Let's face it ... no one really knows what the 2017 season has in store for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Since last winter we have all come up with scenarios, theories, predictions, and conspiracies to help define what this upcoming season will bring us.
Through it all, I have come up with two absolutes:
- Notre Dame will not go undefeated and win the national championship.
- Notre Dame will not go winless.
It's not that I'm smart, because I assume most of you have those two things written down in black Sharpie somewhere too — but at least I can admit that's all we really know.
So how should we watch the Notre Dame season? There are so many ways to do it, and almost all of them are wrong. I think I have the best way to do it, and provide this gift to you, the loyal fan.
GO FULL BOY SCOUT
I was never a Boy Scout, but I know it has something to do with Being Prepared. You still have over a week to get ready, and you can do it if you have the will. This shit is important, so pay attention.
- Sit down and write out your calendar for the next 3 months. If you're married and/or have kids, this is the most crucial step to take. Really get detailed. Know EXACTLY what you're doing on game day, the bye, the day before, Sunday — get it wrote down.
- Prep your finances. Put as much shit as possible on autopay. GO. TO. WORK.
- It's natural to see your liquor cabinet and garage fridge dwindle down to bare bones by the end of summer. Choose NOW as the time to make a serious run to your favorite place to purchase liquid fun.
A few other things that aren't AS important as above, but require attention, are:
- Prep your social media feeds. Block, follow, and curate to match your grand design.
- Go to confession (if you're Catholic). I'll have to confess that this wasn't listed in the same category as booze, but I'll deal with that. You are so susceptible to so many bad things during the season, you better clean it up now.
- Get your tech right. Be sure your cable/satellite channels are in order, but maybe more importantly ... make sure your ways to watch on your smart phone are ready to go. Whatever these things require, it's best to do it now as to avoid the inevitable OH WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT feeling.
This is the easiest thing to do and the hardest. It's fucking Charles Dickens man. Imagine what you would feel like if the Irish beat Georgia. Now, imagine what you would feel like if the Irish lose to Navy — again, and with those pretty new uniforms.
One is obviously a better feeling than the other.
The biggest difference is the amount of fun that you have. Remember that this is a game and a pastime. Don't make a bad day in South Bend a bad day for your family. I can't tell you how you should do this — you're a fucking adult; figure it out.
KNOW THY PODCAST
Everyone has a podcast these days. We have one, the pay sites all have one, national writers have one — just about everyone has one. LISTEN to them. These podcasts contain a ton of information, and the opinions of writers that you trust are much more truthful in their delivery.
Notre Dame fans have a tendency to only pay attention to what is happening in South Bend. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make as a fan. WATCH COLLEGE FOOTBALL. Pay attention to what is going on elsewhere. Not only does it make you more aware of what is happening around the country, it gives you a better comparison for the Irish.
Don't be ignorant. Don't just watch highlights. Get educated.
This is the hardest part for a majority of fans. Regardless of the wins and losses, Irish fans have a tendency to get tunnel vision. Calls of EVERYTHING SUCKS AND NOTRE DAME SHOULD JOIN THE IVY LEAGUE and NOTRE DAME IS A TEAM OF DESTINY AND THAT 12TH NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP IS AT HAND seem to come out of the mouths of fans pretty easy these days. The thing is, it's never as simple as either of those sentiments.
When Notre Dame wins a close game against a weak opponent, fans like to say A WIN IS A WIN. While true, this sentiment often masks a deeper problem with the team and program. By the same token, fans often scoff during a boring win (10-17 points) or are underwhelmed after beating up a lesser opponent. Be excited for wins, but be skeptical at their meaning.
REMEMBER NEXT SEASON
There's always next season, as any fan of the Chicago Cubs will tell you. As useless as that knowledge is, it can help to know that at some point this season will be history.
The season is long, but there are only 12 games. Don't make the mistake of wishing away a week or paying attention to something else. That weird smell in the basement can wait until Christmas break.
YOU DO YOU
If you want, you can throw all these suggestions in the trash. The best thing about being a fan is being a fan in your own way. You do you, and there is nothing that can ruin your season. (I'm totally full of shit. Of COURSE my way is the best way, but I am morally obligated to give you a choice. Good luck with that.)
2017 Notre Dame Football Schedule
|September 16||@ Boston College|
|September 23||@ Michigan State|
|September 30||Miami (OH)|
|October 7||@ North Carolina|
|October 28||NC State|
|November 4||Wake Forest|
|November 11||@ Miami (FL)|
|November 25||@ Stanford|