Archive for the ‘Gathering’ Category

Irish Blogger Gathering: Sparta Is Burning

September 17, 2009

Welcome to the weekly Irish Blogger Gathering. This week, Sarah at Bad Trade is lining up the other members and asking them to divulge their inner most desires and fears. She promised popcorn:

1. Still trying to get the taste of last weekend’s game out of my mouth, so let’s start with something fun. With Sparty on its way into South Bend, give me your favorite memory of the ND-MSU series. I don’t care what it is: John L. Smith losing it, the image of MSU guarding against nothing, an actual game memory, whatever.

Tommy Zbikowski, 2004. Notre Dame lost its season opener in Provo Utah against BYU. They pull their shit together and beat Michigan in South Bend, and then they travel to East Lansing. Tommy Zbikowski flat out took the ball out of the QB’s hands and streaked down the sidelines for a TD. Sure, ND has had bigger moments against Sparty- but I always have that image in my mind.


2. Since 1997, Michigan State has won 9 of 12 games against the Irish. I view this as a classic case of Sparty having ND’s number. What worries you most about Michigan State this weekend?

What worries me most is the fact that we lost last week. This game was pressure-packed enough with all of the expectations that came with the 2009 season- not to mention the fact that ND last beat Sparty in South Bend in 1993. 1993. Can this team be game ready- body and mind for what is historically a very physical matchup?

3. Between my lingering bad feelings from last weekend and the history of this series in the last decade plus, give me a good reason or two or three to feel optimistic about a change in fortune for the Irish, because right now, I could use some optimism.

Here are a few:

  1. Jimmy Clausen is playing his best football. Look at what he has down in his last 3 games- it has been remarkable.
  2. Michel Floyd will be playing. Remember how bad the offense looked in the final games last season? No Floyd.
  3. The Fighting Irish are due. It’s been too long, and the bowl streak is over, so they might as well snuff this bullshit.

I know those weren’t the greatest answers, but it’s what I have confidence in right now.

4. As it is my week, I get to address my current ND obsession. Have the last two games changed your opinion/reinforced your opinion re: Charlie in the box versus Charlie on the field?

I will continue to support Weis on the field. Head Coaches belong on the sideline- not the booth. I don’t care if he’s shitting his pants or in a wheelchair- Weis belongs on the sideline. Like I said earlier this week- when was the last time ND scored 34 points in Ann Arbor?… Never. Weis is doing a fine job with the offense. Besides, he might be confused for a sniper.


5. If nothing else, I can count on one thing to look forward to on Saturday – tailgating. Anyone have a good recipe for me to try? I make no limitations on what it can be – a drink recipe, dessert, appetizer. So long as it can be made on a grill, camp stove, or ahead of time, I am happy to listen. The better the suggestion, the more likely you are to get invited to my own tailgate.

Ahh… drinking. One of the better drinks that I was “smashing” this summer was the Goombay Smash. You can find that recipe- along with a creepy “How to” video by some weirdo in a previous Subway Domer post, like HERE. However, with it becoming more and more “fallish” I will start to fall back on an old reliable freind… Subway Domer Crack. It’s simple to make, delicious, can be served hot or cold, and puts me on my ass like a pirate hooker. Enjoy:

Subway Domer Crack

  • Take one bottle of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
  • Take one gallon of apple cider
  • Pour into something
  • Shake that something
  • Pour into a glass, water bottle, flask, goatskin bag- whatever
  • Consume

Just keep the proportions about half or so. You can heat it up in a kettle over a fire, put some gay cinnamon sticks in it (not that there is anything wrong with that)… whatever. The point is that this shit is addictive and does the trick on a fall Saturday. Do I get the invite?

6. Finally, any predictions for the game? I encourage your predictions to involve something other than a final score, but otherwise, I make no suggestions.

After The Fighting Irish set the Spartans asses on fire with an offensive showcase (IRISH 45-16), Dantonio and his band of flamers return to East Lansing with said fires on their asses and burn it to the ground. Ending streaks… it’s fantastic.

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Irish Blogger Gathering: You Suck! No, You Suck!

September 11, 2009

Welcome back to the weekly Irish Blogger Gathering. Her Loyal Sons has the duty of hosting this weeks gig- and how fitting. HLS are some of the most widely known Michigan haters on the planet- nay, the universe. God bless domer.mq and the Biscuit.

On to the post…

1) Being that you’re a ND blogger, and thus follow a Catholic university’s football team religiously and/or are Catholic yourself, you’re probably very familiar with the notion that bad things happen to good people. For a concrete example of that, look to every Irish player, coach, and fan who had to suffer through the last 2 seasons. But never forget that bad things can happen to really rotten people too. For a really fun example of that, look to Rich Rod going 3-9 in his big debut season in Ann Arbor. Now let’s mess with your heads a bit: Give me one very good reason why great things might happen to very bad people by explaining to me A) How and why Michigan (sucks!) might beat ND this weekend and B) How Michigan (sucks!) will compete for a BCS berth in 2009.

A. Michigan sucks because they have 110,000 people at their home games, and it is as quiet as a golf course.
Michigan Sucks because they have piss stains on their helmets.
Michigan sucks… oh… I didn’t read the rest of the question. Damn. Better start over…

A. Michigan beats ND if the Irish cough up the ball. In most wins in this series, it is turnovers that ultimately decide, or at least a big contributor to, the winner. 1 INT and a fumble could seal the deal.

