Friday, September 30, 2011


Night time slows, raindrops splash rainbows
Perhaps someone you know, could sparkle and shine
As daydreams slide to colour from shadow
Picture the moonglow, that dazzles my eyes
And I love you

Today's edition of Retro Friday features the song Pure, by The Lightning Seeds.

I was in a happy-go-lucky sort of mood today, and was looking for something light and sunny for today's blog post, and this is definitely it. This song came out my senior year in high school and it brings back some wonderful, sunny memories.

The Lightning Seeds are an English alternative rock band from Liverpool, England formed in 1989 by Ian Broudie (vocals, guitar, producer), formerly of the Big in Japan band.

The band started out as a studio-based solo project for Broudie, and then the Lightning Seeds expanded into a touring band following the album Jollification in 1994. The group experienced commercial success throughout the 1990s and are well-known for their single "Three Lions", a collaboration with David Baddiel and Frank Skinner which reached No. 1 in the UK in 1996 and 1998.

In 1989 Ian Broudie began recording alone under the name the Lightning Seeds and achieved his first commercial success with the psychedelic sounding synthpop hit "Pure", from the album Cloudcuckooland. Pure reached the UK Top 20. The same year "Joy" and "All I Want" were also released but failed to make much of an impression. "Pure" had some success in the US Billboard Top 40 reaching #32. Both "Pure" and "All I Want" also reached the Modern Rock Tracks top 10, and in 1991 Broudie returned to song-writing and moved labels from Rough Trade to Virgin.

During his time with Virgin records he released the album Sense (1992) which featured the song "The Life of Riley", written by Broudie for his son, that reached #28 in the UK Singles Chart and just registered at #98 in the US Billboard Hot 100.

When Broudie's contract expired with Virgin, Epic agreed to sign him to their label and he was very excited about the new opportunity. Broudie put other projects on hold and embarked on a touring schedule. "I'd been wanting to perform live again for some time and this was the first time I found myself talking to somebody at a record company who believed in Lightning Seeds."

By the end of 1993 Broudie had finished the Jollification (1994) album, which
included contributions from Terry Hall and Simon Rogers as well as Ian McNabb. A promotional tour began in August of 1994 with their lineup consisting of guitarist Paul Hemmings, drummer Chris Sharrock, bassist Martyn Campbell and keyboardist Ali Kane. The tour benefited from the success of the second single from the album "Change", which reached #13 in the UK Singles Charts, becoming Lightning Seeds second top twenty hit in the UK. The album Jollification their best success to date and the singles taken from this album, "Lucky You", "Marvellous" and "Perfect" made noticeable impact. Mark Farrow's album cover featured the use of computer graphics to create an enormous strawberry and depicting seeds with superimposed human faces.

The band still tours live to this date. In October 2010 they performed in Indonesia at the Jakarta Playground festival. After the band's final headline show of 2010 at Leamington Assembly on 12 November, they supported Squeeze on a 22 stop UK tour. On Friday 8 July, The Lightning Seeds headlined the AmpRocks festival in Ampthill Park. They also played at the South Tyneside Summer Festival in South Shields at the end of July 2011.

Okay ... and here is a little Pure for your listening pleasure. Hope you are having a wonderful Friday!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Snow Man

Snow was a stoutly built player with wide shoulders, and as one of the few weight-lifters at Notre Dame, he held most of the school records. His neck was bull-like. Based on his physique alone, it was hard to envision Snow as a wide receiver. On team picture day, he was more easily grouped with the likes of linebackers Jim Carroll and Ken Maglicic.

Gut instinct told Parseghian that Snow would excel at the wideout position. He certainly possessed an air of confidence that belied his second-string status. Snow never thought twice about swaggering into Parseghian's office without an appointment and smiling confidently as he shook hands with his new boss. Meanwhile, walking behind him, was slump-shouldered third-string quarterback John Huarte. While Snow radiated self-assuredness, Huarte exuded an air of defeat.

"Coach," Snow began. "You might not know it, but I am the best. Don't look at the films because you'll only find 5 or 6 catches by yours truly, but I can assure you that I am the best receiver on this team. On top of that, this man right here beside me is John Huarte. He is the best damn quarterback on this team."

Huarte looked down and shrugged his shoulders.

As they left the office, Huarte turned to Snow and quietly asked, "Jack, do you think we should have done that?"

