Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Brawling Hibernian Presents The Notre Dame Fans' Guide to Hawaii

As Notre Dame prepares to play Sanger Rainsford to Hawaii's General Zaroff in this bowl season's version of The Most Dangerous Game, I thought I would provide a much-needed service to Irish fans everywhere who find themselves wondering, "Why the hell are we going to Hawaii on Christmas Eve?"

Welcome to the island, Irish...start running.
While the real answers, of course, are desperation and malaise; I chose to keep my focus on the similarities between the University of Notre Dame and The Aloha State.

Hawaii Fact: In 1893, Hawaiian Queen Liliuokalani attempted to impose a new constitution claiming more authority for native Hawaiians, but opposition leaders occupied the government office in Honolulu and overthrew the monarchy.
Notre Dame Corollary: Monk Malloy. Sadly, for Irish fans, Monk was able, at least partially, to impose his concept of a world where Notre Dame football was castrated and hamstrung upon the faithful of ND Nation. To this day, we are living through the "Brave New World", old Eddie conceived. If only Irish partisans had shown the same pluck as their Hawaiian counterparts, we might have deposed this tyrant before he had done so much damage.
As every Hawaiian schoolboy knows, 'Liliuokalani' literally translates to "pretentious douche". Coincidence?
Hawaii Fact: When measured from east to west, Hawaii is the widest state in the United States.
Notre Dame Corollary: Charlie Weis. Combine a failed gastric bypass surgery with a love of empty carbs and you get the NCAA equivalent of Jiminy Glick. While nowhere near as delightfully tropical as Hawaii, Weis' breadth is of a similarly epic level.

Hawaii Fact: The island of Kahoolawe was once used as a target by the U.S. Navy and Air Force.
Notre Dame Corollary: Notre Dame football program. In 2007, after 43 consecutive wins, Notre Dame lost, at home, to Navy 46-44. Not to be outdone, the following week, Air Force flew into South Bend and strafed the Irish, 41-24. This season, both Air Force and Navy finished with better records than Notre Dame (8-4 to ND's 6-6) and Navy fell just short of a second-straight upset. To put this all in context, it is now safer to pull up a beach chair and bottle of Coppertone on Kahoolawe than it is to be an Irish player lining up against either the Middies or Falcons.

Hawaii Fact: Hawaii is considered the nation's endangered species capitol.
Notre Dame Corollary: Notre Dame head football coach. Once considered the premier job in all of coaching, Notre Dame has now burned through 3 coaches in 11 years and is on the verge of placing an ad in the classifieds for yet another. Worse, as precarious as the job is, the list of candidates lobbying to fill it is depressingly small.
Much like his human counterpart, Charlie Weis, the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat faces an uncertain future.

Hawaii Fact: Hawaii has its own time zone.
Notre Dame corollary: NBC. While it may not be as impressive as having its own time zone, Notre Dame is still the only NCAA program to have its own exclusive television deal with a major network. Though, in fairness, any network that trots out Pat Haden and Tom Hammond really shouldn't be considered "major" by any sane mind.
Hawaii Fact: Hawaii's Iolani Palace is the only royal residence in the United States.
Notre Dame Corollary: The Golden Dome. In spite of the recent downturn in Notre Dame's football fortunes, the Golden Dome remains not only the most recognizable administration building in America, but also the royal palace of collegiate sport.

Meh...without the gold and religious iconography, it just falls flat.

Hawaii Fact: Kalaaupapa, on the island of Molokai, was once a leper colony administered by Father Damien.

Notre Dame Corollary: Once again, Notre Dame football program. This time, administered by Father Jenkins; the program has become a vast wasteland where the affirmed come to await death at the hands of terminal contagions like Syracuse.

Hawaii Fact: James Cook, the first European to land in Hawaii, was clubbed over the head and then stabbed to death by Hawaiian natives in the surf of Kealakekua Bay in 1779.

Notre Dame Corollary: The future of Irish football. Substitute Aloha Stadium for Kealakekua Bay, and the Irish may be looking at their own murder at the hands of a pack of angry Hawaiians come December 24th.

Artist's depiction of the 2008 Hawaii Bowl


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