B. The Big Integer is in a down year top to bottom in a period of being down top to bottom anyways. If the skunkbears can steal the game Saturday, I think they have a shot at the conference title. Which means they show up in the Rose Bowl to get waxed by U$C once again. Can Satan really have 2 teams?

2) After week 1, just as in 2008, the leading tacklers for the Notre Dame fighting Irish are both safeties: Kyle McCarthy with 7 and Harrison Smith with 5. DE Kerry Neal isn’t even on the stat sheet, Brian Smith, while making 2 very big plays, didn’t make a single other tackle, and Ethan Johnson had 1 tackle all game. Convince me that Michigan (sucks!) wont just run a “9 yards and a cloud of dust” offense against ND all freaking game.

I really can’t. The more I watched the Nevada game- the more frustrated I got. The goal of the defensive line this year (as with most years) is to keep blockers off of the blitzing linebackers, and allow those non blitzers and safeties to come up and make the tackle. The keyword here is “up”. The running back is getting 2-3 yards before an attempt is even near. I hope change is in the wind.

3) We’ve now got the concrete data of 1 game to bat around. Aside from any answers involving T’eo, tell me what position changes/depth chart engineering you hope to see the staff at least tinker with during the Michigan (sucks!) game.

I actually think that Weis played more players during the course of the Nevada game than what we will really see against a tough opponent, most notably in the secondary. I hope to see a little less of this while the game is still up for grabs. With that said, I do want more Burger.

4) The state of Michigan has decided that they’ve ripped off the Rudy soundtrack long enough and need a new advertising scheme to attract people to their state and support tourism. “Pure Michigan (sucks!)” is so two-thousand-and-late. Give me the new hotness. Give me your best new tourism slogans for Michigan (sucks!).

I will steal a favorite slogan from my Ohio brethren: “Michigan. Canada’s Alabama.”

5) Navy took tOSU down to the wire, Washington actually looked like a team that’s coached to play football games, WSU put up some fight. After Week 1, do you now feel like the Irish ’09 schedule is tougher or easier than you felt heading into last week? Why?

Actually, I will reserve all judgement until week 3. It was week 1, and week 1 can be a bitch- and a little weird. With that said, it does help the perception of the schedule by the pundits, which could help in the polls.

GO IRISH!!!!!!!!

Irish Blogger Gathering… Domer Law Brings Judgement

August 31, 2009

Holy shit, and welcome back to the IBG. It’s a horrible name for a great bunch of bloggers who have come together to share thoughts and answer obscure and not-so-obscure questions about The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

Let’s get started…

This weeks Gathering is hosted by Domer Law. He was the first to answer the call that I put out to the other members, for some help to kick the season off. So, let’s get rolling…

1. My season preview included music video footage for each position group. What song or video do you feel typifies this year’s Notre Dame team heading into the season? Embed a youtube or other similar video if possible.

I’m not sure if I can express this enough. I truly believe that 2009 will be very much like the 2005 season. I usually don’t compare season from the past to what they are now- but I started the comparison with the 2004 and 2008 team last year, and it’s spilling into this year. I fully expect the 2009 team to be as explosive offensively as the 2005 squad, but what excites me even more, is the possibilities that the Irish have on defense. If the 2005 squad had the 2009 version (or even the 2008 version), they may have been undefeated in the regular season.

You get the point… right? So, I’ll kind of cheat here and give you this old, glorious clip.

2. Post a picture that to you portrays the attitude of this year’s team and discuss.

OK. So that’s 2 pictures, and it’s a little sappy- but this answers the question. I am jacked up, and you can see from the determination on the eyes of my daughter- she is too. Yesterday was “Flag Day” in the Subway Domer household. My wife baked me a football cake, and my daughter and I put out the ND flag. It flies from the first week of the season, until after the Blue & Gold game.

But what this picture really shows is family. That is what, by all accounts, this team has really turned itself into- a real family. They are all there for eachother- and for their coach. A lot of the key players were on the disastrous 2007 team, and a few more were on last years team that unraveled in the last half of the regular season. In a year that has lofty expectations for everyone involved in the program, they will need eachother to keep their edge and their focus as the season progresses. This is what family does for you.

3. What do you perceive as the team’s biggest weakness heading into the season?

The uncertainty of both the offensive and defensive lines. I’m not sure if you could call that a weakness, but it is what I see as a possible weakness, and that could kill us if things don’t work out the way we want them to.

The offensive line is getting moved around, and have a new starter at LT that was our original starter at LT in 2007 (not much praise for that year). How will this line play as a unit? This is the key to the entire offense.

The defensive line will depend upon a lot of unproven youth in their 2 deep rotation. If the youngsters can really contribute, than the entire defense will benefit. If the defensive line is limited to just 3 or 4 players, than we may see a lot of issues rushing the passer and stuffing the run.

Hogs. Gotta give it.

4. With the exception of the 1990s, Notre Dame has won a National Championship in every decade since the 1920s. What are the chances (a) that Notre Dame wins a championship this year, and (b) if not this year, when do you predict the next championship for the Irish?

This is a loaded question. But, I will answer it as honestly as I possibly can.

A. The chances are very good that ND GETS to the Title game- but if they have to play Florida (most likely opponent), Texas, or Oklahoma… I just see them getting crushed. I don’t see a title in 2009.

