“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” If you tell me that’s from a really cool folk rock band and you like to listen to it late at night when you’re drunk and nostalgic because it reminds you of your high school senior retreat, I’ll increase your Theology requirement from two courses to 16. It is Biblical Wisdom Literature, and in this fleeting season of dramatic transition, we turn to it for guidance. Classes have ended, papers are coming due, final exams loom, and bags are being packed. Soon all students will leave for home and Notre Dame will fall silent, if ever so briefly. Let us take just a moment now to reflect on the year past, the summer upon us, and the year to come – to reflect on our seasons and our purposes. Besides, it’s a “Reading Day,” and this is a lot more edifying than the beer labels, bar menus, and South Bend Silver Hawks tickets you’ve been reading for the last two days.
A time to be born, and a time to die. Figuratively, the year that was 2012-2013 is dying. But, oh, what a year it was! Grapes have to die to make fine wine, and one good school year must come to an end in order for a new one to be born. The vintage that has been 2012-2013 will find a place of honor in the cellars of Notre Dame du Vin. And it’s just a foretaste of the sweetness that will be 2013-2014, which is ready to be born in just three months’ time. Now let that sublime thought wash over you while grinding out that last Philosophy paper or studying for that Chemistry final. And knock it off with the wine, or you’ll fail both.
A time to plant, and a time to uproot. We have some lovely grounds, don’t we! Especially in Spring with everything is in bloom. When you step out in the last few days on campus, let the natural beauty of the place form a lasting memory for you, so that whatever unpleasant tasks you must complete, you will remember Notre Dame and rejoice in anticipation of your return. But don’t pluck any of the flowers, or you will find a groundskeeper revving his lawnmower right outside your window at 7:00 in the morning. And, groundskeepers, while your plantings are gorgeous, I wouldn’t be at all offended if you cut down those flowering trees that smell of profound body odor.
A time to kill, and a time to heal. Kill all those tiffs and grudges you’ve held onto throughout the year, especially with your roommates. You may not be living with them next year, and you may not be living anywhere near them next year. But – who knows – you may never see them again either. You don’t have to part company on great terms, but at least go your separate ways on civil terms, because you yourself were no prize to live with. And if you’re having trouble healing the wounds in any friendship, kill a bottle of wine with your old pal; at least you’ll forget why you can’t stand him.
A time to break down, and a time to build up. Your rooms – you’ve had to break down your rooms. And I know that was very hard for some of you, because you invested hours and great effort in making you little square of Notre Dame a showplace. Truly, I have never seen cardboard beer cases used to create so many fetching interior designs. I don’t really know what a “Man Cave” is, but if you made a fine one this year, perhaps you can advance to a “Masculine Cavern” in your new room next year. Over the summer, some dorms will be renovated, most will not – but either way, you won’t be able to tell the difference. And Morrissey…there’s nothing we can do about Morrissey.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh. I hope you love Notre Dame, I really do. But cool it with the weeping. It’s college – it’s only supposed to last four years. So love it, but don’t get maudlin. And we had llamas. I would think that seeing llamas on the quad would be enough to make you laugh – why do you have to set couches on fire just to get a giggle?
A time to mourn, and a time to dance. Less dancing during “Reading Days” and you won’t be mourning when your grades come in. And you can’t tell me that St. Edward’s Yacht Dance is not an elaborate scheme to flee parietals by seeking refuge in international waters. If your parents are hippies, you get three months of no parietals – so just deal with my French boarding school rules for a few more days.
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together. Ummm…the Grotto is a large gathering of stones…and…well, we know that there were certain medicinal plants in ancient Israel that caused fantastical dreams or hallucinations. That might account for some of the visions in the Bible; and it might account for this mysterious piece of advice. So we’ll just leave it at: don’t get stoned and avoid stoners.
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing. Nothing after midnight from here on out. Your bed at home is your homefield – you may welcome as many fans as you want. Just not here in The BVM’s house.
