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Notre Dame Football: Talking Fighting Irish Football With ChatGPT

I wonder what it thinks of Marcus Freeman’s style.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: APR 22 Notre Dame Blue-Gold Game Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Where there are Notre Dame Fighting Irish fans there are haters, and in the age of social media, the debates surrounding some of the most unique aspects of Notre Dame’s history and tradition are more visible and accessible than ever. Even with new platforms for discussion, however, fans haven’t gotten closer to answering some of the toughest questions. I took to ChatGPT to see if we could clear up some of the confusion. Here’s how the back and forth went.

The Fate of the Navy Game

While the Irish-Midshipmen tradition has a special place in many Irish fans’ hearts, a permanent place on the Irish schedule doesn’t necessarily make for the strongest season. The bot wouldn’t tell me one way or the other whether the team should drop the series or preserve the classic rivalry, or even answer any specific questions, but I asked it to make opposing arguments.

Here’s the bot’s case to keep the game on the schedule.

Notre Dame should keep Navy on its schedule due to the rich history and longstanding tradition between the two programs. The annual matchup showcases the values of sportsmanship, respect, and camaraderie that are deeply ingrained in both institutions. The game holds a special significance for the players, alumni, and fans of both teams. It serves as a reminder of the enduring bond between Notre Dame and the U.S. Navy. Beyond the on-field competition, the game represents a symbolic tribute to the service and sacrifice of the men and women in the Navy. Preserving this historic rivalry ensures the continuation of a tradition that brings together two esteemed institutions and honors the values they uphold. The Notre Dame-Navy matchup stands as a testament to the enduring legacy and importance of collegiate football traditions.

When I asked the bot to make its case and leave history and tradition out of it, I received this response.

Notre Dame should keep Navy on its schedule not only for the historical significance but also for the competitive and strategic benefits it provides. The game against Navy offers a unique challenge for Notre Dame, as the Midshipmen employ a distinct triple-option offense that tests the team’s defensive discipline and preparation. Facing Navy’s unconventional style of play forces Notre Dame to adjust its game plan, enhancing its ability to adapt and strategize effectively. Additionally, the matchup provides an opportunity for Notre Dame to showcase its defensive prowess against a formidable opponent, which can bolster the team’s reputation and strengthen its standing in college football. Moreover, the game against Navy allows Notre Dame to demonstrate its commitment to supporting the armed forces and honoring the service members who represent Navy. It serves as a platform to promote values of patriotism and unity, fostering a sense of pride within the Notre Dame community.

As for a call to drop the Navy game pointing to the Midshipmen’s specific strengths and weaknesses, here’s what ChatGPT had to say.

Considering the specific strengths and weaknesses of the Navy football program, Notre Dame should reevaluate its scheduling decision. Navy’s unique triple-option offense presents a significant challenge for Notre Dame’s defense. Defending against the option requires a specialized game plan, diverting valuable time and resources from other opponents. Furthermore, Navy’s recent performance has shown inconsistencies, making it less impactful as an opponent in terms of national perception and strength of schedule. By removing Navy from the schedule, Notre Dame can allocate those resources to face teams with a more diverse range of offensive styles, providing valuable experience and better preparing the team for high-stakes matchups. Additionally, Notre Dame can strategically schedule teams that are currently excelling and have stronger national standing, bolstering their own reputation and playoff consideration. Ultimately, making this scheduling adjustment would allow Notre Dame to optimize its preparation, increase its strength of schedule, and improve its positioning within the college football landscape.

‘Cause I Depend on Me and No Conference

Independence sets Notre Dame apart as much as its pageantry. Here’s ChatGPT’s argument for the Irish to keep doing their own thing.

Notre Dame should remain independent due to the numerous advantages it provides. Independence allows Notre Dame to have control over its schedule, creating flexibility and the ability to schedule games against a wide range of opponents from different conferences. This freedom enables the program to maintain longstanding rivalries while also pursuing new and exciting matchups. Remaining independent also grants Notre Dame the opportunity to secure lucrative television contracts and maintain a dedicated fan base nationwide. The program’s national reach and brand recognition are enhanced through independence, solidifying its status as a prestigious institution in college football. Financially, Notre Dame’s independence allows it to retain a larger portion of revenue generated from ticket sales, television deals, and merchandise. Furthermore, as an independent program, Notre Dame can maintain its distinct identity and tradition, ensuring it continues to uphold the values that have defined the program for decades.

As for its argument for abandoning independence, the bot said this.

Joining a conference would provide numerous benefits for Notre Dame Football. First and foremost, conference affiliation would grant access to a structured conference schedule, ensuring consistent and competitive matchups against quality opponents. This would enhance the program’s strength of schedule, a crucial factor in playoff and national championship considerations. Conference membership would also provide Notre Dame with a clear path to conference championships, enhancing its chances of earning a spot in the College Football Playoff. Additionally, joining a conference would strengthen relationships with other member institutions, fostering regional rivalries and increasing fan engagement. From a financial standpoint, conference affiliation can lead to revenue sharing from television contracts and conference distributions, providing a stable and consistent source of income. Lastly, joining a conference would allow Notre Dame to have a say in shaping conference policies and decision-making, ensuring its voice is heard in matters affecting the program.

Was Rudy Offsides?

While we all know the jerseys on the desk gesture never happened and that the PLACT sign is a glaring anachronism, one question remains. Here’s ChatGPT’s non-answer answer.

The question of whether Rudy Ruettiger, the subject of the popular sports film “Rudy,” was offsides during his one play in a Notre Dame football game is a topic of debate and interpretation. In the film, Rudy is depicted as being onside and successfully making a tackle. However, it is worth noting that the movie took some creative liberties and may not reflect the exact events as they occurred in real life.

In reality, Rudy Ruettiger did play for Notre Dame in a game against Georgia Tech on November 8, 1975. He was able to participate in the final play of the game and recorded a sack, which is a remarkable achievement considering his underdog status. However, the specific details regarding whether he was legally onside or not are not widely discussed or definitively documented.

Ultimately, the determination of whether Rudy was offsides would depend on specific game footage, analysis by experts, and the interpretation of the rules by referees or officials. Without access to detailed records or video footage, it is challenging to provide a definitive answer to the question.

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