.  Not all SWAG is equal.  The only thing common is the rule mother NCAA has laid down.
$550 limit per person

Samsung Galaxy Tablet
Most Bowls go with a “Gift Suite” which is setup as a private event where game participants and often Bowl VIPs are given an order form and allowed to select a gift, or gifts up to a value that is predetermined.  Gifts usually are custom made with the Bowl Logo.  Watches, sunglasses, rings, clothing are popular.  A number of Bowls are lazy and present gift cards for the majority of the $550 limit.  Best Buy in the case of Notre Dame and FSU takes the boys to a store to pick out what they want.  Here are some of the better SWAG deals.
Oakley Eyepatch Sunglasses

GoDaddy.com Bowl:  Nikon S80, Timely Watch Co. watch, leather luggage bag, commemorative football.

Military Bowl:  Amazon Kindle Fire, Apple iPod nano, Deuce watch, LunaTik wristband (to hold iPod), beanie, Nike backpack.

Hyundai Sun Bowl: Gift suite, Timely Watch Co. watch, Majestic Pro-Base fleece pullover, VP Sports cap, Ogio Politan backpack, Helen of Troy hair dryer, souvenir coin

Taxslayer.com Gater Bowl:  Fossil watch, Gator Gear performance headwear, rolling luggage bag, Jostens ring, commemorative football

BBVA Compass Bowl:  iBeats by Dr. Dre (ear buds), Reactor watch, Oakley Eyepatch 2, Oakley backpack duffel, Big Game commemorative football

Gildan New Mexico Bowl: Gift suite, Oakley Eyepatch 2, Oakley beanie, New Era cap, Oakley Flak Pack 3.0, pen with box, Christmas ornament.  Lot of little junk.  Christmas ornament?  What the..

Sheridan Hawaii Bowl: Oakley sunglasses, Aloha shirt, Pro Athletics custom beach shorts, Oakley T-shirt, performance wear, cap or visor, backpack, beach towels, bowl calendar, playing cards.  Bunch of little junk.

Belk Bowl:  Estimated $400 shopping trip to Belk’s flagship store in Charlotte, Fossil watch.  Guess you'd better find something you like at Belk's.

Valero Alamo:  $400 Best Buy gift card, Fossil watch, Schutt mini-helmet, panoramic team photo.  Wow a mimi helmet and a team photo.

Outback Bowl: $150 Best Buy gift card, Fossil watch, Jostens ring, cap, $25 Outback Steakhouse gift certificate  Not much forthought went into these gift cards.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl:   Bowl committee would not disclose details about participants gifts.  Sounds cheap and fishy.

AT&T Cotton Bowl: committee would not disclose additional details about participant gifts.  No wonder they got bounced and shutout ofthe BCS Bowl system.

Well a gift is a gift in the eyes of the recipient as well.
For a complete rundown, Here is the site.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Curious Case of Notre Dame Safety Chris Badger

Chris Badger
Let’s review some facts and circumstances.
Chris Badger a 6 foot 1 inch, 195 pound safety out of Timpview High School in Provo, Utah was a 3 Star Recruit by Rivals. He had 77 tackles and three interceptions his senior year. Originally committed to Jim Harbaugh and Stanford, Chris changed his mind and signed with Notre Dame and was an early enrollee in First Year of Studies January 2010.
Badger participated in spring practice and had six tackles in the Blue-Gold Game. After his first semester, Chris changed his mind after a calling to complete a mission for his church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. With a couple of other player losses, the safety position got a little thin experience and numbers wise in 2010. He left Notre Dame for a scheduled two-year stint of missionary work teaching the people of Guayaquil, Ecuador.  Coach Brian Kelly gave his blessing and thought it best for Chris.
During his short time in South Bend, Chris worked alongside then fellow Mormon teammates Manti Te’o, Kona Schwenke, and Justin Utupo.
He started his missionary work in August of 2010 and expected to return in time for fall practice August 31, 2012. Then he changed his mind and was able to move up his schedule and complete his mission in March 2012. Now Chris has changed his mind again and the family is looking for another dispensation for Chris so he can be on campus this January.
The family has been shipping cans of protein powder to Chris and he works out every day to try and keep in shape. Not exactly the same thing that his fellow teammates are doing every day here at Notre Dame.
The graduation loss of safety Harrison Smith automatically opens up one safety position.
What is Chris’s competition?
Jamoris Slaughter, 5th year candidate
Dan McCarthy, 5th year candidate
Zeke Motta, Senior
Austin Collinsworth, Junior
Eilar Hardy, Sophomore
Nicky Baratti, Freshman
C.J. Prosise, Freshman
John Turner, Freshman

Hmmmm. Yup. Time to come home Chris and as soon as possible. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Where Will Highly Recruited Gunner Kiel Land?

