Thursday Night Classics on WatchND.tv

Can’t wait until Saturday for the Irish to hit the field? Do you really dread watching a bunch of I-AA football on Thursday nights? The good news is that the good folks over at WatchND.tv and TireRack.com have you covered with their new feature; Thursday Night Classics. Starting this week, and every week during the season, you can tune in on your pc, iPad, or iPhone or Android device and watch a classic game from the Notre Dame archives.

This week’s game is ND vs. Michigan, 1998. You’ll get to see the defending National Champion Wolverines led by Tom Brady go up against ND greats like Jarious Jackson, Lance Legree, Anthony Denman and Moon’s Favorite – Autry Denson.

You can also join in on the discussion via Twitter.com using hashtag #NDFBclassics. You can also have a chance to be a part of HerLoyalSons.com’s #HLSRecap by tweeting snarky comments using your best late 90’s pop-culture reference. Fire up your devices, and we’ll see you all at 8pm tonight.

photo courtesy of WatchND.tv

photo courtesy of WatchND.tv

 

Worried about the Irish defense? NOT SO FAST!

-Sgt Shamrock

Even before the recent investigation into possible academic dishonestly that led to four Irish players being removed from team activities, the major concern of Irish fans headed into the 2014 was on the defensive side of the ball. With the losses of Louis Nix, Stephon Tuitt, Prince Shembo, and Bennett Jackson to the NFL draft and Carlo Calebrese, Dan Fox, and Kona Schwenke graduating, Notre Dame is only returning five starters from last years team. And due to the academic investigation KeiVarae Russell and Ishaq Williams future for the season is in doubt and Brian Kelly announced today at his weekly press conference that all of the “suspended” players would be missing the Rice game as the investigation continues. So that leaves the Notre Dame defense with just THREW returning starters in Jaylon Smith, Sheldon Day, and Austin Collinsworth. That is enough to make Irish fans everywhere have very large doubts in just how the defense will perform this season. While it is very easy based on all the losses  on the defensive side of the ball to worry about the defense, all hope is not loss. Recently there was another team that faced this very same dilemma. What team is that you ask? Well its none other than the 2009 Cincinnati Bearcats coached by Brian Kelly.

In 2008 Brian Kelly led the Cincinnati Bearcats to an 11-3 overall record, a Big East Championship, and an Orange Bowl appearance that ultimately concluded in a 20-7 loss to Virginia Tech. A BCS bowl for Cincinnati got the Bearcats and Brian Kelly national recognition that was the start of a long series of events that led to Kelly being hired by Notre Dame in 2010. However headed into the 2009 season, there was doubt across the nation whether Brian Kelly and Cincinnati could replicate the success from 2008. The Bearcats defense lost Big East sack leader Connor Barwin, All American defensive tackle Terrill Bryd, Mike Mickens, DeAngelo Smith, and Brandon Underwood to the NFL draft. They also lost five other defensive starters from 2008 due to graduation. That left ONE returning starter on defense. Cincinnati was introducing a new defensive scheme brought in by new defensive coordinator Bob Diaco. And to make matters worse, the Bearcats were forced to start a former quarterback at linebacker. Does the name Demetrius Jones sound familiar? Well it should. He started the first game of the 2007 season at quarterback for Notre Dame. After Charlie Weis handed Jimmy Clausen the reigns following the season opener, Jones didn’t want to stick around and transferred to Cincinnati. After sitting out for a season, Brian Kelly than moved Jones to linebacker for the 2009 season.

Now all of that sounds pretty doom and gloom for the prospects of the 2009 season for Cincinnati right? Well I have always been a pretty good proponent of the “Numbers don’t lie” line of thinking so lets compare the defensive stats from the 2008 Bearcats team to the 2009 team. In 2008 the Cincinnati defense allowed an average of 206.9 yards through the air, 115 yards per game on the ground, and an average of 321.9 yards of total offense per game. The following season the 2009 squad, that only had one returning starter from 2008, allowed an average of 230.2 yards through the air per game, 143.8 yards per game on the ground, and 374 yards of total offense per game. So basically the 2009 Cincinnati defense gave up roughly 25 more yards per game through the air, 30 more yards per game on the ground, and roughly 55 more yards of total offense per game. However looking at yards allowed is only one piece of the pie. Another really important stat to look at is sacks. In 2008 Cincinnati’s defense had 40 sacks as a team. In 2009 Cincinnati’s defense had 35 sacks. I don’t know about you but if a Notre Dame team only returned one starter on defense and only gave up slightly more offensive yards per game the following season and only had five less sacks than I would be pretty damn thrilled.

