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Hitting The Links: Summer Jams

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With fall camps opening all over the country, we take some time to look back at the offseason. What was the best story of the slowest part of the offseason?

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As the internet has increased general awareness of popular culture, the idea of a song of the summer has expanded to a cultural institution. This can be a positive development when the general joy, energy, and enthusiasm of summer are concentrated in a three-minute pop song. More recently though, this ideas breeds arguments about what exactly constitutes a song of the summer. Last year, Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" was probably the song of the summer, but I do not think anyone feels great about that. This year, a late surge of fun songs has called into question the crown Fetty Wap's "Trap Queen." This is a case where we are all overthinking.

People like to mold sports into narratives. The college football offseason is not an exception. Once bowl games end, there are many disparate parts that are hard to mold into something coherent. Recruits come in, while other players transfer, graduate, and declare for the draft. Some players emerge in camp while others get injured. Coaches get fired, hired, and are reassigned. New uniform combinations are revealed. Some schools enter new deals with apparel providers. College football persons do fun things, dumb things, terrible things, and things of no consequence. There is a flurry of activity in the offseason and we tend to overthink it.

There's not a tight theme for the summer. In reality, a song of the summer is different for every person. It evokes memories of a time, experiences, and a point of your life. I don't want to remember low points of an offseason or fake memories based on future results. "Do you remember the first summer you heard of [PLAYER X]?" I probably do not.


It might be twee of me, but I will look back at Josh Anderson's scholarship as the best moment of the summer. For as bad as the entity of College Football, the positives can be overlooked. There is surprise and joy. Hard work is rewarded. The team rushes down in excitement for their friend. College football is never perfect, but it still has its wonderful moments.

NATIONAL LINKS

Vernon Adams passed his final exam at EWU so he can play football at Oregon as a graduate transfer. His first test at Oregon? The Kobayashi Maru.

The Solid Verbal begins counting down the top 40 teams for the 2015 college football season. On their first preview pod, they cover the first tier of eight teams. At one point, Dan and Ty make reference to tiers of a wedding cake. Imagine making a wedding cake out of a popular Italian cake. You could call it a "tieramisu."

I feel like it's better to keep your lunch in something insulated rather than a lunch box, but you do you, VT and Ohio State.

Ryan Nanni looks at preseason polls and finds that some teams are routinely underrated or overrated. The results look pretty good for Notre Dame (they are not one of the mentioned overrated teams, just wanted to ease your concerns there, just click the link - it has charts!).

Hey, I just awarded you a national title. Giving out championships isn't just for senators anymore.

These are wonderful names. For all the negatives of recruiting, I will always remember it fondly for the memorable names of some young players.

Did you think hypertension was the silent killer? NOPE. It is Kliff Kingsbury's Red Raiders.

Sports Illustrated wants you to get acquainted with fifteen freshman who will impact college football this year. That's just like their opinion, man.

ICYMI ON OFD

Practice (not a game) started this week. Check out last week's practice reportThursday's practice report,  and then come back later for a surprise! (Another practice report!)

Showtime, home of shows like Homeland and House of Pies is going to produce a weekly program about Notre Dame football. The most recent Late Offer wonders if the show is something that recruits will watch. My first issue is that Showtime shows go on for too many seasons. The first season of Homeland is great, but then oof. My second issue is I heard teenagers just watch now Friends on Netflix now. This might be true but it also might be a big prank teens are playing on the rest of us. If so, good job, teens.

Big boards! A big board for defense and some individual boards for offense - athletes/ wide receiversQBs/ RBs, and tight ends/ O-line.

I have a great affinity for the NCAA Football series of video games. From that perspective, I love this article about simulating the 2015 college football season. My feelings about the simulation results are less clear. Just another way computers are plotting to take over mankind.

Five Wide Fullbacks is BACK and talking soccer ball, Justin Brent, hot seats, and EPL kits.

Speaking of unis, the new Shamrock Series uniforms have been revealed. As the game is at Fenway Park, these uniforms take their cue from Boston's famed "Green Monster" wall and Matt Damon's landmark role as Green Will Hunting.

After being ruled ineligible for the year, Greg Bryant will be transferring to a junior college in Florida.

The Mailbag just won you your fantasy football league. You are welcome (*Note: if you are in a fantasy football league with another person reading this, well then you just tied. Congratulations still).

A few years back, a guideline was posted on rebuilding Notre Dame football. How's the rebuild going? Find out here.

One Foot Down just doesn't want to prepare you for Notre Dame football. We also want to prepare you for all of college football. Get primed on the Pac-12 and the Big 12. One of these conferences has twelve teams. The other? I wish it wasn't a liar.

IRISH LINKS OF NOTE

Jaylon Smith comes in at number 12 on Bruce Feldman's Freaks list. Slipping in ahead of him is human mountain LaQuan McGowan. Feldman's feature descends from his time working on NBC's series Freaks & Geeks. He once published a Geeks list but it was just football players active in the MMORPG community or guys who spent their time tracking down obscure Steely Dan singles during the offseason. Eventually, Feldman had a realization (while, legend has it, having lunch with Freaks & Geeks stars Seth Rogen and Samm Levine) that most people are "geeky" about their hobbies. Who among us is above the boundless joy of enthusiasm and immersion?

KeiVarae Russell also made the list, but this was a matter of fact after we watched Russell jump on boxes for the past year. Fun fact: initially Super Man did not fly, but only jumped very high. So we should all expect KeiVarae to start flying around the Clemson game.

ESPN visited Notre Dame's fall practice at the Culver Military Academy. Rece Davis sat down with Smith and Joe Schmidt to talk about the defense, the start of camp, and the upcoming season.

Bud Elliott considers Notre Dame one of a handful of teams that has pressure to turn high recruiting ranks into on-field wins. "When the wins don't walk, the recruits start to talk." - a quote from me that shows not every phrase has to rhyme.

Congratulations to Ronnie Stanley for make the 2015 Piesman Trophy Watch List.