Her Loyal Sons http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog A Notre Dame Football Blog Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:00:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.5 Friday Roundup: The “Bloggers Are Talking” Episode http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/07/03/friday-roundup-the-bloggers-are-talking-episode/ http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/07/03/friday-roundup-the-bloggers-are-talking-episode/#respond Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:00:50 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=29984 Fighting Irish Digital Media named Laura Thomas as the third official Notre Dame Sports Blogger a couple of weeks ago. I figured that there would be no better time than this offseason stretch that is the dog days of summer to get to know our new FIDM friend a bit better. Laura joins me as […]

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Fighting Irish Digital Media named Laura Thomas as the third official Notre Dame Sports Blogger a couple of weeks ago. I figured that there would be no better time than this offseason stretch that is the dog days of summer to get to know our new FIDM friend a bit better.

Laura joins me as the first guest on the Friday Roundup since we’ve gone full podcast and the majority of the episode is devoted to our conversation. We talk everything from ND Football, FIDM, Football 101, family, tweeting habits, and the best burgers and sandwiches around South Bend.

The Roundup

In this episode:

Laura’s introduction post

Laura’s report on Football 101

P. Diddy won’t face charges

UCLA really wanted this to all go away

A transcript of the Harbaugh/Cowherd disaster interview

Your moment of Nix: A Kentucky Wildcat dating site

The Booze

As I mentioned in the episode, I decided to sample Sam Adam’s pretty decent attempts at IPAs because AMERICA. Yes, I know that stands for India Pale Ale, but I don’t care.

Also highly suggested: Bourbon. If you have some cheaper stuff around, follow the advice of our friends at Eleven Warriors and make yourself a batch of Liber-Tea.

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Morning Roundup: July 2, 2015 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/07/02/morning-roundup-july-2-2015/ http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/07/02/morning-roundup-july-2-2015/#respond Thu, 02 Jul 2015 14:08:37 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=29978 I love data. When a player transfers, is suspended for an unspecified “violation of team rules,” moves positions or is injured, there is a certain segment of the Irish fanbase that believes it’s because of the university’s “strict standards,” its recruiting style, its use of “tradition” as a crutch – or any whole host of […]

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Courtesy of Daniel Hartwig (via Flickr)

Courtesy of Daniel Hartwig (via Flickr)

I love data.

When a player transfers, is suspended for an unspecified “violation of team rules,” moves positions or is injured, there is a certain segment of the Irish fanbase that believes it’s because of the university’s “strict standards,” its recruiting style, its use of “tradition” as a crutch – or any whole host of other excuses.

That’s why I love people like Moons. He says, “OK. Are these types of incidents more common at Notre Dame than other schools? Are the cynics right?” Read his Wednesday piece and learn that this kind of offseason chicanery is no more prevalent here than it is as any number of big-name schools. Moons removes emotion from the question and lets the facts speak for themselves. It’s awesome.

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RECRUITING

CURRENT TEAM

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IRISH IN THE NFL

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The Sky Is Falling!!! (Not Just on Notre Dame) http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/07/01/the-sky-is-falling-not-just-on-notre-dame/ http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/07/01/the-sky-is-falling-not-just-on-notre-dame/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 10:00:22 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=29972 The desire can be overwhelming to feel like the sky is falling around Notre Dame. For starters, that’s the natural disposition of many ND fans…heck, many sports fans that I know. The news that Greg Bryant is likely to miss the first four games of the upcoming season for an unspecified “violation of team rules” […]

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The desire can be overwhelming to feel like the sky is falling around Notre Dame. For starters, that’s the natural disposition of many ND fans…heck, many sports fans that I know. The news that Greg Bryant is likely to miss the first four games of the upcoming season for an unspecified “violation of team rules” seemed to come out of nowhere and be all too expected all at once. After all, as Tex noted in his piece yesterday, bad things seem to come in threes. More troubling to Notre Dame fans is the annual offseason tradition of waiting for the bad news to come out about the team, and sadly, they have not disappointed in recent memory. Whether it’s been arrests (Tommy Rees, Michael Floyd, Will Mahone), transfers (Everett Golson, Gunner Kiel, DaVonte Neal), or suspensions (Cierre Wood, the academic suspensions, Bryant), the offseason has proven to be a dangerous time. Idle hands and whatnot…

I’ve heard and read the laments of many ND fans. Why can’t the team just have a quiet offseason? Is Brian Kelly losing control of the team? There’s a lack of discipline that wouldn’t have been tolerated back in the old days. Frankly, I find it hard to disagree with any of these sentiments on their face. There was a moment where I started to question whether ND was on some track reserved for the dregs of society (and I’m sure there are some out there who will read this and be convinced it is so). With that concern in my head, I set out to discover just how prevalent this crap behavior was.