This years Notre Dame defense has a lot in common with Brian Kelly’s 2009 Cincinnati defense that should give everyone a little bit of hope that the defense may not be as big of an issue as you might think. Both the 2009 Cincinnati team and this years Notre Dame team lost big time defenders to the NFL draft and both teams also are returning very few starters from the previous season. Also both the 2009 Bearcats and this years Irish team are under the first year of a new defensive coordinator (Bob Diaco for Cincinnati and Brian VanGorder for Notre Dame) that brings a new scheme.

While there are a ton of similarities between the two teams there is one key difference that can not be overstated. Notre Dame has hands down better defensive players on the roster than Cincinnati had on its 2009 roster. Notre Dame recruits better and attracts better athletes on defense. Notre Dame is also returning two bona fide stars in Jaylon Smith and Sheldon Day (it would be three but as well all know Russell’s status is up in the air), something that Cincinnati did not have in 2009.

All those stats and information tell a good bit of the story but there is one key piece that I left for last. That is WINS! And in 2009 Cincinnati had a whole lot of them. Twelve wins to be exact. Cincinnati finished the regular season 12-0 before losing to Florida in the Sugar Bowl 51-24.

So basically my whole point here is this. If Brian Kelly could lead Cincinnati to an undefeated regular season in 2009 while only returning ONE starter on defense, than there is no reason to think that Brian Kelly can do something very similar with this years Notre Dame defense that only returns two starters but has WAY MORE talent on the entire defense than Cincinnati did. Now am I saying that we should expect Kelly to lead Notre Dame to an undefeated season like he did in 2009 at Cincinnati? No of course not. As much as we would all love that it is probably not going to happen. The schedule that Notre Dame is playing this season is much more difficult than what Cincinnati played in 2009 and thinking that the Irish should win every game is just not smart. But what I am saying is that before you start pulling your hair out over the thought of a young and inexperienced defense, it still has the potential to be a very good defense. Brian Kelly said himself that this defense is, “Both the most inexperienced as well as the most athletic defense” he had ever coached. Brian Kelly has shown that he can work magic with a young group of players and I don’t think its crazy to think he can do it again.

Rice Week Press Conference Recap

-Sgt Shamrock

Rice week is in full swing as Brian Kelly met with the media today at the Gug to talk about the Irish football team as they head into the season opener this weekend. In a new feature for our audience and fans, we will have a recap of each weekly press conference here on Down the Tunnel as we know that most people are unable to watch the press conference live. Of course we all know that press conferences are notorious for being full of coach speak so we will do our best to sift through it and provide all the pertinent updates.

KEY POINTS:

  • Brian Kelly as well as the team has a great deal of respect for Rice. He praised their season last year in which they finished 10-4 and were the Conference USA Champions. Talked about the defense that plays a lot of man coverage and are very aggressive. Cited they finished top 30 in defense last season.
  • The players focus changes a bit once game week arrives. Classes are beginning and the excitement for the first game is out there. The key is to keep players focused on Rice. Unlike camp the team is preparing for a single opponent.
  • Brian Kelly approached the Unity council about the possibility of bringing back the Alma Mater after every game regardless of the outcome. The members voted and decided they wanted to go back to it. Kelly wants to make sure the voices of the players are heard.
  • Andrew Trumbetti will be starting over Romeo Okwara but both will play significant time
  • Jared Grace is ahead of schedule and recovering well but will not be available for Rice. Tori Hunter is also ahead of schedule. Kelly is going to try and have him run a bit next week and reevaluate.
  • Kelly has still not named captains but anticipates that being done within the next 24 hours. It is possible that Kelly could have game captains each week. He also stated he is not ruling out having one or two year long captains as well as week to week game captains
  • Keivare Russell, Ishaq Williams, Kendal Moore, and Davaris Daniels are officially ruled out for this weekend’s game. Brian Kelly has not received any updates and week seek some next week if he has not received any from Swarbrick. Kelly also stated that it is possible that SHOULD certain players be cleared in the middle of a week that they could be available for that Saturday’s game.
  • Kelly mentioned that the defense is both the most inexperienced but also athletic defenses he has coached throughout his career
  • Corey Robinson had a minor procedure last Friday for a fractured finger and a pin was placed in his hand. He was back practicing yesterday and will start against Rice.
  • Chris Brown has been impressive in camp and Kelly expects him to make big plays. He has great speed and can get off press coverage. He will get open.
  • Unlike seasons in the past there will not be as many offensive substitution’s when the offense is playing at a fast pace.