Snow laughed. "I don't know, Johnny, but at least he knows who the hell we are."
[excerpt from Jim Dent's book, Resurrection]

For years my Dad has been telling me stories about Jack Snow. Stories of their days spent at Notre Dame. Stories of the encounters that they had in the years that followed. And though I never got the chance to meet him in person, I feel as though I've gotten a pretty amazing glimpse into the quiet yet commanding person that was Jack Snow.

A few months ago I got an email from none other than Stephanie Snow, the daughter of Jack Snow. She reached out to me as a member of the Notre Dame community to help her with a cause that is near and dear to her heart ... and now mine. Stephanie explains it much better than I do, so here's her story!

My father, was Jack Snow, an All American, who graduated from the University of Notre Dame. He passed away just months after his granddaughter, Raquel Gebel, who is now 6 years old, was born. Raquel was recently diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Wolfram syndrome. Wolfram syndrome typically begins with the diagnosis of juvenile diabetes and further leads to hearing, vision and brain loss. Tragically, 60% of patients with this disease do not make it past their 30th birthday. Born a Snow, I know that my path is to act proactively in order to stop the tragic progression of Wolfram syndrome.

Since Raquel's diagnosis, I have started the Jack & J.T. Snow Fund @ Washington University School of Medicine My father is a part of Notre Dame's football history, and he also called St. Louis his home the last 11 years of his life as the "Voice" of the Rams. My brother, J.T. Snow, former 1st baseman with the San Francisco Giants and myself have worked very hard to raise public awareness and money in order to stop this disease. Everything my father did, he did with decency and conviction and I have no doubt that the way he lived his life continues to make a difference each and every day, contributing to the ultimate success of helping Raquel and other children faced with Wolframs.

Currently, Washington University is the only research institution conducting in-depth studies on treatment options and possibly a cure for this rare disorder. Dr. Alan Permutt, the lead doctor, actually discovered the gene responsible for Wolfram syndrome about 11 years ago and he has made great advancements towards helping those affected by the disease. Unfortunately, it all comes down to finances and last year Dr. Permutt’s lab was denied a large grant which would have ensured long-term funding for the much needed clinics. If the Jack & J.T. Snow Fund does not raise the proper funds, the doctors can not get a drug approved by the FDA which could potentially save my daughter's life and many others affected by this insidious disease. So you see, the more we learn about the disease, the better equipped we are to fight it!

On October 17, Axius Financial, J.T. Snow and Steve Savard will be hosting The Snowman Scramble. I have attached the above flyer with information regarding this tournament. Please be reminded that I am a mother of a very sick child who needs all the support she can get, we have about a 3-4 year window before her eyesight, hearing and brain development start to fail. As each day passes, so does the chance of Raquel leading a normal and productive life!

I was so moved by Stephanie's message that I have joined her team to promote the upcoming golf tournament and to help raise funds to help find a cure for Wofram's Syndrom. And now I am reaching out to you ... can you help? If you are in any way interested in golfing, volunteering, or sending some spare change our way, we would be most grateful for your support and help! And if you have any questions or need any more information, please leave me a comment and I will get back with you as soon as I can!

Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Running Up That Hill

And if I only could,
I'd make a deal with God,
And I'd get him to swap our places,
Be running up that Hill,
With no problems.

Today's edition of Retro Friday features Kate Bush, and the song Running Up That Hill. I have had one of "those" weeks and this song really spoke to me this morning!

Kate Bush, who was born Catherine Bush on July 30, 1958, is an English singer-songwriter, musician and record producer. Her eclectic style of music and idiosyncratic vocal style have made her one of the United Kingdom's most successful solo female performers in the last 30 years. Bush was signed by EMI at the young age of 16 after receiving a recommendation from Pink Floyd's David Gilmour. In 1978, at the age 19, she topped the UK Singles Chart for four weeks with her debut single "Wuthering Heights", which made her the first woman to have a UK number-one with a self-written song. She was also the most photographed woman in the United Kingdom during the following year.

After her 1979 tour, which (by the way) was the only concert tour that she did, Bush released the 1980 album Never for Ever, which made her the first British solo female artist to top the UK album charts and the first female artist ever to enter the album chart at No. 1. She has released a total of ten albums, three of which topped the UK Albums Chart, and has had a grand total of twenty-five UK Top 40 hit singles including "Wuthering Heights", "Running Up that Hill", "King of the Mountain", "Babooshka", "The Man with the Child in His Eyes", and "Don't Give Up" (a duet with Peter Gabriel)—all of which reached the Top 10.

