Monday, July 23, 2007

College Football at its Best - Notre Dame Fighting Irish


Today, Stiles Points features the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame in the series, "College Football at its Best".....Rob from the blog Rakes of Mallow took time to respond to my questions....he is a 21-year old, senior-to-be student at the University of Notre Dame.....he was born into a Notre Dame family and has been watching the Irish since the early 90's.....his life motto is "Michigan Sucks"....
  • Rakes of Mallow - Notre Dame


  • Q1. First question - should Notre Dame wear the green jerseys at least once a year or only on very special occasions?
    This is a topic that is heavily debated among ND fans, but I'm of the opinion that Notre Dame should stick with a color for good. I think the green jerseys are just as sharp as the blue ones, but the speculation before every home game about what color the jerseys will be gets tiresome rather quickly. If I was making the decisions, I'd stay with the blues for good. We'll be wearing the green jerseys for the USC game – mostly as a silly marketing ploy by the athletic department and Adidas to sell more jerseys. What was once a great Notre Dame tradition has turned into gimmicky joke.

    Q2. What is the greatest Notre Dame football game that you have seen - whether it be in-person or on television? Explain the game and why it was so great.
    As a young lad like myself, I don't think I could pick any other game than the USC-ND game of 2005. That was one of the best college football games of it's time. There was something special brewing that October day in South Bend and even though ND lost, you can't deny the greatness of that game. The energy and excitement was unbelievable. Even after the fact, I sometimes forget how much of an impact that game had on the entire college football season. If the 'Bush Push' (photo) had never happened, Notre Dame would have likely been 10-1 and in contention with a few other teams for the National Championship game. It still frustrates me today. I have a feeling that 4th and 9 play will be one of the last things I see right before I die.

    Q3. Who do you consider Notre Dame's biggest rival - Michigan or Southern Cal?
    USC. Next question. But seriously, Southern California is our main rival since the 30's and will always be our biggest rival. We've played USC 78 times since 1926 (currently own a 42-31-5 record against them) versus only 34 times against Michigan (we won't speak of records for this one). We've played Michigan State, Purdue, and Navy more times than we've played Michigan. It's more of a recent rivalry even though the first game between the two schools was played in 1897. There's no scientific explanation about why USC is a bigger rival than Michigan. Notre Dame fans circle both games on their calendars, but USC is always the biggest game of the year. I'd consider USC our rival and Michigan our enemy.

    Q4. Since 1970, who are the five greatest players to wear an Notre Dame uniform and why?
    Interesting question and if you were to ask 5 different people their top-5 players, I'm sure you'd get 5 different sets. Keep in mind I'm still a student and lack the complete history of the program, but my list would go:
    QB Paul Hornung – The Irish quarterback from 1955-1956 was the only player to win the Heisman from a losing team. In his senior campaign he ranked 2nd in total offense, had 55 tackles as a safety on defense, and even punted and kicked for the team.
    WR/KR Raghib (Rocket) Ismail – If you thought Reggie Bush had the ability to change a game, you should re-watch some of the Rocket's film. On offense (as both a running back and wide receiver) and on special teams, opposing coaches dreaded letting him get the ball. It was an absolute crock that he finished 2 nd in the Heisman ballots behind Ty Detmer.
    RB George Gipp – Even though I doubt he'd have the same success today as he had in 1917-1920, you can't deny the Gipp's greatness in college football history. Averaging 8.1 ypc in his senior season, the Gipp lead the Irish to 19 consecutive wins and set milestones both running and passing.
    QB Johnny Lujack – Notre Dame's Heisman winner in 1947 won 3 National Championships under coach Frank Leahy in his short time at Notre Dame. He was part of the squad that never lost from 1946-1949 and was the centerpiece of Irish greatness in the 1940's.
    TE/DE Leon Hart – Hart (photo) was the last defensive lineman to win the Heisman Trophy award and was the last Heisman Trophy winner to be selected #1 in the NFL draft. Hart was a 2-time All-American at defensive end and even averaged over 15 ypc as TE on offense.

    Q5. Make your case why Notre Dame football, as a whole, is the best football program in the country?
    While I could make a case for why Notre Dame football is the best program in college football history (I think many people would agree with that – or at least list them in their top 3), we've still got our work cut out for us if we want to become the best football program in the country right now. I don't think Notre Dame will ever have the most talented team in the country, but there's no reason why we can't have top 5 talent and I do believe we're getting there. It's going to take awhile for us to rebuild after truly one of the worst coaching staffs in college football and I do believe Charlie Weis will win a National Championship before he leaves South Bend. Good things come to those who wait, right?....

    I want to thank Rob for his time....it is much appreciated....tomorrow our buddy Zach will write about the Washington Huskies....


    7 comments:

    GMoney said...

    The best and worst part about Notre Dame football will always be the anal sex.

    williamsafire said...

    Good story. BTW, your masthead should read "Mahoning valley comprises Youngstown, Warren, and Niles."

    twins15 said...

    As always, nice work!

    Anonymous said...

    Didn't Carson Palmer win the Heisman and get selected #1 overall in the NFL draft? What am I missing?

    NDHater said...

    The best part about this moron's response is his inability to name five great players SINCE 1970! Instead he circumvents the question by including 4 pre-1970 players.

    Just another reason ND fans have no clue. No one cares about your 1,348 titles won before television!

    NDHater said...

    The best part about this moron's response is his inability to name five great players SINCE 1970! Instead he circumvents the question by including 4 pre-1970 players.

    Just another reason ND fans have no clue. No one cares about your 1,348 titles won before television!

    JaMarco said...

    It doesn't matter what they wear this year. They should probably wear those little dresses that they wore at the sugar bowl, that helped a little.