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Dec 30, 2012

Crimson and Clover over and over

This is it… 

The two most storied programs in the history of college football (sorry, Michigan), will clash on January 7 when #1 Notre Dame takes on heavily favored defending champion #2 Alabama.

I’ve witnessed more than my fair share of ups and downs during my 7 years as a Notre Dame student, as the lofty expectations of my freshman year (pollsters had given us a #3 preseason ranking in anticipation of Brady Quinn’s senior campaign) gave way to the lowest of the lows during my sophomore year (try as I might, I can’t quite erase the scarring memories of a 3-9 season), eventually leading to the firing of Charlie Weis during my senior year when I served as the official Fightin’ Irish Leprechaun. 

When I decided to attend law school and prolong my career as a Notre Dame student by three more years, I joked that the sole reason was to watch as Coach Kelly fulfilled the task I gave him of returning us to glory.  Many laughed at the idea of a team that had just lost 21 games in three seasons playing for a national championship within the next three years.  It is now year three.  Who’s laughing now? (Certainly not Mark May or Rick Reilly)

More impressive than our meteoric rise under Kelly has been the way we have done it.  As a representative of the athletics department during my time as the Leprechaun, and as an intern while in law school, I have seen just how seriously we take our values and our commitment to excellence, from the ADs at the top all the way down to the managers and cheerleaders.  Lots of schools have mission statements for their athletics departments.  Not every school stays true to its avowed values (see Florida State, Ohio State, Miami, Southern Cal, and even Penn State).

That’s where this game comes in.  We don’t do everything perfectly here at Notre Dame, but we strive to, and by holding ourselves to a higher standard we stand out.  That’s why we’re the most polarizing team in sports, period. 

Critics claimed Notre Dame would never again compete for a title.  They were wrong.  So-called "experts" discounted Kelly’s 2012 squad every step of the way, predicting defeat after defeat only to have the Fightin’ Irish prove them wrong again and again.  

Frankly, ESPN should be embarrassed by the quality of the talking heads they employ to spew nonsense week after week, and I wish there was someway to hold clowns like Jesse Palmer and David Pollack accountable for what they say one week prior to pretending they’ve held a completely opposite viewpoint all along the following week, but I’ll save that for another time.

Here we are, standing at the brink of a national title at a day and age when so many had given up hope in the ability to win without sacrificing standards.  By coming this far, we’ve already won in the sense that we’ve shown that it can be done.  By winning, and dethroning the mighty SEC, which ESPN would have you believe belongs in the NFL, we will force all those who see or hear about us to stop and ponder our success as a team, as an athletics department, and as the preeminent Catholic university in the world. 

Notre Dame is a global force for good, fighting for countless worthy causes.  Among those is inspiring a worldwide fan base to believe in the possibility of success with integrity. 

Here’s to hoping that, come January 7, the whole world will be talking about that game between Crimson and Clover over and over.

Dec 28, 2012

10 Days: South Bend to South Beach

With 10 days remaining until what will be the 
most watched and most bet on college football game in history 
between #1 Notre Dame and #2 AlabamaFightin' Irish fans nationwide are prepping for a pilgrimage of mass proportions to South Beach.

The Notre Dame Family will come together in the South Florida area to celebrate in style on several occasions both pre- and post-victory.  If you plan on making the trip, be sure to don your favorite Blue, Gold & Green attire, and rep the Fightin' Irish with the class and confidence of a National Champion. SEC fans are definitely rowdy, and can get pretty mean after a few cocktails (I heard 'bama frat bros in particular love drinking Pink Elephants), but let's not succumb to their level.  

As Dr. Lou would say, "We are Notre Dame.  We are special."

Below you will find a list of several official and unofficial Notre Dame related events that may be worth checking out.

Discover Championship Fan Experience
Date: Saturday, January 5
Time: 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Location: Ocean Drive - between 6th and 9th Street (660 Ocean Drive Miami Beach, FL)
"Experience the thrill and excitement of the Discover Championship Fan Experience on beautiful Ocean Drive. Live bands, interactive games, zip line, contests, Championship Trophy photo opportunities and much more. Free and open to the public."