B. 2010. Mark it down. Every one comes back- and they finally take the title. (Isn’t life great?!)

5. Nevada runs the Pistol offense, Navy the Triple Option, and Michigan the Spread Option. Which offensive scheme do you think is the most difficult to prepare for, and why?

I have to go with the pistol. The “spread option” is so widely used anymore, that most teams see it at least 6 times a year. In Notre Dame’s case (and the only case that should matter), they see the triple option every year, so there is some familiarity to defending it, albeit for one game. The pistol is unique and is very effective in both the run and pass game. Tricky, tricky.

6. Is Colin Capaernick the best quarterback we’ll see this year? If not, who is?

He certainly has the stats to back that claim up, but… no. Who? I’m not really sure of the who, but it ain’t him. My money will be on either Barkley or Corps- whichever one is starting when we play them.

7. Prediction time. We have to get on the record before the season kicks off. Give me:

(1) Overall prediction for wins/losses. 11-1. We will beat U$C, but that one loss is going to sting, and I’m not sure who it is just yet. Probably MSU or PITT- but we BEAT $C THIS YEAR.
(2) Projected bowl game and result. I’m not sure which one- but a BCS bowl. What the hell… we beat Georgia Tech.
(3) Predicted final ranking. #5
(4) Best player on the team. Jimmy shows why he was the #1 recruit in 2007.
(5) Heisman trophy winner. Colt McCoy. Not because he will deserve it, but because everyone wants to give it to him right now.
(6) National Champion. Florida. We all know this to be true.
(7) Prediction for Nevada game, including score. IRISH 49-17.

Irish Blogger Gathering… With Answers!

March 20, 2009

(Editor’s note… This post contains the answers from a previous post. Also, any responses from other bloggers will be linked just below the post.)

Welcome back to the Irish Blogger gathering. Last time we saw our heroes, we were speaking in tongues and trying to understand the intricacies of Hawaiian life. After some much deserved celebration for ending the eternal bowl drought, the Fighting Irish get back to work officially for Spring ball on Friday the 20th. I’m banging my head against a rhinoceros in anticipation of watching cone drills and stretches soon.

With that said, I have been a procrastinating fool for the past few weeks and I am rushing, even now, to get these questions out to the rest of the coven. I’ll add my answers before the end of the week. Look for responses from the other members in the IBG to be links in the comment section. Feel free, as readers, to answer these yourselves in the comment section as well. (Please keep in mind that some players may be kept out of spring ball due to injury or illness. Those details have not been released by the University).

Here we go…

1. Take your temperature. A) What sort of things are you looking for the team to work upon to help the 2009 season? Group improvements, players improvements, new fertilizer… whatever. As general a question as you will find. B) Same question, but instead of just the 2009 season- the future of the program as a whole.

A. 2009 could be a really great year for the Fighting Irish. The schedule sets up nicely and the bowl drought is over, so now it is time to get a few other things off of our back- such as beating U$C, and finally beating Michigan State at home. Those are two things that would have happened in 2005, if the Irish defense were as good as they should be in 2009. So instead of going with the obvious answer and saying “offensive line improvement” (which is still the best answer)… defensive line improvements. The line is relatively young, but it should be the deepest and most athletic defensive line in over a decade that Notre Dame has fielded. Stopping an opposing teams run game is just as vital as having one of our own as well as creating pressure on the quarterback without having to send one or two blitzers every down. The defense is primed for a great season- if they get quality production from the front four.

B. Without a doubt- Dayne Crist. Jimmy is the man until he leaves. All of the “Clausen Haters” had better recognize that fact. I suspect most of you will disappear within the first couple of games, as I think Jimmy is ready for a Heisman caliber year. (I’m not saying Jimmy is going to win the thing- just, at least, have good enough numbers and wins to be in the conversation). But I digress. It has been a long time since the Irish were able to groom a successor at the QB position. This is the time for Dayne to make huge strides to help ease his entry into stardom in 2010 or 2011. The future of the program has a lot at stake with this position, and if Weis does it right… we should be in good hands.

2. It remains to be seen if I will be traveling to the spring game. My wife may have objections to yet another birthday of hers being used for a game that essentially doesn’t count. (I know, I know- she just doesn’t get it.) Don’t you think it’s about time that the spring game was televised? You know ESPN is dying to get inside that stadium for a live broadcast. I don’t think it would interfere with the NBC contract, and if it does- why aren’t they televising this?

You already know what my answer is… OF COURSE! Is there some type of figure skating championship that requires NBC’s attention? Or is it the University’s fault for not allowing the cameras inside for the game? I’m not sure- but someone is probably willing to fork over some cash for the rights, and I say- motherfucking let them!

3. What position battle will be decided this spring? Which one will have to wait for summer/fall?

This spring will be very important to the depth chart. There is not a huge need for any of the incoming freshman to contribute right away, so what we see in the spring may be an actual prelude to the season. The biggest battle could be for the 3rd WR spot. You can say this guy is an X, or this guy is a Y- but really We have a 1 and a 2 (Tate & Floyd) and are searching for the 3. West, Goodman, Walker, and Kamara are all reaching for that place at the table. One of these four will win that spot and walk into the summer as the clear cut guy. I could be very wrong… just a hunch.

