Monday, July 28, 2008

Here Come the Irish 2008 | by Pat

Once again, Jay, Pete, and I were contributors to Here Come the Irish, the 2008 version of the best Notre Dame preview magazine out there. Classmate Jim Walsh is doing great things with Maple Street Press and this year's version is full of great info for the casual or hardcore Irish fan.

The compendium includes work by other notable online Irish fans such as Brian Stouffer of House Rock Built fame, John Vannie of, Frank Vitovitch of, and ND message board stats sage "Omahadomer," and Matt Hinton, blogger extraordinaire at Sunday Morning Quarterback, and the latest blogger to translate his passion into a full-time gig with a major media company (Congrats Matt!).

One of the standout articles in Here Come the Irish is Jim Walsh's interview with Lou Holtz about coaching at Notre Dame and looking back on the 20th anniversary of the 1988 National Championship team. Here's a quick excerpt about the start of the ND-Miami game.

Jim Walsh: So what was the key once the game got started?

Lou Holtz: It was just believing we could win. At the end of the first quarter, Frank Stams and the offensive tackle for Miami are walking down changing ends of the field. And Frank Stams told me that the offensive tackle said, "This game's gonna go down to the wire, isn't it?" The reason for that is Miami expected to win, and they could see the demeanor in our players that we weren't gonna back off, we expected to win, and we felt we were the better football team. So much of it is by your demeanor, by how you act, how you react, your confidence level in the game, that you don't panic, you just expect to win.
Back to the book, here's a quick look at the table of contents:
  • an in-depth breakdown of the roster and depth chart
  • 10 players who will make or break the 2008 season.
  • a preview of all opponents on the Irish schedule
  • how to set expectations for 2008 in the wake of a 3-9 2007
  • an examination of Jon Tenuta's blitz-heavy philosophy
  • what off-season steps Charlie Weis has taken to right the ship
  • a review of just what did go wrong last season anyway
  • worst of the best: bad seasons by good coaches
  • a look at how recruiting is refilling the talent pool
  • a comprehensive preview of the heralded freshmen class
  • Jimmy Clausen and Brady Quinn, a freshman comparison
  • the ridiculous world of modern day recruiting
  • the aforementioned Lou Holtz conversation about ND and the '88 team
  • a retrospective on the 35th anniversary of the '73 Notre Dame-Alabama Sugar Bowl
All 112 pages are available for order at the Maple Street Press website. Make sure to check it out. It really is a great preview magazine written by folks that follow the Fighting Irish all year long.