 

Make sure you check back with Down the Tunnel on Thursday to catch our first “Weekend Preview” of the season. We will break down the game against Rice this weekend, have players to watch, predict the score, as well as making predictions on other big games around the country.

Journalism Really Has Hit a New Low

- Sgt. Shamrock

Notre Dame gets clicks. We all know that. And so do journalists who write stories on Notre Dame. People either love Notre Dame or they hate them. There are not really too many in-between the two sides, at least that I have encountered, and the sports journalism community knows and takes advantage of this. Unfortunately the majority of the time these journalists focus more on bashing Notre Dame in their pieces than actually presenting facts.

By now everyone has been made very aware of the ALLEGED academic fraud that has out Notre Dame in the news in the past week or so. I say “alleged” because nobody has been punished for any sort of wrong doing or kicked out of school. The players in question, Keivare Russel, Ishaq Williams, Kendal Moore, and Davaris Daniels, are being withheld from football activities while the investigation is completed. But hey don’t try telling the sports media that. Writers like Pat Forde, Stewart Mandel and Bruce Feldman (who blocked me on twitter yesterday after I told him he was reporting false information) have taken the full opportunity to trash Notre Dame through their respective media platforms even if it means reporting false information and then refusing to change it when Notre Dame blatantly refutes what they claim. I’ve read all of their articles and to say they have a huge hate boner for Notre Dame would be a massive understatement. I’m not going to post the links to the articles on here because I don’t want to give them clicks but I am sure if you are into pouring acid on your eyes you can go find them on google.

All of this should really come as no surprise to anyone though. This same thing happened last year with the whole Manti Te’o fake girlfriend story that Deadspin decided to report because they were “80% sure”. Hell even an alumnus of the university who many of you know as “The Alum” sold out just to make a name for himself by providing information that also turned out to be false. We have been accustomed to this sort of thing over the past few years as the Notre Dame Football program has been slowly on rise again since Brian Kelly arrived in South Bend. Its part of being a Notre Dame fan. We live with it. But its one thing to write false information. It’s another to try to find said “information” on a message board of a Rival of the Irish. And that’s exactly what I found.

Meet USA Today Reporter Josh Peter. Have you heard of him before? Probably not. I hadn’t either before I googled him to find some of his work. Most of his work lately has been about the whole Donald Sterling thing so I guess he wanted to try to make his mark by joining in on the bashing of ND. But he decided to take it a step further. This actual professional reporter decided to go and post on MGoBlog, a pretty well-known skunk bear website, asking Michigan fans if they had any dirt on Brian Kelly. Don’t believe me? Don’t worry. I took a screen shot of the post.

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Now the thread originally began in 2008 when the initiating poster was asking the board if anyone had any information about “Rumors” of character issues or lacking concern for academics. As to be expected but a little surprising coming from Michigan fans, none of them were able to find anything to substantiate the “rumors” and many of the posters who replied to the thread actually showed respect for BK, but of course this was before he was hired by Notre Dame so I’m sure they have all changed their tune. The thread had been left for dead since 2008 until Mr. Peter stumbled upon it and decided that trying to get information on a college football head coach from a rival’s fan base was a good idea. After reading this I was pretty irked. Yes I know journalists have to get their information from somewhere, but I mean come on. Are you REALLY going to try to find dirt on a Notre Dame football coach from Michigan fans? REALLY?!? This is the exact reason why people are really starting to hate journalists.

Now I wanted to tell myself that this couldn’t actually be a real USA Today reporter. I really had a hard time believing that a professional reporter for a media organization with as much esteem as USA Today would actually do this. So I decided to send him an email claiming I had some “information” he may be interested in to figure out if he was actually legit AND to screw with him for a bit.

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At first I received no response for almost a day and figured it was just some internet troll that found some reporters info on the web. However right when I was about to give up I received an email from him saying he was interested and to contact him.

I was at a crossroad at this point. I could just let the whole thing go or I could have some fun with it and see how much this guy would take the bait. For those of you that know me this was an easy decision. At this point I had some help from some twitter followers on what exactly to tell this guy. I obviously was going to tell him false information that is in no way at all true but I also wanted it to seem a bit believable in order to see how long he would think it was legit. So after some twitter input and a couple laughs I sent him this.