The safety battle between Kyle McCarthy, Sergio Brown, and Harrison Smith will have to wait until Fall. I do think that Smith will be one of the safeties full time, and Kyle and Sergio will be vying for the other spot. This may take a long time to figure out, but all 3 will still play. You know who I’m banking on.

4. If you could change anything about the way spring practice/ Blue-Gold Game is done- what would it be?

Yes televise it. But… I would also like to see the opportunity for a scrimmage against another team. Not a big school as that would do more harm than any type of good- but i bet if it was on national TV, Eastern Michigan would show up to South Bend to collect a check and an ass-whooping. Poor Swoop.

5. Name your 5 favorite players and change their jersey number. Tell us why…

I should have said current players, but no matter.

1. #31 Sergio Brown—– #9. Since the days of Jeff Burris, I have idolized any safety wearing this number, as I idolize Sergio now. (Dread the Dreads… Great pic Pops)

2. #23 Golden Tate—– #1. I just don’t like the look of a 20 series number being used as a WR. #1 is a little more fitting of Tate than his current jersey. But, maybe it would make him look that much smaller.

3. #9 Ethan Johnson—– #99. I don’t really have a problem with Johnson wearing a single digit number on the defensive line, but I just think that #99 would wear very well on him.

4. #59 Chris Stewart—– #69. It’s not that i don’t care for the number 59, but where is the love for the 60 series? I don’t think anyone with a scholarship owns a 60 series number. The Human Planet could defer.

5. #12 Robert Blanton—– #21. R.J. reminds me so much of Bobby Taylor that he has to move his number around. Besides, I’m still waiting on the next Rickey Watters (do not talk shit about Rick) and I feel that #12 should be in semi-retirement until then.

6. Last year two sophomore’s won the MVP awards for the Blue-Gold Game (Harrison Smith and Robert Hughes). Predict who this years MVP’s will be using the same criteria. (Same class- 1 OFF. & 1 DEF.).

This will be different. James Aldridge and Scott Smith (although technically a 5th year). James runs for 82 yards and 2 scores and Smith has 11 tackles, 2 sacks and a forced fumble with a hit that would make Steve Atwater cry.

Look for more IBG throughout the Spring.

One Foot Down Responds (New Member)
Charlie’s Nasties Has Answers
Domer Law is called to duty

Irish Blogger Gathering… Still Searching

March 17, 2009

Welcome back to the Irish Blogger gathering. Last time we saw our heroes, we were speaking in tongues and trying to understand the intricacies of Hawaiian life. After some much deserved celebration for ending the eternal bowl drought, the Fighting Irish get back to work officially for Spring ball on Friday the 20th. I’m banging my head against a rhinoceros in anticipation of watching cone drills and stretches soon.
With that said, I have been a procrastinating fool for the past few weeks and I am rushing, even now, to get these questions out to the rest of the coven. I’ll add my answers before the end of the week. Look for responses from the other members in the IBG to be links in the comment section. Feel free, as readers, to answer these yourselves in the comment section as well. (Please keep in mind that some players may be kept out of spring ball due to injury or illness. Those details have not been released by the University).
Here we go…
1. Take your temperature. A) What sort of things are you looking for the team to work upon to help the 2009 season? Group improvements, players improvements, new fertilizer… whatever. As general a question as you will find. B) Same question, but instead of just the 2009 season- the future of the program as a whole.

2. It remains to be seen if I will be traveling to the spring game. My wife may have objections to yet another birthday of hers being used for a game that essentially doesn’t count. (I know, I know- she just doesn’t get it.) Don’t you think it’s about time that the spring game was televised? You know ESPN is dying to get inside that stadium for a live broadcast. I don’t think it would interfere with the NBC contract, and if it does- why aren’t they televising this?

3. What position battle will be decided this spring? Which one will have to wait for summer/fall?

4. If you could change anything about the way spring practice/ Blue-Gold Game is done- what would it be?

5. Name your 5 favorite players and change their jersey number. Tell us why…

6. Last year two sophomore’s won the MVP awards for the Blue-Gold Game (Harrison Smith and Robert Hughes). Predict who this years MVP’s will be using the same criteria. (Same class- 1 OFF. & 1 DEF.).

Good luck and check back at Subway Domer for the answers.

Irish Blogger Gathering… Pig Blood, Urban Meyer, and the Hawai’i Bowl

December 22, 2008

As the bowl games draws ever so near, The Subway Domer jumps back into the Irish Blogger Gathering to answer the Polynesian flavored questions set forth by Neil at Domer Law Blog.

Hele mei hoohiwahiwa. There has been some controversy about the Irish accepting a Christmas Eve bowl bid, as we are a Catholic institution, and many feel that the bowl game will get in the way of celebrating Christmas. Give me your thoughts.

Huh? It’s my understanding (as a Missouri Synod Lutheran) that Christmas Day is the required day of worship for Roman Catholics. So what’s the big deal? Plus, if you are traveling to the game, there are quite a few Catholic Churches in Honolulu. So, what’s getting in the way of celebrating Christmas? The Bowl Game, or you? Yes, if you want to celebrate Christmas and watch the bowl game, there may be a few adjustments to make, but it can certainly be done and done in a manner that can still reflect your beliefs. Me? My wife and I are going to church at 5:00 pm (instead of the traditional 11:00 pm), coming home and watching the game together since she has to work on Christmas. So- whatever.

