Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Evil "Notre Dame" Empire Strikes Back

The girls over at the Irish Band of Sisters Blog put together a little rebuttal to the Notre Dame preview I wrote this week, plus the extra comments I included to fill in anything the Irish faithful felt was missing. They open up with a couple of comments directed at your's truly.


Dropped on my head as a baby?

Little guy?

You must have forgotten eating the lead paint off my crib rails.

I am going to post the base of the article and include my comments in red. I have to tell you there isn't a lot of substance here, it is just the usual BS that we are Notre Dame, and because we are Notre Dame we are going to beat you because your Washington. Jake Locker can't even spell Tim Tebow let alone put on a Tim Tebow demonstration on the football field.

You have to like a guy that is loyal to his favorite team, but some of the comments, especially the one's about Oregon State, and Arizona lead you to believe he doesn't really know college football outside of South Bend, and it is very doubtful if he has ever even been to South Bend.

You either love Notre Dame, or hate Notre Dame. Once again here are some more good reasons to continue rooting against Notre Dame each week as the losses keep adding up.

Irish Rebuttal From Band of Brothers

There were a lot of responses across the ND message boards these past two days about John Berkowitz's preview of the Notre Dame - Washington game on Oct. 25. Although John put a lot of time and effort into his piece, I'm going to put my spin on this hotly contested debate.

Ok little fella, yes Notre Dame has a very strong contingent of Subway Alumni. Yes some probably have not had the chance to take in a glorious fall, football weekend in South Bend, but that doesn't mean they do not know a thing or two about football, especially Notre Dame Football! Also, Notre Dame is more like Northcentral Indiana, not Northwestern as he proclaims. Plus if he thinks the Huskies can beat BYU, then he's either, A) Dropped as a baby, or B) Very delusional.

(Since our family owns a summer home about twelve miles directly North of the Golden Dome we have a pretty good idea on the location. The Husky blog received around 40 posts from BYU fans who said I was spot on with the preview of their team, and quite few who felt UW would win the game. )

I definitely can think of a few teams that will be so-called "weaker" teams than Notre Dame that's on Washington's schedule. Arizona and Oregon State will definitely be down this season. Oh yeah, didn't the Irish beat UCLA last season? But what do I know, right?

(I don't think the Irish can beat UCLA, Oregon State, or Arizona in 2008. I'm not even sure if Washington will beat Arizona, and Oregon State. Arizona is actually up this season with one of the best offenses in college football. They do sport a defense that is almost as potentially bad as the Irish's. The Beavers have some holes to fill on defense, but they actually have the potential players to fill those holes, I wouldn't take them for granted with the players they have at WR, and RB. The point is the Irish will not be able to score enough points to stay up with the majority of Pac Ten teams in 2008.)

John's take is that Washington is this scoring machine. Yes the Huskies averaged over 4 touchdowns a game last season, while the Irish managed only a tad over 16 points per contest. On the flip side, Washington's defense was and IS a lot worse than the Irish! Kent Baer's stellar defense, which got him fired, gave up 31.6 points a game. ND's wasn't much better at 28.8, however a resurgence of talented Freshmen and Sophomores will be ready to make 2008 a season to remember. Oh yeah a guy named Tenuta should help too!

(You answered the question yourself, the Huskies averaged over 4 TD's per game against the toughest schedule in the country, and the Irish only averaged 16 points per game with a schedule that included such cupcakes as Duke, Stanford, Navy, and Air Force. Was Army, and Vanderbilt busy? Tenuta and Weis on the same staff....would love to be a fly on the walls during the meetings and at the all you can eat buffet. The chances those two inflated ego's are going to get along are pretty slim. Notre Dame's defense stunk in 2007, and there isn't much to indicate other than a new DC that they will be that much better in 2008. You lost your top DB this summer, and the national media thinks that your defensive line will regress this season, but what do they know, they just cover college football every week for a living. If 6-6 is a season to remember than the standards in South Bend are slipping. Make no mistake the Washington defense was the worst in our schools history in 2007, but there is reason for optimism that we can improve from absolutely terrible to simply average in 2008.)