There is something about Kate Bush's musical style that is really appealing to me. Many reviewers have used the term "surreal" to describe her music, but there is often something haunting about her sound and song lyrics. Many of her songs have a melodramatic emotional and musical surrealism to them that makes it difficult to categorize her style. It has been observed that even the more joyous pieces are often tinged with traces of melancholy, and the most sorrowful pieces have elements of vitality struggling against all that would oppress them.

Here is "Running Up The Hill" by Kate Bush. Have a listen and see what you think about her musical style!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Don't Stop Believing

Just a small town girl, livin' in a lonely world
She took the midnight train goin' anywhere
Just a city boy, born and raised in south Detroit
He took the midnight train goin' anywhere

And not a minute to soon, hockey is back, the Blues had their first pre-season game on Tuesday night, and a check in the win column! I do love college football, but I cannot tell you how very excited I am to have hockey back in the rotation. I am sure you are thinking, what girl likes football and hockey? Yep, that would be me.

On the off chance that you're a new follower to the blog, I'd like to send you back in time for a bit to read my "Girls Love Hockey Too" blog post so that you can see a little bit into my past and why I love hockey so much. And then we'll all be ready to attack the hockey season, full speed ahead, and into the boards!

And without further ado, "Girls Love Hockey Too"

Oh, and one more thing, can someone please tell the Blues that "Don't Stop Believing" is not an original hockey theme song, and to please come up with something else?! I'm just saying.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Tear of Joy

There are very few things in this world that bring me to tears, but two of these such things brought me to tears last weekend. And these two things in particular always bring me to tears.

The first of which is the National Anthem. They play it before every sporting event, and rarely a time goes by in which I can actually sing it and not have to stop and catch my breath. I'm not exactly sure when that started, but I know for a fact that since 9/11, not once have I been able to make it through the National Anthem without taking a moment to pull myself together. I can't help but think of all the men and women who have given up their lives for our freedom and protection. Not just military folks, but policemen and firefighters as well. And I cannot possibly, ever express to them just how grateful I truly am.

I saw the most amazing thing while I was at Notre Dame this weekend. A group of guys from the New York Fire Department and the FDNY Fire Family Transport Foundation brought a group of soldiers from the Wounded Warrior project to Notre Dame for the football game. They were the nicest bunch of guys you'd ever want to meet, and the stories that they told (both soldiers and firefighters alike) definitely took our breath away and brought us to tears.

But even more amazing than that, was the gentleman who brought them to town. He is a Notre Dame alum and a New York Firefighter himself, who lost so much on 9/11, and to deal with that he has created the most amazing 9/11 memorial/display in his garage that you'd ever want to see.

The items that he has collected and assembled over the last ten years not only gave me goosebumps and took my breath away, but brought me to tears, and then to smiles again. I can't even put into words how amazing this experience was, and the fact that I am at such a huge loss for words is pretty crazy, but this is something that I wish everyone could see once ... it is just that moving.

The other thing that always brings me to tears is the Notre Dame Alma mater. I know, that must sound crazy to you, but Notre Dame is so much more to me than just a football team. It was four years of learning, amazing friends, and experiences that made me who I am today. Every chance I get to share Notre Dame with my friends and family, I jump on ... because I want them to see first hand that Notre Dame is so much more than brick and mortar. It is a place that nurtures young adults, and makes them the leaders of tomorrow. I would not trade my time at Notre Dame for anything, and the friends that I made there I will have forever ... and that in itself brings me to tears. I wish I could somehow convey that to people, but to some people all they see, or will ever see, is football; and I am sorry for their loss.

Okay ... that's my "pause" for today! May God bless you and yours!

Oh, and one more thing, if you'd like to learn more about the FDNY Fire Family Transport Foundation, please visit their web site. It's a wonderful organization that could really use your help!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Oh What A Night

In honor of my impending trip to Notre Dame this weekend (boy, does that sound ominous or what?!), this week's edition of Retro Friday will feature my three favorite "Backer Tunes."

The 'Backer ... otherwise known as The Linebacker Lounge, was one of our favorite haunts back in college, and still is a favorite of college students and alumni alike. If you are making a trip to campus this year, this is a must see, but be forewarned. Be sure to pack your "Backer shoes" ... something old and black that won't be phased by the black sludge on the floor of this whole-in-the-wall, shoe box bar. But trust me, it's worth every jam-packed minute.

