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.

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Monday, December 31, 2012

Comment From the Most Interesting Man in the World

"If watching American football I normally only pay attention to the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.  However this Bowl season I must also root for Georgia Tech and South Carolina."
Stay thirsty my friends and Happy New Year!

Go Irish.

Irish vs. Bama Prediction


Well I let the entire staff here at Subway Alumni Station off for New Year’s Eve.  It was either that or put up with a pot-luck luncheon and BYO booze office party.  Either way nothing would get done. 
So back in August who’d of thought I would be posting a Notre Dame vs. Alabama BCS National Championship Game prediction December 31st? 

In the middle of fall camp I secretly thought the Irish could go 9-3 with losses to OK, USC and some chump team.  The chump loss to Pitt almost happened.  Attended the Navy and Stanford games and thought tailgating in the rain after the Cardinal Game that we would go 11-1 with only a loss to OK.  That was the only prediction I screwed up. 
Let’s see how I do with Bama.  Here are some things I wrote about the Tide two weeks ago.  I posted this last week about the Irish.

Common sense would tell you it will be a low scoring game just because of the defenses and normal conservative play calling during the initial stages of the game.  A Special Teams play leading to a touchdown, critical turnovers creating opponent points, and costly penalties could make the difference in the game.  Down by two scores for either team will be a tough row to hoe with the strong defenses.  You don’t want to be in that position.   I suspect the game will be decided in the last 8 minutes.
Here is where I think Notre Dame has an advantage.  They have won two games in overtime and a few others by some nail biting close scores.  They have not lost and do not know how to do that sort of thing.  Bama has pounded some luckless cupcakes and got their heads handed to them by TAM.
The Irish are healthy and in the best physical shape of the season.  The players, coaches and staff are hungry and need to be fed.

I have never seen a team bonded and focused like the Irish.  I may not again.
If Alabama gets behind and tired in those last 8 minutes, I think they will quit, fold and go home.

-- Subway Alumni

Notre Dame 14Alabama 13



Sunday, December 30, 2012

Te'o and Hesburgh

Manti Malietau Louis Te'o – College Football Player
Rev. Theodore Martin Hesburgh – Catholic Priest

You could write volumes about both and volumes have, however the cell phone picture says it all.

ND vs. Alabama Things to Watch and Listen for

Like all of you, we here at Subway Alumni Station are beside ourselves in anticipation of The Game. 

Unfortunately along with way too many TV commerical timeouts, numerous stops in the action for play reviews and countless advertisements on the Jumbotron, plus their are signs along the sidelines, logos on the field or projected on the TV sreeen through sneaky means and there are still other distractions to suffer through.
Thus we have put together a list of Obligatory Camera Shots and Mind Numbing Dribble from the broadcast crew that you undoubtedly will see and hear.

The Obligatory Crap:
A large group of students/fans in the front row, mostly drunk, with painted team colored chests and faces screaming and yelling that they are number 1while holding up their index fingers.

At the end of a play, a traumatized player flipping his hand in the air throwing an imaginary flag and looking for a referee to agree.
With every possible opportunity in catching reactions from a coach to something that happened on the field, a camera will be there to record the action.  Of course this includes coaches spitting and picking their noses as a bonus.  (This camera shot will be repeated throughout the game until it is beyond annoying.)

The end of first half, the 30 second interview with each head coach as they try and get off the field.  Men used to conduct these but finally realized that women were better suited for asking asinine and obvious questions with obvious answers.
Opposing players and coaches signaling incomplete pass even before a referee can signal that it was a completed pass.

A grouping of each cheerleading squad including mascot screaming something and holding up the usual right index finger.  They maybe saying that they are #1, however we are never sure.
A defensive player after making a nice tackle, sack or pass breakup, running off the field and eating out of an imaginary bowl signifying “eating this us” or some other stupid thing.

A player scoring a touchdown, PAT, field goal, or safety and raising his arm and hand extending his index finger to heaven.  For some players this is the most religious as they have ever gotten.
The Dribble:  This will come almost totally from Brent Musburger, the ESPN play-by-play announcer.  It is enough to either make you constantly scream or hit the mute button on the remote.