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Now keep in mind. As far as this guy knows, I am a Michigan fan since I received his contact information from a Michigan blog. Also to be noted is that my email account logo is the Down the Tunnel logo WHICH CONTAINS SHAMROCKS IN IT. I also asked if I would receive any compensation for my information. You would think that those two bits of info would be enough to tip this guy off that something wasn’t right. Well apparently not. Because he got back to me fairly quickly stating he was very interested in what I had to say. We exchanged a few more quick emails in which I kept asking him if my identity would remain anonymous. He finally replied with this

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I couldn’t stop laughing. The guy really wanted to talk on the phone! I decided to let him sit for a couple of days. I initially said I could talk the following day but then didn’t get back to him until yesterday. At first I didn’t think I was going to actually call but I couldn’t resist. I had some questions I wanted to ask him and I wanted to further confirm that this guy was actually a USA Today reporter because while I was pretty damn sure he was from our email conversations, I wanted to be 100 percent sure.

So I called this guy up this morning. First things first was that he was indeed a legit reporter. First goal completed. During the conversation I asked him what brought him to MGoBlog in which he responded that he that he found it searching Google for “Brian Kelly” and “Academic Fraud”. I than asked him how many responses he received from his post. This is where all of you Irish fans can start giving yourself a round of applause. I’m proud of you. He told me that he had received many responses from Irish fans and many of them were vulgar in nature. Even more hilarious was that he was dumbfounded on how Notre Dame fans could have found his post on a Michigan blog. At this point I almost lost it on the phone and thought I was going to bust out laughing and the jig would be up. Apparently someone doesn’t know how the internet works.

This is about as far as the conversation went. I told him I had another call and to give me a minute and I hung up. The last thing I wanted to do was bust out laughing while on the phone with him. I also didn’t want to feed this guy any more bogus and completely idiotic comments because it seemed like he may have actually bought it and as funny as that would have been if he would have actually written something (I actually laughed out loud multiple times just thinking about it), I remembered how many dumb idiots out there believe pretty much all the hate that is written about Notre Dame by others.

I’m still a bit lost for words as to what this guy was thinking and how he thought that getting get dirt on Notre Dame from a Michigan blog would be a good idea. Saying that anything he would have gotten would have been unbelievably biased is understating it. But obviously he either didn’t know or didn’t care. Either way not the smartest move on his part. Hopefully he will find out he was duped because I honestly don’t think he knows yet since he emailed me back while I was writing this that the connection on our call was lost and to call him back when I could. All I can do it laugh and picture his face once he knows it was all a joke

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I just wonder what the media will do next?

Getting to know @NDFanComments

-Sgt Shamrock

Earlier today we announced the addition of the infamous twitter persona @NDFanComments to the Down the Tunnel team. Im sure a large portion of you have laughed, cried, and maybe even stared at your computer screen in disbelieve to some of the comments that NDFC finds as he browses the Notre Dame Football Facebook page. If you are one of the few who have not heard of NDFC do yourself a favor and go follow him on twitter @NDFanComments. Do it now. You can thank me later. 

While most people know about NDFC on twitter, almost nobody knows the origins behind the account. Well thats about to change. Since NDFC has joined the Down the Tunnel team, we thought it was a good idea for a little Q&A session for our fans and audience to get to know the newest member of the team. Without further delay, meet @NDFanComments.

 

Sgt. Shamrock: I know the twitter account has gained quite a large following. When exactly did you start the @NDfanComments account?

NDFC: I started the account last summer, probably around July, shortly before the shamrock series uniform unveiling.

 

Sgt. Shamrock: What was it exactly that led you to start the @NDFanComments account?

NDFC: Misery loves company. At first, it was just a bunch of people freaking out; I think it was around the time the Golson news broke. Fans were pretty close to the edge right about that time, and for whatever reason they felt the comments section of the fan page was the place to vent. Though, I think some believe it’s the appropriate channel to directly contact Kelly/Swarbrick/Jenkins, etc. One day I just thought, people really need to see this shit. Oak (@oaknd1) had posted a few things like that via his twitter account, but only those that were truly special. I thought there were a lot more and that they merited their own channel.

 

Sgt. Shamrock: How long after you started the account did it really start gaining traction and gain the large following that you have now?

NDFC: The 2013 Shamrock Series uniform unveiling was definitely a coming-out party for the account, mainly because it was the first thing that people could collectively complain about. Mostly because that was when our beloved Kathy graced the comments section with her cameo that is yet to see an encore performance.

 

Sgt. Shamrock: There are a lot of idiotic comments made on the ND Facebook page. How do you choose what comments to use and which ones to ignore?