The other charm of the 'Backer is the music. An eclectic D.J. will mix an awesome blend of current music, country, and 70's favorites. A night at the 'Backer would not be complete without the following three songs.

Sweet Caroline ... da, da, da

Brandy, you're a fine girl ... what a good wife you would be.

And the last song of the (every) night ... Oh What a Night!

Hey ... save me a Long Island at the 'Backer, will ya?!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Mud Football

Retro Friday will return next Friday, but in honor of MICHIGAN SUCKS WEEK, here is a little Jack Johnson and "Mud Football!"

A little background on Jack Johnson ... he is an American folk rock singer-songwriter, surfer and musician known for his work in the genres of soft rock and acoustic. In 2001, he achieved Top 40 success after the release of his debut album, Brushfire Fairytales. Since then he has released four more albums, a number of EPs and surfing movies/soundtracks. He is also known for organizing an annual event, the Kōkua Festival. Some of the more notable songs from Johnson's repertoire include "Upside Down"; "Flake"; "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing"; "If I Had Eyes"; "You and Your Heart" and the widely-popular fan favorite, "Better Together".

As a football lover though, my favorite Jack Johnson song is "Mud Football." And so without further ado, here's a little Jack Johnson for your listening pleasure!



Thursday, September 8, 2011

Into the Eye of the Storm

It appears that I have struck quite a nerve on Twitter, and since it is very difficult to make your point in 140 characters, I'd like to have a chance to expound on my opinion in a little more detail. I know that many of you will still disagree with me, but I am totally okay with that ... we are all entitled to our opinions. They are just that, our opinions. No one is right or wrong, we are just having a conversation.

Okay ... so here I go.

A few gentlemen on Twitter were discussing some of the dreadful plays from the Notre Dame-USF game, as well as Brian Kelly's actions on the side line, when I decided to throw in my two cents. My opening statement was as follows: In regards to Brian Kelly's sideline antics, how does it look to the players when their fearless leader loses control? And do you think his tantrums on NBC help or hinder recruiting?

I was expecting a few responses ... but I was not at all expecting the firestorm that I got in return.

Some of the responses included the following (all names have been withheld to protect the innocent! haha)

- I honestly don't think they (the players) think twice about it.

- He didn't lose control. Coaches, particularly in football, do this all the time.

- Player's coaches that don't go on tirades are rare.

- IF you play sports, your coach yells. I haven't seen very many effective even-keeled coaches.

- Losing control would be if he hit a player. I'm in complete control when I cuss someone out.

- (I) really hate to pull this card, but if you've never played the sport, it's tough to understand the yelling. But I assume you've never played football. Never wore a helmet. Never experienced the blinders.

- The more physical the sport, the more demanding the coaches tend to be.

- If you're a Mom of a player, you aren't supposed to understand it.

- I think there is a balance .. if you watch tape of last year, Rees got a lot more teaching.

- Kelly really didn't "lose it" until all hell broke lose.

- When I screwed up playing, if a coach didn't yell at me, I thought HE was weak.

- This is the culture of football & we should have known what we signed up for.

- I think it shows he is emotionally invested in his team. Far more than we saw from Charlie.

- Moreoverly we are raising a generation of wusses.

Okay ... let me see if I can now put my thoughts into words. In my humble opnion, I do think Brian Kelly's actions on the sidelines during the game on Saturday were over the top. As multiple players continued to make mistakes, he continued to melt down. Screaming at players, one after another ... Crist ... Gray ... Jones ... Rees.

I do not think a good leader loses control like that. And I do not think the way to teach or instruct kids (and lets face it, they are still kids for the most part) is by screaming at them until your face turns beet red and is about ready to explode. Instead of pulling them aside and making a teaching moment out of the situation, he turned it into a repeated screaming match.

And then what happens is ... as he is screaming and melting down ... he is losing control of the situation at hand. His head is no longer in the game, and instead of making strategy of what needs to be done next, he is stuck in the past.

As the child of a Navy Submariner, I liken this all back to a ship. If there is a fire in one of the compartments on the ship, I do not want the commanding officer yelling and screaming because we are not following protocol perfectly. He can deal with that later. I want a calm leader, instructing us how to solve the problem to prevent future casualties, and then later on he can go back and address any issues he has with specific individuals on a one-on-one basis.