`Onipa`a. The Notre Dame administration has decided to stand by their man and bring Coach Weis back as head coach next year. What specific changes (a) do you think ought to be made in the offseason? (b) do you think will be made in the offseason?

A) I think the team needs a coaching overhaul. This has been discussed quite a bit in the last few months. I, personally, think that Latina, Mendoza, Haywood, Oliver, and Powlus should be replaced. As far as candidates for those jobs are concerned, I can’t say exactly who could fill them, but I’m sure there are very suitable coaches out there.

I would also like to see this team start drinking blood as an off-season training regimen. Maybe not human blood, but I’m sure they could get away with pig blood or deer blood or something like that. Chug it, bong it, smear it all over their bodies- just get brutal with it. This team needs an attitude adjustment, and I’m betting that becoming more like a vampire falls into a major attitude adjustment.

B) What’s going to happen for sure? nobody knows, but I’ll guess and say that Latina, Haywood, and Mendoza are gone. Other than that, I’m sure Weis will talk about changing the mindset- blah, blah, blah. Did Weis major in Psychology? He talks enough bullshit to be either a shrink or a politician.

Pupukahi i holomua. What are your expectations for next season?

This is a loaded question. I’ll try to answer this with as much grace as possible, but I know some of you out there will just call me an idiot fanboy with a sign over my head. Oh well. But look at this schedule:

  • Nevada
  • @ Michigan
  • Michigan State
  • @ Purdue
  • Washington
  • U$C
  • Boston College
  • Washington State (San Antonio)
  • @ Pitt
  • UConn
  • @ Stanford

Just looking at that schedule and knowing roughly what the 2 deep will look like in 2009 and doing the same for the opponents, I can say with a straight face that I think the Irish will fare no worse than 9-3. I think they could do even better, but I won’t get crazy and call for a National Title run. However, I have been comparing this team to the 2004 team for weeks now, and the 2009 squad could be a lot like the 2005 team. Two big differences are that the defense in 2009 will be light years better than they were in 2005 and Clausen is not as good of a leader as Quinn was during his years at Notre Dame. I think Crist will do a nice job pushing Jimmy, but Clausen will win out in the end. You have to remember that Clausen is still only a TRUE SOPHOMORE, and he should develop even more in 2009. Do not make the mistake of saying Dayne is a better QB by watching his high school gametape over and over again.

O ka makapo wale no ka mea hapapa i ka pouli. Also, if we start looking for a new coach next year, who do you think we (a) can get, and (b) would be the best possible hire? (i.e., is all of this Urban Meyer talk hot air or substance?)

I refuse to answer this question in December of 2008. I will say that Urban is NOT COMING TO ND. I don’t care what you read in any article, book, or message board. Stop kidding yourselves and looking like a schoolgirl with a crush. Weis has the job and was reaffirmed by the AD just a few weeks ago. We can revisit this later in 2009.

`A`ohe lokomaika`i i nele i ke pâna`i. ‘Tis the season, so tell me: What is the best gift you are giving someone this holiday season?

The Griswold Family Christmas. Every year I host Christmas for both my side and my wife’s side as well. (Separate dates). I like doing it, even though it can be a major hassle. It makes me feel great to be able to do this for my family and it takes away some of the pressure of Christmas off of the rest of the family. Call me Clark, just don’t send me a Jelly of the Month Membership.

Mahalo nui loa na ho’olaule’a me la kaua. What are your predictions for the game? Will the Irish be celebrating on the long plane ride home, or will this be another long offseason of listening to the chatter about our decades-long bowl losing streak?

I am hosting a Bowl Pick-Em contest. Like most of those contests, they include your confidence points. I put the max points on the Irish (34). I think Notre Dame comes out guns blazing. Mike Floyd and Brian Smith return and provide impact status instantly to the team. I have heard all of the arguments from the talking heads and fans alike saying that Hawai’i will be too much for Notre Dame on their home turf. Fuck that. This is a young Irish team with a ton of potential and I think they put it all out on the line- not to end the streak, but to springboard into 2009. IRISH 44-17.

Irish Blogger Gathering: I Almost Got Too Cute With This Thing- Edition

November 25, 2008

I almost did it. I almost published what would have been a very original, very funny, very entertaining round of questions with a West Wing Theme. I deleted it. The only thing that was original this year for Notre Dame was that we beat Michigan by our largest margin ever (the worst Michigan team in history). Nothing was really humorous other than thinking that ND might be vastly improved from 2007 (we are improved- Michael Floyd plays for ND). And the only thing that is entertaining is that we may not go to a bowl game at 6-6 (The Sun bowl can’t take us if all of the Big East teams have a better record or something- International Bowl here we come!).

Instead I have to ask a series of very serious questions, because the program is in question across the board. I’m sorry. It feels as if all of the laughter in the world is gone and no songs can be heard. Quick! Give me a Prozac.

1. Regardless of what you may have heard and what may happen, what do you think should be the fate of Charlie Weis? Please give an explanation in detail along with a possible replacement if you said… FIRED. No Urban Meyer bullshit here. He’s not coming. Get over it.

I don’t want to go through another coaching search. I just don’t think I could handle another set of fucked ups. Give Weis another year. If the team isn’t producing next year, than cut the cord. I can’t be a Weis apologist anymore. There isn’t enough to back him up, but who do we get from the crowd this year? I’ve heard a lot of names, and quite frankly- either there is no chance or I just don’t see the fit. One name we should all remember is, Charlie Strong.