Gunner Kiel
Wow, Gunner Kiel the best and last quarterback available in the 2012 recruiting class is considering Vanderbilt?  We just heard/read that latest recruiting rumor off the wire.

First it was a commitment to Indiana, the perennial doormat of the BIG TEN.   Now he is looking at the bottom dweller of the SEC?  Who is counseling this guy?

If Gunner does not sign-up with Notre Dame he will be mired in doubt for the rest of his life.
The real stupid issue is verbally committing early to Indiana who has no business promoting or playing football.  Gunner then dropped off the radar screen.

The true issue is whether Indiana or Vanderbilt can provide the offensive line to protect Gunner and a receiver corps to sustain him?  We think not.
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Friday, December 16, 2011

Slim Pickins For Notre Dame News

Slim Pickens
No not Slim Pickens, slim pickins.  Notre Dame Football news is hard to come-by now with final exams over, players getting a short break before getting serious about preparing for FSU and practice. Plus the recruiting trail is dryed up for now.  Here are a few nuggets.

*** The crew here at Subway Alumni Station has received their tickets for the Champs Sports Bowl (CSB).  We are in Section 224, which is tucked away high in the Southwest end zone corner.  That’s what happens when you are not Domers.  It was our impression that the game was sold out.  For giggles and grins Peggy (not the credit card Peggy that enjoys screwing Lou, Bobby and Kurt) checked out the availability of tickets at the CSB website.  Low and behold, you can still purchase tickets for $67; however you need a parachute or oxygen tank as a precaution.  Sold Out?  Hmmmmm?
*** What’s this rumor about the Stanford and Notre Dame game being played in China in 2012?  That pretty much screws the local West Coast Alumni from watching the Irish play in 2012.  I thought the purpose of East and West Coast games were to provide a venue for the subway alumni?

*** Brian Kelly’s latest recruit has been added to the left side of the Blog.  Ronnie Stanley is one huge dude.  I’m all for as many linemen on both sides of the ball Kelly can recruit.
*** How long does this dead period last where recruiting is limited?  After the New Year?  16 recruits.  It appears that 22 is the magic number.  Also depending on the 5th year status.  Kapron Lewis-Moore, Braxton Cave, and Jamoris Slaughter appear the sure lock-ins.  Obviously Dayne Crist took himself out of the equation.

*** We are hoping Dayne Crist finds a home where he can start.  Pulling for Kansas and Charlie Weis.
*** It will be interesting to see if Theo Riddick can make a go at running back.  I have never known the bouncing around of talent and positions to benefit the player or his career. 

*** Here at the Station there was a lot of grousing over Michael Floyd not being selected for the AP All-American team.  Everyone talks up Michael as a first round NFL draft pick.  Turns out he was 9th in receptions and 25th in receiving yards.  Guess if Notre Dame had been 10-2 or ranked it may have put him on the radar.  He’s All-American in our book for just coming back his senior year and then dealing with his issues.
*** Recruit Quarterback Gunner Kiel probably will choose the Irish.  He will be an early enrollee and jump into the quarterback competition in the spring of 2012.  Wow.  Four quarterbacks.  Tommy Rees, Andrew Hendrix, Evertt Golson, and Gunner Kiel.  Kelly needs to sort that out and start grooming.  We do not need a repeat of 2011.  Don't expect any announced decision coming out of spring ball though.  Kelly will want to keep all four actively in the hunt. 

*** So what do the Irish players get as far as swag from the CSB?  A $420 shopping trip to a local Best Buy and a Timely Watch.  Mother NCAA limits the sway value to $550 maximum.  Phooey on the CSB.  A crappy trip to Best Buy?  So if the guys go over the $420, they have to pony the difference.  The real winner is Best Buy.  The best gifts and swag are the ones with Bowl logos, a real memento and keepsake, not a camera or electronic device. 
*** We will have a later post on the various sway awaiting players from the major bowls coming up.