A time to keep, and a time to throw away. Make a list of all the good things you did this year, all the achievements and all the celebrations. Then make a list of all the disappointments, mistakes, and failures. Keep the first and promise yourself that you will repeat and multiply everything on that list next year. Take the second, wrap it around a stone, and throw it in St. Mary’s Lake. It’s deep – you will never see that list again. And the act of writing might get you off our butt to finish that Philosophy paper.
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak. It’s important to speak to those who are important to you before the whirlwind of finals week begins and comes crashing to a staggering close. Don’t miss the chance to say ‘see you next year,’ or ‘farewell,’ or even sometimes ‘goodbye.’ But then respect those quiet hours. Just because you’re confident you’ll pass, doesn’t mean your neighbors are. If you’re having trouble keeping your voice down and maintaining a respectful silence, imagine you’re an alum sitting in the Stadium during a big third down – that’ll shut you up tighter than a duck’s butt.
A time to love and, and a time to hate. It’s been a pretty good year – indeed, this year was, itself, a time to love. If you made the most of your year, you really shouldn’t have had much time to hate. But if that’s not the case for you, come back in August and start over as though from the beginning. Remember: one Spring, as my lads went home, the Main Building was a smoldering heap of rubble – but by the time they came back in the Fall, a new one had risen in its place. And it’s still there.
A time of war, and a time of peace. Have a peaceful summer. The war starts at 3:30 on the afternoon of August the 31st, in the Stadium.
One of the things I wanted to do this off season is see where Everett Golson fits in among his peers, and, thanks to the statistics nerds at www.und.com, I was able to pull all the data I needed (except for 1998) (WTH?) from the source, as it were. So, with a data-set of 21 years, I looked at each QB’s Total Passing Yards (TPY), Attempts (Atts), Completions (Comps), Completion Percentage (%), Touchdowns (TD’s) and Interceptions (INT’s). To qualify, a quarterback had to start four games in a season. So, without further ado, please, if you will, this:
A few things jump right out: 1.) how good was Brady “The Mighty” Quinn? 2.) how gaudy (and futile) were Jimmy Clausen’s numbers? and 3.) how different things could have been for Dayne Crist if…. if….. dammit, Dayne. But when you look at players getting their first starts, Everett’s numbers are surprising, even to an unabashed Golson fan such as myself. His 2405 total passing yards bests the first seasons of Ron Powlus (1729), Brady Quinn (1831), Dayne Crist (2033) and Jimmy Clausen (2007). 2405 is eighth-best going back to 1992 which, again, is not too shabby given the company.
When you look at rushing numbers, though, Golson’s numbers really become more interesting. They add a dynamic missing with other Irish signal callers. His 298 (net) rushing yardsand six touchdowns put him fourth on a list going back to 1992, one that sees 2001 Carlyle Holiday in first with 666 (net), 1999 Jarious Jackson in second with 464 (net) and seven touchdowns and 2000 Matt LoVecchio in third with 300 (net) and two touchdowns.
Three times (here, here, and here) I either extolled Golson’s duality or compared him to Kevin McDougal, whose 85 net rushing yards and four touchdowns now seem meager by comparison. But remember LAST offseason? When Tony Rice said this?
You know what, he may be right…
At this very moment, Notre Dame students are packing their bags and preparing to depart Our Lady’s campus – not because they didn’t get enough playing time, but because it’s time to play. Spring Break has once again woken up, staggered onto the calendar, and with a bleary wink and a louche wave, beckoned our students to join in the revelries of its vernal rites. This doesn’t upset me as much as some might think…primarily because it doesn’t occur in sight of the Lady on the Dome. Besides, young men and women need time to relax, unwind, and enjoy frivolous activities. But remember, loyal lads and lasses, what you do on Spring Break might be frivolous, but it is not inconsequential. So for your sake (and the University’s) I have prepared what Classicists would call and extended analogy. You find these literary devices in Classical Epic; and if you want your Spring Break to be an epic classic, take these lessons to heart.
How a good Spring Break is like a good Notre Dame Football Game
There will be beer, wine, and booze. But you can’t get so carried away tailgating that you miss the big game. The focus is always the game, not the parking lot binge. Let the spirits put you in the spirit; but you don’t want to end up petting the asphalt or the hotel room carpet while your team is out winning the day.
