Friday, September 18, 2009


I’ve spent the past six days stewing in bitter anger about another heart-wrenching loss at the hands of a hated opponent, listening to every blowhard with a microphone point to last Saturday as proof that Notre Dame is not for real, listen to people claim Charlie Weis is a dead man walking. It’s been an agonizingly long week.

As I left work today I found myself looking forward to tomorrow far less than the last two. I cancelled what would’ve been a whirlwind trip to South Bend after the Michigan loss. Why? Because frankly it would take someone with a .33 Kool-Aid Content (and a .20 BAC) to be able to justify driving 20 hrs to be in South Bend, Indiana for 24 hours with no ticket for the game in hand. Would I have done it if Shaq Evans caught that comeback route on the right sideline and we beat the Skunkbears? Yes. My KAC would’ve been around .75, more than enough to send me hurtling toward I-80 and the inevitable speeding ticket in Ohio (aka America's Rest Stop).

I came home, turned on the television, and flipped to ESPN. Who was on the screen? Saint Lou Holtz and the Son of Satan Mark May. They were running through the weekend’s games and arrived at the Notre Dame game. Lou predicted a Notre Dame victory—not exactly a stretch given the 11.5 point spread. Then Mark May took the stage.

“This isn’t being played in Notre Dame Stadium, it’s being played in SPARTAN STADIUM. Last time Michigan State lost in South Bend YOU (Lou) were on the sidelines in 1993. Michigan State will win this game.”

It’s so typical that it’s gotten to the point when he comes on the screen it puts me in a bad mood. But today instead of playful banter you could see Lou’s blood start to boil…and with one sentence he instantly got me fired up for the game again.


Memories of the classless punks running out to the fifty yard-line after their 2005 overtime victory came pouring back into my head. They took their flag and stuck it in our field. They taunted the student body, taunted the alumni, taunted the players. The sheer anger and hatred boiled back to the surface—that same feeling that I had in 2006 when we went into East Lansing and ripped their hearts out.

Notre Dame has some serious issues to address, namely the gaping hole the defensive line has been through two weeks. But Michigan State is a mediocre football team. They just lost to the Chippewas of Central Michigan. They’ve won six straight games in Notre Dame Stadium, a streak that is bound to end. My roommate has harped on how every year we underestimate Michigan State and that the 11.5 spread is just way too much. At this point I disagree.

The Irish are angry. They know about the streak, they’ve heard the media and many of their own fans turn on them after the loss to Michigan. This is a team confident in their abilities, confident in their execution, confident in their destiny. Michigan State is a more conventional offense than the previous two we faced—right up Tenuta’s alley. They have an inexperienced quarterback who has not performed very well when he’s faced pressure. They don’t have Javon Ringer. They don’t have a gamebreaker on the outside like a Plaxico Burress, a Charles Rogers, or a Devin Thomas any more. They don’t have a secondary that can keep up with the likes of Michael Floyd, Golden Tate, and Kyle Rudolph.

They don’t have a chance.

They will pay, Lou. They will pay.

Notre Dame 31
Michigan State 17

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