tmfw’s Sunday Feeling: On Alabama vs. Notre DameJanuary 6, 2013
By Arthur Paul Bowen
BDA Sports Editor Emeritus
I am conflicted gentle readers. It’s hard to pick a favorite in tomorrow night’s BCS Championship game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. On the one hand, if the Tide pulls this off they will have won 3 of the last 4 National Championships. Or something like that. That’s pretty impressive. And they play in what we are routinely told is THE TOUGHEST CONFERENCE IN AMERICA!!!!
On the other hand, ND under coach Brian Kelly has gone from a laughing stock, at least in the eyes of people like myself, back to prominence if not to their former shake-down-the-thunder-from-the-skies glory of yore. They were pretty much left for dead when Charlie Weis got canned. So you have to hand it to them. Notre Dame isn’t the easiest place in the world to get kids to. Indeed, it is my own personal theory that Northwestern started getting good when they convinced the local kids to stay home instead of going across Lake Michigan to Indiana.
“So, Jamal,” I envision the pitch going, ” Where would you rather spend Saturday night? Rush Street in Chicago or in a bowling alley with a bunch of crackers in South Bend? Choose wisely, young man.”
I can’t really root for Alabama. Either the team or the State where families are rent asunder by the choice of attendance at either Auburn or Alabama. Notre Dame has football in perspective compared to those two. And while we may reasonably anticipate that Auburn is heading for the NCAA hoosegow over Cam Newton and other misdeeds, Alabama fans shouldn’t be to smug about their plight. If the NCAA had subpoena power the Tide’s football program would be busting rocks right beside the War Damn Eagles. Of this I have no doubt. Besides, I can’t root for Alabama, and its humorless coach Nick Saban, because that would be like rooting for the Wehrmacht or something.
So do I welcome the prospect of Notre Dame winning a national title for the first time since they were led by Lou Holtz, the resident crazy uncle over at ESPN? I do not. Indeed, I have only one response to this possibility.
Alabama’s alums are pretty insufferable. But Notre Dame’s are infinitely worse. And they have metastasized throughout the country whereas the Tide’s fans pretty much stick to themselves here in the South. For which a grateful nation should give heartfelt thanks.
If the Irish win the National Championship, all we will hear about for the next year is how Notre Dame is like unto Harvard (It ain’t. It ain’t even like unto Northwestern), how it has things in perspective, and how it does things the right way. Touchdown Jesus, the Fight Song, George Gipp and black kids dressed like leprechauns.
This would be worse than the Cubs winning the World Series. Notre Dame’s fans could give full reign to their narcissism from sea to shining sea. It’s just not worth it. Trust me.
I actually don’t think that ND is going to win. Their offense has a tendency to sputter at times and they damn near lost to Pitt and would have lost to Stanford without the timely intervention of home cooking from the refs. Alabama’s one loss came to a team whose quarterback is the second coming of Doug Flutie.
But still, I’m not rooting for Alabama. But I am praying that a just and merciful Providence will deliver us from a Notre Dame victory tomorrow night.