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Go Irish, Beat Free Shoe U.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Latest From Notre Dame Inc.

Well Notre Dame subway alumni fans here is your chance to get a piece of the Irish Bowl action!  Latest from the Notre Dame Official On-Line Store direct to you.  Wear one just like the Domers.

What a piece of junk.  (See below)

But wait, this is the best part.

$ 19.00            T-Shirt

$ 5.95              Shipping and Handling

$ 2.50              Sales Tax

$27.45             Rip-off Total

Get yours now before they are sold out.  Order here.

Here is a better deal: we are free with no pesky advertisements or pop-ups!

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Nate Montana Quarterback Career Update

Grizzlies QB Nate Montana
Well we just paid a small tribute and thanks to a real class guy in Dayne Crist (below post). It will be fun to see where he lands and if he can contribute to another football program. We sure hope and pray that it be so.

So what happened to the last quarterback that left Notre Dame with eligibility remaining? Nate Montana remember him?
Hmmmm. What can we remember?

Nate did not have any scholarship or non-scholarship offers to play football anywhere. None. Zero. Zilch.
Famous dad and alumni got Nate preferred walk-on status with a famous quarterback coach and Head Coach.

Nate somewhere along the line left for a year to hone his quarterback skill at a junior college with mixed results.
Nate returns to Notre Dame and said quarterback coach eventually awarded Nate with a scholarship and real team member status.

He got involved in a spring practice quarterback derby but dropped on the depth charts.
Also participated in what is apparently an Irish football rite of passage and a brush with the Indiana Liquor Gestapo.

Saw his first game participation in the quarterback shuffle and interception riddled Michigan game back in 2010.
8 completions, 17 attempts, 104 yards, 1 interception. Rushed for 23 yards in 4 attempts.

Nate got mop-up duty in the Western Michigan game with 1 completion, 1 attempt, 12 yards. He rushed for 2 yards on 5 attempts.
Seeing zero chance to climb the depth chart with Dayne Crist, Tommy Rees, Luke Massa, and incoming Andrew Hendrix, Nate decided to take his quarterbacking skills to his name sake school: The Montana Grizzlies.

Nate is one of seven (7) rostered quarterbacks for the Grizzlies. Yes, 7 as in 5, 6, 7.
He no sooner showed up in Big Sky Country and he got himself arrested on a DWI charge. Hmmmmmm.
Along the way, his father took a cheap shot at Notre Dame and Coach Brian Kelly complaining in an interview that Nate got a raw deal and was not fairly treated. Phooey.

So how is Nate doing at Montana?
25 completions in 40 attempts, 264 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception.  (Corrected data)

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Dayne Crist All- American Person

Dayne Crist
Good bye Dayne Crist, son we hardly knew ye. 

Life thus far has thrown you some tough curve balls.  Red shirting and riding the bench behind Jimmy Clausen, two serious leg injuries, a new coach, a new offensive system, some poor play and benching again. 
All your volunteer work in the community and efforts to raise awareness to many special causes is inspirational.  You could always be counted on to help out.  The leadership, team effort you displayed throughout your career is very commendable.

We think you will go far with your work habits, college degree, fortitude, loyalty, and determination.
Dayne Crist, God Bless and Good Luck.  The latter is something you’ve not had much of in playing football for Notre Dame.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Notre Dame’s Luke Massa A Team Player

Back in January 2011 we did a post on Luke Massa, read it Here.  There is something about the guy you really have to like.

Recruited as a quarterback out of St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati he opted out of a crowded position and settled his 6’ 4” frame into the wide receiver position.  This in itself is interesting as Jackson Bennett and Austin Collingsworth were moved from WR to the defensive backfield.
After fooling around on the scout team his freshman year, donning a red shirt, Luke has seen action as a WR in seven games this year. 

He does not show up in the statistics.  He does not show up on the two-deep depth chart.
His value so far has been working with the scout team, wearing a red baseball cap helping to signal in plays and spelling other WR’s on the field.  Coach Brian Kelly knows he has a “quarterback in waiting” similar to John Goodman if the situation turns desperate. 

We are going to keep our eyes on him, we like what we see.  Luke’s a Notre Dame man.  He's contributing any way he can.

Luke is enrolled in the Mendoza College of Business.