First of all, Kirk Herbstriet is constantly referred to as "Herbie" as in Herbie from the Love Bug.  For gods sake, the man has a name, Kirk, how would Brent liked to be called "Muskie" or maybe "Burger?"

What will we hear first, “You’re looking live…” This is one of Bent Musberger’s catch phrases that he utters at the start of each telecast.  We already know what we are watching and all wishing we were there.

Musburger also likes to refer to some imaginery person as “The Pardner.” 

Of course we all are referred to as “Folks.”

“It’s a foot race!”   Yes their will be a long run with someone chasing the ball carrier and it becomes a foot race.  If this involves George Atkinson or Theo Riddick it will be a good thing.

“There’s that man again.” After someone becomes “That Man,” hopefully it will be Manti Te'o.

Brent will mention the title sponsor at least half a dozen times as part of the commentary, guess it is in his contract as an incentive clause.

“In the college game.”  Brent likes to let us all know he is aware of the NFL and NCAA football rules.

Calling a touchdown before the player actually scores. For example, during an interception return, Brent says “It’s a touchdown!” before the player actually scores.  Let's pray he is referring to Bennett Jackson.

“Herbie, my man.” this is his way of showing respect to Kirk.  Who secretly may be also a "Pardner."

“The Big Hawaiian."  If Brent has a pet nickname for one of the players during the game, for example calling Manti Te'o “The Big Hawaiian,” is the highest type of praise Brent can exclaim.

“My Friend.”  Brent stole this worn-out phrase from Lee Corso.  They both should drop it.

Well their you have it, the Obligatory camera shots and Tired Commentary.  Regardless and in spite of, Notre Dame will prevail.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Notre Dame Contracts – Sitting In The Catbird Seat

 Have you ever been in the catbird seat?  Knowing you have the upper hand, secretly knowing what no one knows, or sitting in a position of strength.  Jack Swarbrick is in the catbird seat thanks to Brain Kelly and the Fighting Irish football team.
Such is a position of negotiating strength –- 12-0 in 2012 and the promise of more to come with a strong recruiting class and a bevy of talent coming back in 2013.   We need to throw in the fact that the Irish are also playing of the National Championship as well. 

Lucky the Adidas and NBC contracts were not due in 2007 when Charlie Weis led the Irish to a 3-9 dismal season.
Notre Dame’s outfitter Adidas is not the most popular sports apparel company in town these days.  A number of schools have dumped them over labor issues coming out of Indonesia where they manufacturing faculties.   Russell, Champion, Nike and Under Armour are four other outfitters that come to mind.  Notre Dame has used Champion in the past.  

The contracts are close hold because Notre Dame is a private school and its records and legal documents are not open to public scrutiny.  However it is safe to assume that the contract includes outfitting all Irish sports teams from head to toe to include coaches, staff, players, trainers and miscellaneous hangers on.  A cash payment is also included.  Adidas gets in return its logo on apparel shown on national TV for 12 games.   Much more than any other brand and the exclusive right to stock the Hammes Bookstore with everything they manufacture.  Using Michigan as an example, the outfitting costs Adidas about six million with half a million in cash going to the Michigan tills as well.
It is suspected that Under Armour and Nike would love to have the outfitter contract.  Let the bidding begin.

The current NBC broadcast contract expires at the end of 2014.   NBC and Notre Dame have acknowledged that they are conducting preliminary negotiations and discussions to stake out bargaining positions and common areas of mutual interest and agreement.  The current contract is for 15 million per year and a good guess would be 20 million for a negotiating point.  The original contract started in 1991,
NBC is kind of shutout of sports right now.  ESPN/ABC pretty much controls what Joe-6pack watches on TV.  Olympics, hockey (not this year), Triple Crown and Breeders Cup, Notre Dame football and a small slice of the NFL on Sunday Night are about it.  Would ESPN/ABC be interested in Notre Dame?  Who knows however they would pretty much sew up the Notre Dame football audience if they did.  It memory is correct; CBS had one away game this year and ESPN/ABC the rest.  NBC has their own Sports Network now and needs programming.