Now that is not to say that I want a leader/coach with no emotion. I do not want a Ty, that is for sure. But I don't think a melting down, head-ready-to-explode Brian Kelly on the sideline is the answer either. There has to be a balance. He seemed pretty balanced to me last year. There were many teachable moments on the sideline last year. On Saturday, all I saw was an adult who had completely lost control.

In regards to TJ walking away from the coach, and really taking the wrath of Kelly ... I completely understand that walking away from your leader is inappropriate. But at the end of the day, Kelly is the ADULT, and TJ is the KID, and as the adult you need to set the example. That is not at all what I saw on Saturday.

Yes, I am a girl. But I am a very smart girl, who played sports from a youth all the way through college, and just because I did not play THE sport of football, absolutely does NOT mean that I do not understand. I still 100 percent feel that you can be an effective leader/coach without yelling and screaming all the time. I do think that a certain amount of yelling is fine as a coach. Trust me, I've been yelled at plenty of times in my day. But I think the yelling is much better served on the practice field, and not during a game when you should be spending your time strategizing what the next play is. The ship is sinking for God's sake, do something to save it instead of harping on what just happend. It's in the past, for the love of Notre Dame, MOVE FORWARD.

Okay, and with this, I am now moving forward myself! Bring on Michigan already!! Is it Saturday yet??




Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ... Need I Say More?

Need I Say More?


The Dillon Hall Pep Rally

On this fine Wednesday of Michigan Sucks Week, I'd like to share one of my favorite football home game weekend traditions!

There are a lot of pep rallies held at Notre Dame, but the Dillon Hall pep rally is not your ordinary pep rally!

Rally photo courtesy of

The Dillon Hall pep rally began approximately 40 years ago. It is traditionally held the Thursday before the first home game (although in 2010 the pep rally was moved from it's traditional Thursday night, to the Friday night of the first home football game weekend).

In the early years of the Dillon Hall pep rally, it was held in the Dillon courtyard that faces South Dining Hall. But as it's popularity grew, the stage was moved to accommodate a bigger audience. Now it is held in front of Dillon Hall on South Quad.

Historically, the Dillon Hall pep rally was an event primarily designed by the students, for the students. Unlike the other pep rallies, which are usually held in the Joyce Center, the Dillon Hall pep rally was not advertised to the public, and did not include the entire football team and cheerleaders.

Instead, the Dillon Hall pep rally featured humorous sketches and skits, some of which (over the years) drew complaints for being offensive. It was held on Thursday nights because it was designed to be a student only pep rally, and not something that the alumni and fans were invited to. It typically had a storyline, including little skits about Notre Dame, and skits about the world at large, that were acted out to entertain the entire campus. Integrated into this basic design, special guest speakers were also invited to speak at the pep rally. These special guests would typically include the football coach, the safety-enthusiast Officer Tim McCarthy, and the football players who resided in Dillon Hall ... including two of my all-time favorites: Tony Rice and Brady Quinn. There were also usually appearances made by the drum line, cheerleaders, pom squad and the leprechaun.

This particular pep rally was, and still is, used as a bonding tool for the freshmen, because it is only held the first football weekend. It is a fantastic use of the Notre Dame student community, which manages to extend Freshmen Orientation and reinforce the idea of dorm unity and bonding.

In 2010 the pep rally was moved to the Friday night of the first football weekend, and replaced the usual Joyce Center pep rally held on that night. As a result of this, the skits had to be adapted a bit so that they appealed to a much broader audience, but hopefully the new format did not feel any different to the students. The freshmen were still seated in the front row, with the students directly behind them.

The Dillon Hall pep rally just has a special buzz about it. It is a shining example of what the dorm community life at Notre Dame is all about.

If you ever get a chance to catch the Dillon Hall pep rally, I highly recommend it ... it is a fantastic glimpse into the student life at Notre Dame!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Golden Tradition

In continuation of Michigan Sucks Week ... I'd like to share one of my favorite traditions of a home football weekend at Notre Dame: the painting of the golden helmets!

I first became exposed to this tradition when my roommate Sophomore year was a Student Manager for the Football team. Now if that isn't the best work-study job, I'm not sure what is!