If you’re not familiar, EDSBS awards what is known as the Fulmer Cup. In essence, which program’s had the most run-ins with the law during the offseason. You can read more about it here. If you’re interested in the current standings and police blotter, well, that can be found here. Being familiar with the Fulmer Cup, I knew Notre Dame couldn’t really be that bad off, but I was still curious. I set out with the help of Inspector Google to find out how prevalent each of the holy trinity (suspensions, transfers, and arrests) was across each of the schools in the Power 5 football conferences. I further wanted to limit it and know how many schools had seen these instances just in 2015.

My research methodology was flawed and lazy. The rules pretty much went like this:

I type in “[school name] football player [transfer/suspension/arrest] 2015.”

I scroll the first and second page of search results. If there’s a matching news article for anytime during 2015, I marked it down.

I did not go beyond page 2.

Occasionally I’d have to add in a modifier like “Kentucky Wildcat” because as it turns out the whole dang state of Kentucky was getting in trouble (I’m looking at you Eastern Kentucky). This was repeated for all schools. Oh yeah…remember how I mentioned I wanted to do this for all of the Power 5 schools? Well, I made it through the SEC and the B1G and then tapped out because well….let’s just summarize:

28 total schools reviewed:

-16/28 schools had a result for player suspensions in 2015. This did not include bowl suspensions to start the year. It also did not include players that had done something so dang terrible they’d already been dismissed from their program….THIS YEAR!!!

-23/28 schools had news about player transfers. Guess what guys? Notre Dame wasn’t the only program to lose a quarterback to transfer this offseason. I know that’s startling, but it’s true.

-19/28 schools had arrests for this year. That includes a Michigan assistant coach but does not include the 4 Kentucky players who were under grand jury investigation for getting in fights with the Eastern Kentucky players. It includes multiple instances of domestic violence and assault, robbery, burglary, theft, drug dealing, possession of a firearm in connection with drug dealing, and multiple DUI’s.

-Unofficially: If I expanded the scope to about August of 2014, the rate increases to 100% for all three categories. I was stunned at the number of arrests and suspensions that occur in season. I’ve obviously not been paying enough attention to my police blotter.

There’s a discussion to be had here, but it’s not particularly about Notre Dame. I’m really not sure it’s even about the SEC, college football, or college athletics. I’d argue that some of this is the result of the proliferation of information. The Internet, social media, and the 24/7 news and sports networks mean that very few things remain a secret for very long. I am sure some (likely older) readers might believe this is just more evidence that society is eroding. You’d have a tough time convincing me that a large portion of the reported discrepancy isn’t the result of less media attention generally and different societal views on particular behaviors. But, good grief, this is a Notre Dame football blog, so no need to go down that road any further.

Some may be hoping for a solution. There are solutions out there, but I’m not sure they’re all that desirable. There is an inherent tension in trying to compete at the highest levels of college football consistently and recruit moral and ethical saints. Before I get accused of it: No, I am not suggesting that Notre Dame should or does lower their character standards just to compete. What I am saying is there’s a degree of risk absorbed when attempting to recruit from a finite number of elite athletes. The Venn diagram cross-over of “elite athlete” and “fully realized, mature adults at the age of 18” is remarkably small. Notre Dame will never be able to roster 85 Jaylon Smiths. He’s the exception, not the rule.

You may notice that my second circle of the Venn diagram was not “non criminals” but rather “fully realized, mature adults at the age of 18.” There was a reason for that. There’s a lot of unfair judgment cast upon a lot of these young men who are still trying to find their way in life. I’m frequently shocked by the anger some feel towards a 19 year old who decides a school isn’t right for him and he needs to transfer. There’s also some wiggle room for unlawful conduct that doesn’t rise to the level of non-correctible character flaw. Sometimes, even for individuals who may be rehabilitated, the punishment needs to be removal from the program. Other times, suspension or sanctions can do the trick.