It would be nice if Mr. Swarbrick got NBC to televise some men’s and women’s basketball as part of the deal.  Digital programming gets talked about a lot and will come into play somehow.  This year Notre Dame had cameras on the sidelines and in the locker rooms to produce some interesting clips and insight to the players and coaches.  Jack Nolan appears to be more prominently seen many of the clips and interviews.
We shall see who devours the cat or visa-versa. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Update on Notre Dame Recruiting

The recruiting class of 2013 is kind of in limbo until after January 7th.   Here is what we know.
If you haven’t been following the ups and downs, the class lost two verbal commitments.   RB Jamel James pulled back his verbal commitment.  He never made a visit to campus and rumor has it that he had admittance issues.  It probably didn’t help that Brian Kelly received a verbal from Rival 5-Star RB Greg Bryant.

LB verbal Danny Mattingly changed his mind as well.  Apparently Danny was still taking visits to other schools and looking at the current roster and recruits, did not see immediate playing time on the horizon.
So that puts the class at 20.  It appears that there is room for at least 3-4 more.  Folks in the know believe that Kelly has “soft verbals” from at least three.  Couple from USC.  Reasons for keeping quiet?  Some of these guys want to make a big splash, conduct a news conference or get their 30 seconds of fame by putting on a school baseball hat during the upcoming high school all-star games.

The return of seniors Zack Martin - OT and Chris Watts - G is great news and shrinks the scholarship total.  It is very nice that Louis Nix - NG is returning for his junior year, we will graduate next December.  I think we have Louis’ momma to thank for that.
One question mark is Cierre Wood - RB.  It is suspected his draft stock is not very high however he has a family to support.  It appears his best hope is undrafted free agent and hitching up with someone willing to take a chance.  His best bet is to return to Notre Dame, get a graduate degree and hope for a great year.

Two wild cards are line backers  Dan Fox and Carlo Calabrese.  Are they returning, does Kelly have room for at least one?
Six from the class of 2013 are enrolling in January.  This is always nice to see.  It is unknown how many of these early enrollees (EE) can be counted against last year’s class.  It is all fuzzy math to us, similar to the NFL team salary caps.

Alex Anzalone - OLB

James Onwualu - WR

Malik Zaire - QB

Steve Elmer - OT

Mike Heuerman - TE

Corey Robinson – WR

Everything is shaping up for a top five class and whether the soft verbal rumor is true.  You can check out the current 20 on the left side of the Blog.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

What Do We Really Know About The Fighting Irish?

Two posts back we discussed what we knew about the Crimson Tide.  Turn around is only fair play.
1.  The Irish are 12-0 and the Tide is not.

2.  Irish have the best player in college football leading the defense and is one of two defensive team captains.
3.  Speaking of defense, the Irish do not have a good defense.  They have a very, very good defense.

4.  The players are extremely hungry.  You tend to get that way when you haven’t been to the Big Dance in 24 years.
5.  As a group, they can sing the Fight Song and recite the Our Father faster than anybody.  I know, I’ve heard them in their locker rooms.

6.  The coaching staff is even hungrier.  A win will solidify some coaching careers and bring prominence to others.
7.  Regardless what Bama fans say, the Irish played a tougher schedule than those southern boys.

8.  The Irish won some nail biter games by the hair of their chinny-chin-chins.  They know pressure and they know how to come back.
9.  They know how to dance and sing “We’re going to the Ship”.  I know, I saw and heard them in the USC visitor’s locker room. 

10.  It would be very unwise to say anything nasty about Louis Nixs’ momma. 
11.  Jesus doesn’t care if Notre Dame wins, however his Mother does.  Nuff said.

12.  The Irish have a red-shirt freshman quarterback who is getting better by leaps and bounds.  They also have an experienced backup who can come in and win it if needed.
13.  The Irish are 12-0 with a non-existent punt return team and a disappointing kickoff return team.
14.  Notre Dame has some cute co-eds.




