Archive for the ‘Notre Dame’ Category

Ugh, powder blue

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Clinton and Obama wore (nearly) matching outfits at their Unity event this afternoon: her pantsuit and his tie were both, according to Politico‘s color-spectrum analysis, powder blue.

Ap_unity_080627_mn

Powder blue, of course, used to be a UCLA school color, back when I was at USC. But the Bruins switched in 2003 to a different shade of blue, so I guess I can forgive the Dems for their use of what I’ve always considered a rather distasteful shade of an otherwise fine color. Still… for future reference, I’d recommend either Notre Dame blue or Newington blue. :)

Anyway, here are some more photos from the Obama-Clinton rally in Unity.

About that Kevin White thing…

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

I realize I’m incredibly slow in blogging about this story, but just in case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard, Kevin White is no longer Notre Dame’s athletic director.

Kevin White was hired as Duke’s athletic director Saturday, leaving Notre Dame for a school with an elite basketball team and a football team that has had 13 straight losing seasons and has not been to a bowl since 1994.

Notre Dame appointed Missy Conboy as its interim athletic director. The school said there is no timetable for a permanent replacement.

White will replace Joe Alleva, who was hired as LSU’s athletic director in April after a decade of leading the Blue Devils’ 26 sports programs.

“Kevin White is in the first rank of athletics directors nationally and will make a perfect fit at Duke,” university president Richard Brodhead said.

White had been at Notre Dame since 2000. He hired football coaches Tyrone Willingham and Charlie Weis, and hired former Duke assistant Mike Brey as the men’s basketball coach. …

White helped Notre Dame plan a $26 million renovation of the basketball arena and expand the school’s nonrevenue sports. He and his wife were made honorary alumni three days before switching jobs.

But White was widely criticized by Irish fans because the football team hasn’t won a national championship since 1988 — the longest stretch in school history — and some fans place much of the blame on White.

He gave Bob Davie a contract extension in 2000, then fired him after the next season. White replaced Davie with George O’Leary, who resigned after less than a week on the job after he admitted he had lied about his academic and athletic past. White’s next hire was Willingham, who lasted just three years.

In all, the Irish football team had four winning seasons, three losing campaigns and one .500 finish during White’s tenure.

Her Loyal Sons and Rakes of Mallow have complete coverage of White’s departure and the search for a possible replacement.

I apologize for not blogging this sooner. My parents were in town this past weekend, visiting us and the baby, so my free time for blogging was limited. Even so, as I mentioned in comments on another post, I actually drafted a whole post about this on Saturday, only to have my computer crash before I’d saved it. I then intended to post something Monday or Tuesday, but got totally consumed with blogging about the rapidly changing Hillary Clinton-related developments, and never got around to it.

Anyway. Yeah. Kevin White, gone. I can’t say I’m shedding any tears over it. What do y’all think?

P.S. Duke sucks.

Shark sighting!

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

As I mentioned earlier, my parents are in town this weekend, and tonight my dad and I went to a Tennessee Smokies game. I had totally forgotten that Notre Dame’s Jeff Samardzija is a Smokie (er, a Smoky?), but he is, and there he was, standing in the dugout right in front of us:

I couldn’t resist saying something, so I walked up to the edge of the dugout and yelled “Hey, Jeff!” a couple of times until he heard me and looked over. I then said, “Go Irish!” He responded with a sort of half-smile and quasi-acknowledgment that suggested he gets that all the time from Notre Dame fans who feel so passionately about the Irish that they figure it’s perfectly reasonable to treat famous ND alums like long-lost buddies and thus randomly say “Go Irish” at them. Heh.

Alas, Samardzija wasn’t pitching tonight, but it was cool to see him anyway. He’s got a blog, by the way.

Anyway, the Smokies won the game, 8-3, and we had a good time. Here are a few more pictures:

A thought on West Virginia

Monday, May 12th, 2008

There have been a lot of articles published in recent days with man-on-the-street quotes from West Virginia along the lines of, "I heard that Obama is a Muslim and his wife’s an atheist."