There is no alcohol in the Stadium…officially. This is just a practical measure to give you a reason to slow down on the drink so you can drink in the spectacle before you. Like the student section, if you want to have a good time and be an asset to your team, you must be standing the whole time. Go ahead and have a tipple if it arrives in small quantities and is hidden in a discrete plastic cup. And that’s another thing – for both the Stadium and Spring Break, for your safety, make sure all cups and dishes are good Julius Nieuwland rubber or durable plastic.
Cheer. Be loud. Jump up and down. But don’t start pile-ups or fights. Small town police are like Stadium ushers: they inherently dislike students and they carry manhole-cover-sized chips on their shoulders. They have a little too much authority and far too little restraint. Just like the Stadium, these “resort” towns where you go to blow off steam don’t really accommodate 80,000 ginned-up college kids and other fanatics comfortably. Don’t give the usher-cops a reason to throw you out. Oh, and remember, unlike the ushers, small town police all pack heat.
If you’re going to be stripping off major pieces of clothing, paint your body. Not necessarily with blue, gold, and green watercolors, but with that oil which saves you from baking like “chicken pieces” under the Dining Hall warming lamps. As for your clothing, wear your Fighting Irish shirts, shorts, shoes, sunglasses, hats, headbands, visors, swimsuits, shower thongs, boxers, briefs, boxerbriefs (did I miss anything, Bookstore?) with pride for your school and our teams. But please, don’t all wear the same shirt – that just reinforces that suspicion that Notre Dame is a cult not a college.
Throw decorum to the wind and dance. In fact, be your own cheerleaders. Get each other into the celebratory mood. Give yourselves an exciting activity-goal each day, and exult when you achieve it. Celebrate reef swimming like it’s converting a third down, parasailing like it’s a field goal, and cliff diving like it’s a touchdown. You won’t have large men in skirts and bearded elves to dance with…and if you do, go home – you’re either hallucinating or you’re in a very bad place.
Take lots of photos of what going on around you. Just like you capture the winning numbers on the scoreboard, or the scene on the field as the team runs out, collect memorable pictures of these vacation moments. But if you’re going to be in snapshots, make sure you’re not doing anything…ahem…compromising. You have your dignity, soon you will have an employer, and one day you will have children. Don’t give any of the three photographic evidence for abandoning you. And don’t take pictures of others doing anything…ahem…compromising. You don’t want one photo to be the cause of losing a friendship or your front teeth.
In the fourth quarter of any day on Spring Break, if you hear a folksy, avuncular voice from above give you safety advice, take it (and hope it’s not from a State Trooper standing over you).
Don’t let losers bother you. Just like the 2012 season, the losers all go to other schools, they only hang around for a couple of hours, and then they go away embarrassed.
Just like a good Notre Dame football game, this Spring Break will end with a spectacular Irish celebration – St. Patrick’s Day. Show your Irish pride, even if it’s adoptive. You are the only students in the country who can claim the title Irish; just like post-game celebrations, revel in your Irishness. But get all the wild Irish partying out of your system, because unlike Football Saturdays, there is no Recovery Sunday. You’re all due back in class on Monday. Think of Spring Break like one long away-game in California, or Florida, or Hawaii; when it’s all over, we want you back home in Indiana.
And as for THAT subject which must be addressed in any discussion of Spring Break – fortunately the football analogy allows me to mention it without upsetting my delicate sensibilities. Well, here goes…there are no parietals in the Stadium, but we expect that you would not be breaking the Spirit of Parietals in the midst of a football game (though nothing surprises me anymore). So too, there are no parietals on Spring Break, but the Spirit of Parietals should at least travel with you somewhere in the back of your mind. Loyal daughters, let the Spirit of Parietals appear to you as that excellent Mr. Bob Diaco. Let him coach you in always playing tough defense. Even if it’s a four-down goal-line stand. Just like Coach Diaco, shut the other guys down in the Red Zone. And for you loyal sons, remember the Fighting Irish example of 2012 – low scoring affairs can be great victories. Certainly don’t run-up the score; that is ungentlemanly both in the Stadium and on Spring Break.
