Good thinking, Tom. You’ve got one static billboard that’s costing you a fortune and will have to come down eventually. We’ve got the internet, cheap hosting, nightly backups, half a brain, a long memory, and a lot longer on this earth than you, you pseudo-simian waste of resources.
Turns out B&G had it right. It was Tom Reynolds, “former ND football player,” who placed that obnoxious billboard across the street from campus and right next to a billboard advertising Hannah and Friends, Charlie Weis’ charity organization for kids with special needs. Apparently he even lettered in 1967, back when the team had 43000 players on the roster and probably had to hand out monograms to everyone just to keep people from ditching for playing time at another school. This guy must be like Rudy Ruettiger, minus accomplishments, a sense of embarrassment, or a story that even artistic flourishes could make compelling. I imagine a conversation with Tom must be like speaking to an overly proud canister of baking flour.
I’ll tell you what Tom is thinking right now. He’s thinking to himself that those of us who are enraged with him are both “the vocal minority” and that we’re “Weis apologists.” He’s thinking these things because, on the list of things at which Tom excels, “thinking” never appears. He can’t, for the life of him, understand why anyone who cares about ND would have a problem with his actions. He refers to his “roughly 50” supporters to reinforce his beliefs, even though the number, in all likelihood, is closer to 1. Funny how he gets real fuzzy about the specifics. “Roughly 50,” Tom? Can’t actually count up all those people who supported you in this endeavor? And he’s thinking these things because he doesn’t “get” Notre Dame.
Since my time as a freshman in the late 90s, I’ve heard the accusation that various people don’t “get” Notre Dame, usually volleyed at members of more recent graduating classes or administrators who look to mimic “aspirational peers.” It’s a nebulous notion, but it’s one that’s taken with great gravity by those who believe they, themselves, “get” Notre Dame. And it’s an accusation that’s not usually shot across the bow of “old timers,” particularly ones who “played football.” But there’s a nefarious secret that many associated with ND would rather not mention: Even back in the glory days, there were malignancies like Tom Reynolds walking about campus, enjoying all that ND has to offer without actually grasping any of it.
If Tom Reynolds understood anything about ND, then he’d understand our anger. He’d understand why we don’t care how it affects Charlie Weis. He’d understand why we find it completely unacceptable to behave as though Notre Dame were located in Ann Arbor, Michigan (sucks!) or Morgantown, WV. If Tom Reynolds understood anything about ND, then he’d feel too much shame from embarrassing his Alma Mater to give an interview about his deeds and instead ask the billboard company to take down his sign. Instead, if our thoughts ever reach Tom Reynolds, they’ll fall on deaf ears while someone else reads them to him.
Our best guess is Tom Reynolds is about 65 years old – relatively close to finishing up his human internship. And near as we can tell, by the end of it all, his entire legacy will be one poorly considered billboard on the side of a road in South Bend, Indiana.