The middle portion of his article is his little rant about Washington's offense and how unstoppable they are going to be. Fair enough, Notre Dame had a tough time of stopping the run. However, the Irish are going to be well tested before they face the Huskies. Also, Husky Stadium hasn't been intimidating to the Irish before, so I don't think it will be this time around too!

(Well tested, how about beaten down, and limping. This isn't your mother's Irish, this is a team full of doubt that had it's nose rubbed into the ground almost every weekend last season. They didn't lose close, they lost ugly, and when they lost ugly they figured out new ways to even look uglier the next week. You have to admit that game day coaching was pretty suspect in 2007, but hey, you rebounded against Duke, and Stanford.)

Lastly we'll go over John's infatuation with Husky QB Jake Locker:

I'll give John some credit that Locker is a good mobile QB. He did average 82 yards on the ground last season. In one of his responses to an Irish fan, John compares Locker to Florida's Tim Tebow. Yes, Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow. Ok, ok, ok, let's stop the man love and hippie dreams right there. Locker is no Tim Tebow. Locker has to be a good passer to be in the same breathe as Tebow. In fact, Locker is statistically the worst passer out of the O'Brien Preseason Watch List. Jake is one of two passers to have thrown more interceptions (14) than touchdowns (15). Wake Forest's Riley Skinner was the other QB in that category (12 TDs/13 Ints). Locker, however, has the worst completion percentage out of the entire group at 47.2%. There was only one other QB below 50%, Illinois' Juice Williams (48.4%).

(Ok, I admit it, most of the Northwest has a man crush on Jake Locker, and so do I. Jake had problems with accuracy in 2007, most first year starters do. He also had receivers that simply didn't hang on to the ball very well in 2007. We would usually count around six drops per game. that really skewed his average. Based on what we witnessed this spring, and over the summer Locker is improved, plus he will be throwing to an unsung bunch of young receivers who just may be the most talented group Washington has had in about twenty years.)

If you were wondering, Jimmy Clausen had 7 touchdowns to 6 interceptions, and completed 56.3% of his passes last season. Also I've heard plenty of folks complain about Clausen's age saying he wasn't a true freshman because he was 20, blah, blah, blah! Well I hate to break it to Washington folks, but Locker wasn't a true Freshman either. This will be his third year in Seattle, as he redshirted as a freshman. So technically Locker had the better advantage of being in practices of a entire season of the college game under his belt.

(I wasn't impressed with Clausen, in fact nobody was impressed with Clausen last year. He didn't make a good impression either when he reported in to Notre Dame camp last summer either. I think the kid has good potential, but he is going to spend a lot of time on his back again this season lining up behind the weak Irish offensive line. Everyone expects him to improve, and he better because 6-6 is a lofty expectation for this bunch of pretenders. Hey Jimmy the phone is ringing, and Damiel Teo Nesheim is on the line, and in your head.)

Finally, the media think the Irish will do better than John's perception of 6-6. In fact I've seen plenty of definite 7 or 8 win predictions. Just look at the video below to prove my point. There will always be doubters and haters of the Irish; but whatever way you slice it, Notre Dame has never lost to Washington and they'll definitely not let this happen this year either! I guess John and Husky nation just can't handle the truth!

(Anyone can pull a pro Irish video report out of their rear end. The season will be decided on the field, not by pre season media predictions. It is true Notre Dame has never lost to Washington, but the streak will end this year in Seattle. It is Irish fans that can't handle the truth, and the truth is your team isn't very good and is going to be stomped into the field turf by Jake Locker and company. Bring plenty of holy water, rosary beads, and bandages, you are going to need them.)


Bryan said...

I´m still sticking with UW. I thought the ¨surprise¨ of Jake Locker was over, but apparently we get another year of it.

