Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday's Lunchtime Rant

Stanford 37 - ND 14

We all went into this season with high hopes in regards to Brian Kelly … and trust me, I still think he is the right guy to lead the Irish onward to victory … but I have a few things I'd like to get off my chest today.

Here are my (brief) thoughts after watching four games.

Notre Dame handled Purdue nicely … but is that because Purdue isn’t that good? Or because no one had seen Brian Kelly’s offense yet? They are 2-2 right now ... but have they really played anyone of substance? I guess the verdict is still out on Purdue. 1-0

Michigan came in, with a rookie, Freshman QB and ran all over us … but we still were able to hang in there … EVEN with Crist going down and Montana playing for almost the entire first half. But our second win evaded us. 1-1

But by the time Michigan State came in, they had two games worth of tape to watch on Notre Dame, and clearly they were ready for us … but again, we were able to hang in there … and lost to Michigan State on a trick play that in my mind we SHOULD HAVE SEEN COMING. Yet another loss. 1-2

Now onward to Stanford. Lets face it, and I said this numerous times before the game, we were totally outmatched against Stanford. Which is apparent in how Stanford completely stopped our offense from being the slightest bit productive. Yes, another loss. 1-3

And lets look at our offense a bit closer after the Stanford game. Is our offense capable of running anything besides the spread offense, with our quarterback set up back in the shotgun?

When you are 3rd and 1, why in the world would you put your quarterback in the shotgun? By doing that you have totally ruled out a quarterback sneak, and the defense has one less thing to worry about. Why? Why would you do that?

Our offense is so one-dimensional it’s not even funny.

And if you look at Notre Dame even a bit closer, we look like every other team in the Big East … all offense. No defense. High scoring games (when they are not outmatched) in which you pray that your score is higher than your opponent's score.

Is this what we signed up for with Brian Kelly. No defense? Vanilla offense?

Trust me, I have not written Brian Kelly off yet … and won’t until he has a few years to get HIS players in there. But unless he wants mutiny on the bounty … he had better do something with that offense other than what he’s done so far.

And that is my rant for a Monday!


Sunday, September 19, 2010


If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it. ~Mary Engelbreit

I'm not really sure what it is about fall that prompts me to make changes in my life, but something about it certainly does! Last fall I made several changes, some planned and some unplanned. I lost my job last fall, which was an unplanned change. And though when you are in the midst of such an event, you can never see the light at the end of the tunnel, or the silver lining, I certainly can see it now.

I have a wonderful new job. I have met so many new people through all of the networking that I was forced to do. And I have a much greater appreciation for all that it takes to run a small business after watching all that my previous boss went through. And yes, she and I are still good friends!

The other change I made last year was to my hair. I got some burning desire to change my hair color, so I just walked into the hair salon and told her to make a drastic change. I went from blonde to RED. Red really wasn't the color I had in mind. Brunette was really more what I had in mind, but my hair had a mind of it's own and the brown ended up being this beautiful, auburn red .... which I loved, but apparently no one else in my family loved, so it was only a 6 week change ... but a change never-the-less.

So here we are, back to fall, and I did it again yesterday! I walked into the hair salon, told the girl that I can't do a dang thing with my hair, and to please FIX IT! So she chopped a HUGE amount off my hair and styled my hair into this cute new "do!" I love it, but I must say it is quite a shock. I have never EVER had my hair this short in all of my life. And of course the love of my life is none to happy about the short hair either, but like I told him, it will grow back!
Is there a certain time of the year that inspires change in you? If so ... embrace it!

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. ~Victor Frankl


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hate State Week

After having several days to reflect on the loss to Michigan, I would like to get a few things off my chest.

With Dayne Crist in the game Notre Dame is 24 - 7. With Crist out Michigan is 21-0. Notre Dame wins that game if Crist doesn't go down.

Notre Dame had 535 yards of offense, made Michigan punt 10 times, and they still lost. I'm just saying.

NBC announced this week that Saturday's Notre Dame - Michigan game was the most-watched Irish-UM game on the network in 16 years with 7 millions viewers. (Win or lose, you've got to admit, it was one heck of a game. I definitely feel like I got my money's worth!!)

Tight End Kyle Rudolph's 8 catches for 164 yards vs. Michigan earn him the John Mackey Tight End of the week award.

Kelly at his presser today: "We'll play hard, we'll play physical, we'll play with great enthusiasm" at Michigan State. "We have to execute better." (Amen brother!)

And ... "ND practices Hail Marys every week." (Oh really?)

Okay, now onward to State. State. Grrrr. All that comes to mind when I think of State is that awful flag planting shenanigan that they pulled on us a few years back. Seriously?

So here's to our boys, giving 110% for 60 minutes on Saturday, and playing the best hard-nosed, smash-mouthed football of their lives!




Thursday, September 2, 2010


Here we are ... One. ONE day til Notre Dame football! Geesh was this a long time in coming.

Today's blog is about the old timers.
One of the best parts of being a female alum of Notre Dame ... is listening to the "old timers" tell stories about what Notre Dame was like before the women got there. I love hearing the stories, and let me tell you, they love telling them!

Reunions are a great place to hear these old timer stories. College reunions at Notre Dame are as follows. They hold "Reunion Weekends" ... and every class that falls in that year's five year interval come back for said reunion weekend. I graduated in 93 ... so all classes that end in '03 and '08 come back for reunion weekend. Friday night they have the individual "class" dinners, and then Saturday night they have an "all class" dinner where we are all together. There are lots of fun events all weekend, including some workshop/lecture type classes that you can go to on all different topics.

At my last reunion, I saw that author Jim Dent was talking at one of the lectures, about the book he had just written, "The Undefeated: The Oklahoma Sooners and The Greatest Winning Streak in College Football." When I tell my friends that I want to go see his talk, they all pretty much look at me like I'm crazy. Not to say that they don't like football ... they just don't like it as much as I do.

