Why I Hate Notre Dame

As Ryan mentioned a few days ago, I’m a graduate of Purdue University. Purdue grads tend to dislike Notre Dame for many reasons. First, they are located in the same state, and no, Notre Dame fan, Purdue is not located in West Lafayette, PG (for Pearly Gates). Second, they play each other annually in football in what has developed into a pretty good measuring stick game early in the season for both teams over the past 10 years. Purdue fans get a little more excited for this game than Notre Dame fans, especially when they can potentially knock off a team that gets as much national attention that Notre Dame does. Purdue fans also have a problem with Notre Dame’s arrogance that exists on many levels, whether it is their so-called superior education (Purdue is comparable or better in many majors), affiliation with the Catholic church, or the fact that their tuition is so high it almost forces them to be so arrogant to mask how stupid they are for going there in the first place. Now, I’m not from Indiana, so the in-state rivalry doesn’t mean much to me. I also don’t hate Notre Dame just because of the fact that I went to Purdue. This is a hatred that’s existed since my childhood. Let’s take a trip back to my grade school days in the early 90’s…..

I’m from a southwest suburb of Chicago that is dominated by Catholic parishes and is predominantly Irish in ethnic background. I’m also Catholic, but my nationalities are Italian and Polish. The street we lived on was infested with die-hard Notre Dame fans, one of which actually went to college there, even though we were about 100 miles away from South Bend. Why were they such huge fans? Well, because they were Irish! And Notre Dame is the Fighting Irish! Also, the local families were so competitive with each other that it seemed like a lot of actions that were taken were an attempt to raise their social status, instead of help the community. Being the great Catholics that they were (even the alcoholics, abusers, and adulterers at home) it was natural to have God’s team, Notre Dame, as the team of choice. They didn’t just love Notre Dame, but they forced it down your throat…Notre Dame merchandise being worn everywhere, ND flags waving outside houses…hell, even my grade school fight song was set to the tune of Notre Dame’s. A visit to a neighbor’s house usually involved being forced to talk about the development of Ron Powlus, and being asked how it could be that I never visited “The Campus” as they called it with an arrogant tone. Keep in mind that maybe 2 people in my whole suburb actually went to school there, and not many more went to ANY college. Being Italian and Polish, and with my family not having a social status identity crisis, I didn’t feel obligated to cheer for a college in a small town in Northern Indiana. With my apologies to Holden Caulfield for stealing his outlook on life, I eventually got sick of the arrogance and phoniness of these certain people in my neighborhood and the love they shared for Notre Dame was tied to my disgust with them.

So, with the basis of hate for Notre Dame laid out in my childhood, there are a lot of other factors that have enhanced my hatred for the Fighting Irish over the years. First, their nickname and logo and the fan base that loves it so much is pretty laughable. Notre Dame is French for Our Lady, which refers to Mary, mother of Jesus. French. There is a famous cathedral in France called Notre Dame. The University was founded by priests from a congregation in France. So why are they even called the fighting Irish? I didn’t care to read the whole story, but apparently it has something to do with one of the presidents of the school being a part of an Irish brigade from New York during the Civil War. What a great reason to give the team that name with all of its history tied to France, though I guess the Fighting French would be kind of an oxymoron. Also, why is “Fighting Why I Hate Notre DameIrish” not considered derogatory like the Fighting Illini of Illinois? For many years, the Irish community has faced the very negative stereotype of hanging out in pubs, getting drunk, and starting fights. So what did they pick as their logo? A drunken leprechaun with his fists up ready to fight. If I was Irish, I would probably be offended by this, but my neighborhood embraced it. That would be like if there was a University of New Jersey Shooting Italians and the logo was a mobster eating pizza and holding a machine gun.

Next, let’s get into Notre Dame’s scheduling practices. They’re always touted for having such a “tough” schedule, because they play USC and Michigan, and maybe occasionally a Penn State or Florida State. But they always schedule some of the absolutely worst programs in the nation where there is no way they could lose (unless they are as bad as they are this year). For example, this year they play Navy, Duke, Stanford and Air Force (who are better than the 3 previous, but still a service academy). They usually fill out their schedule with teams that traditionally range from terrible to just below average such Army, Rutgers (absolute garbage until recently), Boston College, Pittsburgh, Michigan State, Purdue, Syracuse, and BYU. Speaking of Purdue and Michigan State being some of the “easy” games for ND, they recently decided that they will no longer be playing those teams every year to make room for some other schools they agreed to play, which is an interesting coincidence with both programs showing improvement and no longer being complete pushovers over the past decade. Sure each conference will have their crappy programs *cough* Indiana *cough* too, but no conference game, especially on the road, is a guaranteed win. Notre Dame has the luxury of hand picking as many cupcakes as they want instead of 3 or 4 for the conference teams.

I have two more quicker points. First Charlie Weiss is an arrogant jerk, which makes him perfect to coach this team. Also, according to Ballsiest, he looks like Sloth. I wonder if his transformation surgery was actually disguised as “stomach stapling.” He makes this team easier to hate, especially after the respectable Ty WillinghWhy I Hate Notre Dameam coaching ND before him. Also, Notre Dame apologists like the bring up the “high standards” that Notre Dame has for its student athletes, as if they turn down blue chip prospects because they don’t meet the usual standards for acceptance to the school. That’s just a load of crap. A few years back there was a report floating around with the average ACT/SAT scores of incoming freshmen football players by school, and Notre Dame was in the middle of the pack. The top scorers on that list were some of the worst programs around at the time, such as Duke, Stanford, Northwestern, and Vanderbilt. It’s impossible to have a national championship caliber team without bending the admission rules for certain people, and all colleges do it. The ones that don’t are the ones that finish 2-10. I will say though to Notre Dame’s credit by the looks of this year’s team they might actually be near the top of the test score ratings nowadays.

I probably
have more reasons to hate Notre Dame that didn’t come to mind as I write this, so this might need to have a part 2 some day. All I have to say is I’m excited to see the Boilers march over the Irish this Saturday at Ross-Ade. Boiler Up!

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