NDFC: I’m glad you brought this up, one thing I’ve yet to understand is this desire to make the @NDfanComments twitter feed. Not to be confused with the tricerapopses (tricerapopsi?) of the world, everyone should strive to be like tricerapops, that dude is just brilliant with his trolling comments. Trolling is fun, I get it, but do me a favor and make it identifiable. Most are obvious, some are pretty good, and every now and then I’ll post someone’s comment who follows the account and they’ll celebrate. Congratulations, you successfully duped a regular dude who finished his undergrad at 29 years old and makes a hobby of reading comments sections on Facebook.

 

Sgt. Shamrock: From the time you began the account what have been the events that have led to the most amount of asinine comments on the Facebook page?

NDFC: Obviously the uniform reveals have been the biggest draws of humor, we’ve all seen the darker side following the loss to Pitt, but those aren’t fun. I’d much rather people laugh than cringe, but sometimes the cringe-worthy comments are just too cringe-worthy to ignore.

 

Sgt. Shamrock: Did you ever anticipate that you would have gotten this notable in the ND Twitter family when you started the account?

NDFC: I wanted the account to be seen, certainly, though I wasn’t sure how it would be received. ND fans as a whole are known to take themselves quite seriously. I know my dad really enjoys the account and when it was in its early stages he would ask me if and when I thought it was going to reach 1,000 followers. I told him I was pretty happy with the 700-800 I had because I think that’s the only portion of the fan base on twitter who hasn’t completely lost it (yet) and in my opinion, the best kind of fans.

 

Sgt. Shamrock: What excited you about joining the Down the Tunnel team? What can our audience anticipate with your addition to the team?

NDFC: I think the fit was right; DTT’s content is a great mix of intelligent discourse and rational thought combined with a good dose of humor. I’ll be putting together a recap after games and major events/announcements, similar to the HLS recap only with little to no rational thought at all from the participants. Should be fun, we’ll laugh, cringe, and probably embarrass someone by posting their parents’ comments. There will be no anonymity whatsoever as far as blurring faces or names. (Accountability, right gang?) Go Irish, Beat Owls.

 

2014 Shamrock Series uniforms

In case you aren’t following The Fighting Irish on social media, or if you just plain live in a cave, you probably missed the unveiling of the Shamrock Series Indy uniforms. As with previous years, Ryan Grooms and crew have tried to come out with something incredibly unique for the game. The difference this year is that the uniforms are done by Under Armour, and they actually took the time to research things on campus to give special meaning to the uniform. It’s not just a flashy uniform meant to shock. At first, I was a bit puzzled by the gothic patterns, as were most fans. The “making of” video by UA brings it all full circle. I have a much bigger appreciation for the design after watching the video. You can watch it here:

They say the Devil is in the details….Here are some screen shots from Head Equipment Manager, Ryan Grooms:

Photo: @NDFBEquipment

Photo: @NDFBEquipment

The Helmet - via @NDFBEquipment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a few Full view shots, including the Base layer and gloves:

 

Uniform, base layer, and gloves. Photo: Under Armour and Notre Dame Football.

Uniform, base layer, and gloves. Photo: Under Armour and Notre Dame Football.

So that’s it. The first time Notre Dame has worn Blue pants. The first time Notre Dame has worn the monogram on the helmets. Reaction is decidedly mixed. Let us know what you think. Vote and sound off!!

 

 

A Reaction to Notre Dame’s Announcement

Yesterday, in something that won’t come as news to most, the University of Notre Dame publicly announced that it is investigating allegations of academic misconduct. Per the Official Release from the University, these allegations first came to light several weeks ago at the end of July. The University communicated the morning of August 15, 2014 with officials from the NCAA regarding this development, and the investigation is in its early stages. As was stated by Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick, the NCAA will defer to the university for the time being with respect to the investigation.

First, what do we know? The answer is: not all that much. Swarbrick and University President Father John Jenkins were both necessarily vague in the details released to the public. This is so for several reasons. First off, the investigation is only two weeks old. While all parties involved hope that the matter moves swiftly and decisively, nothing appears to be set in stone or proven to a fact at this point. Secondly, federal student privacy laws (as well as a common sense of decency) both mean the University will be guarded throughout the process, both to protect the innocent and to avoid publicly shaming young individuals who may very well have made a regrettable mistake.