Notre Dame Pep Rally 
Date: Saturday, January 5
Time: 7-8 p.m.
Location: Ocean Drive - between 6th and 9th Street (660 Ocean Drive Miami Beach, FL)
"Come out and support the Fighting Irish as a Notre Dame football tradition moves to South Beach. The Notre Dame Marching Band, cheerleaders and Leprechaun will be attendance. Guest speakers include Notre Dame coaching legend Lou Holtz, Irish greats Joe Theismann, Tony Rice, Pat Terrell, Mike Golic Sr., and comedian Martin Short."

Saturday Night Irish Party
Date: Saturday, January 5
Time: 7 p.m. - 12 a.m.
Location: Fado Irish Pub and Restaurant Miami (900 South Miami Blvd., Suite 200, Miami, FL)
"Come hang out with your ND Club of Miami at Fado Irish Pub in Mary Brickell Village. Your first drink is free, there will be drink specials after that, and $10 cover proceeds go to the ND Club of Miami."

Notre Dame Masses
Date: Sunday, January 6
Time: 10 a.m.- 11a.m.
Location: Ballroom, InterContinental - Downtown Miami
Rev. John Jenkins, C.S.C., celebrant and homilist. Free and open to the public.
Location: Ballroom, Bonaventure Resort and Spa
Rev. Paul Kollman, C.S.C., celebrant and homilist. Open to the public.

National Championship Game Service Project
Date: Sunday, January 6
Time: 12 – 4:30 p.m. (Registration 12-12:45 p.m.)
Location: Roots in the City, urban garden 2 miles west of downtown Miami; please meet across the street from the historic Mount Zion Baptist Church at 301 Northwest 9th Street, Miami, FL
"Join other alumni, students, parents, friends, as well as volunteers from the University of Alabama to transform a city block in downtown Miami into an urban vegetable garden benefitting the low-income neighborhood and homeless population. Service project will conclude with a neighborhood social with refreshments and visits from the Notre Dame cheerleaders and University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. This event is free and includes a light lunch."

ND Club of Miami Pool Party
Date: Sunday, January 6
Time: 1 p.m. - all day
Location: Monty's @ Miami Beach Marina (South Beach)
"We will be hosting a pool party with Monty's on South Beach on January 6, 2013 at 1pm. We will raffle off the 2 tickets to the BCS Championship at the pool party. Raffle tickets will be $20 for 2013 dues paying members and $40 for all other individuals. You may buy as many raffle tickets as you wish. Raffle tickets will go on sale at 1pm and the raffle will be held at 4pm. We will also have other items available for silent auction."

Discover Championship Fan Experience
Date: Sunday, January 6
Time: 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Concert from 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. with opening act at 5pm (Bands TBA)
Location: Ocean Drive - between 6th and 9th Street (660 Ocean Drive Miami Beach, FL)
"Experience the thrill and excitement of the Discover Championship Fan Experience on beautiful Ocean Drive. Live bands, interactive games, zip line, contests, Championship Trophy photo opportunities and much more. Free and open to the public."

Official Notre Dame Alumni Association Party
Date: Sunday, January 6
Time: 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Location: The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater, 1700 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL
"Join us at the official Notre Dame Alumni Association party at the historic Fillmore Theater in South Beach. The evening will include an open bar of beer and wine and Miami-inspired entertainment! You won’t want to miss an exclusive look at the official 2012 Notre Dame Football Highlight video. Limited space available. Cost: $100.00 per person includes beer, wine, soft drinks and entertainment. Food will be available for purchase. Only 21 years of age and over admitted."

Notre Dame Gameday
Date: Monday, January 7
Time: 12 – 4 p.m.
Location: Bayfront Park, 301 N. Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL
"Be a part of the largest Notre Dame fan party of the year! This event will be the destination for Notre Dame alumni, family and friends to kick off the National Championship Game. This festival will feature world-renowned Irish band Gaelic Storm, the Notre Dame Marching Band, cheerleaders, the Leprechaun and special Notre Dame celebrity guest speakers. There will be activities and fun for every age group. We anticipate more than 10,000 Notre Dame fans to be a part of this very special event – an event you will not want to miss! Cost is $75.00 per person includes tailgate buffet, beer, wine, and soft drinks. (Children under 12 admitted free.)"