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Friday, December 2, 2011

A Riddle Wrapped In A Mystery Inside An Enigma

Theo Riddick Kick Off Return
To steal from Sir Winston Churchill. 
Looking back at the play of Theo Riddick this year he appears to fit Churchill’s famous phrase quite nicely.

He won the kick return, punt return, and WR positions at the start of the season.

He started nine games at WR, was out with a hamstring injury for two, and participated in the Stanford game but did not start.

Theo lasted all of two punt return attempts.  Both infamous and memorable in the USF game.  Two for two yards plus a fumble and one of the two was a muff he recovered. 

He was used eight times in three games at kick-off returning for 166 yards.

As a wide receiver Theo caught 36 passes for 429 yards and three touchdowns.  Two of those TD’s were in the MSU game.  A game looking back I don’t know how we won.  His best game was against AFA where he racked up eight receptions for 83 yards and his third TD.

His rushing yards were 6 carries for 27 yards.  In the Stanford game he earned six of those yards in four carries.  The other two rushes were reverses/end a round.

When all said and done, I’m sure Theo would agree that a number of experiments did not work out.  This includes his efforts being less than a 100% at running back in the Stanford game.  I’m not sure why Coach Brian Kelly did not utilize either George Atkinson or Cam McDaniel in the Stanford beating.

Here’s hoping Theo can find himself in the Champs Bowl and next year.

Here’s hoping Brian Kelly can figure out how best to use Theo’s speed and talent.

BTW.  The phrase originated from a statement made by Churchill in 1939 about what role the Soviet Union might play in WWII.

“I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia.  It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigna, but perhaps there is a key.  That key is Russian national interest.”

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Is 8-4 Better Than 7-5?

If you say Yes, then you have to agree that the Irish have improved over last year and that the Football Program is headed in the right direction?  It sure is a mixed bag and a vexing question with no easy answers.
It appears that Head Coach Brian Kelly cannot escape a quarterback controversy.  Who will start in the Bowl Game?  Will spring training be an open quarterback competition?  It is pretty much assured that Dayne Crist barring any quarterback injuries in the above assumed Bowl Game is finished playing football for Notre Dame.  What about recruit Gunner Kiel on the outside looking in?  He has to be pleased with what he sees as a great opportunity to play for the Irish.  One he did not anticipate when he erred in verbally committing to Indiana early this fall.  I blame Jimmy Clausen.  If Jimmy had not performed his ill-timed jump to the NFL and stuck around to play for Kelly, none of this would have happened.  What if Golden Tate had said, yeah, I’m going to stick around too.
Oh well, this quarterback business will keep all the message boards and media in speculation fodder until the starting quarterback is announced next fall.

Wow.  I never thought I would miss Braxton Cave and Jonas Gray.  Those two injuries hurt more than all the other player injuries combined this year.  Their play against Stanford was sorely missed.
A lot of folks complained about Notre Dame Stadium’s natural grass this year and at times it was pretty bad.  However it played like the 18th fairway at Augusta National compared to the embarrassment Stanford calls a football field.  Talk about home field advantage.  They knew better than to cut and weave and instead tried to run North and South.  The Irish never did figure that out.

I guess a less than 100% Theo Riddick was better than a 100% George Atkinson III.  George went missing from the Irish backfield.  Kelly had said GAIII and Cam McDaniel would see playing time spelling Cierre Wood.  Riddick looked as if he was still favoring the hamstring injury. 
Looking at Andrew Luck’s statistics and play, I’d say once again, Notre Dame has unintentionally helped a Heisman Trophy Winner clinch the award.

People living in glass houses don’t throw stones.  Although the Irish ran on the field twice this year sporting some unusual uniforms and helmets, at least they didn’t have small, tiny names on the back.  Stanford should start a tradition and save those "All Cardinal" colored uniforms and black helmets for “worthy opponents”.  Maybe someday we will be worthy enough for Stanford to wear them against us.
This being the 12th and final regularly scheduled game of season last night and listening to all the Kelly bashing, I would have to say the Team let Kelly and his staff down by their play against Stanford.  Sure this year you can talk about some of his decisions at playing which quarterback, throwing some players under the bus after USC, ranting on the sidelines, and refusing to correct the punt return game.  But against Stanford, a lot of players had games they wished they could replay.  If you watched the game you know what I mean.