Now, I’m not denying that this sort of sentiment is a problem for Obama, nor am I necessarily denying that it’s a particularly severe problem in West Virginia. But can we please take this reporting with a little grain of salt, at least? I’m not sure whether these sorts of quotes tell us all that much about the electoral dynamic in West Virginia, as opposed to the psyche of the reporters writing the stories.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that, if you’re a reporter, and you conduct enough man-on-the-street interviews, you can find some idiot to say "Obama’s a Muslim" — or even "Obama’s a n***er" — anywhere. You can find racists and xenophobes and conspiratorial crazies in California, New York, Texas, Illinois; you can find ’em all over the damn country.

Can you find them more easily in West Virginia? Perhaps. But you’re also much more likely to publish their quotes in a story about West Virginia, because it fits the storyline perfectly. Indeed, such a quote is precisely what these reporters are looking for when they start conducting the interviews in West Virginia. Whereas in California or New York, they’d probably ignore the random racist quote, in West Virginia they go out, they turn on the yokel-detecting radar, they hold up a microphone to the redneckiest-lookin’ redneck they can find, and — voila! — journalistic magic happens.

Again: I’m not denying the real, genuine significance of racism as a factor in Obama’s problems, nor am I suggesting that Appalachia is devoid of racists. But please, let’s not jump to the conclusion that, when Hillary wins tomorrow’s primary by a margin of 70% to 30%, it means that 70 percent of West Virginia Democrats are racists, just because we read a handful of cherrypicked quotes that seem to validate that preconceived notion.

Hillary Clinton’s supporters prefer her to Obama for a whole bunch of reasons, some of them cultural, some of them political, some of them overtly racial, some of them subconsciously racial, and some of them falling into various other categories. While I disagree with their choice (and I strongly disagree with Hillary’s conscious or reckless exploitation of the prejudices that do exist), it’s an insult to those voters to paint them all with a broad brush and assume the only reason they’ve voting for Hillary is because they hate black people, or people with the middle name "Hussein," or whatever.

It’s possible to condemn prejudice without engaging in it, and that’s what’s called for here. Some people in West Virginia (and elsewhere) are voting on the basis of racism, and that sucks. Most others aren’t, and we shouldn’t assume that they are. And that’s all I have to say about that.

UPDATE: Poblano writes:

I do want to write a little bit more about the
notion that West Virginians are racist. … [T]he short version is: yes,
there are racist voters in West Virginia, but there are racist voters
in every state. The primary determinant of the extent to which racism
tends to be more manifest is education levels, and so the effects may
be more noticeable in West Virgnia, a state with poor academic
achievement. But there is no reason to believe that West Virgnians are
particularly racist, relative to their education levels.

That seems right to me.

NDLS 2L wins Long Island Marathon

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Remember Dan McGrath, the Notre Dame law student who finished 33rd in the New York City marathon during his 1L year? Well, now he’s a 2L, and on Sunday he won the Long Island Marathon, then flew back to South Bend in time for a Monday-morning Jurisprudence final. As a result of his exploits, he’s featured on the sports mega-blog Deadspin, under the headline “Annoying Superhuman Lawyer-To-Be Makes Life More Difficult For The Rest Of Us.” Heh. Congrats, Dan!

Trustee donates $15 million to NDLS

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

More good news from Notre Dame Law School:

Robert F. Biolchini, a member of the University of Notre Dame Board of Trustees
and partner in the Tulsa, Okla., law firm Stuart, Biolchini & Turner, and
his wife, Frances, have made a $15 million gift to the University to help
underwrite the renovation of the current Notre Dame Law School building. …

After a comprehensive renovation of the existing law school building, which
will be renamed Biolchini Hall, it will house an expanded Kresge Law Library.
The renovation in Biolchini Hall also will include two 50-seat classrooms, new
space for Notre Dame Law Review, and new offices and work space for admissions
and career services. The exterior of the building, including masonry, windows
and roofing, will be restored where necessary.

