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Monday, August 20, 2012

Firestorm Under The Golden Dome

8-5 and 8-5, what hath god wrought? And now this!

Apparently the Traditionalists after viewing, digesting and otherwise vomiting over the latest Shamrock Series costume have thrown down the gauntlet and declared war on the Notre Dame Athletic Department. 
I have never seen the Domers and Subway Alumni so united and so incensed.  Irish websites, bulletin boards, blogs have all pretty much been unanimous in their displeasure.  These Traditionalists had been whining about loud, rock music being blared over the PA system in Notre Dame Stadium.  Mocking the “home-offsite” games dubbed the “Shamrock Series” in San Antonio, New York, Maryland, Chicago (2012) and Dallas (2013) proudly televised by the Peacock.  First the gloves, then adjustments to the uniform including the Kelly green jersey and like slapping a shamrock back on the helmet.

Then talk by the Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick of putting down some kind of plastic and rubber playing surface and digging up the grass in the Stadium.  Coach Brian Kelly wants turf because he practices on plastic and needs the same surface for the games. 
Finally the trial balloons being sent aloft over a Jumbotron.  Supposedly Swarbrick and Kelly fell into step with the concept of creating crowd noise and participation in rooting for the Irish.  First at Yankee Stadium then at Michigan last year they are convinced, they just don’t know how to pull it off.   They think a Jumbotron, advertising, crazy images, blaring music is the way to go.  As in following everyone else.

The reasons for change vary, most are marketing ploys.  Prime time evening games.  Jazz up the uniform for the kids.  Enhance the experience at Notre Dame.  Increase crowd participation and noise.  Mucho publicity for Adidas.  (Sure they pay, however they get it back in spades)  Hammes Bookstore rakes in the Euro over the weird apparel at ridiculously high prices.  Push the ND brand and Notre Dame Inc. in general.  Helps with recruiting.  Plus good old $$$.
Everyone expected some sort of garbage uniform for the Miami game in Chicago.  What we got was a costume.  The straw that broke the camel’s back and ignited the fire storm was the beloved Golden Helmet.  They had just gotten it right too and put some shine and luster on it.  Just like the Golden Dome.  Instead blue and gold off-set colors with a backwards leprechaun on the side.  What the….?

Domers and Subwayers have been jumping out of basement windows, kicking their dogs, ripping their tunics, slashing their wrists, throwing TV remotes into the wall and otherwise doing bodily harm to themselves and others.  They fear this is only the start and the foot in the door by the powers to be.
Notre Dame stands for college football tradition.  While having made mistakes in the past (Kim Dunbar affair is a good example) and suffered at the hands of the NCAA, the football program is clean.   The graduation rate is high.  The academic standards as good as at Stanford and Vanderbilt.  Who else still puts slash marks in the end zones?  How many other stadiums can you visit and not be bombarded by advertising?  Name a better band.  Name one with an Irish Guard.  How many fields have logos, mascots, and crap lined out or painted on?

The cheerleaders always do this cheer.  The Stadium is divided in half.  One side responses to signs that state:  WE ARE, the other side:  ND.  That stands for tradition, that’s not what makes us the same as Michigan.
Just because Maryland and Oregon elected to wear customs and Boise State decided to have a blue plastic rug, does that mean we need to get in lock-step with them?  Notre Dame is different because they want to be.  Love us or hate us.

Traditionalists count on me.  I’m in.  I’m on board.  The Blue Train to the Bend.  No brash music during the game.  Grass on the field.  Gold helmets.  Dark Navy Blue jerseys.  Gold pants.  No Jumbotron.  Just a couple of old fashioned scoreboards.  No gimmicks.  Just win for cryin out loud.

1 comment:

IrishPT said...

Remember when Lou Holtz in his first year suggessted putting a "ND" on the helmets and the AD quickly pointed out to him that the Gold Helmet represented the Gold Dome and Virgin Mary that sat upon it. He was told, nothing would ever go on the gold helmet. Well, look at us now.