One of their responsibilities the Friday night before a football game (well, when I was a student it was done on Friday nights for home games, and Thursday nights for away games. Now it is done on Monday nights so that the helmets are completely dry on game day, and to ease away game transportation) was the painting of the Notre Dame football helmets.

The helmets are coated with a fresh coat of paint the week before each game, and the paint carries actual 23.9-karat gold flakes from the Golden Dome that sits atop the University's Main Building.

Ten times in the last 131 years (one of which was when I was a student at Notre Dame), the University has removed and replaced the gold leaf on the Dome -- a process called "regilding." One of the things that they include in this regilding process is to capture some of the gold removed from the Dome to later mix in with the paint used on the helmets.

Every once in a while they do paint the helmets on a Friday night (last year for the Michigan game, they painted the helmets on Friday night and opened it up to public viewing) but mostly it is done on Monday nights. I do prefer it when they paint the helmets on a Friday night ... it's a great kickoff to the football weekend in addition to the Friday night Pep Rally ... but I do understand that Monday nights make football weekends a little less crazy!

Here's a little video that I found that shows the actual gold flakes from the Dome that they use in the second coat of paint. Enjoy!

One more thing of note, if you happen to see photos of Notre Dame football practice and you think that the helmets don't shine quite as much as they do on game day, you'd be correct! They only use the real gold paint on the "game day" helmets, and they have a separate set of helmets that are used during practice.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday Morning Quarterback

Yes, it's here, Michigan Sucks Week ... and I'm going to do a little Monday Morniing Quarterbacking this morning as later today Coach Brian Kelly will announce who his starting Quarterback will be for the Notre Dame-Michigan game on Saturday night.

(Picture from last year's Notre Dame-Michigan game!)

So let's talk a look back at the Notre Dame-USF game for just a moment.

Dayne Crist: 7 of 15 for 85 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Tommy Rees: 24 of 34 for 296 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
Cierre Wood: 21 carries for 104 yards, 1 TD
Michael Floyd: 12 catches for 154 yards, 2 TD
Tyler Eifert: 6 catches for 93 yards

Jonas Gray: Fumble for TD
Floyd: Holding, TD nullified
Crist: INT in End Zone
Riddick: Dropped Punt
Rees: 2 INT, including one at the USF 4

More game fun facts:

Notre Dame's David Ruffer, who was 23-of-24 on field goals in his career, missed a 30-yard attempt later in the third quarter after Rees hit Riddick with a 27-yard pass and Floyd with one of 15. (Final score 23-20 ... three points.)

Notre Dame out gained USF, 152-62 in the first quarter. The Irish had 85 yards passing compared to the Bulls' 20 yards in the air, and yet the Bulls lead 13-0.

Notre Dame totaled 508 yards in the game, exactly twice as many as USF's 254.

Notre Dame's 16 point half time deficit was the largest deficit since November 29, 2008 when the Irish trailed USC 24-0 at half time.

Notre Dame has played three games on September 3 in it's history, and the yare 2-1 all-time on this date.

The Irish are 40-8-1 (.827) in season opener games inside Notre Dame Stadium.

Skip Holtz, a former member of the Notre Dame football team and assistant coach and son of former Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz, returned to Notre Dame on Saturday.

Prior to Holtz on Saturday afternoon, the last Notre Dame graduate to defeat the Irish was Eddie Anderson ('22). His 1939 and 1940 Iowa teams beat Elmer Layden's Irish teams 7-0 both times.

Sigh, okay, enough of the fun facts. Let's get back to the game. There is no one person to point fingers at for the USF loss. It's is a team game, and let's face it, it is also a team loss. This is very clear to us all by looking at the above stats, including interceptions by two Quarterbacks, and fumbles by more than one player. If you take away the mental errors and turnovers in this game, Notre Dame handily defeats the Bulls.

So, how does Brian Kelly fix this going into Michigan Sucks Week? He's got to get these kids to calm down and not rush through these games. They have got to hold on to the rock. And the Quarterback, whomever the starter may be, has GOT to slow down and not make panicked passes.

I have no doubt in my mind that Kelly can fix this and have them ready for Michigan. We had 508 yards on Saturday. 508. If we have a game like that on Saturday night, minus all of the stupid turnovers, Michigan will be no match for the Irish.

