NORMAN — 7. The NBC contract: Since 1991, only Notre Dame has had its own personal television football contract. Ever since, every Irish home game has been broadcast on NBC. It’s not all bad of course, because for the last several years, a national audience has been able to watch Notre Dame lose many games. A personal favorite? Tulsa’s 28-27 victory two years ago. As long as the Irish remain independent, it will be so. Good for them, yet they wonder why people despise them.
6. Say what? Is it “Noter Dame” or “Notra Dame.” (And while we’re at it, can we get Brett Favre explained?) Does it depend what I’m drinking? Wine for “Notra” and beer for “Noter.” What if it’s Guinness? Just saying.
5. Streakbusters: Not the one you’re thinking about, but it was Notre Dame — Digger Phelps strikes again — that ended John Wooden and UCLA’s 88-game winning streak on Jan. 19, 1974. Can’t another institution get in on the ending of fantastic collegiate winning streaks?
4. Lou Holtz: Bad enough, for Sooner fans, that Holtz somehow got his Arkansas Razorbacks to beat heavily-favored Oklahoma at the 1978 Orange Bowl (even convincingly, 31-6), robbing Barry Switzer and the Sooners of three national championships in five seasons. Worse, Holtz’s 1988 national championship at Notre Dame gave him mileage enough to reign on ESPN for what seems like forever. He’s entertaining sure, but he has no idea what he’s talking about.
3. Ridiculousness: Take your pick:
“Win one for the Gipper.”
“The Four Horsemen.”
We have no idea if George Gipp ever really said to Knute Rockne what Ronald Reagan, playing Gipp, said to Pat O’Brien, playing Rockne, in “Knute Rockne All American,” yet we’ve had to hear it our entire lives.
And while Grantland Rice may have invented sportswriting, his famous “Four Horsemen” lead — “Outlined against a blue-gray sky, the Four Horseman rode again” — from the 1924 Army-Notre Dame game is a bit of a farce. Rice was in the press box looking down at the game.