By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) Having grown up a Notre Dame fan, I get the dislike of all things Fighting Irish by anyone and everyone who is a fan of another college football team. I understand why they are referred to as “the Yankees of college football”—not because of trophies, of course, but because of a largely insufferable fanbase and national media coverage deemed by nonfans as pretty unworthy.
I consider myself a Notre Dame fan who most of the time hates Notre Dame and its fans. That was reaffirmed after Saturday’s victory over Stanford in South Bend.
The Irish got lucky. Very lucky. I will readily admit that and have done so to the dozen or so people that have asked me, “So whatcha think about that game Saturday?” Luck is fine by me at the time it happens, but as an Irish American I’ve learned that investing in luck is usually a bad idea.
Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor scored a touchdown in overtime. Well, the referees said he didn’t, but anyone not smoking shamrocks could see that he kept moving and got the ball over the goal line. The refs whistled the play dead for some reason, and the Irish get to be ranked fifth in the AP poll and BCS standings for now.
The “whatcha think” question is one that each time I’m asked I know is already answered before I speak because every time I do mention that they probably should have lost to the Cardinas I hear “Yeah, but…” followed by attempts to legitimize the newfound hubris of Blue and Gold supporters.
Don’t expect many Notre Dame fans to accept the luck o’ the Irish. Don’t expect them to acknowledge experts like Mike Pereira, former Vice President of Officiating in the NFL and current rules analyst at FOX Sports, who tweeted following the Taylor play, “We have looked at ND/STA last play from every angle & feel that it is a TD. Progress was not ruled & runner was not down. Ball broke plain.”
Instead, expect those formerly dormant echoes to continue to wake up and preach how awesome their favorite team is. Expect them to rub the Irish’s 6-0 record for the first time since 2002 in the face of anyone who dares speak ill of Their Lady. A lot. It’s just how we… well, they roll.
That’s okay. If you are anti-ND, the next two weeks will be quite annoying (yes, I’m assuming BYU will be thwarted this coming Saturday), but the saving grace is that there is really no chance they finish the regular season undefeated. If by some miracle the Irish get out of Norman, Oklahoma alive in two weeks, they certainly won’t be knocking off a much better USC team in Los Angeles come late November.
The Irish are a savage defense with a mediocre offense featuring a quarterback situation that won’t end well, regardless of whom head eggplant Brian Kelly settles on each week or each quarter. National champions are made of sterner stuff. Notre Dame fans will eventually this season revert to their old woulda, coulda, shoulda selves and slink away mumbling about Manti Te’o deserving the Heisman.
I’m really enjoying the play of Notre Dame in 2012. They’re quite the fun story for a guy like me floating between the two factions of “everything Notre Dame is just the best” and “everything Notre Dame needs to be set on fire.” I also have no illusions about what is likely a team that has been a bit better than its opponents so far (how quickly they forget barely beating a weak Purdue team at home) but is not better than some future ones.
So the Irish coming back down to reality soon won’t crush me like it will most of the rallying sons, and while I’ll take no great joy in that, non-domers certainly will. I guess I’m just lucky to realize that.
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget , but please don’t follow him in real life. He grew up in Chicago’s Beverly To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.