Thursday, September 20, 2007

"Sir, there are two men in white coats here to see you"

I was going to talk about the Penn State game, but then I saw a link to this unbelievable post made at The Rock Report. And by unbelievable I mean so divorced from reality as to be bordering on parody. But of course, it isn't parody, it's the mindset of much of Notre Dame's internet fan base.

The basic underlying premise of his post is the idea that the media is, or has been, waging some sort of campaign to keep Notre Dame from succeeding:

Little news flash to the media talking heads and scribes: The PR battle's over and ND won.

The media doesn't hate Notre Dame. The media doesn't love Notre Dame. Sure there are individual writers or broadcasters who have their own bias (hello Lou Holtz), but the media as a whole doesn't care about any one school or another. Multi-billion dollar conglomerates like ESPN, FOX and the AP care about one thing, Money. And ratings, advertisers, sales, i.e. anything that leads to money. As soon as something more interesting or compelling comes up, the "talking heads" will move on to something else. Suggesting that there is a media conspiracy against Notre Dame also ignores the key role that the media has played in the history of the Irish. From Grantland Rice to NBC, Notre Dame has gotten more coverage than any other program in college football history. This a paranoid delusion along the lines of those 9/11 conspiracy theories.

But the article doesn't stop there. He goes on to claim that Notre Dame has somehow turned a corner.
Thankfully, the media war is one [sic] we don't have to fight anymore. It DID matter, because our recruiting depended on it, but Mark May Inc. already lost… the critical program changes – the only things they can affect ND's future performance -- have already happened.

Supposedly the critical program changes that have occurred include:

  • The hiring of Charlie Weis, who cares about the program, unlike its previous two coaches. The author spends a fair amount of the article savaging Davie and Willingham, claiming they betrayed the program because they held a passive-aggressive contempt for Notre Dame. His main evidence for this is that Willingham spoke to Washington about their coaching job before he was fired at Notre Dame. Of course, the fact that Notre Dame had already begun courting Urban Meyer when Willingham talked to Washington is not mentioned.
  • The arrival of Corwin Brown, which is proof that Notre Dame is returning to glory:
  • Notre Dame doesn't get a talent like Corwin Brown if the coaching world thinks ND won't rise again.
    Hmm, maybe Notre Dame got Corwin Brown because they were willing to pay him more as a defensive coordinator than the New York Jets were as a defensive backs coach.
  • Jimmy Clausen, whose sterling 4.58 yards per attempt, 0 TD, 2 Int, and -104 yards rushing has convinced the author that "Clausen is special, and a fighter." I suppose it takes a fighter to get up after being sacked 15,000 times in three games. A brave man to line up behind the center when there is a better than 50% chance you will end the play running from a mean 300lb man determined to rip your head off.
  • The outstanding recruiting classes that Weis has already put together, including the upcoming 2008 class:
  • I'd be more worried if we didn't' have the best incoming defensive line class (maybe in modern history) fantastic linebackers and defensive backs who already play like college juniors.
    Hopefully for this guy, those defenders don't play like Notre Dame juniors, who have all the toughness of four-month-old Twinkies.

There is no mention of the possibility that Notre Dame's recent woes have more to due with the current coach than the ones that left three and six years ago. No comparison of the record of the current coach vs. his predecessors. No acknowledgement that the truly offensive output of a team coached by super-genius Weis E. Coyote might hinder future recruiting efforts.

They say that one of the definitions of insanity is watching the same thing happen again and again and expecting a different outcome. This goes beyond that. It's watching the same thing happen again and again and believing that it's not actually happening. They better be careful in South Bend on Saturday, the last time they got this many crazy people together in one place, they had to call in the ATF.