Notre Dame’s job is now and will always continue to be to punish those behaviors when necessary, guide when appropriate, and first and foremost to foster an environment where suspensions, transfers, and arrests are the lonely exception rather than the norm. That players have slipped up does not mean the decision to recruit or enroll that individual was a failure. It doesn’t mean that that player was a failure. Fans need to appreciate that complete elimination of these behaviors is impossible. After all, the only infallible people in the world are Internet commenters, and, sadly for the program, these divine people lack the athletic skills necessary to play college football.

That said, it’s okay to question what’s been going on and search for answers. It’s okay to wonder out loud what might have been done differently. It’s certainly okay to continue to hope, wish, and pray for a quiet offseason. But, Notre Dame’s not alone. This is not a Notre Dame problem. It’s a problem impacting Notre Dame like many other schools. Striving to be an SEC school on the field and the antithesis of an SEC school off the field is a task that defies simple answers and hot takes.

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Morning Roundup: June 30, 2015 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/06/30/morning-roundup-june-30-2015/ http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/06/30/morning-roundup-june-30-2015/#respond Tue, 30 Jun 2015 11:22:19 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=29968 Good morning! Greg Bryant’s suspension was just breaking as the Monday morning roundup was going live, so today’s edition features continuing coverage. We haven’t learned any additional information on why exactly Bryant was suspended, but there’s been plenty of discussion on what this exactly means for the Irish. This morning, Tex argues on our site […]

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Courtesy of Daniel Hartwig (via Flickr)

Courtesy of Daniel Hartwig (via Flickr)

Good morning! Greg Bryant’s suspension was just breaking as the Monday morning roundup was going live, so today’s edition features continuing coverage. We haven’t learned any additional information on why exactly Bryant was suspended, but there’s been plenty of discussion on what this exactly means for the Irish. This morning, Tex argues on our site that the running back position is still well covered even in Bryant’s month-long absence. Be sure to read his take at the link below.

FROM OUR SITE

PODCAST

GREG BRYANT SUSPENSION

COMMIT: 3-star S Spencer Perry from Florida

RECRUITING

CURRENT TEAM

MISC.

  • Mike & Mike: Musician Darius Rucker shares his thoughts on Mike Golic’s performance at Rucker’s concert, wearing a Notre Dame jersey and hat at the show and Mike Greenberg’s singing abilities.

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Cruel Summer: Greg Bryant Suspended for Four Games http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/06/30/cruel-summer-greg-bryant-suspended-for-four-games/ http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/06/30/cruel-summer-greg-bryant-suspended-for-four-games/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 10:00:55 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=29966 Bad things happen in threes. On the day that Everett Golson announced he would transfer from Notre Dame, Bo Wallace announced that he would not be enrolling at Notre Dame. After the one-two punch on that fateful day in May, we’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop and fill the offseason trinity of […]

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The five-star gun show won't appear until the season is well under way. (AP Photo/South Bend Tribune, Robert Franklin)

The five-star gun show won’t appear until the season is well under way. (AP Photo/South Bend Tribune, Robert Franklin)

Bad things happen in threes. On the day that Everett Golson announced he would transfer from Notre Dame, Bo Wallace announced that he would not be enrolling at Notre Dame. After the one-two punch on that fateful day in May, we’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop and fill the offseason trinity of pain.

Yesterday morning, that shoe came crashing down as Irish247 announced that a source confirmed Greg Bryant would be suspended for the first four games of 2015 for the ever-so-specific “violation of team rules.” There was some smoke about something like this going down even back to the spring, but nothing of substance seemed to come of it. Personally, I just wrote such scuttlebutt off as someone trolling during the offseason to see if it would stick.

Either way, that day is now here and Bryant is gone until Notre Dame visits Clemson.

The good news is that Bryant isn’t a starter and you could argue that C.J. Prosise showed enough at RB in spring ball to, at the very least, give Bryant a run for is money at his spot on the depth chart. The better news is that Byrant is still enrolled at Notre Dame and reportedly has no plans to transfer. The bad news is that this is a five-star recruit that we’ve all been waiting to have a breakout year and riding the pine for four games certainly doesn’t help that cause.

And of course, the further bad news is that this is another crappy offseason story for Notre Dame. Granted, it’s rare for any major college program to survive an offseason without something happening (an issue that Moons is investigating for tomorrow), but that doesn’t make it suck any less.

Still, in an attempt to find a silver lining, file this under “let’s hope correlation equals causation”: in the 2012 offseason, Notre Dame had offseason issues with a quarterback and running back battling for depth chart supremacy. Tommy Rees and Cierre Wood found themselves suspended to start the year and Everett Golson and Theo Riddick took their opportunities and ran with it all the way to a national title berth.