Anonymous said...

hey john,

watch these two videos and decide who's a better qb... locker or clausen:

'nuff said.

Joe said...

I hope Notre Dame coaches are as ignorant as the school's fans when it comes to the Huskies because they give us no credit while giving as much as possible to themselves. Being a homer is one thing but assuming that everything that goes right for your team will not go right for your opponents (such as young players, injuries, coaching changes, etc.) is ridiculous. I'm with bryan on this as well, I thought people would know about Locker by now but I guess not. ESPN is doing us a huge favor by not talking about him much because at the very least "college football fans" (and I question the term with Notre Dame homers) are overlooking him which means opposing players may do so as well. I believe it was Boise State players last year that spoke about how they thought they had prepared for Locker during practice and in film study but after playing him realized he was much faster than they expected. Now I wont go as far as to predict a Husky victory against the Irish because I really don't know what their team is going to be like this year they just have so many questions to answer, but I will say that I think Washington will be a lot better than 95% of the country expects and is deserving of at least a little respect from opponents.

Thanks for the great articles John and please keep it up! I just love reading the bleacher report comments.

John Berkowitz said...

Joe - As most of you know I live in the Chicago area, and coverage of the Pac Ten is pretty spotty East of the Rockies. You have USC and the nine dwarves.

I don't think many people realize how good Jake has the potential o being.

Subway Alumni Notre Dame fans are a piece of work, and you would be pretty surprised to know that most of the people who are mouthing off have never actually been to South Bend, or a Notre Dame game.

The fans that actually go to the games are a pretty good group of people. I have been to four games in South Bend and had a good experience each time.

Anonymous said...

I'm not quite certain how any one can determine if a fan has attended a football game of their favorite school, but even though Wastington had one of the most difficult schedules in the nation ND's was even more difficult.
Both school's have suffered from less than stellar recruiting and lack of talent in the upper classes.
While Charlie W inexperience as a head collge football coach was on display last year, he sought help in the off season from others to gain insight on his and the teams weaknesses.
He also hired one of the best defensive minds in the country.
The lack of experienced offensive players contributed to the poor defensive results.

John Berkowitz said...

Anon- Have to agree with most of what you are saying, it isn't like ND ducks anyone on a consistent basis.

Tenuta is a great addition for ND, just like Donatell is for UW.

The smart money is still on UW at home in this one.

WeisGipper said...

John, let me personally apologize for that idiot. I do not condone those sentiments whatsoever!

We may agree to disagree on our teams and the outcome of the ND-UW game, but I do respect you and your opinions. You are definitely welcomed to IBB anytime. And yes, my rebuttal was tongue and cheek.

Also, don't let this ND fan, or so-called "ND Fan", tarnish the opinion you have for the rest of us. As an Alum of Notre Dame, I bleed Blue & Gold thru and thru, just like you do for the Huskies. Even though we might see things through our hearts, I do think both squads will have great years.

Just hopefully UW won't have a great game on Oct. 25! Once again please accept my apology from that insensitive idiot.

Go Irish,


Peter said...

classy post wiesgipper. Good to see the there are some Notre Dame fans who can be civil.

WeisGipper said...

Thanks Peter! I know every fan and alumni, including myself, think that their team is better. Hopefully I'm right on my accord this year because of all the positive impacts coming in this fall. Plus seeing these individuals on a daily basis through workouts gives me that optimism.

We shall see on Oct. 25 if that rings true!

John Berkowitz said...

I think the funny thing is that I am Catholic, and went to O'Dea HS in Seattle. I shouldn't have to apologize for my last name, in fact I am proud enough of it to put it out there for all to see with my e-mail address on the blog.

Since the preview was published I have received a few choice private emails from ND fans that were pretty anti semetic. I guess it goes with the teritory, and I forgot exactly how ugly people can be.

We have three ND graduates in the family, and two second cousins who currently are attending Notre Dame.

Just last week we had some cousins from the Pittsburgh area who stayed at the vacation house in Granger, Mi. because they were checking into Notre Dame as a possible location for their kids to attend school.