Well here at Subway Alumni Station, we are the first in yelling:

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Odds and Ends

No way in hell am I venturing out shopping or getting in traffic with crazed drivers bent on a bargain.
Got involved with a movie and forgot all about the Texas and T A&M shootout Turkey night.  No big deal, all those state of Texas fans kind of remind me of Black Friday Shoppers anyway.  What did strike me funny as I read the paper was the fact that the rivalry will end this year with A&M going to the SEC.  Texas gave the answer that their future schedules are full through 2018.  I googled up the Texas football web site and checked out their future schedules and noticed two things.  They have already included Notre Dame in 2015 and 2016.  They still show playing A&M the last game of the season as usual year after year.  So who did Texas add?  They had better update their schedules as it looks to me as sour grapes by Texas and the Big 12 against A&M.

Here’s hoping the Irish do not turn the ball over Saturday.  If they are lucky enough to get a turnover from Stanford, they had better convert it into a touchdown.  The Tree does not give up many gift horses.

Well down here in Florida, the media has finally picked up on the Urban Meyer rumors of him going to Tattoo U and coach football.  Yeah, what did happen to spending quality time with the family and his mysterious illness?  Hmmmm.  One coach gets well (Meyer) and another gets treatable lung cancer (Paterno).  You got to wonder eh?  Wonder how many Irish fans still want a coach that leaves a program in a talent decline but claims burnout, family concerns, health.  If he’s done that once would he do it at Notre Dame?

I think every Irish fan realizes that our Team is better than 8-3.  Could we make it 9-3 and then 10-3? Would that be a successful season?  How about losses to Stanford and probably a FSU in Orlando.     8-5, same as last season.  Would that be considered successful?  No improvement even with a tougher schedule?  A step back?  It will be fun and interesting to see how this plays out.

A number of pundits say we should be 10-1 right now except for two fumbles (Jonas Gray and Dayne Crist).  A group of Brian Kelly haters blame him for Gray’s fumble against USF [Need to teach runners how to carry the football] and Crist’s fumble against UM, [Should have put Hendrix in, stupid play to call].  I have a difficult time blaming Kelly.  My only complaint against him was the call for a freshman quarterback to pass instead of taking the field goal against Tulsa.

After some discussion here at The Station we have decided to pull the plug on “Gipper’s Blackboard” after the Stanford game.  We started it up just before the start of the season and have 26 posts, 20 by me.  We only signed up 14 members and only three chipped in now and then.  Pretty dismal.  Thanks Tulsairish, Grim Jack, and Kreyfish34 for your support.

Getting back to the bitchers and Kelly bashers.  I sometime suspect they would be out for Knute Rockne’s head after his first year at Notre Dame (1918, 3-1-2 record).  Or Frank Leahy’s 1950 season going 4-4-1 after winning the NC in 1949 with a 10-0-0.  It is starting to get tedious reading their rants and not worth the cheap entertainment anymore.

Talk about dismal.  Take a look at the injury list on the left side of the Blog.  And that's just what we can gleem from stories and tweets.

Here is something nice from the South Bend Tribune.  Geat story.  Read it here.

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving and gave some time to give true thanks.
Go IRISH, Beat the Cardinal (or is it Tree)?

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Brian Kelly Pulling a Hare Out of His Bonnet

