Well, loyal readers, the Mouth of the South is back after a long sojourn that may or may not have involved copius amounts of mescaline, a 1958 Cadillac, a pound of Polonium 210--which does not go down smoothly, I can assure you--a contemplated extended visit to an extradition-free country, staving off a total European economic collapse, a disputed $30 million marker in the Casino Monte Carlo, Stuxnet, Stuxnet 2.0: The Ignition Remix, and a dozen illegallly-imported sable. I actually took some great vacation videos:
But this digression has become tiresome. Now we must delve into the week's five most-pressing ND-football-related issues.
This week the Fighting Irish secured commitments from uber-recruit Jaylon Smith and Stephon Tuitt clone Isaac Rochell. Was this the best week ever for Irish Defensive recruiting?
We've had a healthy internal debate about whether Manti Te'o or Jaylon Smith was the bigger recruiting acquisition, but I care not for dissenting views. So having done absolutely no research on this topic, I will say unequivocally that the answer is "yes." At least for this decade. I'm sure someone is going to point out that the Irish had a better haul in 1887, when we went from 0 defensive players to an entire roster full of St. Joseph middle school eigth graders, or when Jesse Harper secured American-footed ball commit-ments from Moose "Crazy Legs" O'Houlihan and his 20 brothers in 1893, or when Frank Leahy brought his entire company of Navy SEALs back from World War II, but I'm going to ignore all of that and enjoy this week and the defensive carnage that is certain to ensue in its wake. Welcome aboard to Jaylon and Isaac. Begin to do Coach Kelly's bidding on the recruiting trail, lads.
What are Irish Fans saying about Austin Collinsworth's season-ending injury?
Well, this is certainly a blow to Irish depth at safety. All indications from the coaching staff are that Collinsworth had a very-good-to-breakout spring. Given Notre Dame's lack of experience and depth at safety in the wake of Harrison Smith's departure for the NFL, this is certainly a blow. I'm probably more concerned than others at One Foot Down about freshmen Elijah Shumate and Nicky Baratti stepping right into meaningful minutes at safety, but I am hoping that Danny McCarthy can show why he was the more-highly-touted of the McCarthy boys coming out of high school.
NDNation no longer recognizes Notre Dame Football as an entity, and thus completely disavows the existence of Irish Football, Austin Collinsworth, Chris Collinsworth, NBC, and the planet Earth. Yet NDNation still professes hatred of and for said entities, corporations, and planets, and maintains that this portends another 8-5 records, perpetual mediocrity, and continued NDNation schadenfreude.
Notre Dame's Ministry of Truth, I mean, Athletic Department's Reaction:
Beloved Comrade Collinsworth is totally healthy and not-injured, and he is only visiting Cuba to see his good buddy Comrade Castro, and not to undergo life-saving surgery.
Best wishes to Comrade Collinsworth for a speedy recovery. We'll be waiting for your breakout season in 2013, Austin!
Dazmine Cathey-what lessons does his story hold for Irish fans?
The simple fact that Notre Dame recruits football and basketball players that can read both sets Notre Dame apart academically and hamstrings the Irish athletically. Imagine Notre Dame admitting students like Cathey. It is both objectively good that Cathey was given an education that he otherwise would not have gotten and objectively bad that Cathey and others like him fall through society's cracks and get through high school and into college WITHOUT BEING ABLE TO READ. If Notre Dame (a) brought in academically troubled players like Cathey, (b) completely disregarded NCAA rules, or (c) disregarded both student-athletes' academics and NCAA rules, wouldn't the Irish be able to compete for National Championships every year? One would think, but none of that has helped Ohio State. Even when the Buckeyes made it to the National Championship game in the past ten years, they could only be said to have "competed" for National Championships in the loosest and most charitable possible sense of the word "compete."
This week we're rolling out a new recurring bit on Five Wide Fullbacks--Mouth of the South engages a commenter in a Joke Off:
One Foot Down's beloved long time reader, commenter, ne'er-do-well, and all-around miscreant and malefactor Publius took a shot across the bow of the SS Atkinson III this week:
Collinsworth was doing a keg stand, but made the mistake of asking GAIII to hold him
Even the Pope hates the Trojans
Publius 1, GA 3 1, er, GA3 1.
Mouth Response: Yeah, totally stupid call by Austin. Everyone knows that if you need help with holding, you go to Paul Duncan. And if Collinsworth had been shotgunning, Sam Young would have been the obvious choice, because astrophysicists are still trying to identify a substance that cannot pass straight through Sam Young matter. Young has actually disproven the theory that two particles cannot occupy the same space. Still, at least Young and Duncan would have been guaranteed to get an early jump on the race.
I'll take all counters in the comments section.
Contest: Come up with a new defensive cheer.
When I was but a lad of college age, the marketing geniuses in the ND Athletic Department's Ministry of Truth promulgated a new defensive cheer: after a big hit, the band would play a pretty cool drum riff, then everyone would say "ABUSE!" Not bad, I'll concede, but I think it's time for a new defensive cheer. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed and keep coming back to defensive-line coach Mike Elston's cogent analysis after a particularly impressive Stephon Tuitt play during drills: "Seemed like that was just a little bit athletic to me."
Picture it: the stadium is divided up into 11 segments, and each one is responsible for one of the eleven words in the cheer. It's cool. Underdstated. Full of "swag." But also aloof. I mean, that cheer might as well wear skinny jeans and a vintage T-shirt it's so cool. Then you get into merchandising--"Seemed like that was just a little bit athletic to me" shirts, hats, signs, lunchboxes, ringtones, facebooks and twitters--which are things--and whatnot. Note to Swarbrick: feel free to use this, Jackie... right after we talk over a few deal points. And to One Foot Down's Department of Corporate Hacks: I came up with this idea in my capacity as a independent contractor and therefore own sole rights to it. If you disagree, feel free to contact my attorney.
What say our beloved readers?