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Irish Blogger Gathering: Hurricane Warning for Saturday

Here are the questions to this week's Irish Blogger Gathering, brought to us by the fine folks over at Subway Domer.

And while I don't particularly enjoy the new picture on display at their main page, I will oblige and answer these questions anyway.

Here we go...

1. A young man of 12 arrives in the United States from the city of Moroni, on the island of Comoros. He has never seen the game of football before, but notices you watching a game. He seems to really like watching it with you and asks what team he should cheer for. You, of course, tell him Notre Dame in attempt to have more company for your misery. He asks, "why Notre Dame?" Without using any of Notre Dame football history prior to 1995 and without spewing off nonsense about academics (which has no real bearing on a football game); give him your best answer. His name is Tonokiuyt Paluifirtaginerto.

"Well Tonokiuyt, that’s a really hard question to answer in a very simple manner. But if I had to, I would say I cheer for Notre Dame because they’re special and rooting for them just feels right. There’s a lot of little reasons that add up to me feeling that way but it’s also really neat to know that thousands of people who live nowhere near South Bend feel the same way."

2. If you are anything like me, you trolled around the Notre Dame message boards after the loss to Navy. We don't need direct quotes, but what was the best line, subject heading, argument- whatever? Should Irish fans be banned from the Internet for at least a couple of days after the game, win or lose?

I don’t think Irish fans should be banned from the internet because it’s really a good outlet to vent and discuss, even if things tend to get out of hand from time to time.

The comments that I don’t understand are the ones that surround not watching the games. As in, "I stopped watching after halftime," or "I’m not even sure I’ll be watching the game against Tulsa this weekend."

I don’t want to question anyone’s fanhood or anything, but I just can’t wrap my mind around not watching the Irish during college football season. There’s only four or possibly five games left in this season and I’m already feeling depressed.

3. Tulsa is a scary team after a loss to Navy. Before the Navy game- not so much. Give me your most dramatic nightmare scenario as well as your fairybook ending for this weeks game against the Golden Hurricane. Which one is closest to a possible reality?

A nightmare would be a loss, but it could get worse than that with the defense playing terrible, Crist showing us nothing and a rash of more injuries.

A fairy book ending would be nothing other than a complete beat down of the Hurricane, complete with a shutout and a multitude of Crist touchdowns.

Now, the odds are pretty low that the Irish are going to pitch a shutout, but I do think a nice solid smacking of Tulsa is closer to reality than a straight up loss.

4. Most of these IBG's have had a rather dark tone to them because of the season Notre Dame is having. If we would have beat Navy, we would be 5-3 and riding a 4 game winning streak. I had rather hoped to use that cheerfulness, and ask a few light-hearted questions. Seeing as how we lost, I think we need these more than ever. They're not the wittiest questions, but you better answer them:

· What college football team would you blog about if Notre Dame did not exist?

It would have to be a team that matters, a team that I usually enjoy watching, and a team that I don’t detest. So out of the group of teams that meet those qualifications I would probably blog about Texas or Penn State.

· Change Notre Dame's colors. No blues, gold, or green please.

This should be easy since I’m always thinking about ways to improve the current uniform set, but I’ve never really thought about a wholesale color change.

I can’t even think of any other colors to use, it just doesn’t seem right. So I’ll go with something funky and say the uniforms would be modeled after the Swiss Guard, complete with shiny silver helmets and a red stripe through the middle to simulate those red ostrich feathers the soldiers wear.

It would be a pretty psychedelic uniform and new school colors. There's blue in there, but so what...I'm sticking to it.

· Change one play in Notre Dame history. What was it, and how did it help?

Everyone should answer this question the same way: change the 1993 field goal by Boston College to ruin Notre Dame’s undefeated season in the last game of the year.

Change that play and Notre Dame probably wins two national championships under Lou Holtz instead of one.

There are a couple others worthy of consideration (’64 USC, ’90 Orange Bowl, ’05 USC), but for the majority of fans today it has to be that damn Boston College field goal.

· Turn one loss into a win, and one win into a loss for one season. What season and what games are they?

I would turn the 2008 loss to Syracuse into a win and gladly turn the victory against someone like Purdue in the same year into a defeat.

It would have been a lot more tolerable to lose to Purdue early in the season coming off a 3-9 campaign, then losing to a truly awful Syracuse team at home late in the season.

5. Tell me more about this Tulsa matchup. Tell me anything you like- but use at least one real stat.

The stat is 37, as in the number of touchdowns Tulsa quarterback G.J. Kinne has thrown over the last year and a half.

It’s no secret, Tulsa has a pretty explosive offense and they will test the Irish defense both through the air and on the ground.

If Kinne had stayed at Texas where he was originally recruited, he would probably be getting some looks as the starter right now for the Longhorns.

6. Phil Steele now has Notre Dame picked to play in the Pinstripe Bowl. The Pinstripe Bowl is in New York City and will be played in Yankee Stadium. Agree or disagree. Give me your bowl scenarios- if there are any.

Playing twice in New York City doesn’t sound great, but that will probably depend upon how the first game at Yankee Stadium goes later this year and who the opponent would be in the bowl game. If the tickets for the game weren’t ridiculous I would probably think about going since I live in the Empire State…jealous?

As for the other bowl scenarios, I almost never concern myself with that whole scene. I just want the Irish to get the extra practice and play a team with some staying power.

BONUS---- Please tell me that we can turn this season into a positive learning experience for 2011. How?

There are a few things that the team could learn and build from for next year, but I think we’ll just have to trust that Brian Kelly knows how to teach these players and make them better.

I also think that this season has been a big learning experience for Brian Kelly too, and next year he will be more prepared for all of the things (big and small) that come with coaching at Notre Dame and trying to get the Irish to win every single week.

Plus, many players who needed the experience will have played a lot of minutes this year (Crist, Wood, Motta, Calabrese, Cwynar, Jones, Riddick, etc.) and that will make things a little better in 2011.