Bud Light Championship Game Day Fan Zone
Date: Monday, January 7
Time: 1:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Location: Gate G Parking Lot, Sun Life Stadium
"Experience the thrill and tradition of Sun Life Stadium and college football at the Bud Light Championship Game Day Fan Zone presented by Allstate. Enjoy live entertainment, interactive and inflatable games and a pep rally for each team participating in the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship game. Platinum recording country music star Luke Bryan will headline the Championship Game Day Fan Zone. Bryan’s performance outside Sun Life Stadium will cap off a day of fun activities for fans. Tickets required."

ND BCS 'Ship Tailgate
Date: Monday, January 7
Time: 1 – 7 p.m. 
Location: Sun Life Stadium Orange Lot West 13
"Epic Game = Epic Tailgate"
(Unofficial Tailgate hosted by students/young alums)

Here's to enjoying the trip, celebrating all that is Notre Dame, and watching the Fightin' Irish take back the throne.  

Dec 17, 2012

Travel Channel Seeks ND SuperFans

Calling all ND SuperFans:

The Travel Channel has sent out the notice pictured below in its search for lucky Fightin' Irish fans to be featured on an upcoming show covering the fan experience at the BCS National Championship.  The application to apply is due December 18, so don't delay in contacting the below email address for your chance to win the Ultimate Fan Experience:

GO IRISH!  Beat 'bama!

Dec 3, 2012

Simple Case for the Hei5man

This morning, I read the most powerfully straight forward case for Manti Te'o to win the Heisman Trophy that I have been able to find amongst the thousands that currently litter the internet.  Here it is below, courtesy of my good friend and current Notre Dame Law School student Alex Blair:

Let's be honest with ourselves, Manti Te'o will not be allowed to win the Heisman. The media that compose the bulk of the Heisman voters is too in love with nicknames, with pizzaz, with magic. 

The Heisman Trophy is supposed to go to "the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity." 

Winners supposedly "epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work." Instead, the trophy should just say "outstanding running back or quarterback." The Heisman has been awarded annually since 1935. Michigan's Charles Woodson was the only defensive player to have won it, but he did so because he also scored touchdowns as a kick returner and a receiver. Ohio State's Orlando Pace was the greatest offensive lineman of all time, but that wasn't enough to overcome some guy named Danny Wuerffel

I could tell you about Te'o's gaudy stats and game-changing plays in each of the biggest games that Notre Dame has played this season, but let's not waste text. Ultimately, they don't matter. The media likes cling to things like total yards as if they reflect individual achievement in football, the most team-centric of sports. 

Johnny Football isn't even the most outstanding football player on his own offense, he's just the easiest to measure. Anyone who has followed Notre Dame knows that without Te'o, the Irish have three losses, probably more. He's the rock not just of the defense, but the entire team. The most outstanding college football player wears No. 5 and plays linebacker for Notre Dame. No player epitomizes ability, diligence, perseverance and hard work like Te'o. 

A vote for Manziel is a vote for everything
the Heisman has become. 

A vote for Te'o is a vote for everything
the Heisman should be. 

Dec 1, 2012

Game Day Pics: ND basketball takes down UK

Notre Dame Basketball wrote another chapter in its storied history of dominating top-ranked teams on its home court this past Thursday, when the Irish ballers upset #8 Kentucky 64-50.  

Photo courtesy of Eileen Veihmeyer
Students and fans packed the "Blacked Out" Joyce Center to the brim, creating a hostile environment led by the Leprechaun Legion and several members of the #1 Notre Dame Football team who stood courtside in support of their fellow student-athletes.

OL Mike Golic Jr. fist pumping like a champion today
a live look at the #1 atop Grace Hall for ND Football
Stephon Tuitt, Prince Shembo, and Mike Golic Jr.
leading the student section
Fighting Irish fan Dickie V
contributing to the HeisManti campaign
ND Football captains Kapron Lewis-Moore and Manti Te'o
As the final seconds ticked off the clock, students stormed the court for the 2nd time in 2 years to congratulate their victorious classmates.