Above all, never forget that just like every Notre Dame home football game, during Spring Break, Jesus is watching the whole time.
On Thursday, ESPN announced that the Catholic 7, comprised of DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall, and Villanova, will officially leave the Big East, possibly as early as next season. Xavier and Bulter will join them, as both schools have already submitted their withdrawals to the Atlantic 10 Conference. Creighton has also been rumored to be the tenth team to round out this new conference, which will be called…the Big East.
Yeah, realignment has officially gotten weird, especially since it’s hard to figure out what’s next. Notre Dame now finds themselves in limbo for all sports currently in the Big East and I’m not even sure what to call the soon-to-be former Big East. Perhaps we should just rename the conference as a symbol and call them “The Conference formerly Known As the Big East”?
While Friday’s Big East meeting in Atlanta provided no clarity on the big question of when this move will take place, we do know the following:
- No matter when this goes down, Notre Dame football is still on the same scheduling plan as before with ACC games starting in 2014
- The Conference Formerly Known As the Big East will still have an automatic BCS bid in the 2013 season
- As of right now, The Conference Formerly Known As the Big East looks would look like this for 2013-2014, minus the Catholic 7: Connecticut, Cincinnati, Rutgers, South Florida, Temple, Central Florida, Memphis, Louisville, Houston, SMU, Notre Dame (non-football), Navy (football only), East Carolina (football only), and Old Dominion (field hockey only…seriously)
- Louisville leaves for the ACC and Rutgers leaves for the Big Ten in 2014
- Tulane is scheduled to join in 2014 as a full member
As for what we don’t know, Jack Swarbrick had the following to say:
I know a lot of people want me to answer, “If this happens, what will you do?” The problem with that is there are a lot of flavors about what might happen. It’s not just one thing. I just haven’t spent a whole lot of time investing in scenarios and trying to play it out, because I figure soon enough I’m going to know one way or another.
At that time, I’m going to be able to deal with real facts and evaluate where we are and what our options are.
The previously linked SBT article mentions three options for Notre Dame: leave early for the ACC, stick with The Conference Formerly Known as the Big East, or join forces with the Catholic 7. However, I’m not so sure those options are as cut and dry as they appear, especially since Swarbrick mentioned “a lot of flavors” in this change and that it’s “not just one thing”. Swarbrick mentions this again when discussing a possible one year alliance with the Catholic 7:
As far as the Catholic 7 goes, we have great relationships with those schools and, of course, there are circumstances under which it could be appealing if there would be an opportunity to go with them.
But I don’t even know if that’s realistic or not. And even then, there are a million different flavors. That’s what makes all of this stuff so hard.
The “different flavors” quote again makes another appearance, making me wonder what complications could arise. With this in mind, I want to take a look at each possibility available should the Catholic 7 leave early and hypothesize as to the different “flavors” each could offer.
Join the ACC a Year Early
Seems simple enough. An agreement with the ACC is already in place, so this definitely makes a lot sense; however, there are two major road blocks. First, the Big East would have to allow Notre Dame to accelerate the agreed upon timetable to leave, a move that might be easier if the Catholic 7 does indeed jump this season, but there’s no guarantee. The second issue is whether or not the ACC could even accommodate all non-football sports at zero hour.
I also see a potential scenario in which the ACC requires the Irish to start their football ACC scheduling a year early as well. After all, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for the ACC to bend over backwards and not take advantage of potential revenue that ND Football could bring. Doing this though would complicate all other ACC football schedules, causing yet more headaches on the scheduling front.
Stay with The Conference Formerly Known As the Big East
This appears to be the path of least resistance, but also one that has a ton of potential pitfalls. An early departure of the Catholic 7 might not just make Notre Dame want to leave early as other member institutions might start looking elsewhere.
Taking Notre Dame out of the equation, 50% of the schools in the Big East will be brand new in 2013. Louisville and Rutgers already have one foot out the door, leaving only Connecticut, Cincinnati, and South Florida as the legacy members remaining. They have to be concerned about their futures in a potential 8 team conference in 2014, over half of which will be new schools are likely worried about the same thing — perhaps considering pulling a TCU and backing out of their agreements as well.
