In this week's iteration of the Irish Blogger Gathering, The Mouth relates the season to Seinfeld and throws down the gauntlet to our readers in another contest involving wit and rhyming. Get involved.
1. This year more than most, there seems to be an inordinate amount of attention spent on peripheral topics like the jumbotron, field turf, and apparel. Kelly is responsible in large part because he's so candid about his take on them during his press conferences, making it perfectly clear his preferences that stoke the NDNation's ever-burning fire. Do you think he's going too far to push for these "enhancements" or do you think he's doing what's necessary to push Notre Dame's program into the modern age.
Kelly's doing what he feels he needs to do to win games. He wants to bring athletes to Notre Dame. Once he gets said athletes, he wants to be able to out-athlete teams. This can be difficult to do when your every step pulls up an area-rug-size divot. Kelly knows football better than us armchair quarterbacking, internet-writing rubes. And the turf in our Stadium has been in awful shape for years. "If Kelly wants his turf, I think ya'll should give him his turf," to paraphrase ODB. Then, once we get the turf, we can make a boatload of money selling the naming rights to the field: Coca-Cola Field at Frosted Flakes Stadium, Brought To You By Viagra. NBC. That's part of the title. They can just tack NBC on at the end to pick up a little more cash. I kid. The University would never do that. It would be Cialis, not Viagra. Obviously.
But seriously, if the football coach thinks field turf and a ‘tron will help his team play faster and make things more difficult on opposing defenses, why not give him what he wants? Give him the tools he needs to succeed and stop stubbornly clinging to things that are not now and never have been important traditions at Notre Dame. The playing surface and atmosphere in our stadium... how to say this... well, they lack a certain je-ne-sais-quoi-that is to say, lads, they suck. There is no kinder, gentler way to put this. The grass and atmosphere are the suckiest sucks that ever sucked. The student section is the lone, notable exception to the suckiness of the stadium atmosphere.
Knute Rockne started the Notre Dame tradition of innovating. Somewhere along the way that spirit was lost. Kelly is trying to bring it back. Why should we fight him so? Let's help him help us. The only tradition that matters at Notre Dame is winning the right way. And gold helmets...
2. Coach Kelly made it clear today in his press conference that he couldn't care less what you think about the helmets and uniforms...but I care what you think. Give the world your take on the helmets we'll be wearing this weekend.
I was initially quite high on them. Some of our more... ahem... astute (read cynical bastard) readers pointed out that the feathering in the gold finish resembles bowling balls and elevator walls. I admit that the shamrock is quite large, and that it doesn't match the green on the facemask. These things I don't like. I'm also not sure how it's going to look to have a leprechaun on the back of the helmet. That said, I kind of like the overall look, and I love the forest green facemask. I find it interesting that some ND progressives-cough, Murtaugh, cough-are dead-set against a different-colored facemask and forest green in general. Need I remind these people of the Willingham kelly-green debacle??? Forest or hunter green just looks sharp.
Having slept on the helmets-not literally, that would be uncomfortable, like the back of a Volkswagen-I'm with Jerry:
Jerry: Ah, I'm a little turned off.
George: C'mon, what're you talking about?
Jerry: Ahh, I'm, kinda soured.
George: You're soured?
Jerry: Yeah, I'm soured.
George: Don't be soured.
Jerry: I'm sorry, I'm soured.
George: What're you kidding me? .... [You] have no reason to be sour. You'll de-sour, right?
Jerry: I'll try and de-sour.
George: Oh, that's not good enough! You don't try and de-sour. You have to sweeten too!
Jerry: I'll try! I'll try and de-sour and sweeten.
I've "soured," somewhat, but I'm withholding final judgment until Saturday. My gut tells me that blue, gold, and green-never black-give us plenty to work with and that these helmets are just too damn busy. Simplicity is beauty. Stick to blue, gold, green and an occasional shamrock. Maybe throw a green stripe down the center of the helmet. Use the shamrock on the side of the helmet, throw in a green facemask, but match the shades of green for Pete's Sake. I'm not sure about this design, but on Saturday I'll try and de-sour and sweeten.