Photo courtesy of Eileen Veihmeyer
Stephon Tuitt and Kapron Lewis-Moore rush the court
students celebrating the win and #1 ranking
Spirits remain high in the land of the Fightin' Irish, as Brey's squad continues to take strides and everyone anxiously awaits the football team's trip from South Bend to South Beach for the BCS National Championship game featuring #1 Notre Dame v. #2 Alabama.  

Nov 26, 2012

Irish sack Troy, set sights on Miami

As the final seconds of our seemingly out-of-nowhere 12-0 miracle season ticked off the clock at the LA Coliseum, Notre Dame's 22-13 victory over Southern Cal left many loyal sons and daughters speechless, including Manti Te'o, who admitted he was at a loss for words.  

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words though, and the below video speaks volumes about the joy that so many of us share but can't quite describe:  (from UND.com)

As a added bonus for all those who love to hate on Lane Kiffin as much as I do, the first half of the below video shows him having to endure the ecstatic sounds of Notre Dame's post-victory locker room celebration featured in the above video as he answers questions about how he managed to somehow blunder his way to a 7-5 record after starting off season ranked #1:  (from USC Athletics)

Preseason Rankings:
USC: #1
ND: Unranked

Final Rankings:
ND: #1
USC: Unranked

"In the same way, the last will be first, and the first will be last, because many are called, but few are chosen." 
Matthew 20:16

Nov 19, 2012

#1 ND @ unranked SC


"Before, I always wondered, 'What would life be like if I went to USC? What would life be like if I went here or here?' I've always wondered that. But I think after this season, I don't have that anymore. This is where I was meant to be." -Manti Te'o

(#1) Notre Dame: 31
(unrakned) Cal Southern: 17

We'll see you in Miami...

Nov 15, 2012

Seniors' Final Salute

"When those books are written, 
they're written about championships." 
-Brian Kelly on the still unfinished legacy of his seniors

Saturday is Senior Day, and the last time I will ever watch a game from the student section inside Notre Dame Stadium.  It will be an emotional day for all those present, especially the senior class of players who have brought the light of hope back to this football program through their unyielding work ethic and undying faith in each other.  They will suit up in Blue & Gold to run out of that tunnel one last time, and over 81,000 inspired souls will salute their service.  

It's difficult to find the right words to describe what I hope will be the perfect ending to a great journey, so I will leave it to the pros:

From UND.com:

From Andrew Owens of The Observer,
 describing the significance of Manti's unlikely path to Senior Day: 

From Matt Fotruna of ESPN.com:

Score Prediction:
Notre Dame: 41
Wake Forest: 17

Nov 12, 2012

Taking Care of Business

Fightin' Irish fans have been hearing a lot about the lack of “style points” exhibited by the 2012 squad, and Saturday's seemingly routine 21-6 victory over Backup College did little to silence such noise.  

What some may have mistaken for a sluggish lack of energy probably should have been expected, though.  I mean... how many times can you beat up your little brother (BC) before doing so loses its excitement?  Once you've already established your unquestionable dominance, there's no longer any need to go any further than what is required to keep him in his place.  Am I right?

All joking aside... the "workmanlike" fashion with which the Fightin' Irish have amassed a perfect 10-0 record is not about to win them any beauty contests.  Most of the 10 wins have been anything but pretty... but who cares?  Kelly's lads have continued to bring their lunch pails to work each and every Saturday, and as their unblemished record shows, they haven't punched out early a single time in 10 games without taking care of business first.  

As long as we continue on in our "workmanlike" ways, we'll be fine.  We can't control who wins, who loses, and who “helps us out” in games that don’t feature the words “Notre Dame” on either side of the scoreboard… so all we can do is stick to Kelly’s master plan, take care of business, and let the chips fall where they may.  We'll leave the fussing, the whining, and the hapless prosthelyzing to the so-called "experts" at ESPN.  Why should we care what they have to say?  We don't have time for them.
We have business to take care of... 

