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USC v Notre Dame

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Notre Dame Football Rivalries: Who Hurt You?

What Players Do You Still Hold Responsible for Your Pain...

Who Hurt You?

As we continue rivalry week here at SB Nation, I wanted to get a little personal. There have been so many games, teams, and times that I have felt personally victimized by another team.....but I wanted to get even more intimate to pinpoint not just the team, but the individuals who have hurt me, and by association, you. It’s OK that you still hold a vendetta many years later because one Saturday many years ago, a player ruined your day, your week, your year, and for some....decades. It is as if they had an issue with the way you were sitting on your couch and made it their mission to hurt you....and they succeeded.

As painful as it may be, this is intended to be therapeutic. Let out your hate and share with the world the individuals who have occupied real estate in your head all these years. Let it out into the world and move on.

The Birth of Hatred

Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, Dwayne Jarrett.

Football - NCAA - Notre Dame vs. USC Photo by Andy Altenburger/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images

This one may be obvious, but the combination of Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, and Dwayne Jarrett will haunt my dreams forever. I was in the camp of loving Reggie Bush because he was so electric, but was deathly afraid of him coming into Notre Dame Stadium in 2005. In my naivety (sweet word), I thought that Notre Dame would come out victorious and Reggie Bush wouldn’t rip my guts out....but boy was 12 year old me wrong. I was at that game and sometimes still wake up in a cold sweat remembering the moment I celebrated a win for a few fleeting seconds. All 3 of those guys brought USC back to life when they were seemingly dead. The 4th and 9 throw to Jarrett, the Leinart fumble that should have ended the game.....and the dreaded Bush Push. One of those would have been bad enough....but all three have remained in my brain, heart, and soul all these years later. Will I go as far as saying these plays robbed me of my youth? Maybe. At the very least they hardened me and let me feel something I hadn’t felt until that moment...

That felt good. I’d been holding that in for far too long.

The Flag.....Just.....Don’t Throw It....

Florida State Refs circa 2014

Notre Dame v Florida State Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

To this day it is painful for me to even write. I was at Patrick Malloy’s, a bar in Hermosa Beach, California, with a group of family and friends. We had been drinking all afternoon and the apps were flowing. We’re talking corned beef egg rolls, pretzel bites, nachos...really just the works. As you can tell this was an unreal day. Notre Dame had a near perfect game plan. Corey Robinson turned into a super human. Things were working. Robinson caught the game winning touchdown on a pick play. (Yes I realize there is gray area with the PI but screw that.....Hunter Renfrow won the National Championship on the same play a couple years later). It wasn’t clear PI since the defender initiated contact but SHIT I WASN’T GOING TO GET INTO IT BUT HERE I AM RAGING 6 YEARS LATER ON A THURSDAY IN JULY. (inhale.....exhale....the Refs can’t hurt me anymore).

Your Turn.

I wanted to not only share a couple of mine, but have you let out some hate and give you an opportunity to vent here a little bit. We are all still cooped up and most likely filled with anxiety and rage so I ask you.....get it out. You will feel a weight lifted off of your shoulders. You can finally feel vindicated talking about your hatred of Tate Forcier, Denard Robinson, members of the 1993 Boston College team....and many many others. Share in the comments below!!

Optimism

USC v Notre Dame

Next week I am going to run a similar story, but from the perspective of rivals of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This will balance things out and take this hate, and turn it into pure pleasure. Just thinking about Tom(my) Rees beating USC as a true freshman in 2010.

GO IRISH!

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