1. The whole Irish thing.
People become fans of college teams for plenty of reasons: Maybe they attended the school, or it’s a family member’s alma mater. Sometimes it’s just a matter of proximity. But for Notre Dame fans, it’s because they’re the Fightin’ Irish — people flock to support a school because it’s their nationality and it’s the only mascot of its kind. The last time I checked, people don’t root for Syracuse because they like the color orange, and although Trojans and Wildcats are cool, it doesn’t determine where anyone goes to school or who they support on Saturdays.
2. Always overrated.
“Notre Dame is back.” —Every college football analyst. Every season.
3. No one has more early season hype.
It doesn’t matter what they did the season before, who’s coaching, or who is even on the field, Notre Dame is going to be in at least one of the pre-season Top 25 polls.
4. They complain that they can’t recruit even though the school recruits itself.
Poor Notre Dame. They’re martyrs for all that is right and just in the cruel world of recruiting. How they manage to fill an entire roster every year is nothing short of a miracle considering nobody wants to play for a team like that. I don’t hear Stanford and Michigan complaining.
6. Touchdown Jesus.
In case you didn’t know, God always roots for Notre Dame. And if there’s one thing Jesus loves, it’s Notre Dame touchdowns.
7. They’re Catholic and they’ll remind you of that fact constantly.
Plenty of Notre Dame alumni and fans are undoubtedly moral, upstanding citizens with a strong faith in God and thorough knowledge of the scriptures. They know that Catholics don’t judge people — they forgive and love their neighbors. So who is going to explain these T-shirts?
9. Everyone is their rival…
Half of Notre Dame’s opponents are considered “rivals.” Basically, if you play the Irish more than once, you’re a rival. And it’s probably the best rivalry in football. You know, because Notre Dame is involved.
10. They put real gold in the paint for their helmets.
There is no reason to have real gold in the paint, except to tell people that you have real gold in the paint.
11. But they put no one above the team…
Notre Dame football is all about the name on the front of the jersey. No one is bigger than the team or the school, which is why everyone is a nameless cog in the money-minting machine known as Notre Dame football.
12. Unless he’s a Heisman Trophy candidate.
13. They’re responsible for Charlie Weis.
14. And the pronunciation of Joe Theismann.
Back when the Theismann was in South Bend he was a legitimate contender for the Heisman Trophy. His name also had a similar spelling as college football’s most famous award. However, it didn’t rhyme — that came later. According to a Washingtonian profile on the former quarterback, “The family name is pronounced Thees-man. Joe was up for the Heisman Trophy in 1970 after a stellar year as quarterback at Notre Dame. Theismann says Notre Dame’s PR director changed his name to rhyme with the prize (Thighs-man).”
15. Then there’s Jimmy Clausen.
“Honestly, I wasn’t really looking at Notre Dame until coach Weis came. Once he came, I guess he saw my highlight tape and offered me a scholarship. I was real honored and blessed to get a scholarship from a guy like coach Weis. He has three Super Bowl rings on his fingers. That what I’m here for, to try to get four National Championship rings on our fingers.” —Carolina Panthers backup QB Jimmy Clausen.
16. And Brady Quinn, who “just needs to find the right system…”
22. They have an excuse for just about everything.
Did you know that “The Bush Push” cost them a National Championship and 72 five-star recruits and ruined all of their marriages?
24. They also take a lot of pride in the black-and-white era of college football.
I mean, of course they were good. They rode horses and played with four footballs. How are you going to stop that?! Their fans act as if it’s still relevant.
25. They’ve probably told you about how they played in the “Game of the Century” in 1935.
They beat Ohio State 18-13!
Or the “Game of the Century” in 1946…
They tied Army 0-0.
OR the “Game of the Century” in 1966…
They tied Michigan State 10-10.
ORRR the “Game of the Century” in 1993?!
They beat Florida State 31-24. So Notre Dame is 2-0-2 in “Game of the Century” games that took place in the 20th century.
26. The BCS “Notre Dame Rule.”
Because they are such a suffering Independent team, Notre Dame automatically gets a BCS invite if they finish in the top 8 of the final regular season BCS rankings.
27. Here’s how they’ve performed in their last 13 bowl games…
28. The fictional “Rudy.”
Rudy is a great, heartwarming movie. I’ll always have a soft spot for the fictional story of Daniel Rudy Ruettiger. Yes, fictional. Rudy’s name was never chanted at Notre Dame stadium, and that famous jersey scene never happened. Just ask his teammate Joe Montana: “Well, the crowd wasn’t chanting. No one threw in their jerseys. He did get in the game. He got carried off [at the end of] the game. … Back then they tried to play someone at the end of [the season] that all the seniors could get in the last home game. The schedule was kind of set that way. So he got in. He did get a sack. And then the guys carried him off, just playing around. I won’t say it was a joke, but it was playing around.”
29. The real Rudy.
From Forbes: “The Securities & Exchange Commission, however, says Rudy Ruettiger has grown up to become a penny stock promoter and scammer. The former Notre Dame walk-on has agreed to pay $382,866 to resolve the SEC’s claim that he participated in a pump-and-dump, fraudulently inducing investors to bid up the stock of his sports drink company, Rudy Nutrition. He did not admit or deny the allegations.”
30. They haven’t “played like a champion” since 1988.
31. Yet despite all of this, every single home game is on national TV so the world can bask in the greatness of Notre Dame.
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