So as I was live-tweeting a rather pedestrian radio interview of Brian Kelly on WSBT’s Weekday SportsBeat, things started to get rather interesting.
It started with some humor, such as Kelly being asked if he would install a jumbo package with Louis Nix III as the running back. Then that followed with Kelly asking if “Crazy Train” would be the third down song of choice. Kelly laughed that off, implying even he was rather sick of it, saying “everything was under evaluation” and later joked with the crew that “Call Me Maybe” was 100% not going to happen.
Then a caller asked when field turf and a jumbotron would be coming to ND. Kelly, never mentioned the jumbotron directly, but started talking about how there was field turf around the edges of the field to help promote player safety.
“Field Turf is coming,” Kelly said. “It’s something that’s eventually going to be in the stadium. We had a lot of construction in there this year, which kind of put us back a little bit, but that’s coming.”
He later added that it could be as early as the 2013 football season.
I couldn’t believe it–especially since my question to Jack Swarbrick on the Hangout I couldn’t join was precisely about tradition and change. Not that I think I would’ve gotten Jack to admit field turf was in the plans (although that would’ve certainly made things interesting), but more so because his opinions on tradition at Notre Dame seems more prevalent now than ever.
This topic is particularly of interest to me and I wrote about it at length during last season. It’s not that I don’t understand why people are against things like field turf, piped in music, or even a jumbotron, but more so that I have a hard time boiling down the grand tradition that is Notre Dame to those things–especially when this program started under someone like Knute Rockne.
Our current student on the HLS staff, Grantland-X, has written about the current state of the student body in regards to tradition. In there, he mentions how students were actually calling for some change–they wanted some new traditions to call their own. In regards to field turf, he also mentions how Kelly had told his players field turf would definitely be coming as well.
There is clearly a divide, and it isn’t just generational. I know plenty of fellow Domers my own age that are as vehemently against the fake grass as some older alumni and I know older alumni who could care less about a playing surface change much like I do.
For me, when I think back to Notre Dame or its football program for that matter, the grass isn’t what I hold on to. I think of the Student Manager Organization that is unlike anything else in collegiate athletics. I think of the marshmallow fights in the senior section that still go strong despite usher opposition. I think of pushups in the stands. I now think of the players walking through the student section before they go to battle (something I wish they did while I was there).
I don’t give a damn about the playing surface. The only thing that I care about on the playing field is the result–everything else is just noise that I pass off as minor news, not earth-shattering, tradition-crippling change.
UPDATE: In his presser today, Brian Kelly was asked about field turf yet again. He amended his statement, saying he left out a word. He “hopes” that field turf will be coming soon. He also went on to clarify that decision is not his, it will be Jack Swarbrick’s and he does not want to do his job for him.
Also coming soon: HLS 3.0. Truth be told, this was going to be the original theme of the Roundup; however, things change. Either way, next Friday there will be no Roundup or Good Friday as HLS will shut down for the weekend. Instead the redesign that both myself and Flannerite have been busting our asses on will go live.
It’s going to be a huge change not only visually, but also in the breadth of content that we cover. We are all very excited and I can’t wait to show it off to all our readers on Monday, August 13.
Sign-able babies: available now. Only in college football does this happen.
The preseason AP poll will be out in a couple of weeks. For now, whet your appetite with the preseason coaches poll. Oh, by the way, ND is ranked 24.
The football season can’t arrive soon enough. In the meantime, let’s turn the Summer Olympics into college football because why not?
Now delayed: Montee Ball. I have no idea why some idiots would beat the hell out of the Wisconsin running back, but now he is out for the start fall camp.
Also delayed: Navy. Three players failed their conditioning test and they are important ones.
Still running strong: Notre Dame Blogs. One Foot Down takes a look at how our current schedules pale in comparison to the past. Subway Domer made sure to capture the Twitter reactions when certain suspensions were announced. Finally, Keith Arnold of Inside the Irish caps off his ranking of the top 25 Irish players.
Forgive me, but I am in crunch-time to get HLS 3.0 launched. This is all I will be drinking while trying to survive my day job and HLS:
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