Posted on November 20, 2012
All is right with the world, despite the Obama victory. For the first time in 19 years, Notre Dame is ranked number one in college football.
I am part of the Subway alumni. I didn’t actually go to Notre Dame, but I have been a fan of the football program since my dad told me I was, at age 2.
Notre Dame brings respectability to college football. With their high academic standards, their high graduate rates and the most ethical program in the nation, Notre Dame has always been a good example of what a university could and should do with the game of college football.
Football itself has been under assault. More and more studies show that all those great hits that we fans admire so much are actually pretty bad for the players. Dave Duerson, who was a standout defensive player for Notre Dame and later in the NFL, took his own life after being frustrated by the side effects of a traumatic brain injury.
Football is big business, both at the college and professional level, chiefly because Americans love the game so intensely. And it is a distinctly American game. Unlike basketball and baseball, games that have been successfully exported to other parts of the world, football is not played much in other countries. When Notre Dame took its show to Dublin, Ireland earlier this year in a game versus Navy, the stadium was filled, but mostly with Americans.
Professional football has been under the gun because of the injuries suffered by its players. But it is still the most popular sport in America. It is a great game to watch on television. It has all the elements. Heroes. Villains. Violence. Passion. Violence. And with the barely-clad cheerleaders, a healthy amount of sex.
Professional Football players might behave poorly off the field, but on the field, they are the conquering warriors and they are to be both feared and respected. You can be a convicted killer, and still be a respected football player.
College football has more passion, if it is a little less organized for television. College football doesn’t have a playoff system, which is more than a bit strange. How can you name a national champion without a playoff system? Well, you really can’t, but somehow college football has done so for more than a hundred years.
The most storied football program in college has been Notre Dame. They have had the most Heisman Trophy winners. They are near the top in wins. They have had the most National Champions. They have had the most famous players. And they have done it the right way.
And now, for at least a week and maybe more, they are atop the polls. Notre Dame brings respectability to football.
Cheer Cheer for Old Notre Dame. Wake up the echoes cheering her name. Send a volley Cheer on high. And shake down the thunder from the sky.