After any loss, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish media and fanbase indulge in a tradition of self-reflection that generally results in half of the fans going one way and half of the fans going in another direction.
It’s what we do.
The battle lines were drawn ( or traced again for some) once that final second ticked off the clock as the scoreboard showed the final: Notre Dame 35, Duke 38. Everyone wants to take a side as to what should happen for Notre Dame to rise up as a program.
The problem is... there are eight games left.
Eight games to prove something. Winning eight straight won’t fix what we have already witnessed, but something like that would show that perhaps we are all overreacting- even if it’s just a little bit.
To be honest with you, and this is going to sound ridiculously weird, I am kind of excited to see what’s next. How will the team react? How will Brian Kelly react? Is there some "fight" in this team, or will they lay down and quit?
Notre Dame has serious problems and most of these problems are systemic. These are big picture items that must be addressed for the program to move forward. However, there are issues that they can attend to for this season, and must do so if they intend on winning ANY games left on the schedule.
The firing of Brian VanGorder was just the beginning. While the promotion of Greg Hudson probably doesn’t give you any long term relief (just taking an educated guess here), he may be exactly what the Irish defense needs to put it back on track. If he can get this unit tackling better, flying to the ball, and reintroduce them to the passion of playing physical and to hit like the guy across from you just slapped your momma and kicked your dog- we may have something for this season.
The hardcore drama of what is to come with Brian Kelly, this staff, and the players will unfold in a few months. Until then, I want to savor the season- good or bad. I waited 8 months for this shit, and if shit it is- shit it will be. I’m not pretending that the world is at its end with the meteor in plain view, I’m living it up and rolling with what I have left.
Is this a hangover? I think I’m still drunk.