Saturday is Senior Day in Notre Dame Stadium, where the Fightin’ Irish have struggled during their 2012 work schedule relative to their performances away from home.  It’s also the last game our captains Kap, Zach, Tyler, and Manti will ever play in the Cathedral of College Football.  Let’s honor them, along with all those playing in their final home game, by saluting the “workmanlike” mentality they've struggled so hard to instill in a program that lacked any real sense of direction prior to Kelly’s arrival.  

Let’s be “workmanlike” in fulfilling our own duties as fans.  Let's stay true to our unrelenting faith that, what though the odds be great or small, our team has the will to win overall.  Let’s take care of business by clocking in on Saturday, rolling up our sleeves, and going to work alongside our team as they march onward to victory.

Nov 8, 2012

Predictions: ND v. BC

University of Notre Dame
Backup College

This one shouldn't be close.
Then again... last week shouldn't have been close.

What Fightin' Irish fans saw late in the game against Pitt should give them hope, though, as Diaco's defense returned to its dominant form when called upon, and Kelly's offense finally found its way.

What I'd like to see against BC:  
Everett "5uperman" Golson taking complete control of Kelly's spread offense by utilizing the versatile weapons at his disposal (namely Riddick, and hopefully a heavier dose of Atkinson III), relying on his athleticism to make big plays at big times, and embracing his "baller" mentality to become that leader his teammates can count on.

What I'm expecting to see against BC:  
A lot of sacks and interceptions, with BC's Rettig throwing 3 picks last week and getting sacked 7 times over their past 2 games, and ND coming off a season-high 5 sack performance against Pitt.  BC's run game is abysmal, meaning they won't be able to move the ball on the ground against Diaco's dominant front 7.  Kap, Tuitt, and Shembo should thus be able to tee off on Rettig, who will be forced to rush his throws and run for his life to avoid getting his head taken off by our D Boys.  

Bold Prediction: 
Sacks for Kap, Nix, Tuitt, Shembo, and Te'o, with Manti adding another INT and vaulting himself back into the Heisman conversation.


Nov 7, 2012

5uperman 5aves 5eason!

What's that flying past defenders into the endzone?!  
It's a bird!  It's a plane!  No, it's Everett Golson!

After his late-game heroics this past Saturday, I'm not sure if that's a "5" or an "S" on his jersey.

What I do know is that Fightin' Irish fans had the good fortune of witnessing a 5uperstar in the making take his game to the next level, which will undoubtedly lead to plenty more daring feats of strength during his time at Notre Dame.

What does Golson's recent revealing of his secret 5uperman identity mean for the 2012 Fightin' Irish?

As Coach Kelly put it during his post game press conference, "…he competed his butt off" and provided "a shot in the arm" at a time when his teammates desperately needed someone to wake them up.  Not only did he step in to fill the leadership role on offense that his fellow #5 has assumed on the defensive side of the ball, but his developing 5uperhuman abilities are starting to allow Kelly to finally call the type of game that he wants to offensively.  Kelly hasn't been shy on this point, lauding Golson for bringing that added element he has been searching for in his offense by "spreading it out" and creating opportunities to "either throw the football, or keep it and run."  With this critical piece to the puzzle finally in place, the future looks bright and Irish eyes should be smiling as 5uperman continues to show up to save the day whenever the Fightin' Irish find themselves in need of a hero.

Nov 4, 2012

Game Day Pics: Triple Cardiac Catholics

After each home game, check with Irish Creed as TheNDleprechaun brings you a series of pics from the weekend.  You can also view the pics as they are taken by following on Instagram: "theleprecon" or on Twitter "@TheNDleprechaun"

Final Score (3OT)
Notre Dame: 29
Pittsburgh: 26

Oct 30, 2012

Fightin' Words: Stay Perfect.

With upcoming games against Pitt, Backup College, and Wake, just about everyone, myself included, seems to be looking ahead to the 2012 season finale against U$C in the LA Coliseum on Nov. 24.  