3. The Irish are starting to incur some injuries that are forcing new players to emerge and contribute. Identify one guy who hasn't made a big contribution thus far that will show up big over the next three games.
This is wishful thinking, but I'd love to see more production from an inside linebacker whose name doesn't rhyme with Te'o. No more talk of rhymes, though. We had enough fun with rhymes during last week's haiku-off. That day that will live in infamy.....
Anyway, new contributors.... I seriously doubt that any more redshirts will be burned. I'd love to say Daniel "The Sith" Smith at wide receiver, but it's probably too late to work him into the game plan in a meaningful way. I'd love to see G-A-Trey rip off a big play out of the backfield. I'm sure everyone would love to see Roby "Tha Doma" Toma get some touches at receiver. We need Stephon "Get Down" Tuitt, Aaron "Sacks Are a Cinch" Lynch and Louis "In Ya Mix" Nix to continue to play at a high level. Speaking of defensive linemen, though, who wouldn't love to see some of the older guys like Brandon "Wrecking Crewman" Newman and Hafis "Nothing Rhymes With Williams" Williams make an impact? That would be who I want to step up-any upper-class defensive lineman. Because we really need someone other than the freshmen to get into the rotation. Kona "Money in the Bankey" Schwenke always seems to be the first one off the bench, though, so I doubt we'll see much action from our upper class linemen.
4. There was a short time during the Notre Dame coaching search when it appeared current Maryland head coach Randy Edsall was the front runner. How different would things be for the Irish program right now if he was chosen in front of Kelly?
Maryland has not been good this year. Suffice it to say that with Maryland sitting at 2-7 ACC, Edsall hasn't had much time at Maryland, but he ain't lookin so hot right now. I'm glad to be where we are. Why did Maryland get rid of Ralph "There's Pork Chops In The" Friedgen?
5. Let's briefly step away from South Bend and address the talk of college football right now: the mind-boggling Penn State scandal. What's your take on the entire situation and what do you think needs to happen moving forward in Happy Valley?
I think that this question was drafted before Paterno was fired. I think that the University was right to oust Paterno and University President Graham Spanier, but the school only did so after Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice-President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz were indicted for perjury. At the risk of stating the obvius, the school's timing was sadly about a decade late. It's a very sad situation and the braintrust at the WorldWide Leader is "reporting" and "analyzing" it ad nauseam, so I won't beat a dead horse.
"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." As a Catholic I'm reminded of our own Church's sexual abuse scandal, so I'm loath to get up onto a soap box to rail against Penn State or Joe Paterno. They made horrible decisions, and it will likely take the victims a lifetime to overcome. The men of power at Penn State did not do the right thing. They ignored that one of their own was molesting children who had nowhere else to turn. What more is there to say?
Our focus now should be on protecting the victims, bringing the guilty parties to justice, and making sure that this never happens again. I hope that Notre Dame uses this scandal as impetus to evaluate its own internal policies on detecting and reporting abuse so that something good may come of this situation.
Give your thoughts on the new upstart, NDERPNATION. Funny? Not funny? Out of line? On point? Link: http://nderpnation.tumblr.com/
I should probably option out of this bonus, but I'll bite. Quoth Rodney King "can't we all just get along?"
Here at One Foot Down we enjoy taking not-so-subtle jabs at our readers and we know that they enjoy giving it right back. They're a smart bunch and they give better than they get. We also have an internal mechanism for minimizing strife. It is not of our own invention. We stole it from Frank Costanza. At Festivus time we engage in the time-honored holiday ritual of The Airing of Grievances.
The Story of Festivus (via slvrfijisrfr)
We tried Feats of Strength but Whiskey ran out of patio furniture to thrown down his hill-Senora Whiskey was none too happy-and we're saving all of our Flipping Sh!t for the Sh!t Flipping Party that we're going to throw when Gunner Kiel, Keith Marshall, and Nelson Agholor commit to the Fighting Irish.
I throw the gauntlet down to our readers. Relate this season or this weekend to Seinfeld or give us your impact player for this weekend with a completely original nickname.