Head Notre Dame Football Coach Brian Kelly needs to pull a rabbit out of the hat.  Actually a number of rabbits.  Are there enough hiding in the hat and can Kelly figure out how to pull them out?  He must prepare the Team and game plan worthy of a true Notre Dame Football Coach.  An awful lot of Notre Dame Subway Alumni are watching, waiting and counting on him.
***  Who is going to backup Cierre Wood at tailback?  George Atkinson III or a hamstring gimpy Theo Riddick?  Who will pop out of the hat?
***  If quarterback Tommy Rees is unable to find receivers open when Stanford drops eight and even nine into coverage will he throw Picks, run slowly for his life, run to the sidelines, or throw the ball out of bounds?  Which course of action will come out of the hat?  What can Kelly do to prevent this from happening again?
***  Will Kelly pull Andrew Hendrix out of the hat to force the Stanford defense to play fair and defend the run?  While Rees has poise and game experience savvy he cannot throw deep, run well or make good decisions concerning slinging the ball into double coverage.
***  Will Kelly dig deep into the top hat and pull a “Leprechaun” series of plays involving Riddick or John Goodman taking snaps to help take pressure off Rees? 
***  Who will Kelly utilize to patch up a injury decimated Team and one that is also hobbled, sick, and lame?
***  Can he correct a kickoff problem in which the Irish defense is forced to defend from the 40 yard line.
***  An injured Jonas Gray made an emotional locker room speech after the Boston College game.  Will Kelly needs have Jonas speak to the Team in the visitor’s locker room at Stanford either before or at half time.  Quite a trick if he can pull it off.
A couple things are clear, Tommy Rees cannot play like he did against Boston College for the Irish to have a ghost of a chance. The Irish cannot come out flat like aginst USF or BC.  Not against Stanford.
Kelly needs to find a way to keep Stanford from doing what most teams lately have defensively thrown up against the Irish.  It has become fashionable on passing downs to drop seven, eight, and even nine defenders into coverage to blanket Kelly’s spread passing offense.  This is even more critical with the loss of Jonas Gray.
For the Irish, this game Saturday against Stanford is the closest they are going to get to a BCS game.  Kelly has a lot rabbits to pull out of his hat and the Team needs to dig down deep into a gut check and PLAY LIKE CHAMPIONS TODAY.
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Got something to say?  Check out and join our brand new Forum: Gipper's Blackboard here: http://dragonspress.proboards.com/or click on the Blue Button on the top left side of the Blog.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Decisions That Are Coming Back To Haunt ND’s Brian Kelly

Special Teams Coaching

While the Irish have long given up in developing a punt return game, these two years in a row now of dismal performances are embarrassing.  

The kickoff aspect of special teams has faltered as well.  Against Boston College, Kyle Brindza winged one kick toward the sideline only to have a BC return guy snatch it before it went out of bounds.  Later Brindza would kick TWO out of bounds giving BC the ball at the 40 yard line.  Brindza has kicked off 66 times so far for a 65.3 net yard average, with FOUR OB’s and ten TB’s.  Looking at last year, David Ruffer kicked off 65 times for a 64.3 net yard average with two OB’s and ten TB’s.  So where is this great leg brought in early to improve the kicking game?  Better yet, where is the Special Teams coach to nurture it?  Hire one now.

Theo Riddick to WR

Theo flunked punt returns.  This year he has 34 receptions for 362 yards and 3 TD’s ranking him fourth on the team.  Robby Toma in very limited action has 15 receptions, almost halving Riddick’s total.  Riddick needs to be moved back to tailback where things are getting a little dicey.  See below.

Playing Time

Notre Dame has played four games that were basically over at half time. Purdue 38-10, AFA 59-33, Navy 56-14, MD 45-21.  You could even throw in MSU 31-13 to some extent.  So we are down to one tailback and how many game reps has George Atkinson III gotten?  9 for 23 yards.  Another freshman Cam McDaniel is 3 for 13 yards. 

At quarterback everyone has been waiting for Andrew Hendrix in the easy wins or even some time for Dayne Crist.  Hendrix has participated in the AFA, USC, and MD games.  Crist has been in the USF, Purdue, USC and Navy games.  If Tommy Rees goes down again, it will look like the Chinese fire drill during the USC debacle all over again. 
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Friday, November 18, 2011

Cam Roberson Update

Cameron Roberson - Tailback
We here at Subway Alumni Station try to stay abreast of injuries and status of rostered players.  You can check out what we know on the left side of the Blog.  If the Notre Dame Athletic Department would only grant us press credentials!!   Oh we could do such a much better job of keeping all you Subway Alumni informed on a variety of topics that the local media fail to report or are interested in writing about. 

Finally a reporter asked about Cam Roberson.  Remember him?  Cam a redshirt freshman starting his second year and spring training this 2011 eager to compete for tailback against Cierre Wood and Jonas Gray for playing time.  On the very first practice with full pads he goes down with what turns out to be a full LCL tear and a partial ACL tear.  Those are very bad knee injuries and bad juju.   
Just as a reminder, Cam ran for 1,452 yards on 226 carries and scored 18 touchdowns for Newbury Park CA in 2008.  He had 29 receptions for 279 yards and three more scores.  His best running game was 279 yards and he had two games of more than 200 yards rushing.

