THE CASE FOR NOTRE DAME

Al Messerschmidt

Nick Saban doesn't care about you. (Unless his food supply runs out, in which case, hey, how you feeling, buddy?)

Let us begin with this: you do not hate this Notre Dame team because of Manti Te'o, or Everett Golson, or Cierre Wood, or even probably because of Brian Kelly. Put them in almost any other uniform and suddenly you can root for them without much hesitation. You are hating Brady Quinn and Charlie Weis in the Sugar Bowl, or maybe Ty Willingham and a defense getting trucked repeatedly by Justin Fargas in 2002, or it could be Jimmy Clausen anywhere ever, but you are hating people that cannot win a championship tonight.

Of course, you also probably hate Notre Dame fans, because they are myopic, self-important, and ill-informed. If you cannot root for a team with a fanbase described as such, here are the programs you should support: (NULL SET). You want Notre Dame to be the other, the thing you define yourself against. But Notre Dame fans are more like you, random internet user, than you are. That's why their stadium has no jumbotrons or nice things, just like your house. You wouldn't stand on your own couch during a game, would you? And you probably didn't have sex in college, either.

Only one person at Notre Dame has ever put his balls where they don't belong, and Ron Powlus isn't all that well liked in South Bend these days. The Fighting Irish are all about making our communities safer and better, which is why they keep Tom Hammond off the street. And what ill can you speak about Indiana without revealing that you've actually been to Indiana in person? Doesn't that make you the monster?

Think about how insane it is that you're actually ready to root for Alabama to win a national championship. The SEC isn't Benelux, dammit. Do you know how many Georgia fans I wanted rooting for Florida in 2008? Zero, because fuck what Georgia fans like.

Is one Irish loss worth handing over every argument to Tide fans for lord knows how long? If Tommy Rees has a national title, then nobody has one, and that's good news for you Virginia Tech fans. Be honest: 2012 wasn't that awesome for you, and it started with joyless Nick Saban raising a crystal trophy.

Fine, this apparently isn't getting through to you. Just understand that you're pulling against Louis Nix, the embodiment of hope itself, because he was born in Jacksonville and now doesn't have to live there. You're supporting ADMITTED AUSTRALIAN Jesse Williams. You're turning your back on Lou Holtz, after he spent all this time out of his swampy habitat just to talk to you.

It's not that we don't understand your discomfort. It's hard to shake off a lifetime of knowledge that Notre Dame is overrated, tasteless, uninspired garbage. We're not here to deny that it's the Skyline Chili of football. But Alabama is the prison food: questionably legal and only nutritious enough to keep you alive long enough to suffer a little more. So root for the Fighting Irish. And then insist that Stepfan Taylor crossed the goal line before he was down.

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