Friday, September 16, 2005

Welcome Home, Charlie | by Pete

Notre Dame is 2-0. That’s great, and normally we, the students, would be ecstatic. However, this next game is not a normal game, it’s an exorcism. If we can beat Michigan State, then this campus will breathe a little easier, get much more excited about this season’s prospects. However, we have to remember, this is Michigan State. I’m not saying that I respect them, or am intimidated by them, but of all the teams we’ve played in my tenure here, Michigan State is the one that rubs me like sandpaper.

As a student, I’ve seen four Notre Dame-Michigan State matchups. I saw the miracle win, where Arnaz Battle instantly became the godfather of my eventual first-born. I also saw the loss at home my sophomore year, a game I barely remember, still punch drunk from the loss to Michigan. The only thing I remember is that, when Notre Dame needed to stop the run on fourth down to get the ball back and try some Battlesque heroics, we couldn’t. Oh, and we also had twelve guys on the field, we couldn’t even stop them while cheating, thanks to Tyrone “No Time For Counting, I’m Molding Men” Willingham. Then it was my junior year, where the game seemed to be going our favor, but our hopes were almost flushed along with Tyrone Willingham’s poop in the second half. As you can see, we’re 2-1 against MSU during my tenure, but it’s never been easy.

This year, MSU comes in hot, scoring a Willingham pantload of points against Kent State and Hawaii. Granted, that hardly counts as noteworthy competition, but the amount of points and yards amassed cannot be ignored. I think this is the game that finally proves if this Notre Dame team is for real, and I think they’re going to show that on Saturday. The campus is ready to welcome the undefeated team, and I think the team’s ready to knock that Spartan monkey off their back. No longer are we coached by men who suck, we have a real coach. And a real coach at Notre Dame doesn’t lose to Michigan State. We have more talent, and now we’ve got better coaching, and we’ve got something to prove. I know the campus is ready to show the world a great football team, and I think the players are ready to back it up.

Prediction: Notre Dame scores more points than Michigan State (What? You think I can magically guess two random numbers exactly right?).

Being a student, here are a few more things of note from campus this week:

• Kudos to the University on some very classy Inauguration invitations, sent to all the students. Really made me feel loved.

• I passed Rhema McKnight today. He had crutches, but was walking on both feet, so I have no idea what that means. And that ends the creepy stalking quotient of this entry.

• My condolences to Dillon Hall regarding their Pep Rally, which was cancelled 10 minutes into it due to rain. It looked promising, especially when Bob Davie claimed he was fired from the University due to racism.

• Fun Fact: When interviewed by Dillonite Dan Carter, five different Michigan State students could not correctly answer any of the following questions: 1. Name your current coach. 2. Name a player on the team. 3. Say some words from the fight song. 4. Who did you play last week, and what was the score? It’s times like this that I realize how special Notre Dame really is, and how much Michigan State sucks.

• Charlie came and talked to open the Dillon Pep Rally. He was succinct, and productive. Here’s the breakdown: "We’re glad we won two games, and we want to make Notre Dame Stadium a scary place to play again. Shut up when we’re on offense (direct quote), and go nuts when we’re on defense. I know after the Michigan game, you guys probably had a great time that night, and my goal is for you to have a great time every Saturday night."

• Brady Quinn, spanking new Dillonite, followed up Charlie, and let me tell you, three times now I’ve seen players speak before DPR, and never have I seen such an excited display. He ripped on Michigan State captain Clifton Ryan saying he wasn’t impressed by Touchdown Jesus. Specifically, he pointed out Ryan’s poor grammar. When I heard it, I instantly understood why so many people hate Notre Dame, and why I love it so much.

• My parents are coming up for the game, and they got a call from Anthony Travel saying that, if they wanted to go to the pep rally on Friday, they should definitely plan on getting there early. With an undefeated Charlie Weis, and an always entertaining Chuck Lennon in the house, I couldn’t be more excited.

• And finally, a special note to Mark May: Shut up. Please shut up. Nobody here is already thinking national title, and if you keep ragging on us about it, we’re going to start acting like it just to piss you off. I’m halfway considering bringing a dozen roses to the game on Saturday, just to be the arrogant Notre Dame fan I know I always could be.