Reporter:  Cam Roberson we haven’t asked you about him for a while.  How is his rehab coming?
Coach KELLY:  It’s been a slow process and it will continue to be.  He’s moving around a little bit.  He’s not going to be able to practice this year for us, but certainly it’s a long, long road for him.

Wow.  We don’t claim any prizes for brilliance here at SAS, however reading between the lines and trying to decipher “coach speak” this is not good for Cam.
Two pieces of advice from someone who is not/has not walked in your moccasins Cam.

*** Give it everything you got to come back physically.
*** Get the best possible education you can out of NotreDame.

If anybody is passing by the Grotto, light a candle for Cam, say some prayers and send us the bill.
Hang in their Cam!
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

If You Plan On Attending The Notre Dame vs. Boston College Game, November 19, 2012

you are a diehard football traditionalist.

you like the look of natural grass.

you don’t like commercials mixed in with instant replays.

you don’t care to view advertisement signs and billboards for Sirius, Sprint, Coke, et al.

you don’t like blaring music and obnoxious PA system announcers.

you don’t need a wall of flashing lights telling you when to cheer, clap, stand, sit, or shut up.


take a good long look around Notre Dame Stadium, because change is in the wind.  Between hints and comments from Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick and Head Coach Brian Kelly all indications are that field turf and a Jumbotron are in the works.  It may be the last time you get to enjoy a football game the way Stagg, Rockne and all the rest saw it coached and played.  You saw or heard a taste of it at FEDEX Field last week and heard the beginning of it during the USC game.  Music, uniforms, wall of lights/video, plastic and rubber grass, it’s a coming.

Our feelings have been well documented here at Subway Alumni Station:

Read Traditionalism Here.

To steal from Margaret Mitchell, it appears that Notre Dame traditional football is gone with the wind.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Morning Musings From Saturday Night

Moth Balls
They can wrap up the green jerseys, bright gold pants, flesh colored undershirts, and gaudy helmets until Soldiers Field and the Hurricanes next year.  If they store them with moth balls maybe no one will want to wear them.

The Irish sell-out Notre Dame Stadium at 80,795 every home game.  This "home game" at FedEx Field was a different breed of Turtle.  91,704 seats to fill and they only could get 70,251 to show-up.  Does this “home game” go against the consecutive sell-out streak?
Hurry up already

The Irish offensive tempo was just super.  Guess Tommy Rees and the offense are starting to click.  He looked poised and in control.
Limited Duty

Manti Te’o started at ILB but was not very effective and was eventually pulled and replaced by sophomore Kendall Moore.  Manti had 4 tackles and at times appeared to be slowed and out of position by his ankle injury.  Moore ended up with 4 tackles himself and looked very good.

George Atkinson III was credited with a fumble, his second or third returning kick-offs.
Spread the wealth

No one had more than six tackles on defense (Gary Gray and Danny Spond) and 7 different receivers caught passes.
Did not see action

DE Chase Hounshell nursing a shoulder injury although cleared to play did not get in the game.
One pain tolerant dud

DE Aaron Lynch hobbled with an ankle injury where in the Wake Forest game he limped-hopped off the field twice, limped off again in the Maryland game.  But once again Lynch came back in and harassed the quarterback and made 5 solo tackles.  To top it off he was held on almost every play.
Theo who?

Robby Toma getting his first start at WR had 7 catches for 73 yards in place of Theo Riddick who is sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Not fair

It was pretty clear that Notre Dame had the game well in hand and controlled the outcome early.  So why didn’t senior Dayne Crist see any playing time?  His last chance will be the Boston College this Saturday.  It’s senior game, Brian Kelly should start Crist.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

JoePa Memorial

In Memory of JoePa, PSU updated his statue outside the Stadium.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Jonas Gray of Notre Dame

#25 Jonas Gray
Check out his arms and biceps.  Look at his calf muscle protruding. 

Duh, you can’t arm tackle this dude.
Without getting obscene or personal, you’d almost like to see Jonas in an athletic speedo just to note his thigh muscles.  He can at times run like a man possessed.

I picture myself rushing to tackle Jonas head-on and it really turns into a painful nightmare.
Charlie Weis could never convince Jonas to run North and South.  Somehow Brian Kelly go him to quit going East and West and start hitting linebackers and safeties.  The cornerbacks pretty much are afraid of him.
Wish he was coming back next year.