A covered archway will link Biolchini Hall to the adjacent Eck Hall of Law, a
three-story, 85,000-square-foot building that is under construction on the site
of the former campus post office. Eck Hall will be composed primarily of a new
moot courtroom, classrooms and faculty offices. When it is completed in January
2009, law school operations will be moved out of the existing building and
renovation work will begin.

“The combination of Biolchini and Eck Halls will give Notre Dame one of the
outstanding law school facilities in the country,” said Patricia A. O’Hara,
Joseph A. Matson Dean of Notre Dame Law School. “On behalf of all law school
faculty, students and alumni, I want to offer my deepest thanks to Bob, Fran and
their family.”

Hmm… Biolchini Hall and Eck Hall, connected by a covered archway. Hey, how much does it cost to build a covered archway? We should put together a blog fundraising campaign, and get it named the "Irish Trojan Archway." ;)

And a Trojan shall lead them

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Fellow "Irish Trojan" Katherine Kirkpatrick, who, like me, attended USC for undergrad (she’s even a Daily Trojan alum), and who is now a rising 3L at Notre Dame, was elected NDLS’s new SBA president in a runoff election last week. She will be inaugurated on Sunday.

A Trojan at the helm of the Notre Dame Law School student body: I love it!! Finally, Operation: Trojan Horse can proceed as planned! ;) Just kidding. Seriously, congratulations, Katherine!

In addition, an anonymous tipster informed me that A.J. Bellia and Lloyd Mayer — the latter being my former Election Law professor and adviser for my Electoral College paper, the former being one half of the school’s recent professorial retention coup — finished tied in the initial balloting for NDLS Professor of the Year. That led to a run-off, which Professor Bellia narrowly won. Congrats to him, and to Professor Mayer for his close second-place finish; they’re both great professors, and well deserving of the recognition.

So which team are you going to root for now, Brendan??

Friday, April 25th, 2008

The Connecticut legislature reached a compromise with UConn that will allow the university’s football team to schedule a six-year series against Notre Dame, even though none of the games will be played in Connecticut. The Irish balked at playing at the Huskies’ 40,000-seat home stadium, Rentschler Field in East Hartford, insisting instead that UConn’s "home" games played in larger stadiums elsewhere, most likely in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and/or New York. However, Connecticut lawmakers were unimpressed with the idea of UConn outsourcing its home games to other states. In the words of State Rep. Michael Christ,
D-East Hartford, who proposed an earlier bill that would have
required UConn to play all its home games at Rentschler, "Many of us felt we already had a beautiful facility in
Connecticut and it was built for UConn."

The newly announced deal requires UConn to play six home games at Rentschler Field each year, "as long as the NCAA rules permit a
12-game season and permits a team to use one Football Championship
Subdivision win per season as a bowl-eligible win." It also reduces the length of the series between UConn and Notre Dame from ten years to six. "I
believe we have crafted a reasonable solution," said Christ, who added that he hopes UConn can persuade the Irish to play at
Rentschler Field in the future. (Ha! Fat chance.)

The series will start in the 2011 season and go through 2017.  The three home games for the Irish will, of course, be played at Notre Dame Stadium.  The deal still needs to be approved by Notre Dame and venue officials.  Connecticut and Notre Dame already have a separate deal to play next season in South Bend.

UPDATE BY BRENDAN:  Rep. Christ wrote a scathing op-ed about this topic last week in the Hartford Courant. My dad suggested the headline, "Christ to Notre Dame: Screw you." Heh.

Anyway, here’s an excerpt:

Loyal Husky fans flock with family and friends to Rentschler for every home
game, rain or shine, in support of their beloved team. There are hundreds of
stadium workers who depend on a game day payday from parking cars, working
concessions and post-game clean-up. Many local school bands and clubs as well as
charities also use games to bolster fundraising. Should all those benefits move
to Massachusetts? I say no!