As fans, we have that luxury.  As a football team, Kelly's Fightin' Irish don't.  Notre Dame fans know all too well what it feels like to watch a team get caught looking ahead beyond their current opponent, and I assure you they'll agree that it doesn't feel good.
Luckily for us, Kelly won't let that happen.  He won't rest at 8-0, and last week's "signature win" won't make him complacent.  When he came to Notre Dame his stated purpose was to win National Championships (plural).  He keeps that goal in his sights through a week to week approach, and come Saturday his squad will remain focused on staying perfect.

Score Prediction:
Notre Dame: 34
Pittsburgh: 13

Oct 28, 2012

Notre Dame is 8-0. Do you believe?

"Ya gotta believe!" - Lou Holtz

Not many did, including most of the Fightin' Irish Faithful.  
Yet, here we stand.  

Notre Dame is 8-0.
Four games stand between Kelly's squad and perfection.
The final battle will take the form of a showdown in the LA Coliseum against the Men of Troy, 
featuring fallen preseason favorites and their once-hopeful Heisman candidate, now yearning to spoil the hard fought success of a band of underdogs led by their grieving warrior-hero...

 a seemingly fitting climax to a script that would leave many a Hollywood writer green with envy. 

My suggestion?  Enjoy the ride.

Oct 23, 2012

Fightin' Words: Sour Sooners

Don't get me wrong... 
This Saturday's matchup between #5 Notre Dame and #8 OU is a big deal (and I didn't need ESPN to tell me that by featuring the Fightin' Irish on College GameDay for the 2nd time in 3 weeks).  

The outcome of this game will largely determine Kelly's chances at leading his team to the promised land come January, and Norman, OK will undoubtedly serve as archetypal proving grounds upon which will the fate of the season rests.

I find this game riveting due to the fact that OU has been considered much more of a football powerhouse than Notre Dame has of late, and it presents the proudly independent Fightin' Irish with an opportunity to show the world they can hang with the big boys in any conference (let's not forget the recent dismantling that left the Big 10 (B1G?) in shambles at the hands of Notre Dame, along with the destruction of recent Pac 12 powerhouse Stanford, and the forthcoming annihilation of everyone's favorite Pac 12 pretty-boy-poster-children (albeit Spoiled poster-Children), in addition to the inevitable embarassment of our new friends in the ACC... all within the same season).  When all is said and done, adding the Big 12 to our Kill List just might boost our resume enough to make Mark May shut up (actually... probably not).

What I do not feel as this game approaches, however, is any sense of animosity towards OU (other than disapproval of the relatively loose academic and moral standards with which their football program has been run historically).  Maybe I'm too young to appreciate the history of the ND v. OU series (which means the players, and even Kelly probably are too) but nothing gets me particularly riled up when I hear "Boomer Sooner!" or see the Sooner Schooner take the field (not gonna lie... that part is actually pretty cool).

As you may expect, I was beyond surprised to learn that OU fans apparently HATE NOTRE DAME! Now, I'm not sure if Sooner Boosters hate the Fightin' Irish more than the average ND Hater, but I'll let you decide for yourself with this collection of bulletin board material collected from newsok.com:

David Allen from Mustang, OK: “My own dislike with the Noters stems from what I call the Notre Dame spot. If they need a few inches for a first down against Slippery Rock, the refs oblige. Instant replay has curbed some of this activity.” 

Not sure where he was going with that "Slippery Rock" reference, but here's a fun fact: David won the Mustang, OK Spelling Bee with his close-enough spelling of "the Noters."(Also note the classic Oklahoman usage of "oblige")

Mike Shockley from Oklahoma City, OK: “My hatred of Notre Dame comes from the fact that they haven't been relevant in football since the early ‘90s and are still considered a powerhouse or blue blood. The amount of media attention and money that the football program raises is unbelievable considering they have largely been terrible save a few years here and there.”

Which is it, Mike?  Powerhouse, or Blue Blood?  Do you know the difference?  Oh, and two words: television ratings...