Yes, I am well aware this situation is completely different as Everett transferred and Folston is easily the top back for ND right now, BUT DAMMIT I’M TRYING HERE.

Anyways, and in all seriousness, Bryant staying at Notre Dame should be treated as more than just a sidenote in this situation. Count me in among the hopeful that believe Bryant will indeed live up to his recruiting hype. Count me in as further hopeful that Bryant will come back after his suspension ready to make an impact. And even if he doesn’t, the worst case scenario is that Folston and Prosise tear it up in Bryant’s absence with two hungry freshmen, Josh Adams and Dexter Williams, waiting in the wings and Bryant may struggle to get carries in that crowd.

Let that simmer for a while. Despite this hit to the depth chart, Notre Dame has four options in the backfield (and they likely won’t have to use the freshmen either).

With all that said, please let the end of the offseason come swiftly and without any more bad news because I’ve had my fill and it’s not even July.

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Morning Roundup: June 29, 2015 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/06/29/morning-roundup-june-29-2015/ http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/06/29/morning-roundup-june-29-2015/#respond Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:15:41 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=29958 Good morning! Well, it’s not so good for Irish fans as news has just come out that RB Greg Bryant will miss the first four games of the season for an unspecified violation of team rules. Let’s hope C.J. Prosise is ready to shoulder some of the load that will now be primarily Tarean Folston’s […]

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Courtesy of Eugene Kim (via Flickr)

Courtesy of Eugene Kim (via Flickr)

Good morning! Well, it’s not so good for Irish fans as news has just come out that RB Greg Bryant will miss the first four games of the season for an unspecified violation of team rules. Let’s hope C.J. Prosise is ready to shoulder some of the load that will now be primarily Tarean Folston’s responsibility.

FROM OUR SITE

COMMITMENT
4-star TE Brock Wright from Texas

RECRUITING

CURRENT TEAM

SCHEDULE

IRISH IN THE NFL

MISC.

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Memory http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/06/29/memory/ http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/06/29/memory/#respond Mon, 29 Jun 2015 07:00:54 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=29953 I took my daughter to see Inside Out yesterday, and when we walked outside, it was drizzling, and as we drove home, the drizzle turned to rain, and as we drove further, to a downpour. Rain always makes me nostalgic and I thought it fitting, for Inside Out is very much a movie about memory. […]

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KnuteRockneI took my daughter to see Inside Out yesterday, and when we walked outside, it was drizzling, and as we drove home, the drizzle turned to rain, and as we drove further, to a downpour. Rain always makes me nostalgic and I thought it fitting, for Inside Out is very much a movie about memory. Which got me thinking about Notre Dame, inarguably the most memory-focused of the FBS schools.

The Victory March doesn’t get out of the first verse before we’re promising to “ne’er forget her.” A couple of lines later, and she’s “Old” Notre Dame and we’re “wak[-ing] up the echoes.” The case can be made that if the school’s official colors are Pantone 289 and 117, Notre Dame blue and gold, respectively, the unofficial colors are Pathé black and white.

History is impossible to escape, even for a program three seasons after “returning” to relevance. For Coach Kelly, history is a Spanx bodysuit from which he is never free. At times, it shapes and supports him. At others, it’s wedged up his ass.

It’s easy to compare Jaylon Smith and Manti Te’o; Brian Kelly and Charlie Weis. But that doesn’t stop us, the Irish, from comparing Brian Kelly to Frank Leahy, who coached when MacArthur was retreating from the Philippines and there were only forty-eight states. Knute Rockne, who bestrides everything like a collossus, coached his first season as the Guns of August finally fell silent. I dreamed I saw Knute Rockne last night, alive as you and me. Says I to Knute “you’re eight-four years dead.” “I never died,” says he. “I never died,” says he.

So Notre Dame is made of memories. When you go for a game, as an alum, subway or otherwise, at some point, you’re experience is no longer yours. At least, it’s no longer happening of your own volition. There are places at which you must be at an exact time. The start of the game itself is almost malleable in your mind. But not the trumpets under the Dome. Not the band step off. Not the steak sandwich.

We all have favorite memories and precious moments. Catholics versus Convicts. The Golden Boy. The Game of the Century. The Snow Bowl. When you walk through the lots, between the cars and the goofy flags and banners, a pan of brats warming in beer suddenly become as proustian madelaines. To me, it’s 1993 again. To that other guy, it’s 1953 again.