This lad can make it in the NFL.
Side note:  Nice tat on Trevor Robinson.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Battle of the Uniforms

Well it’s official for the Irish.  Kelly green jerseys, bright gold pants and new shiny helmets with a big green shamrock on the sides and a leprechaun slapped on the back for good measure.  Even new fancy gloves. 
What it takes to motivate kids these days to play football.   Check it all out Here.

Now what is Maryland going to wear to upstage the Irish?

More importantly, what is Maryland going to do on the field to upset the Irish?  Not much, they are full injuries, coaching problems, and nothing to play for but a butt-whipping from the Irish.

Tough game to call since a strange team took the field in the first half against the Deacon Demons.  It reminded me of a problem Lou Holtz had in getting his teams ready against an inferior opponent.  His teams had the tendency to play to the level of the opposition.  As a fan it was most frustrating because you knew the Irish were so much better.
Can Head Coach Brian Kelly (no relation to the color) wake his team up?  (It took a half-time locker room chat last week)

Can Quarterback Tommy Rees quit throwing picks?  (We doubt it)

Can Defensive Coordinator Bob Diaco hobble together a defensive front seven smitten by injury?  (Good luck)

Can the Irish out-fashion the Terrapins?  (Not likely from what we’ve seen this year coming out of College Park)

We would really like to see a blow-out early and get Dayne Crist going in the 3rd quarter and Andrew Hendrix running in the 4th.

This game and next week will be the best chances for the younger guys and walk-ons to see action.  Sure hope the Irish come out strong and keep it that way.

Go IRISH Beat the Turtles.

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Road Trip Home Game

Notre Dame versus Maryland – Saturday, November 12, 2012.

Who was the moron that thought this up concept?  Play a home game at a neutral site?  We can’t get teams to come to South Bend for a one-game series anymore?
Neutral?  The Maryland campus is 20 miles from FedEx Field.  The football team, support staff, band, camp followers can be there in 30 minutes.

What the advantages???
**  We get to wear our home uniforms.  Actually ‘special’ uniforms and shamrock blazon helmets again.  However, we could wear them at home as well.  As an added attraction, Maryland is going to wear some crazy god awful football uniform as well.

**  The Notre Dame band will be there.  Of course we miss all the band game day activities that they do back on campus.
**  The majority of tickets are reserved for the Irish faithful.  A lot of east coast subway alumni who could never make it to South Bend can see their favorite team play in Maryland.

**  Potential recruits can see the Irish play.  Although the coaching staff is prohibited for having contact with any of them and this is not considered an official or unofficial visit by NCAA rules. You would think recruits would be more interested in participating in the one official visit allowed by touring the campus and watching a game from the Team sidelines.
What are the disadvantages???

**  Difficult and expensive for the Notre Dame students to travel to Maryland.
**  Prohibitive cost for Team, coaches, staff, cheerleaders and band in traveling.

**  Tremendous loss of revenue from parking, bookstore (estimated game day sales are a million bucks), stadium concessions (non-profits are the majority of the employees), alumni club store in the JACC, students who sell food on the Quad, and all the area businesses.
Guess it evens out since next year we play Miami at Soldiers Field in Chicago, not exactly a neutral site for the Hurricanes.  But who has ever cared about them anyway?

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Why Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o Will Return For His Senior Year

Te'o - High School
The pundits, NFL analysts, bloggers, and Irish fans everywhere are starting to ask if Manti Te’o will return to anchor the defenses for his final year.

Of course he will oh ye of little faith.
Although the tom-toms are beating strongly that Manti will be drafted in the first round along with Michael Floyd it makes perfect sense for him to stay at Notre Dame.

**  His family and friends want him to complete what he started, his education.
**  He has to decide on taking a mission for his Mormon faith.

**  His best friend WR Robby Toma will still be at Notre Dame in 2012, going to class and playing football.
**  Manti’s best year is still ahead of him.  He’s still learning and mastering the middle of the field.

**  While he is being considered and in the running for almost every award and recognition, he will be in a much better situation next year to run the table on defensive awards.
**  He still has things to prove to himself.  87 tackles this year through9 games, 133 last year and 52 his freshman year.

**  The most compelling reason is that he has been playing through an ankle injury which has slowed him down considerably.  Manti Te’o comes from a very proud heritage, culture, and family.  He’ll be back to finish what he started.
Te'o - College
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