When Swarbrick talks about all the different possibilities, this is the area in which I see it. There has to be a major concern for a domino affect, and if the Catholic 7 is allowed to jump ship early, other Big East members might want the same courtesy and that completely changes the potential attractiveness of this option.
Join the Catholic 7 aka the Big East for a Year
I’m with Swarbrick on this one — I’m not even sure how realistic this is. This is mostly because I wonder what the benefit would be for Catholic 7/Big East to take in Notre Dame for just a year.
I’m sure that whatever the new TV deal that the Big East gets, doesn’t have Notre Dame involved at all, nor would the terms of the deal change if the Irish came on board. In fact, this might complicate whatever revenue sharing deals are in place, potentially hosing members out of some revenue.
In short, the Catholic 7 would more or less be doing Notre Dame a favor here.
All the scenarios above hinge on the Catholic 7′s exit date from the Big East, which we may not know until tomorrow at best. Obviously, a 2014 departure date would be preferable for Notre Dame as that aligns with their departure as well. Should the Catholic 7 be allowed to leave next season, expect things to get quite messy.
Sorry Tex, unscheduled rant coming…
Excuse me, WHAT THE HELL IS KATIE COURIC DOING? The whole world should be calling her out for the BS she displayed yesterday. Not gonna? Okay then, I will. Thanks Katie, for getting me back into RANT MODE.
Don’t get me wrong, I actually thought 95% of her interview was decent. It wasn’t soft, she asked some tough questions, but those questions deserved to and needed to be asked. For her to look at all professional, and to give Manti a chance to answer them.
But then Katie went too far. Katie went off the ledge. Katie went bat-shit-CRAZY when she started talking about how she would’ve handled the situation. How SHE would’ve done it differently. How SHE would’ve done it RIGHT.
GIVE ME AN EFFING BREAK. Let’s break this down for a second.
First, and most importantly, Katie is about as far as possible from being Manti Teo. She’s an old, white, washed-up reporter, and she’s a she. Manti is a young, male, Morman, Samoan/Hawaiian wrecking ball of a linebacker that attended a Catholic school and played D1 Football. THIS IS A DIFFERENT FREAKING WORLD WOMAN! I mean, there are a ton of things closer to Manti than you…
So that’s point one. You have no idea what you’d do if you were him. BECAUSE YOU ARE LITERALLY NOTHING LIKE HIM.
But, Daytime TV Talk Show hosts spin BS all the time. So, moving on, the second biggest problem with her ‘advice’ was that she used the complete timeline of information to inform how she’d have reacted and behaved. Guess what Katie, when this was all going down MANTI DIDN’T KNOW EVERYTHING YOU KNOW NOW YOU SILLY WOMAN! You can’t just take all of this data that you now have at your disposal and assume that, MONTHS AGO, Manti had the same information. Of COURSE he’d have behaved differently if he’d known it was all a hoax you twit. That tells us absolutely nothing.
Sooooo, since she’s so perfectly able to rip apart past situations, let’s find out What Would Katie Do (WWKD):
If she’s Steven Spielberg, SHE would never put Jar Jar Binks in the prequels. #WWKD
If she were Brian Kelly, SHE would’ve never called that pass play against Tulsa. #WWKD
If she were the Jets Organization, SHE would’ve never taken Tebow. #WWKD
The rest of the interview, like I said, was fair. But this was so far over the line. It was pompous, full of righteous indignation that Teo didn’t at all deserve, and disgusting from an ‘adult’. I never cared about Katie Couric. Wasn’t ever on my radar. Now she officially sucks.
And for all the ‘haters’ who may comment saying ‘yeah Manti still lied’ or ‘I’m an idiot listen to my stupid point that’s irrelevant’ I am not saying any of this exonerates Manti. He didn’t do everything perfectly and he is paying DEARLY. But that’s not the point. The point is that Katie Couric had the chance to be a journalist. To get a story and to dig deep. She started off down that path. But then, at some point, she decided to switch to being a moron. That’s the point. KATIE COURIC, you’re on the HLS WatchList. You don’t want to be there. I’ll see you on Twitter. Loser.