Thursday, December 13, 2012

National Championship Swag for the Irish

Let’s talk swag.  The kind the Irish football players, staff and coaches will receive from the BCS Championship Game.  We did this drill before; it’s always interesting to see what goodies the players will receive.  Read Here concerning what we posted on last years Swag.  If you want to read the whole article from where we plagiarized this year, click Here.
First the NCAA rules:

The NCAA allows each bowl to award up to $550 worth of gifts to 125 participants per school. Schools can, and almost always do, buy additional packages that they can distribute to participants beyond that 125 limit. In addition, participants can receive awards worth up to $400 from the school and up to $400 from the conference for postseason play, covering both conference title games and any bowl game.  Don't know if or how Notre Dame uses the $400 award category since they are independent and would have to pony up the $$$ instead of it coming from conference coffers.

We here at the Station think that the NCAA should increase the $550 to $750 to take into consideration inflation and the pending fiscal cliff.  It was $550 last year as well.

Gift suites are set up as private events in which 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 by each specific bowl, not to exceed the NCAA limit.

The Folks at the Discover BCS Championsip Game have opted for providing a Gift Suite visit and a Tourneau Watch.  Not sure the practicility of a watch since everyone over the age of ten carries a cell phone.  The value of the watch subracted from the $550 gives you the amount of the shopping spree in the gift store.

We have tracked this for a number of years and the Bowls are leaning more and more toward Gift Suites. 

Gift                                          Bowls
Fossil Watch                            19

Gift Suite/Shopping Trip          16
Oakley Product                        8

Timely Watch                          8
Gift Card                                 5

New Era Cap                           4
Tourneau Watch                      4

Go Irish.  Grab the Swag.

Monday, December 10, 2012

What Do We Really Know About The Crimson Tide?

Without getting into the muck and weeds involving statistical comparisons, number crunching, amateur analysis, and biased conclusions, let’s just stick with the facts.
1.  We should be very leery about any University that resides in a state which every other letter is an ‘a’.

2.  The Crimson Tide is the 2011 National Champions in college football.  We need to respect that fact.  They are very very good.
3.  Alabama fans are known to saw off broom handles and jam empty Tide detergent boxes on top.  They then parade around with them like some barbarian carrying the head of his enemy on a pike.

4.  The Tide can be beaten, just ask Johnny Football (Heisman) and his pals at Texas A & M.
5.  Nick Saban is one of the 2-3 best coaches in college football.  (Les Miles and Urban Myers)

6.  Alabama possesses the second best defense behind Notre Dame.  The final score will NOT be 48 – 42.
7.  Tide fans are fanatical and bear considerable watching.  They are known to poison the trees of their rivals.

8.  The Team is loaded with talent.  The recruiting program is one of the best in the country. 
9.  Sometimes it is hard to get excited over a Team nicknamed “Red Water”.

10.  Nick Saban teams, whether at Toledo, Michigan State, LSU, or Alabama are well prepared and come to bring it on.
11.  Alabama has a habit of claiming a lot of National Championships.  The most controversial one was in 1973 where a Notre Dame (10-0) team defeated an Alabama (11-0) team in the Sugar Bowl.

12.  The Crimson Tide of Alabama particularly enjoys playing football in the former Confederate States.  They do because the SEC Conference plays in the deep South and border states such as Missouri and Kentucky.  In 2012 in order to remain close to Dixie, they scheduled such cupcakes; Western Kentucky, Florida Atlantic and Western Carolina.
We can beat these guys. 


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Johnny Football and Manti Te'o

The Fighting Irish need their Captain back.  Apparently he has one more trophy to pick up, The Lott Impact Player of the Year award tonight Sunday (12/9/12).  Then it’s back to South Bend and his first final exam Monday morning.  Manti will complete his classes this December and graduate with the rest of fellow seniors come May.
The Team needs his leadership, dedication and intensity to beat Alabama come January 7, 2013.  Coach Brian Kelly said that Manti Te’o was running on fumes.  That’s easy to believe after all the interviews, all the autograph signing, all the hype and all the rubber chicken awards banquets.  He missed two workouts/practices and is apparently eager to prepare for Alabama.

The Notre Dame community A.K.A. NDNation is very proud of one of its’ own who is the most highly honored college football player ever.  We will be even be prouder when he lifts the crystal football in the air.
No he did not win the Heisman.  He was not expected to.  In this era of pass happy spread offenses, it has become a popularity contest of the most prolific quarterback with the best statistics.  It also helps that your team finishes in the top tier ranking that will play in a BCS game.  Sorry Geno Smith.  Sorry Matt Barkley.