Who does Kelly start at Quarterback? That is a tough question for me. Crist really did not have a bad game. He only had one interception ... Rees had two. And the Jonas Gray fumble on the goal line was NOT his fault either. He did make some bad, rushed passes, but Tommy did, too. As much as I like Rees, and think he may perform a bit better under pressure, I'd feel really bad for Crist if he does not get one more shot at this. I don't know? I can't wait to here Kelly's decision today, and his reasoning behind his decision! I'm sure glad I'm not in his shoes!

Okay, and there is my Monday Morning Quarterbacking for Michigan Sucks Week!


Friday, September 2, 2011

The Long Walk On Game Day

Today's edition of Retro Friday is being interrupted by another Football Week 2011 post ... The Long Walk On Game Day!

One of the most anticipated events on campus at Notre Dame on a football game day is the walk the players take, following Mass, from the Basilica to the stadium. But starting with the 2011 football season, this is all changing. I am not sure who's brilliant idea this was, and who knows ... maybe once I see it I will love it, but at this very moment I am not a big fan of this change.

I know that change in life is inevitable, but a big part of what people love about Notre Dame football is the mystique, lore, and TRADITION. Call me crazy, but why on earth would you want to change one of the most well loved of the Notre Dame traditions?!

Okay. The original football walk consisted of the Notre Dame football players walking out of Mass at the Basilica, and walking through the "God Quad" and onward through campus to the stadium. The fans line up in masses to high five and cheer the players on their journey towards the stadium. It is one of my favorite traditions to share with people who have never been to Notre Dame for a football game. (Below is a pic of the band making the same walk to the stadium)

The new journey to the stadium will involve the following path: Following Mass at the Basilica, the players will exit through the God-Country-Notre Dame doors and then the team will walk back to the buses. They will board the buses and turn left on Holy Cross Drive, towards St. Mary's Lake and the Grotto, and follow Holy Cross Drive all the way to the parking lot south of Notre Dame stadium. They will then drive the buses THROUGH the south parking lot so that the tailgaters get a chance to experience the football team (I don't know ... but a bus driving through the parking lot is not really "experiencing the football team" ... but maybe that's just me?) and then will continue on to "The Gug" where they will finish game day preparations.

After pre-game preparations are completed, the players will walk from the Gug, past the Jordan Hall of Science, and over to the Hesburgh library, which is where the official walk to the stadium will start. For a 3:30pm game time, this will happen about 1:15pm. The team will walk over to the statue of Father Hesburgh and Father Joyce in front of the Hesburgh Library, and then they will turn and make the walk to the stadium, next to the reflecting pool which reflects the mosiac of "Touchdown Jesus." The team will then enter the stadium through the Knute Rockne gate on the North end of the stadium and head into the locker room.

Do you want to actually SEE the walk? Well, you're in luck ... it's on YouTube and here it is!

Here's to a wonderful(?) new tradition!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Five to Remember

Today's post in my Football Week 2011 series is guest written by another blogging and social media "maven" pal, Susan, a featured writer on

With the National Football and College Football season about to kick off, I thought it might be fun to look back on 5 plays (ok 4 plays and one game) that stick out from my lifetime of watching football. Are these the “5 Best Plays in NFL History”? No. I haven’t been alive nor watched every single game in history. And there are the obvious like the Immaculate Reception (again I wasn’t alive then), or Bill Parcels announcing that he’d like to buy the groceries AND cook dinner (but that isn’t on the field antics, now is it?) that aren’t here. This isn’t a look back on the NFL’s history, as much as a reflection of my history with the NFL. Times when I can honestly (in no particular order), “I remember where I was when…” and what I said. In some cases, I can remember what I threw at the TV.

Leon Lett Thanksgiving and Super Bowl Mishaps – 1993
Oh Leon Lett, will anyone ever forget. Truly it isn’t just the fact that my grandmother knew that you DON’T TOUCH THE BALL. It isn’t that everyone on the Cowboys was yelling to make sure no one touched the ball. It was that Lett not only touched the ball, but then topped touching the ball with his epic fail in the Super Bowl.

Seriously? After what happened during the regular season, you would think someone would have more brains then to try and dance into the end zone, ball hanging down like it was just a sack of groceries. No. Not Lett. He did just that and the Buffalo Bills made him pay. In spades.

Did you laugh? Cry? Or maybe you laughed and cried for Lett? If you were a Cowboys fan, maybe you laughed at Thanksgiving. I’m sure by the Super Bowl, the ability to hold out compassion or see the humorous side to all of it was no longer possible. However, for many of us (myself, an admitted Niners fan, included) it was pure comedy on a very national stage. It is also proof of the human condition. We all have the ability to fail and get up and then follow through when stupidity knocks on the door.

