I believe that Notre Dame fans can more or less be classified into two distinct groups: those that prefer the status quo and those that embrace and/or desire change. I think it is a more apt description than “traditionalist” and “non-traditionalist” as all Irish fans certain have their own “thou shalt not touch” list when it comes to certain traditions and even standards at Notre Dame.
Debates centering around change at Notre Dame infuriate me. Part of it has to do with my steadfast belief that Notre Dame doesn’t receive the benefit of the doubt that they can do change well. That doesn’t mean that I believe ND is perfect because, let’s be honest, to crawl out of the abyss that life after Lou Holtz brought, ND has changed presidents once, athletic directors twice, and Kelly is the fifth head coach hired since Lou (because yes, George O’Leary happened). So while I can understand concern in the change debate, I’ve found it hard to reconcile some of the slippery slope arguments that I’ve seen.
And then a look at Michigan. This has to be the nightmare scenario for the status quo crowd.
Dave Brandon appears completely tone-deaf to the fans and alumni of Michigan. Cries of Michigan football creating too much of a corporate, money-making atmosphere matter not to him. Alumni have been angry about this new direction and students have been upset with changes to their seating policy as well as prices for tickets increasing in the face of terrible Michigan seasons and equally poor home schedules. Even Notre Dame fans have reported that the game atmosphere in the Big House now is horrendous in comparison to previous years.
The entire Shane Morris debacle served as the last straw for many Michigan fans. The circus Michigan threw together in trying to handle the PR disaster only made matters worse. A random post on MGoBlog called for a student rally to call for Brandon’s head. The folks behind the site were more than happy to promote and encourage the idea in hopes to kick Michigan into action.
The fallout, however, hasn’t gone in the direction any Michigan fan had hoped. The rich folks (aka the real power) seem to be circling the wagons in defense of Brandon. Brandon went to the media in private interviews, starting first with the student newspaper, and absolved embattled head coach Brady Hoke of all blame for putting Morris in danger. The entire medical staff at Michigan found themselves thrown under a bus and now Brandon will implement a new policy to have a “medical replay official” in the press box to prevent the situation from happening again.
Brandon acts as if he knows he’s bulletproof. I’m certain Hoke will still find himself fired upon the end of the season, but it will be for wins and losses and nothing more in Brandon’s mind. Brandon will then make another (likely sub-par) hire much to our delight as Irish fans because Michigan appears more concerned with a bottom line on a balance sheet.
Perhaps eventually the cries will become too much and Brandon is let go. The aforementioned MGoBlog is most certainly trying their damnedest to stoke that fire. Another post on their board posted a screen shot of a rather curt email from the hated AD. The problem though is that the original email that caused it hasn’t been released. However, later in that thread (yes, I read the whole thing), Brian Cook, the Michigan man behind the site, stated that based on previous emails from Brandon sent to him, he believed that this was worth filing a FOIA request over.
That’s the point Michigan fans are now at: FOIA requests for emails to prove their AD is a dick because they don’t feel Michigan will can him. And, for them, this all started with a few changes away from the tradition that they felt was Michigan.
Could you imagine Notre Dame in this same scenario? I still don’t personally believe Notre Dame would ever come close to that road, but I also imagine Michigan will be exhibit A for reasons to be concerned about proposed changes.
So thanks Michigan, you have now managed to throw so much jet fuel on to your tire fire that it’ll likely spread to ND debates in the future. You can’t even fail properly. I know I’m laughing right now (with the exception of the Morris situation because I’m not that evil), but I can see this causing headaches in a future debate. Thanks, jerks.
Michigan has clearly made bad decisions. But it’s okay, we all have.
Roll Teenage Witch. Melissa Joan Hart, this is creepy.
Ole Miss is definitely rising in the SEC. Congrats the full-fledged NCAA investigation! S-E-C! S-E-C!
This is sad week for basketball fans everywhere. Red Panda has hung up her unicycle. The bowls are now back in the cupboard. Halftime shows will never be the same.
BAH GAWD, KING, THAT’S WEST VIRGINIA’S MUSIC! I have no idea what prompted them to stage WWE matches in their locker room, but it’s hilarious.
Take a virtual tour of Brian Kelly’s office. Seriously, this is a really cool photo gallery that ESPN put together.
Is Schmidt going to get a movie? I definitely have to agree that he is certainly finding more success than another well-known ND walk-on.
Another week in the academic investigation, another week of no news. KeiVarae Russel voiced his displeasure on Instagram and the Observer has called for more transparency in what has been an incredibly long process.
And now your moment of Nix…
In honor of Stanford week, I present to you the Irish Lumberjack, a twist on the Irish Coffee concept:
- 2 oz Bailey’s
- 1 oz Irish Whiskey
- 1/5 tsp Cinnamon
- 2-3 oz espresso
- Half and Half
Pour Bailey’s and the Irish Whiskey and the brewed espresso into a coffee cup. Add in the half and half until the cup is 3/4 full. Steam/froth the milk and top off the cup. Garnish with the cinnamon.
Now, for those of us that don’t have the fancy coffee equipment (/raises hand), go to your favorite coffee stop (even McDonalds will work because it’s the booze that’s important) and order a café latte and spike the sucker with the booze, topping it off with cinnamon.
Granted, this isn’t a drink that you’re going to consume all game. So once you have this in your system as a kick-starter, if you want to continue the lumberjack theme you can brave maple flavored whiskey. Personally, I find that too sweet for my taste, so after I make my tree joke via beverage, I’m going for the Oktoberfest brews before ALL PUMPKIN EVERYTHING kicks in full-force.
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