Opinion: I Hate Notre Dame

As a Navy fan, I am aware of the appropriate importance levels of our rivalries. No game tops Army. Ever since 1890, the Midshipmen have had a singular focus. There is a reason the brigade shouts "Beat Army" at the end of Blue and Gold. The most pure rivalry in all of sport, Army – Navy has a special place in the college football lexicon.

Next there is Air Force. The round robin competition between the three service academies is special year in and year out. Both the Army and Air Force games make up the battle for the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. With a trip to Washington and a chance to meet the President on the line these games share a particular importance.

But I hate Notre Dame. No, I really HATE NOTRE DAME! I hate their colors, their history, their over played fight song, just everything about them. On so many levels the Fighting Irish just repulse me. I like a lot of teams in college football, but each week I only love two teams, Navy and whoever is playing Notre Dame.

I'll be honest; a lot of it has to do with the dominance. As you know, the Midshipmen have not beaten Notre Dame since 1963. I wasn't even born in 1963. 44 years is a very long time. Add in fact, most the games were not even close. 40 - 0 in 1964, 47 - 0 in 1969, 56 - 7 in 1970, 56 -13 in 1987 and 41 - 0 in 1989. Between 1969 and 1971 the combine score was 124 - 7. Navy has been shutout 9 times during the streak. The composite record of the series is 9-70-1, but the streak is what really bothers me.

Next would have to be the arrogance of their fans. Much like Yankee fans, they have won so much they feel like wining is their birth right. It is like no other team is entitled to win because they are Notre Dame. You might think this conceit would only be directed to the larger programs the Fighting Irish call rivals, like Michigan, Purdue or USC. But that is not the case. They have the same smug, indignant attitude toward the Midshipmen as they do the Trojans. I will give them one thing though, they know their team. While attending the 2004 game, I over heard several fans discussing the third string players, by name, without a program. But during that same game they would cheer after Kyle Eckel would make a 4 or 5 yard gain, like they stopped him for a 4 or 5 yard loss.

The next thing I despise about Notre Dame is their use of traditions. Don't get me wrong, tradition is a great thing, but when you bastardize traditions to suite your purposes, you tarnish the very things you claim to hold dear. The best example of this is "Touchdown Jesus". Just because the library is at the end of the football stadium and it has a mural painted on it, that does not impose divine intervention. And for the last time, he is not signaling touchdown!!!!

And then there are the flat out lies. Former Notre Dame Executive Vice President Rev. Edmund P. Joyce was quoted in the November 28, 1988 issue of "The Sporting News" saying, "They (the Notre Dame football coach) have to live without redshirting and athletic dorms and special treatment from the admissions office". Ha! Notre Dame freshman average a score of 670 on the math portion of their SAT's. Tony Rice, who was the star quarterback on Notre Dame's last national championship team in 1988, reportedly scored 690 on the entire test. Let's not get into the steroid allegations and player brushes with the law that haunt the Lou Holtz era.

All of my rage would most likely be subsided if it weren't for Perry Hudspeth. For those of you who are not familiar with Mr. Hudspeth, you must not listen to the Navy radio broadcast. In 1999 Navy was ahead 24-21 with 1:20 left in the game. On 4th and 10 from the Navy 37, Notre Dame quarterback Jarious Jackson completed a 9-yard pass to Bobby Brown. Game over right? Not exactly. Linesman Perry Hudspeth moved the ball forward a half a yard. After a measurement, the very tip of the football was past the outreached chains, Notre Dame first down. A few pays latter, Jackson to Jay Johnson for the 16-yard game-winning touchdown. But the game was over. They were clearly short on 4th down, but never the less, another disappointment, another loss. There's also the 1997 almost Hail Mary, the 2002 defensive letdown, and the 2003 last second field goal that Josh Smith almost blocked.

For the sum of disappointment, the arrogance of the fans, the disingenuous nature of their administration and the utter dominance of the last 81 years, I just can't put it another way. I Hate Notre Dame!

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