Steve Young trips up and comes up big with Terrell Owens –1998
Before the sharpie. There were plays like these. And again proof that the prevent defense does nothing but prevent a team from winning. The Packers had become the proverbial monkey on the back of the Niners. Coming into the NFC Wild Card game in 1998 the Packers were riding a 11-5 record and ready to roll straight through to the Super Bowl. However, down by four and with just under two minutes to go the Niners started a nine play, 76 yard drive that declared, “You Shall Not Pass”.

Then it happened. With just under ten seconds to play, the ball was snapped. Steve Young trips on the drop back, everyone’s hearts plunge to their stomach and then he regains his footing, finding Terrell Owens in the endzone. Mind you Owens was having the type of game that players have nightmares about, but he didn’t give up. Young stumbled but didn’t give up and it paid off. And yes that is that Terrell Owens crying on the side of the field… What happened to him?

Buffalo Bills comeback vs. Houston Oilers – 1993
Ok this isn’t just one play but who doesn’t remember the Oilers going up on the Bills 35-3 in the third quarter of the 1992 AFC Wild Card Game? That game was over. It was done. Not to mention that in context this was a Bills team that had wiped the NFL the previous two seasons, just to lose in the Super Bowl. This was a humiliation beyond just the game. This was a season plundered and it ended 7-5, just to stumble into the playoffs and into this?!

Starting right off the bat with Al Del Greco’s botched kick (hello mother nature and home field advantage…) Then the “Suicide Onside” OH COME ON! GET OUT… I’m pretty sure I threw something at the field when Steve Christie recovered his own kick. And at that point, did you not find yourself rooting for Buffalo? As they gained momentum… as the tide turned. You could feel it, right? I have goose bumps writing about it. The Bills didn’t even have a touchdown until there were less than 10 minutes to go in the fourth quarter, the Bills should have been dead. It was one of those moments in time when no one could believe it but it happened. It is also a perfect example of why Jim Kelly is a hall of fame quarterback without a ring and why you never ever leave a game early. EVER. NEVER EVER.

Dan Marino fakes the spike for a touchdown. -- 1994
Where were you when you screamed: “THEY DID NOT”! But oh boy they did. Dan Marino executed the trick play to end all trick plays. I’m pretty sure I scared the neighbors with my screams on this one.

Down by three points to the New York Jets, 30 seconds on the clock and the Dolphins rush to the line with Marino making all the classic “I’m gonna spike it” charades. Instead? The Dolphins snap the ball, the Jets just stand there and Marino finds Mark Ingram in the end zone to put the Dolphins up 27-24. Extra point is good and the Dolphins win the game 28-24.

Fun fact? After this game, the Jets went on to win a total TOTAL of six games in five years. It didn’t just confuse one team on one play, it nearly cursed an entire franchise.

The Tom Brady Tuck Rule – 2002
*Please note that I purposely chose this link because of its using the NHL’s award winning “History Will Be Made” Advertising Campaign.

Best part of this whole debacle, no matter what side of the fence you fall in (was he in forward motion- about to throw and so making it an incomplete pass… or no, no fumble… tuck rule!) is that it wasn’t even this play that ultimately decided the game. No, after all that to-do about the play and these massive men battling for 60 minutes, it came down to a tiny kicker, one play in a massive snow storm and one moment in history. It is a moment that might just have launched Tom Brady’s entire career.

Yes the AFC Divisional Playoff game, on that day, in that mess of Mother Nature was decided on a field goal by Adam Vinatieri. Of course, the Patriots went on to win the Super Bowl that year. Some things are just meant to be. It was named the “Tuck Rule” because of the NFL rule book allowing for the forward motion of the passer’s arm to indicate a pass, even if it is recoiled to tuck the ball back into their body. It does go on to say that if the ball has been tucked into the player’s body, it is a fumble. However, it was determined that Brady was somewhere in Tuck Rule gray area where his arm was in forward motion although the ball had not yet been released. No fumble. Patriots drive on. Credit though, if opportunity knocks (deservedly or not) and you don’t open the door and greet it, then what good is the chance to begin with?

If you liked today's post, you can catch Susan on and on Twitter at @RuffStough