In the realm of mascots, none is greater than the Fighting Irish. It is singular. It is unique. It has never been repeated. It celebrates a race of men whose mighty shoulders and strong hands have built this country, fought its wars, and raised its children. It exalts that “never say die” spirit which has inspired both boxer and iron-worker alike to get up every single time he’s knocked down, whether by fists or by life’s tougher blows. It honors a people of deep faith and abiding hope, who never stint in their conviction that the world can and will be made better by their hard work and their love of their fellow man. The Fighting Irish means so much more than one team or one place. And that is why nearly 100,000 people will convene tomorrow in one place for one team, and rejoice in all that brings them together.
And we’re playing a group of Owls.*
Who the hell heck picks the Owl as a mascot? If you want a bird of prey for your team’s totem, fine. But why would you select the one that sleeps all day, and only emerges after dark to swoop silently in and squeeze mice to death? The owl is the indolent vampire of the raptor world. Back in the days of the University farm, we had a barn owl once. The thing barfed pellets all over the place, and Brother Paul killed it with a rake.
It’s not just that the Owls fail to intimidate me. It’s that no team plays under the aegis of an animal that stays indoors all day, take advantage of the weak, and throws up regularly…unless they mean to call to mind state school frat boys…or they’re hiding something. If the French Revolution taught us anything, it’s to be suspicious of everything and to look for conspiracies around every corner. And so I have done this – and I have discovered the truth.
Behind the fairly comical and innocuous image of the Owl lurks a much more sinister group. Look at the name of the school, people! I’ll tell you who they are – they’re the Templars ! Yes, the original dark knights of the dark ages. You don’t have to read cheap mystery novels to know that the Templars went somewhere. Many have long suspected the Freemasons. Others, the Jesuits. But no, here they are, hiding in plain sight.
And so our Fighting Irish lads must be especially careful tomorrow, as they take on this band of warrior-monks who manipulated the affairs of the world with sword and sorcery. But here’s how we’ll beat them at their own sordid trickery.
Templar Treasure: They found it under the Temple of Jerusalem and stashed it somewhere (most likely the Bank of England). This is as nothing to us, for we present our gold hoard for all to see. It is the symbol of our success. And it’s damn hard to steal…unless you’re into mountaineering. But the Templars will discover to their acute displeasure that we also have a hoard of talent on the field. Whether it’s our stable of running backs, who can hurdle the opposing line like Kentucky show-horses, or our defensemen who aren’t so much Seven Blocks of Granite, but more like Stone Mountain got up and left Georgia to sit in the middle of Notre Dame Stadium – either way, the Templars will know our that our treasure trove comes in gold helmets.
Templar Relics: They picked up the Holy Grail in some Jerusalem flea market. Good for them. We all know what the Holy Grail of college football is: playing Notre Dame in the Stadium and beating the Irish. Not happening. No Holy Grail for this set of Templars. And none for anyone last season either. And let’s make that, no Holy Grail for anyone this season. Go beat the Knights of Malta or Philadelphia Central High School or whomever you usually play. You’re not walking out of here with the Cup of Christ.
Templar Discoveries: They might have sailed to the New World sometime after the Vikings but before Columbus. Well, the only thing the Templars are going to discover tomorrow is a whole new world of hurt after the Irish are done with them. And they’re supposed to have buried their treasure in the famous Money Pit. There’s a bright idea, since no one has ever been able to get to the bottom of that giant sink. These Templars are going to be throwing whatever football talent they may possess down the Kelly-Diaco pit…to which there is no bottom, and from which neither Spartan, nor Trojan, nor Sooner emerges.
Above and beyond all that, let’s keep in mind who sent the Templars to the stake on that famous Friday 13 in 1307 – The Pope. That’s right, our Big Head Coach in Rome made the call to demolish the original Templars, and that order has already been phoned in to Cardinal Kelly. So have no fear, Dan Brown readers: the Templars are about to be finished once and for all by the mighty Fighting Irish!
Oh, and by the way, in 1307 the Pope was Clement V…and he was French. We’ve got this one in the bag.
* For the record, a group of owls is called a “parliament.” Go figure.