Our top ten or thirty or forty moments are personal, even though we may agree on the broad strokes. We see teams through our own eyes and the lenses of our own experiences. Everett Golson and Malik Zaire are, to me, easy avatars of Kevin McDougal. I fear we may miss the presence of an Oscar McBride this season. Dayne Crist was no Brady Quinn who was no Joe Montana. Somewhere, someone among the gold seats is pining away for Creighton Miller.

The coming season, now less than seventy-five days away, is the next chance to make new memories. Which ones will fall into the memory dump to make room? Will core memories be made? Will there be a Rocket run? Or a Phantom Whistle?

Whether we do don’t, at least we get to make them. The lucky of us will get to hold onto them.

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Morning Roundup: June 26, 2015 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/06/26/morning-roundup-june-26-2015/ http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/06/26/morning-roundup-june-26-2015/#respond Fri, 26 Jun 2015 13:50:20 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=29948 Good morning! Tex, on a post-NBA Draft high, sat down early this morning to round up the week’s events – Grant to the Knicks, a rapper fights a ripped dude, Holtz’s house, and the always entertaining/depressing “College Football: Law & Order” segment. Most importantly, Tex updates us on the progress of Elli Thatcher, who we […]

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Courtesy of Eric Heath (via Flickr)

Courtesy of Eric Heath (via Flickr)

Good morning! Tex, on a post-NBA Draft high, sat down early this morning to round up the week’s events – Grant to the Knicks, a rapper fights a ripped dude, Holtz’s house, and the always entertaining/depressing “College Football: Law & Order” segment. Most importantly, Tex updates us on the progress of Elli Thatcher, who we profiled back in April. Check out the podcast in the link below:

FROM OUR SITE

PODCAST

RECRUITING

CURRENT TEAM

SCHEDULE

IRISH IN THE NFL

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Friday Roundup: The “Diddy” Episode http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/06/26/friday-roundup-the-diddy-episode/ http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/06/26/friday-roundup-the-diddy-episode/#respond Fri, 26 Jun 2015 10:00:00 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=29946 In this episode of the Roundup, I forgo any baby stories, I promise. Blogging (and doing podcasts) during this point in the offseason is by far the toughest stretch. We are still too far away from fall camp to begin the hype train in earnest. By this point, news reaches a snails pace as the […]

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In this episode of the Roundup, I forgo any baby stories, I promise.

Blogging (and doing podcasts) during this point in the offseason is by far the toughest stretch. We are still too far away from fall camp to begin the hype train in earnest. By this point, news reaches a snails pace as the dog days of summer approach.

But this week, we received a blessing from blog content heaven with Diddy deciding to go insane at UCLA. Thank you, crazy celebrity for giving me something to laugh about this week.

I have that story, why I now hate Phil Jackson, plus murmurs of Big XII expansion, Lou Holtz shaking down the thunder a bit too hard, the return of CFB Law & Order, and an update on Elli.

The Roundup

Diddy’s goes nuts at UCLA

UCLA has footage, will charge Diddy, Diddy claims self-defense

The source of Big XII expansion talk

Lou Holtz shook down the thunder a bit too hard

FSU QB hits a woman at a bar

CLEMSON COCAINE!

Update on Elli

The Booze

As I stated during the show, I’m rolling with Shiner’s new summer seasonal, Prickly Pear.

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Morning Roundup: June 25, 2015 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/06/25/morning-roundup-june-25-2015/ http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/2015/06/25/morning-roundup-june-25-2015/#respond Thu, 25 Jun 2015 13:03:51 +0000 http://www.herloyalsons.com/blog/?p=29941 Good morning! After a very hectic weekend following the Irish Invasion, the beat writers covering Notre Dame football appear to be taking a very deserved break. If there’s one thing to watch today, it has to be @ndmspaint’s new video ( embedded at the bottom of this page). One Foot Down has a great recap […]

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Courtesy of Daniel Hartwig (via Flickr)

Courtesy of Daniel Hartwig (via Flickr)

Good morning! After a very hectic weekend following the Irish Invasion, the beat writers covering Notre Dame football appear to be taking a very deserved break. If there’s one thing to watch today, it has to be @ndmspaint’s new video ( embedded at the bottom of this page). One Foot Down has a great recap of the top play from last year.

PODCAST

RECRUITING

CURRENT TEAM

SCHEDULE

IRISH IN THE NFL

MISC.

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