My wife went to Boston College, and roots for anyone that is playing Notre Dame each week. She thought last season was just wonderful!

Growing up Notre Dame was my second favorite team after the Huskies but that has faded into the background over the years as I have gotten to know ND fans since I lived in Chicago.

I actually used to go to some ND Club functions in town before I was married but became turned off after Willingham became coach of the Irish.

Some of the off color comments about the coaches color I heard at those events were disconcerting enough to make me start following Northwestern as my local Chicago team rather than Notre Dame. That by the way was during his first two seasons.

I lived over thirty years in Seattle, and then have lived in Nashville, Minneapolis, and now the Chicago area.

I am a huge fan of college football, and in each location have also followed the local team....Vanderbilt, Minnesota, and now Northwestern after the brief flirtation with Notre Dame.

People need to remember this is just a game and try to keep it all in the correct perspective.When they do it is alot of fun win or lose.

Anonymous said...

I think it will come down to coaching in this one. I was at the last tussle in Seattle when Tye was a fresh hope in a Husky eye.
We won but we needed a couple of huge early breaks to do it. We had a veteran team also. The tables may be turned on us this year. My wife and I met when I was a student ND. I was a senior and she a sophomore at beautiful Saint Marys College accross the highway.
We were 64 and 62 respectively at the last game in Seattle and proudly wearing our ND sweatshirts.
The f bombs dropped on us made my wife cry. That day made me a Washington State fan forever. I know this happens all over the country but we've averaged 3 ND away games for the last 5 years and never had such a wrenched experience anywhere else. That includes our most hated rival Boston College. I will be in Seattle on the 25th of October for a ND away game without my wife for the first time in our married life. She refused to go. She has earned the right to paint Husky fans with a broad brush.

John Berkowitz said...

I hate to hear that because all the experiences I have had in South Bend have been fine.

You should be proud to wear your ND apparel anywhere!

I have noticed a little ugly behavior at Husky Stadium over the last ten years and it is disapointing.

Here is a helpful hint, sit on the south side of the stadium, or sit in the end zone with ND fans, you won't have a problem.

We attend more Husky road games than home games. We used to have problems on the road, but we started putting on our Husky logo wear once we were in the stands, and then the problems went away.

The worst places I have been are Eugene, Miami, and Columbus. that is where we learned to stay anonymous till we hit our seats.

Anonymous said...

John, your comments about the differences of "ND fans" from afar vs. the TRUE ND fans who attend the games is dead-on. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Dawg fan who averages attending about 2-3 away games each year, in addition to the entire home schedule. I've been to a good 20 or so different road stadiums outside of the PAC-10, and hands down the classiest, most welcoming game day fans were in South Bend. "Welcome to Notre Dame. Can I help you find anything here on campus?", or "Hey Washington fan, join us for a beer", and "Have you seen our athletics Hall of Fame? Let me show you where it's pretty cool to see six Heisman trophies" were among the comments we received. Let me tell you, Eugene, OR could learn a thing or two from South Bend.

I traveled to ND expecting the worst, based on my impressions of Irish fans in Seattle, but the ones that actually go to the games were pretty cool folks.

Sorry to hear that some fans traveling to Seattle couldn't have the same experience. Too bad some of our fellow Dawgs haven't learned a bit of perspective.

John Berkowitz said...

Here is the Golden Rule of football etiquite.

You need to treat the guests in your stadium like the guests in your own home.

I would rather have people running around saying what a great time they had in Seattle, and at the game than saying they will never come back because they were treated so poorly.

The game is played on the field, not in the stands.

Bryan said...

"Here is the Golden Rule of football etiquite.

You need to treat the guests in your stadium like the guests in your own home."

A good rule, but how about this one: When you are a guest in somebody´s stadium act like you are a guest in their house. Theres nothing worse than somebody coming in and being obnoxious at a game.

John Berkowitz said...

I agree with that one too!