2. Recruiting. Colin Cowherd has been murdering the recruiting services and Notre Dame. He thinks that the recruiting services rank Irish recruits higher than what they should be because of a marketing plan. Everyone else on the outside is falling in line with this thought. What are your opinions? Please explain and provide a solution.

I think Cowherd is making some very fair statements right now about Notre Dame football and about the University. I think he thinks that their is some type of bias in the recruiting rankings, because he doesn’t follow recruiting that closely. The kids are determined as a 4 and 5 star (or lesser) player before they commit anywhere and the star ranking rarely changes drastically. The best indication of a top flight recruit is his offer list. Who wants him. If ND is beating USC, Florida, Ohio State and others out for a kid (which they are) than how are these rankings biased? When was the last time you saw a kid lose a star for committing to Florida after they decommitted from ND? These services are not as accurate as they or even Cowherd would have you believe. They are very good indicators, but certainly not the tell all. Why then are ND’s top recruits not getting drafted in the NFL? Oh, that’s right. Those were Ty’s guys. Next question.

3. I made a comparison in a poorly written post about this team mirroring the 2004 team. I generally don’t like doing comparisons to other years, but I felt it was valid. What is your take? Is the 2008 version of ND like the 2004 team, and do you think the 2009 team could have similar results to the team in 2005?

I would like to think so if you look at one position. Quarterback. Quinn was a sophomore in 2004, and obviously Jimmy is one this year. Quinn walked into the 2005 season as a 2 year starter and so will Clausen. Look, I could keep going on and on about the makeup of these two teams but every year is different. I do see the similarities, and I hope that the same type of results are produced- but I’m not holding my breath.

4. Is Michael Floyd the Notre Dame team MVP? Why? If not, who then?

I see a lot of people are putting Golden Tate on the top of the list. I can’t argue against him, but I can argue for Floyd. This offense is stagnant without Floyd. San Diego State, Navy, and Syracuse were all games that Floyd saw none or very little action. Those were not great offensive games. Floyd has fewer minutes than Tate and Tate just caught up to the Frosh in stats. But, you can honestly say that they need and feed off of each other. Cheap way out- Floyd & Tate = Co-MVP’s.

5. What is Notre Dame’s biggest problem schematically and mentally?

Schematically they are a bunch of pansies when it comes to the running game on both sides of the ball. The Orange converted a 3rd and 7 on a simple off tackle play, while we lose 3 yards on a 4 hole lead with our jumbo package. Awful. If ND could ever get a consistent running game, then I think you would see a much improved offense. I’m not talking Holtz- but Weis did it with Walker. This offensive line has to take off the skirts.

Mentally. Whatever they are thinking when they have a lead, they need to do the opposite. Become sharks that go fucking crazy when blood is in the water. But for the players to do that, their head coach needs to do so as well. Isn’t Weis from New Jersey? Pussy.

6. Notre Dame is a 30 point underdog to U$C. It’s safe to say that none of us thought that ND would ever be that big of an underdog in this rivalry game. Your thoughts and please include a prediction for the game.

I never thought ND would be this big of underdogs to anyone ever. We were 20 point favorites to a team at home that we lost to, and now we are 30 point underdogs on the road. 50 POINT SWING! Fuck it. Irish find their balls and win this thing while I’m on an acid trip 19-17. Kiss my ass Pete.

The IBG members:
Her Loyal Sons Provides Words
OC Domer Responds

Domer Law Is Heard
The Brawling Hibernian Throws His Answers With A Right Hook
UHND Stands Tall

Irish Blogger Gathering: Spark It Up!

November 20, 2008

This weeks IBG is hosted by Three Guys In A Basement.

1. If you had the choice, which professional athlete would you rather be: A golfer on the PGA tour that hovers around 125-150 on the money list, a solid middle reliever in the MLB, a # 4 starter on an MLB team, a 10th man on an NBA roster, or a punter in the NFL?

The fourth starter in MLB. Those guys are far and away the highest paid athletes of the ones listed, and they bring more to the table. Just like 50 Cent- I want the money, the power, and the bitches.

2. If they made a movie about the history of Notre Dame football from 1997-2008, what actors would you cast as Bob Davie, Tyrone Willingham, George O’Leary and Charlie Weis? Picture comparisons will be helpful.

Gary Busey as Bob Davie

Dave Chappelle as Tyrone Willingham

Phil Donahue as George O’Leary

Vinny Pastore as Charlie Weis

3. We at tgiab.com (see JoeG) love the drink Sparks, which comes in Orange cans. While I can’t truly relate that to any type of question, I figured I’d mention that because we are playing the Orange this weekend. I guess if I had to tie it in, I would say that I associate Sparks with football tailgates (and my subsequent lack of recollection of the game). Do you have a favorite product that comes in the color Orange? And if so, do you relate it to football in any way shape or form?

Sunkist. But not just any old Sunkist, it has to be Sunkist in a can. I don’t know why, but it just tastes better. Here’s a little hint: mix gin with Sunkist. You can thank me later.

I don’t really relate it to football, but if I drink enough of it with some of that gin, than I guess I could relate it to anything.

4. This last weekend, one of the more die-hard Notre Dame fans I know told me that he has twice rooted against Notre Dame. Is there any scenario where you would root against Notre Dame? Or should we make this friend (and guest columnist) be the next Ice-T in Surviving the Game?