Johnny Manziel clearly meets and exceeds what it takes to win the Heisman today, in 2012.  Congratulations to him for sure.
This article pretty much sums up what the Heisman means to Texas A & M.  $$$$$.  The marketing of Manziel and the blitz to make TA&M a national brand, a mover and shaker in the SEC and fill the College Station coffers has begun.  Johnny has taken the unusual step of legally claiming the moniker “Johnny Football”.  This is similar to what Robert Griffin III did when he won the Heisman last year by branding “GR III”.  Of course this was when GRIII was a senior, getting ready to join the NFL and not a redshirt freshman.  Hopefully Johnny and his father will seek legal advice in walking that path with two or three years of amateur eligibility remaining and the NCAA with their big rule books.

I thought Johnny did a great job in his interview and acceptance speech.  He looks good holding the statue and he has a nice set of parents.  While that statue weighs 25 pounds, that target on his back is going to weigh a lot more.  It is suspected that the Oklahoma linebackers and defensive ends are preparing to meet Johnny in the backfield of the Cotton Bowl.  Ditto for every game next year and the year after which  includes cupcakes; Rice, Sam Houston State, SMU and UTEP.  The target and living up to the hype of repeat and three peat is going to take its’ toll wait and see.



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Manti's Trophy Case

We suspect the hammering and sawing we hear in the Te’o garage is Mr. Te’o building a new trophy case for Manti.  He sure is collecting a lot of hardware. A number of awards are yet to be presented including Notre Dame Team awards as well as the Heisman Trophy.  MVP of the NC would be a nice crowning touch as well.
At the Station here we were early tooters of Manti’s horn.  With just a couple of days to go before the awards ceremony in New York we took down are Manti Te’o Heisman Watch Box.  Everyone is now familiar with his on and off the field accomplishments.  He has finally received the publicity due.

The rumor on the street is that TA&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is the odds on favorite but who knows.  You can argue either way.  If Alabama had beaten TA&M handing Johnny "Touchdown" his third loss, it would be a moot point.
Anyway the votes are cast; we have not watched the Heisman show since Brady Quinn got himself invited.  Guess we will tune it in this Saturday.

The Notre Dame T-Shirt Some Choices

Good old free enterprise, entrepreneurship, a brainstorm of an idea and bingo lets sell T-shirts.  The 12-0 run and National Championship game has brought out the folks looking to make a fast buck.  Below is a small sample.  We here at Subway Alumni Station do not sell, endorse or otherwise involving ourselves with the T-shirt business.  It can only be imagined the amount of hawkers down in Miami selling some such items.
This one is probably the nicest of the lot.
Hopefully this comes in something other that gray.
Maybe this one should be in gray.
Suggest "BOUND" be scaled back a tad.
Ug.  The blue is wrong as well as the rest of the shirt.
 We strongly urge you not to wear the top shirt around any drunk Alabama fans least one of them figures out what it means.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Alabama – A Shameful Schedule 2013

Alabama won the 2011 National Championship, is in the 2012 NC game against Notre Dame and has a good chance of being in the 2013 NC hunt as well.  Why?  Good coaching, sure.  Great talent, absolutely.  Both key ingredients that all teams need to possess to win a title.  However the Crimson Tide has something else going for it, an obscenely easy schedule.  This is not new to Alabama, playing cupcakes and carefully scheduling games to their advantage is an art form in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama does not like to leave the Confederacy.  In 2013 they venture out one time, to play Kentucky, a civil war border state.  This year they really went out on a limb and played Michigan, however that game was in Arlington Texas, a friendly Confederate State.  Very nicely crafted indeed.  In 2013 The Tide opens against Virginia Tech, however the game is at Atlanta Georgia.  Bama did not even want to venture up North to Blackburg Virginia.
Here is the shameful schedule:

Notice that only 11 games are listed, Alabama needs to find one more cupcake to complete the 12 FBS NCAA game schedule.  Pretty late in the hunt to find a team with an open date equaling The Tide’s.  Rest assured the will pay some chump team to travel to Bryant-Denny Stadium to get mauled.  This year it was Florida Atlantic (40-7), Western Kentucky (35-0) and Western Carolina (49-0).

