For Irish haters
Vicky Jacobsen | Thursday, November 29, 2012
I realize that the editorial page of The Observer is not the best way to reach you and your brethren, but this is the one publication willing to give me a soapbox.
As a Notre Dame detractor, you might not have run through the nearest public fountain after near-simultaneous losses by Kansas St. and Oregon made the Irish the No. 1 college football team.
But don’t pretend you haven’t enjoyed this season. Trust me, the world was not interested in listening to you complain about a football team on its way to a 5-7 record. You have until Jan. 7 to complain that the Irish are arrogant bullies who, despite a berth in the national championship game, aren’t good.
In response to the sillier reasons I’ve seen for disliking Notre Dame:
“I abhor the tin-pot Irishness of the place.” This one came from Charlie Pierce in a Grantland article. I don’t know who anointed him the arbiter of what is and is not an appropriate way to celebrate one’s heritage. But something tells me he is unaware that we have the North America’s only Irish Language and Literature Department, which happens to be the largest Irish-speaking workplace in the world. Just a hunch.
“They refuse to join a conference for football.” I personally don’t see how joining a conference makes your school more virtuous. Army, Navy and BYU are also independents – that’s not exactly a lineup of college football villains. Besides, the Big Ten didn’t want Notre Dame when we asked to join (repeatedly) in the first half of the 20th century, back when we were a little Catholic school in the middle of nowhere.
“They have an exclusive contract with NBC.” This “undeserved” contract was one of Rick Reilly’s big gripes. The way people talk, you would think the athletic department had kidnapped Bob Costas and held him hostage in Zahm’s basement until NBC acquiesced to our demands. Sorry, but this is purely a business decision. If you can think of a program to run on Saturday afternoons that would attract more viewers, I’m sure NBC would be willing to set up an appointment.
“Notre Dame fans are obnoxious.” I find this funny, partially because the chances of having things thrown at you on gameday are next to nil. In a country where we spend so much time criticizing “bandwagon” fans, you would think Irish fans would get more credit for standing by their team through 20 years lost in the college football desert. If we didn’t love our school, we wouldn’t bother to love the football team. And if you could experience this school for yourself, I’d bet you wouldn’t bother to hate it, either.
Contact Vicky Jacobsen at firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.