No. no scenario that I could ever think of. People are fucking insane. Shoot him- quickly.

5. tgiab.com will host (in allegiance wiht jupmode.com and thesubwayalumnishow.com) a tailgate for the USC game. First off, you are all cordially invited. Secondly, and more importantly, we are looking for necessities to have at a tailgate.

Seriously. If you don’t have one of these, what have you been doing with your life?

Irish Blogger Gathering: Mr Fushion Is Alive & Well

November 11, 2008

This week, the IBG is brought to you by The Brawling Hibernian. He is looking Through The Past Darkly.

So let’s fill that Dolorian up with some High Life and blast back into the future.

1. In the parlance of DJs, a “deep cut” is a song that wasn’t released as a single and, generally, is not well-known. Oftentimes, these end up being the best songs on the album. What Notre Dame victory is your favorite “deep-cut” from the Irish catalog? In other words, what is your favorite victory that is not widely celebrated (i.e., not the “Snow Bowl” or the 1988 Miami game, etc.). Explain in much detail.

That is a very big catalog. There are 20+ games that I could think of and put into this category for all sorts of reasons. I’ll take one from 1999. Huh? A Bob Davie Team? Yep that 1999 team which had two great comebacks at home that year. The first was the Oklahoma game in which they battled back from a 16 point deficit, and holds a special place in my heart as it was the first game my Father and I attended together. The second and answer to this question? U$C. The Fighting Irish came back from a 21 point deficit to take the lead late in the game. These were two mediocre teams (which is rare for U$C and ND to both be that bad at the same time) that finished 6-6 and 5-7 respectively, but it was still the Trojans of Southern Cal and The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Any victory over Southern Cal is sweet, but a comeback win at home is legendary. (I hate my sisters and brother-in-laws that were at this game while I was in northwest Ohio… I hate you!)

The details? It’s better if you just watch the whole game. (Hulu is so much more dominant than Youtube when it comes to picture quality).

2. As much fun as it is rooting for our heroes, it can be just as enjoyable to trash those we consider to be villains. A few years ago, the great Irish blog, Blue Gray Sky, wrote a post discussing the biggest villains in Notre Dame history. That post focused on external villains. Today’s question is, of those associated with the program, who is the biggest villain? This individual must have been a player, coach or administrator at ND who, through reckless acts of cowardice, stupidity or malice, damaged the football program. (Note: Ty Willingham is off the board)

Well if I can’t go with Ty, who sabotaged the program in ways that Dr. White and Bob Davie could only dream of, then how about Ty’s boy from the bay? Pat Dillingham. Forget about the MSU game. My grandmother could have made that throw to Battle, but grandma couldn’t take it to the house like Battle did. (Dillingham couldn’t make the MSU defender fall like a sack of bricks either- Touchdown Jesus did). I’m talking about the worst green jersey game EVER. Boston College in 2002. The fumbles. Jesus Christ the fumbles! He may not be the biggest villain, but a villain in my book none-the-less.

Pat Dillingham: Minimally skilled at best.

3. Falling in love is a wonderful thing. As Lt. Frank Drebin once observed, “you begin to notice things you never knew were there before; birds sing, dew glistening on a newly formed leaf, stop signs.” Describe the moment that you knew that there would be no other; you were in love with Notre Dame.

This is a tough one and it is probably tougher the older you get. I’m pretty sure i was brain-washed at a very early age as my nephew and niece are now and my yet to be born child will be as well. But, there is something that I do recall and it wasn’t that long ago.

One of my good friends and Best Man at my wedding was a big Irish fan while we were growing up. It was rare to find another Irish fan in a small town in Ohio and in fact, there are only about 4 families out of 5,000 (rural and urban) people who are. Then after high school (1996 graduation) my buddy, Nick, moved to Columbus Ohio (lived there, not educated there). Next thing you know, he’s an Ohio State fan and rags on the Irish and its fanbase as hard as any anti-ND guy. I thought to myself that there was no way in hell that I could ever, EVER, do that. I’m invested for life bitches.

4. Regrets, we’ve had a few but, then again, too few to ever let go of any of them. What game, or specific play, in Irish history turns your dreams into nightmares and haunts your every waking moment? Describe this moment and why you wish ND could have another crack at it?

The ’93 BC game and I’ll just say the Eagle field goal. But what really haunts me is the media and their fucking love affair with Bobby Bowden. The Irish were truly robbed of the chance for a National Title because there was no BCS in 1993. If there was, the Irish would have probably played Nebraska for the title. That crying bitch FSU WR actually got the voters to only drop FSU one spot after they lost to the Irish. Bowden was almost gift wrapped that title by the media. No one will change my mind. I even called out former Florida State FB William Floyd about this in a football camp I was in the summer before my junior year in high school. I hate them! (Like Anakin hates sand people).

5. With 79 consensus All-Americans and 48 inductees in the College Football Hall of Fame, it is clear that there have been many great players in the history of Notre Dame football. What was the greatest single season from a player that you ever witnessed during your Irish fandom? Be specific. Use adjectives.

Here’s one that no other IBG member will even think of. I guarantee it. Craig Hentrich, 1990… a punter. There’s just too many great offensive and defensive players to begin to sort through, but I will say that the Rocket got robbed in 1990 and even 1989 for the Heisman. He was the greatest player in College football to not win the stiff arm trophy- scary good.