Virginia Tech*              (6-6)
@Texas A&M             (10-2)

Ole Miss                       (6-6)
Georgia State              (1-10)              

@Kentucky                  (2-10)
Arkansas                      (4-8)

Tennessee                    (5-7)
LSU                             (10-2)

@Mississippi State        (8-4)    
Chattanooga                (6-5)

@Auburn                      (3-9)

* @Atlanta Georgia
4 SEC teams away

1 game at a “close neutral site”
6 home games, 4 SEC and 2 embarrassing cupcakes.

1 obvious home game to be scheduled Sept 7, Sept 21or possibly but not likely (LSU the following week) Nov. 2.
The SEC West is kind of weak compared to the East, that sure doesn’t hurt Alabama’s chances either.

The cupcakes:
Crimson Tide Cupcake

Georgia State will move up in 2013 to the FBS Division 1-A, they had been in the FCS Division 1-AA CAA Conference.  Chattanooga is a lowly FCS in the mighty Southern Conference.

No doubt if Notre Dame was not undefeated, Alabama would be ranked #1, even with this years schedule.  So much for the myth of strenth of scedule.

Go IRISH beat the shameful Tide

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Notre Dame Football Potpourri

Cartoon – Well I guess if you are an SEC fan you probably would snicker at the cartoon.  At least its’ not something derogatory or hateful about the Pope or the Irish Catholics.  Of course the NC is still almost five weeks away.

Nate Montana – Well Nate’s senior year is over.  A well traveled career from ND to JC to ND to Montana to West Virginia Wesleyan.  The Bobcats finished out the season 3-8.  Nate played in nine games and threw for 2480 yards (275.6 ypg) and nineteen touchdowns, he ran for two more.  Wonder if dad Joe watched Nate play?  Wonder if Joe could even find WV Wesleyan?

Looking more like his daddy every year.
Honey Badger – Well Tyrann Mathieu decided being a student was not for him and has declared for the NFL draft.  Another street thug out of college football great!  Maybe he can sit on the bench next to Terrell Pryor at Oakland.  They are about the only ones stupid enough to take the Honey Badger on.
Honey Badgers in happier times and places
Jim Tressel – Jim was honored at OSU for his championship team.  These are same fans who demand OSU be considered at the #1 ranked team in the country and a share of the NC.  These are the same fans who feel Jim did nothing wrong and the big bad NCAA was out to get OSU.  Lest we forget that OSU won that NC with a street thug named Maurice Clarett.  Maybe the Irish will play OSU next year in some Bowl game, maybe for the NC.

Watching Lou Holtz and the circus on ESPN.  At 75 how does he have blonde hair and so much of it?

Odd Man Out – Andrew Hendrix

Andrew Hendrix showing a BYU player what a stiff arms looks like
Things do not look good next year for quarterback Andrew Hendrix to crack the starting lineup unless injury or personal issues befall Everett Golson. 

Golson is in the process of blossoming into one of Notre Dame’s great quarterbacks.
Tommy Rees has accepted his role this year as backup and will finish out in that capacity.

Gunner Kiel has accepted his role this year as a red-shirt.  Gunner will battle for the starting job and grudgingly accept the backup role next year.
Malik Zaire is an early enrollee and will start conditioning in January and take reps. during spring training.  We are all waiting to check him out during the Blue – Gold Game in April.
You have to kind of envy Brian Kelly don’t you?  Consider his first two year when he had Dayne Crist, Nate Montana, Tommy Rees and Andrew Hendrix to work with.

It is decision time for Andrew.  He has had very limited playing time this year, just enough to burn a second year of eligibility.  Shown up for three games and was 5-7  passing and 55 yards.  Do you accept a red-hat role on a National Championship/BCS caliber team for the next two years or are you out?
Andrew has a good arm, fast legs and is a savvy football player.  It will be interesting to see what he decides.
Go IRISH.  Win the NC