It's been 11 years since Notre Dame won 11 games in a single season. It's been 16 years since the last National Championship season. The Irish are 131-61 (68%) over the past 16 seasons, and they've had only five 10-win seasons in that time—four out of those five came under former head coach Lou Holtz, or the first five years of that span.
In fact, in the past 11 years, Notre Dame is just 79-52 (60%).
I could dig up more depressing facts about the lifelessness of the Notre Dame program over the past 11 years, but what's the use in that?
You feel it just as I feel it—and this isn't fool's gold—this is real deal. And people are starting to get nervous.
Admit it. You've got a little more bounce in your step. You're just sitting back and smiling when people try to discount what you know is coming, and it's coming—as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow.
And it's been a very long time coming…..
You've heard the catcalls. You've lost bets. You might've even had to publicly embarrass yourself afterwards.
You've been ostracized, ridiculed and humiliated. And, you've been left empty-handed without a shred of hope of evidence to defend yourself.
About 20 years ago a good friend of mine said "Are you kidding me? Howdy Doody is your answer for coach?"
Now it's the fat jokes……
But just like the slightly-built, lisping, self-deprecating man who looked more like an accountant than a football coach, we've seen this all before.
Even during the initial 5-6 season, you knew this thing was headed in the right direction. It was as simple as 23-24, a loss to the No.3 team and rival, but a hard-fought game nonetheless.
You knew it then and you know it now. It's just a matter of time, and we secretly know that it won't be as long as the "experts" think.
The enemy has had their time in the sun. They've celebrated at our expense. They've danced in the ashes.
But while they continually and strongly dismiss the idea with all their might, we hear the whimper in their voice.
They'll continue with their fat jokes, and we'll get fat again with the announcement of bluechip after bluechip.
It's coming as sure as the sky is blue.
But resist the temptation to crow because it's going to be so much fun when they have to admit the "fat guy" rules the roost.