The University of Notre Dame is one of the best and most prestigious institutions in the United States of America. However, I loathe Notre Dame Football. My hatred of all things related to Notre Dame Football comes from the fact that their fans operate as if we still live in the 1920s. Fans who cling to an illustrious past and use it to justify their mediocrity of the last two decades are the reason why every time Notre Dame loses, I smile, and an angel gets its wings. I smile at Notre Dame’s misfortune because they have their own television deal with NBC, their own seat on the BCS Bowl Selection Committee, and receive their own segment on ESPN’s College Football Saturdays, yet have not been relevant since 1990. Notre Dame Fans expect to get the best recruits, the best coaches, and the best bowl bids because of their lauded history, even as the teams that take the field each year consistently fail to live up to the hype they generate. “Return to Glory” has become a joke. I make no effort to hide my disdain for Notre Dame Football, which leads to the game Saturday night in East Lansing.
Michigan State (2-0, 0-0 B1G) hosts Notre Dame (2-0, 0-0, because they refuse to join a conference and the 21stCentury) this Saturday night. Coming off two home wins (one in Mount Pleasant) against a Boise State team that is not up to the Boise State brand, and a Central Michigan team that is, well, Central Michigan, the Spartans face their first test of the season. The matchup allows me to do something I do not do often: pull for Sparty. If the Spartans are our Little Brother, then Notre Dame is both Michigan and Michigan State’s bratty little sister, who did not get “Princess Golden Dome Barbie” for her fifth birthday.
Growing up a Michigan fan and graduating from Michigan in 2003, beating Michigan State became routine. Sure, there were bumps in the road, but I always counted on a win. That feeling left when Rich Rodriguez came. Even after the West Virginian Nightmare Raised Himself Up out of Ann Arbor, and the Beloved One came, Sparty still beat us. What first started out as pity, then, an annoying flick on my forehead, has turned into blind, seething rage. I hate Michigan State, and let me be perfectly clear on what I mean: I. Hate. Michigan. State.
I still call them, “Little Brother,” because I know it irritates them, even though they have handled us EASILY the last four years. I respect Mark Dantonio as a coach. Look no further than Columbus during Jim Tressel’s successful, and eventually vacated, tenure, to see the blueprint: a punishing defense and a better-than-average offense. Having said that, I hope they lose every remaining game this season, except Saturday.
Every loss Notre Dame suffers hastens their inevitable fall toward oblivion. If Michigan State, the team that has one bowl win since Bill Clinton’s last term, can help put Notre Dame out of its misery… GO GREEN! The sooner we can live in a world where people do not openly weep at a team that has not won anything of significance since their great-grandparents huddled around the Philco, the sooner we can all enjoy our Saturdays again…. GO WHITE ! A quote from Droo McCarthy, my friend, GIGANTIC SPARTAN SLAPPY, and producer of It is What It Is on ESPN 96.1 FM, summed up my call to unity best, “Who doesn’t love to mess with their spoiled, bratty little sister?”