John L. Smith, wait for the attack of boils. Flint, brace yourself for the swarm of locusts. Drew Stanton, a smiting could be in your future. You've profaned God's turf, and you will pay. Remember Raiders of the Lost Ark? The melting faces? The divine wrath? Yeah, like that, but worse since it's all going to come in the form of Charlie Weis dishing out the pain...shirtless, with the vengeance of God shooting purple lightning from his manboobs.Thank us for the nightmares later. (For a great, great De Profundis for Notre Dame fans following the loss to MSU, look no further than Dylan's piece at Blue-Gray Sky.)
We're a bit ambivalent about overly dramatic rivalry taunting. For example: Florida and Florida State seem to enjoy stomping on each other's logo, which precipitates a mob showdown at midfield, then degenerates into a pregame fight where players fruitlessly slap each other in the helmet, which then gets one or two players kicked out, and yields little but the sour, polar doubting of "Would the game have been different if (idiot thug on our team/their team who kicked their/our waterboy in the nuts) had been in the game?" The only positive thing we've seen as a result of these types of pregame fights was the image of Florida linebacker/pig wrestler Channing Crowder two years ago going helmetless into the fray of a full-on football fight and seeing all the FSU players back away from him like he'd just rolled in a fresh vat of bubonic plague. (It's great to see FSU's players--often graduates of the Florida Sherriffs' "Boys Ranch"--pronounce a Florida player as too crazy to fuck with. Almost worth three years of purgatory to see.)
But Michigan State had to do it. Just. Had. To. They don't beat anyone else with any consistency save the Irish--the holy, prestigious Irish, who for one reason or another get into shootouts they can't win with the Spartans. And that's how the flag ends up on the field, the letterman 'S' jabbed into the heart of Notre Dame's field. The one Rudy made a tackle on. The one where Lou Holtz played Tony " Eye Kant Reeed" Rice to the tune of a national championship. The one Beano Cook would ingest, piece by tasty piece, if he were given the option.
That's how you order yourself up a piece of smoking hell, Spartans. You're gonna lose to them eventually, and if you're okay with Weis throwing 70 times on you in a 70-21 decimation of your team in the next year or two, go ahead and bring the flag next year, too--and be sure to tell someone in the press about it. Some teams live and die this way--Spurrier, boiling in the flames of the Nebraska Cornhuskers' 62-24 defeat of the Gators in the Fiesta Bowl, screamed across the field at Tom Osbourne when the coach started taking knees late in the fourth for him to keep pounding the scales off his team.
But if you're gonna fly, remember: gravity's a motherfucker. And Weis? The elephantine girth surely comes with a commensurate memory. Lucifer gets as Lucifer gives. Translation: recruit cornerbacks--now.