Back to Hentrich. He posted an Irish record 44.9 yards per punt average in 1990. That was with a dominant offense that moved the ball very well, and he didn’t have to punt as often, but when he did- BOOM! He also has the career record for punt average at ND with 44.1 yards per punt.

“I used to punt and kick field goals for Notre Dame. Now I punt for the NFL Titans and party with Vince Gill. 40 year decision indeed!”

Irish Blogger Gathering: Her Loyal Sons Use A Lot Of Big Words

November 6, 2008

This weeks IBG is brought to you by those guys over at Her Loyal Sons.

1. What photo of some member of the 2008 Irish squad doing something, anything at all, really, says all 1,000 words that need to be said about this team? OR, which photo of some member of the 2008 Irish squad doing something would tell 1,000 lies about this team if you only saw the photo and didn’t know better? (Double-secret word score bonus for answering both mutations of the same question).

All that needs to be said about this team is this photo:


This Irish team has such a hard time stopping any teams ground game, that it has really been the major cause for all 3 losses thus far.

The picture that tells 1,000 lies? How about a picture showing emotion? Because honestly, I don’t think that it is there all the time like it needs to be with a young mistake prone team:

2. Some of you may know that I (domer.mq) am a football stat geek. Which statistic do you think geeks like myself should really be paying attention to this season and why? (Can pertain to ND or CFB in general.)

Colin Cowherd recently stated during his morning/afternoon talkshow on ESPN Radio & ESPNU that he now believes, more than ever, that recruiting services rank Notre Dame recruits higher to sell more subscriptions and magazines.

I overwhelmingly disagree with Cowherd on that statement, but I do believe that recruiting services such as Scout, Rivals, ESPNU (Scouts INC.), Max Preps (Lemming), and many others- are biased for one reason or another towards a few recruits. There are different H.S. All-Star games that are hosted by these different companies and they all like to consider the players in their game as the best. Get it?

The stat that I would like to see and do some comparisons with is this: I want to take the last 5 years and then take the top 10 recruiting classes from those years and see what kind of a percentage of kids became All-Americans in college and what percentage of them were drafted on the first day of the NFL draft. There is more talent floating around the rest of the country than you might think. So go ahead domer.mq and figure that one out.

3. Seeing as how Boston College is nothing but an up-jumped program enjoying the luxury and soft Corinthian leather of an ACC schedule, which team from the current top 25 would you love to see this year’s Irish play this weekend in Fredo’s stead? Why? Do you think the Irish would win? Describe the game. Paint us a picture! I’ll get the popcorn!

We’re coming after you- LSU. The Tigers are rated #16 in the country and I still can’t find out why. How can you have 2 losses which you were blasted 51-21 and 52-38 and then your biggest win is against a very shaky South Carolina team. Feauxck LSU! The Irish would be able to throw all over this uncharacteristically poor pass defense. Notre Dame might have a bit of a problem stopping Charles Scott in the run game, but i think the Irish would pull this one out 43-31. Try talking about the SEC when that awful and overrated ND team just beat the dog shit out of a “flagship” program.

4. Let’s dispose of the gradient colors and subtle vagaries of college football for a moment and answer this question with one of the supplied, absolute answers and a blurb defending your pick. No waffling! The Question: Why is Notre Dame unable to put away games when leading going into half time? The possible answers: 1) ND Players all have a soft, nougat center 2) The Coaches don’t want to tick off potential future employers 3) God doesn’t think it’s classy to blow a team out 4) The ND Fanbase can’t really stomach blowouts any more than they could stomach a protracted land war in Asia. Remember, you must pick one and you must defend it with great vigor!

3) God doesn’t think it’s classy to blow a team out. What else could explain why Notre Dame has not destroyed an for the full allotted 4 quarters since the Willingham Beatdown of 2003 against his former employer Stanford 57-7. Ty was an outspoken devil worshipper. Charlie is a devout Catholic that would never try to embarrass an already embarrassing team that the Irish were dominating. You stay classy Charlie Weis.

5. Tennessee just began celebrating the career of Phil Fulmer today this week as he announced that he’d been given the opportunity to make it look like resigning was his idea. Certainly, this is a clarion call to ADs across the country to begin worrying over their tea that, should their current HC not work out, they wont get a shot at #s 1-5 on their candidate list. Tell us about an AD who may be looking at this move by Tennessee and acting a bit more aggressively towards a reduction in force of his current football staff now rather than later. And who might that AD be trying to seduce before Tennessee already has a “hand shake agreement” with the guy?

I was thinking about a guy for this answer and then boom- he gets shitcanned. I’m talking about Ron Prince, the soon to be former Kansas St. Wildcat Head Coach. Basically, Prince was not getting the job done inside of the conference despite beating Texas 2 out of the last 3 years.

There are two guys that they need to look at very carefully and then throw caution in front of a speeding semi-truck: Brian Kelly, H.C. of Cincinnati and Will Muschamp, D.C. of Texas. Both of these guys offer an extreme on one side of the ball, and to tell you the truth- I think KSU needs some kind of extreme. But of the two, Kelly seems like the better fit with his penchant of recruiting within his means (KSU is NEVER going to beat out Oklahoma, Texas, or Nebraska for recruits) and for an offensive system that is best suited for a conference like the Big 12.