Monday, October 5, 2015

Touchdown Tuesdays

Welcome to the first edition of Touchdown Tuesdays. Every Tuesday this blog will aim to feature a historic football game that was played in Notre Dame Program history. With 127 years of history and hundreds upon hundreds of contests played in that time there are a ton of games in which to highlight, so with that let’s begin:

October 15, 2005: USC at Notre Dame
The Jeweled Shillelagh is awarded each year to the winner of the ND vs. USC football game.

USC traveled to Notre Dame Stadium to compete in one of the most famous College Football rivalries of the sport. The undefeated USC Trojan’s entered the game as the defending national champions and were ranked at the #1 spot in the country. The #9 ranked Irish of Notre Dame went into the contest with a 4-1 record on the season, under the direction of first year Head Coach Charlie Weis.

One very definitive characteristic about this game was the decision by Irish Head Coach Charlie Weis to have his players wear Notre Dame’s famous Green Jerseys, a special jersey that the team has only wore a very limited number of times and only for games of significant importance. Another memorable trait contained within this particular game was what became known as the “Bush Push,” so named for USC running back Reggie Bush, which became a very controversial play in the sports history.

After 4 quarters of play in what became known as a “Game of the Century,” the USC Trojans defeated the Irish with a one yard quarterback sneak that utilized the Bush Push play to win the game 34-31. The Trojans remained undefeated until losing the National Championship game to Texas later that season. Notre Dame would go on to win the rest of their match-ups and finish the 2005 season 9-2. They would then accept a bid to play in the Fiesta Bowl to play Ohio State where they lost 34-20.   
An important note to make is that on June 10, 2010, after many years of investigations and lawsuits against The University of Southern California and Reggie Bush for breaches in athletic conduct, the NCAA announced major sanctions against the USC Trojans which forced them to vacate all of their wins during the 2005 season.

I personally love the USC rivalry and have had the honor of seeing it in person on a number of occasions. It’s a matchup unlike any other in the country and is anticipated every year as one of the most challenging and exciting games of the year for the Irish.

Last year the Trojan’s won the matchup on their home turf. This season the Irish will take on USC in South Bend in a game that looks to make-it or break-it for Notre Dame’s national championship hopes.

This is just one historic game in Notre Dame Program history. What are some other legendary football match-ups you can remember?

Image courtesy of Images Jewelers.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Visualizing Victory

The football program at Notre Dame is very unique from those of other schools for many reasons. One very distinct characteristic about the program and how it varies is it’s classification as an FBS Independent, and having no ties with any other specific athletic conference. There are a few benefits for being classified as an FBS Independent, one of which is having the freedom to choose one’s own schedule. Despite being classified as an Independent however, Notre Dame is currently in a deal with the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) where it must schedule at least 5 of its regular season games against teams from that conference. A downside to being classified as an Independent means the Fighting’ Irish don’t get to play for a conference championship, meaning that the only championship they can compete for is at the national level.

The image posted does a very fine job of depicting the Irish’s journey towards the National Championship. This climb is one each and every football program in the country attempts to make, but only one can be named the victor in the end. Each and every game played and won throughout the season is another step closer to reaching the top. The visual of an escalator is very symbolic in itself because this type of journey is in constant motion and is very time sensitive. There is no time to stop and rest when seeking a championship. You have to keep moving forward at all times, playing each game as it comes. For the team, its players, coaches, and the fan base that supports it, it’s a constant climb to reach that green Irish light, and the national championship it represents, at the very top.

What are your thoughts and opinions about the Irish having to play a primarily ACC schedule and what other types of visual imagery can you think of to represent the spirit of the Irish?   

Image Courtesy of Future Buzz.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Blog Opening Kickoff

If you’re a sports fan, and even if you’re not, then you have probably heard at some point in your life about the University of Notre Dame, and more specifically, its football team. With Notre Dame Football, you either love ‘em or you hate ‘em. Fortunately this blog aims to focus more on the positives surrounding the Fightin’ Irish and their journey towards winning a national championship, a journey that for a long time has seemed out of reach.
Notre Dame Football has always been a huge part of my life being a resident of the Northern Indiana region. I attended my very first game back in 2008 when I was given a pair of tickets as a gift. It was a day I will never forget for it was the day that started my interest in the sport and my great passion for the Fightin’ Irish of Notre Dame. My first game was also a record setting game that went into 4 overtimes and had the field sprinklers come on mid-game, making for a very memorable experience. Since then I have been to many weekend games. I’ve witnessed the many wins and many losses that come with being a fan of the sport, and like an addict I keep coming back for more.
This year the football team at Notre Dame faces a bunch of new challenges, ranging from competing in contests against top ranked opponents to playing with a large number of their starting lineup being out for the season due to injury. Nevertheless, just their fight song says, “What though the odds be great or small, Old Notre Dame will win over all!”

Image courtesy of Bing Images.