Mark Hall from Owasso, OK: “It is partly the breaking of the streak. The biggest reason is that they are treated specially. The BCS had special rules for them. And if they had just joined the Big Ten, then the Big Ten wouldn't have taken Nebraska. Then maybe Nebraska joins muscle with OU and others to get a better deal with Texas and a league network of some sort. Instead, Notre Dame thinks that their football program is so special it should stand alone.”

C'mon, Mark!  You just made me throw up in my mouth a little bit when you mentioned Notre Dame in the B1G.  Sorry I'm not sorry we couldn't succumb to such filth so you could leach off your arch-rival for a "better deal."  Have some self respect!

Rex Renfrow from Atlanta, GA: “It is Touchdown Jesus. It is the homer announcers on CBS (NBC). It is the over rated hype they receive. Whatever, I hate Notre Dame.”

I'm not sure if those are sentences.  I'm also not sure why OKNews decided to throw a resident of Atlanta in the mix, but at least it shows how irrelevant we are on the national scene... oh wait... Seriously though, hating on Our Lord and Savior TDJ?!  Blasphemy!  (And just to clarify it for you, Rex, our lucrative television contract is with NBC, which as a corporate entity is distinct from CBS.

Jeff O'Dell from Ada, OK: “I'm a third generation hater. I learned this from my Grandpa, who hated Texas (naturally) Notre Dame and USC. Notre Dame because of OU's poor record against them and the fact that they ended the 47-game win streak. For me it's also the elite private school aspect of Notre Dame that helps me be a hater.”

This one is so Oklahoman (naturally), I can't even touch it.

Matthew Allen from Oklahoma City, OK: “As a younger OU fan, my dislike for Notre Dame stems from the following: They're killing us in the series; they bookend The Streak; they are the benefactors of some of the most unfair, antitrust violating, undeserved, borderline cheating treatment out of any program ever. Their SPECIAL BCS rules are the biggest scam happening in college football right now, and people act like it's just A-OK. Like it's a part of the landscape. Why do they get better rules than everyone else? Why don't people talk about this more?”

Whoa! I didn't think they taught their young'uns big words like "benefactors" or "antitrust" (or "lanscape") in good ol' Oklahoma...  Let's be real though, Matthew... people do "talk about this more" so I think you can relax with the capital letters now.

Caymen Bishop (location unknown): “I am a big OU fan, but I am not mad at the 1-8 record, or them snapping our losing streak, or because they're Catholic. I hate Notre Dame because they didn't let Rudy play until the last game. That just really frustrated me. JUST LET THE KID SUIT UP FOR HIS SENIOR SEASON!”

Wouldn't Caymen (cool name, I'll give him that) be glad if we had in fact snapped their losing streak?  I'm pretty sure he is referencing the aforementioned 47 game OU winning streak the Fightin' Irish broke.  I'm glad he felt the need to assure us that he doesn't hate Catholics, though.  Finally, I think he might be missing the point of the heartwarming story / almost entirely fabricated cinematic masterpiece that is Rudy.

Score Prediction:
Fightin' Irish: 24
Sour Sooners: 14

2012 Notre Dame Football Schedule

2012 Notre Dame Football Schedule
DateOpponent / EventLocationTime / Result
09/01/12vs. Navy Dublin, IrelandW, 50-10
09/08/12vs. PurdontNotre Dame, Ind.W, 20-17
09/15/12at SpartyEast Lansing, Mich.W, 20-3
09/22/12vs. SkunkbearsNotre Dame, Ind.W, 13-6
Shamrock Series
10/06/12vs. Da UChicago, Ill.W, 41-3
10/13/12vs. TreesNotre Dame, Ind.W, 20-13 (OT)
10/20/12vs. BYU Notre Dame, Ind.W, 17-14
10/27/12at Oklahoma Norman, Okla.W, 30-13
11/03/12vs. Pittsburgh Notre Dame, Ind.W, 29-26 (3OT)
11/10/12at Backup College Chestnut Hill, Mass.W, 21-6
11/17/12vs. Fake Worest Notre Dame, Ind.W, 38-0
11/24/12at U$C Los Angeles, Calif.W, 22-13
1/7/13vs. AlabamaBCS CHAMPIONSHIP
(Miami, Florida)
L, :(