Unfortunately for fans of the program, fortunately for haters of the program, and in a bit of a sledgehammer to pre-season optimism, the team did go ahead and announce that four current players are being held out of football related activities while the investigation continues. The four players, DaVaris Daniels, Kendall Moore, KeiVarae Russell, and Ishaq Williams have not….let’s say that again in giant capital letters…HAVE NOT been suspended, expelled, dismissed, or any other words you might insert suggesting absolute guilt at the current time. That’s not to say they will or won’t be but should still point to the fluidity of the situation at hand.

We also know that the alleged misconduct involves non-athletes as well. In what capacity and to what extent is still unknown, but both Father Jenkins and Jack Swarbrick reiterated on numerous occasions during a 6 PM press conference (available in its entirety at the above included link) that this is an academic issue and is not, at the current time, being viewed as a problem within the football program on whole.

For what we know, that’s about it. No more, no less. Message boards, alleged “professional sportswriters,” and foaming opposing fan bases have and will continue to expand on what’s really going on without knowing more. My recommendation, since you asked so kindly for it, is to ignore as much of the speculation and innuendo as possible. Unless of course taking a hot poker to your eyes and brain is your thing. In which case, have at it.

The allegations are troubling and certainly cringe worthy. While adversity is an expected part of any season, a team and program generally hopes that the adversity is contained to what happens on the field and not what occurs when the players are away from the team activities. It’s understandable for many onlookers to view what appears to be a mounting number of academic related problems involving Notre Dame’s scholarship sports programs and cast aspersions on the school given the emphasis the University places upon academic integrity. For those looking for a reason to hate the University, each public instance is a new, sharp arrow to put in the quiver for target practice. Fair enough. At the current time, the University has to deal with the target practice. If it’s serious about its underlying purpose and mission (which I wholeheartedly believe it is), then the arrows will miss the mark in the long run.

I’ve also seen many ND fans get a little proactive on their “defense” of the program. One oft heard phrase is “this happens everywhere.” I choose, and encourage everyone else, to avoid using such axioms. It’s conjecture at its worst. Perhaps it’s true, but there’s not a person on earth who possesses the knowledge to say it’s occurring. If three days ago I’d placed on the Twitter the statement “There’s some serious academic fraud going on at Notre Dame. There has to be because it’s endemic to all institutions,” I’d have received a good degree of hatred from the many folks I interact with. Turns out I’d have been (possibly) correct, but it’s unfair and destructive to use that as a crutch. Notre Dame’s dealing with an unpleasant, uncomfortable situation right now. The focus should be on improving things from the inside, not on tearing down those on the outside. There’s only one way to salvation, and it’s not by trying to rip down everyone else.

For those worried about the 2014 season, don’t be. No, I’m not going to suggest that potentially losing talented players is an alright thing. I am going to suggest though that holding people accountable for doing the wrong thing is a long term good. I will also suggest that being a fan of Notre Dame, no matter why you are one, must mean more than winning on the field at any cost. The reasons for becoming a fan of Notre Dame are numerous: Some by family tradition, some by attending the school, some by watching them growing up, some by being Catholic, some because they like the mascot, some for regional reasons, and all of these are great, commendable reasons to root for Our Lady. However, if you do love the program, it should be for something more than winning on the field. I find it hard to believe that any longstanding fan of Notre Dame doesn’t at some point also take pride in what the university stands for. It’s a form of nostalgia in aspiring to do things the right way that unites many of us. Those aspirations are not dead.

To get back on track about doing the right thing though, this investigation may be uncomfortable, embarrassing, and perhaps even retroactively disappointing. That’s the mission this administration now has. I do not doubt for a second they will take that responsibility seriously. Something I said yesterday that bears repeating: I welcome an opportunity to punish or hold responsible anyone who tarnishes the University of Notre Dame. In true spirit, this does not necessarily imply amputation. I’m not saying anything ground breaking when I point out that the greatest storyline of the 2014 season before yesterday’s news was one such redemption story. Personal, programmatic, and institutional responsibility is a laudable goal. Notre Dame can be a place for anyone to succeed who wants to. It can also be a place for those seeking redemption for mistakes.

Yesterday’s news may not be your favorite, but don’t fall into the role of self-righteous vigilante. Despite what some so-called writers have within 24 hours of this news breaking decided to write, the Notre Dame spirit is not dead. It does need to be healed but not with blame or deflection but rather with self-reflection and investigation. While the University investigates this matter, self-reflect yourself about what the University means to you and focus on that rather than the 2014 season. By its very definition, the future has yet to be written. Enjoy the games as they come and try not to be too quick to judge the remainder.

-Moons