Notre Dame and Boston College clashed in what might be the last battle of the "Holy Wars" in South Bend this weekend. Well, technically, in the unincorporated community of Notre Dame, which is just southeast of South Bend and is home to the University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary's College, and Holy Cross College, but we will just let that slide.
Which part of this are we letting slide? The unincorporated community? If that's the case, it's worth pointing out that our friends in Chestnut Hill haven't gotten around to "incorporating" either.
Many thought the game was over when BC found itself facing needing 16 yards on fourth down from its own 26-yard line. However, Shinskie, who had not completed many longer passes in the game, channeled the students singing “Living on a Prayer."
Two points here: 1) while true that Shinskie had not completed many longer passes in the game; of his 17 completions, 10 were 20 yards or more which pretty much makes the one described incredibly consistent with his effort to that point, and 2) um, the game was at Notre Dame, which students would our boy Shinskie have been channeling exactly?
In the end, the Eagles and their fans were disappointed and watched Jimmy Clausen (arguably the NCAA’s least-liked successful player) kneel three times to end the game.
While I realize the qualifier "arguably" was thrown in, doesn't that allow any statement to follow without any factual basis? For example, I could say that Rich Gunnell is, arguably the college player most likely to enjoy being sodomized by vagrants while dressed as Rainbow Brite, but that hardly makes it accurate....likely, but not necessarily accurate.
Clausen made himself even less-likable by shoving Gunnell after the game. The Irish quarterback claims he intended to congratulate the senior captain on his career game, but the receiver was not interested in the “phony” sportsmanship. Gunnell must have said something Clausen did not like, because he gave him a shove and spun away.
There is video of this incident. It is patently clear that Jimmy Clausen was coming up to Gunnell in a show of sportsmanship, phony or otherwise. It is also clear that Gunnell stuck his finger in Clausen's face and began mouthing off. While neither I, nor the author of this putrid article, can testify to precisely what was said, let's not act as though there isn't any type of documentary evidence as to what transpired. "Gee, I guess Gunnell must have said something Clausen didn't like." Yup, I tend to be a little put off too when people begin an exchange by pointing their finger in my face...funny, that?
Clausen was not the only Notre Dame football player to give off a bad impression. Before the game a friend of my father’s watched the Irish’s version of the Eagle Walk, when the players parade into the stadium. An unidentified player looked at the man’s BC hat, looked around, and spat on his chest. Yes, you read that right: a Notre Dame player SPAT on a BC fan. Well aren't they just a friendly bunch?
Ok, I'm calling "bullshit." Let me see if I get this straight, a vaguely identified BC fan ("my father's friend") claims that an "unidentified" ND player spat on him and we just uncritically accept this information? First, since the rest of the incident is so clearly remembered (the player "looked at the man's BC hat, looked around and spat on his chest"), wouldn't you kind of notice who it was? We're expected to believe that this person remembered everything, but the most important detail? ("Yup, so I was really taking in everything but then, wouldn't you know it, I forgot to take a look at the the guy's face and then see who it was in the game program.") Then of course, we have the claim that "he looked around." For what exactly? To make sure no one else saw? In attendance would have have been all of this player's teammates and coaches plus, Oh, I don't know, the throng of BC and ND fans standing there. Tell you what, if you believe it possible that no one else would have borne witness to this, try it for yourself. Next time you're walking through a crowd, try to discreetly spit on someone else's front torso while not being spotted by either that person or anyone else. I will guarantee you that, without even the benefit of a program that identifies you by name, someone will manage to point you out. Based on this risible claim, I think it's fair to say that not only are BC fans stupid, but mendacious and gullible as well.
Luckily for BC fans, there was more to the trip to Notre Dame then the game. True, we would not have a reason to assemble at Notre Dame without the game, but it is as much about the experience. When else are nine college kids going to squeeze into a four-person RV, navigated by three rotating drivers while the others party in the back? That may not have been my experience, but many BC students do it that way. Others drive normal-sized cars or fly, staying in local hotels or with friends on campus.
This gets my vote for being the single worst piece of writing I've read in a column not written by Peter King. Though it nearly defies parody, let me try:
"Sure, without the game, it would have been completely pointless for us to trek out to northern Indiana, but hey...wait, where was I going with this? Oh, right; so, a whole bunch of college kids can squeeze into a clown car and drive cross-country, partying and enjoying themselves along the way....or not, you know, whatever. Actually, there are lots of ways to travel, let me catalog them for you here in this column that is ostensibly dedicated to sports. In my next piece, I'll talk about a number of other things I didn't do and then rattle off a list of other options I could have chosen to, you know, not do."
The cold rainy weather may not have been conducive to campus tours, but Touchdown Jesus and the Golden Dome are unavoidable. As the only two buildings, besides a water tower, visible above the walls of the stadium, you cannot miss the two sights Domers love the most. Personally, I do not find either one that impressive. They were kind of cool the first time I saw them, two years ago, but the mystique quickly faded. To be honest, the idea of Jesus celebrating a touchdown strikes me as a bit odd – doesn’t he have bigger concerns?
In most cases, I would assume this last sentence to be very poor sarcasm but, in the case of our lobotomized authoress, who the hell knows. In case it's not, allow me to point out that the mural does not depict Jesus celebrating a touchdown; rather it shows him throwing up His hands in exasperated disgust at the remarkable stupidity of BC fans.
Whether or not you loved the well-known structures of Notre Dame’s campus, celebrated the outcome of the game, or enjoyed the weather (not many BC fans did any of these), the experience of going out to Notre Dame is a special one. The student section seems to come together more than at home even; maybe it’s the subtraction of those who do not actually care. BC was serenaded with its fight song after every score without the band to lead the chorus, a feat rarely managed in Alumni Stadium. The trip was a blast, right up until that last 1:48 when Gunnell and Shinskie read the play differently and the ball ended up in the wrong hands. Even still, the experience will be sorely missed if the rivalry does in fact end after next year.
This is stream of consciousness writing that would make William S. Burroughs scratch his head. There is not a linear thought expressed in this entire paragraph. Worse, it contradicts most of the bitching that preceeds it. A perfect end to a perfectly awful column. Could any piece of writing more perfectly summarize the paranoid, incoherent and obtuse mindset of the BC faithful? I'll guess we'll have to wait until next year to find out.