I get to the lecture hall/classroom ... and I am one of three girls in the room, but I settle in for what is an amazing talk. He has eight guys from the class of 1958 at the talk, and he walked us through the book, up to "the game" where Notre Dame broke Oklahoma's winning streak (sorry ... spoiler!). Then he let some of the guys talk, and then he played the game film. It was awesome. After the talk, he was selling his books (of course) and autographing them. So I wait in line to buy both of the books that he is selling (he also wrote "The Junction Boys") ... and when it was my turn he said, "Darlin, I am so happy to see a beautiful lady here, who is interested in football!" We had a delightful conversation. He signed both books for me, AND he introduced me to the '58 guys. It was SO worth going to this talk by myself!

Flash forward to 2009 ... I see that Jim Dent has a new book coming out about Ara Parseghian ... and seeing as my Dad (and I) enjoyed the first two books so much, I ordered the new book for my Dad for Father's day. He was so excited to get the book, and as it turned out, the book takes place during my Dad's Senior year in college (he managed to be at Notre Dame during the very beginning of the Ara Parseghian era). So every chapter, he would call me on the phone and give me the summary, and then give me his personal experiences of the same time period. It was really cute.

What really made my day though, was the forward of the book. It turns out that when Jim Dent was at my Notre Dame reunion pitching the Oklahoma book ... he was researching the Ara Parseghian book ... and apparently he didn't get much sleep that weekend! I guess the old timers spent quite a bit of time bending his ear! I was pretty excited that I got to meet him/hang out with him the weekend that he was writing the Parseghian book. Very cool.

I could go on and on with the Notre Dame stories ... but I'm afraid by now that I am boring you ... so I guess I'm going to wrap this up.

This has been a fun week, walking down my memory lane of Notre Dame football. I have seen some great games ... and look forward to seeing many more in the future!
Here's to Brian Kelly's inaugural season ... let's hope it's absolutely smashing!

Go Irish! Beat Boilermakers!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Two ... two days! I can hardly stand it!

For today's blog post ... in the countdown to football with blog posts ... Girls Who Love Football.

I've always enjoyed sports. I am an only child, and my Dad loves sports, so I really had no choice. My sport of choice was softball, but I never really got good at it until college. I also always loved to run (and still do), which is important in most sports.

When I got to Notre Dame I played softball and flag football for my dorm. 99.9% of Notre Dame students not only go to the Notre Dame football games, but most of them also play on their dorm's football team if they're not on THE team, so it helps (in almost all social circles) if you know a little bit about the game and what is going on.

I never thought all of those years of watching Notre Dame football games with Dad would eventually pay off. I very quickly learned once I got to college, that if you were a girl ... and you knew, really knew, the rules of football ... you would have a lot of guy friends. Then add on top of it a little athletic talent. Golden.

My softball career was cut short my Sophomore year in college when I got hit (hard) with a line drive to my collar bone and it snapped. My coach told me that I was fine and I pitched the rest of the game with tears running down my face. We won the game and they went on to the playoffs without me. Bummer.

I proceeded to walk from that game, to dinner, and then to the computer lab before I decided to go to the infirmary. After they took me to St. Joe's Hospital and had x-rays taken, and found out it was BROKEN, they asked me ... what took you so long to come in?

One other side note on this broken collar bone story, they can't put you in a cast when you break your collar bone. They put you in this crazy immobilizing brace so that you can't move it, and that is how it's supposed to heal. So forget carrying a tray in the dining hall, or your books to class, or ... a lot of things! Not gonna happen.

So the day after I break my collar bone, one of my good friends is carrying my dining hall tray to the table as I am getting something to drink. This guy comes up to me and asks, "Football injury?" And I say, "No, softball injury. I got hit with a line drive and broke my collar bone." To which he replies, "You gotta catch those ... I'm the pitcher for the Men's Baseball team." Aghh.

Besides playing softball, my friends and I also played flag football for our dorm. I was a nose tackle of all things, and we were pretty good, but until our senior year we couldn't really seem to get it all together. Our senior year though, we were on fire. We had this amazing little quarterback, and the team could not be stopped. We listened to "Eye of the Tiger" before every game, and we did it. We made it to the championship game, which we got to play IN Notre Dame stadium. Not only did we get to play our championship game IN Notre Dame stadium, it was the day after the Notre Dame/Penn State "Snow Bowl" ... so this made an otherwise amazing weekend even MORE amazing!

We had the game of our lives that Sunday. We could do no wrong. I even sacked the QB, and my Dad got it all on film (he happened to be in town that weekend for the Penn State game). Outstanding. And as a result of winning the championship game, we got the opportunity to buy letterman jackets, just like the football players got, but only ours would say that we were the flag football champions. Duh ... that was a no brainer!

We got our jackets in January and I could not wait to wear it to class!! I am sitting in Advertising class, that first day after getting my jacket, and I hear the two guys sitting behind me (one of which is a soccer player, and one of which is a football player) talking amongst themselves ... "Who is she dating?? Whose jacket is she wearing??"

To which I turn around and say ... "it's MINE!" Now *that* was quite a moment!

As the years have gone by, I am still amazed and how many guys are pleasantly surprised when I open my mouth and start talking about football, and actually know what I am talking about. I have played Fantasy Football with my husband for years, and I am the only girl in the league, and boy do they get mad when I'm doing better than they are!! And I am teaching my daughter all about football now ... because, at 10, she has already figured it out for herself that boys like girls who play sports and who are knowledgeable about sports! And she is a budding athlete already ... soccer, volleyball, and cross country. She is gonna be just fine!

Here's to all of the girls who love football!