If Rentschler Field is too confining for the
Leprechaun army the Fighting Irish deploy each week, how come the similar
capacity stadium of the Boston College Eagles (formerly of the Big East) is not
too small? That series alternates between South Bend and Chestnut Hill,
Mass. …

There is no question Notre Dame will remain the "Wal-Mart" of college football as long as it is able to keep its national television
network deal. However, UConn officials can come out of this looking like heroes
both here in Connecticut and nationally by saying "no thanks." They could brag
that no one, not even the legendary Notre Dame, can tell Connecticut where to
play its home games. Even if the Fighting Leprechauns, after a few more years of
two-win seasons
, do eventually find their television revenue dried up and are
forced to finally join a conference, it is very possible that the Irish will
abandon their pseudo Big East affiliation and join the Big 10 anyway.

Ahem. It was a three-win season, thank you very much.

Incidentally, to answer the question posed by the title, I will, of course, root for Notre Dame, my alma mater. But as I said in comments, "if I had to pick one game (other than USC) for ND to lose, it would be
the UConn game. Imagine what a huge win that would be for the Huskies
program."

That said: Gooooo Irish! Beeeeeat Huskies! :)

The Shirt

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

The Shirt 2008 is out. It was unveiled yesterday. (Hat tip: Lisa.) The money quote is “NOTRE DAME WILL RISE AGAIN,” which seems appropriate.

Domersphere reactions? Her Loyal Sons hates it. Rakes of Mallow likes it, although he wishes it was green. Blue-Gray Sky thinks it’s “pretty good.” Of course, it features the famous quote about “the blue, gray October sky” that BGS is named after, so they would like it. ;)

Hillary at the bar

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

John McCain did “Hardball” at Villanova today, and a student — in reference to the recent photos of Hillary Clinton doing (or possibly sipping) a whiskey shot at Bronko’s restaurant in Crown Point, Indiana — asked him, “I was wondering if you think that she’s finally resorted to hitting the sauce just because of some unfavorable polling. And I was also wondering if you would care to join me for a shot after this?”

Heh.

That reminds me: I have a proposal for Hillary Clinton. As you all know, I’ve soured on her rather severely in recent months, and at this point, I’d be pretty hard-pressed to vote for her under any circumstances. However, there is one thing that might make me change my tune. Hilldog, if you’ll go to The Backer, order one of their terrible yet potent Long Islands, and get yourself photographed and videotaped singing the “God Bless the USA” followed by the Notre Dame Victory March (yes, this would mean staying until — ahem — 3:00 AM), I might consider switching my allegiance. :)

P.S. Possible campaign ad: “It’s 3:00 AM, and your children are safe and asleep. But Hillary Clinton is wide awake, if slightly tipsy, singing patriotic music while swaying back and forth in a circle of townies* in South Bend, Indiana. Suddenly, a cell phone rings — the cab is here. Who do you want answering that phone? The elitist snob Barack Obama, who will jump in the cab at the earliest opportunity to get away from the ‘bitter’ townsfolk, and miss the Victory March? Or Hillary Clinton, the woman who respects your traditions, who’ll tell the cabbie to wait ten minutes so she can stay right through to the end of ‘Oh What A Night’? Make the right choice: Vote for Hillary Clinton on May 6. [slurred Hillary voiceover: ‘I’m Hilllary Clinton and I (hiccup) approve this message.’]

*Why townies, you ask? Because the Domers are too “elitist,” of course! ;)

Only 334 days till Selection Sunday!

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Joe Lunardi has published his initial, ridiculously early, meaningless yet fun, pre-pre-season 2009 Bracketology projections. (Hat tip: BK.) His #1 seeds are North Carolina, Duke, Texas and Pittsburgh. 2007 finalists Kansas and Memphis drop to #2 and #3, respectively, and UCLA plummets to a #7. w00t! :)

More importantly, Notre Dame is a #2 seed (without Gene Cross? Hmm…), Gonzaga is a #5, and USC is a #9. Frankly, those all seem high to me, but maybe I’m just a pessimist about my own teams. (Although, if so, it didn’t prevent my irrational Zag-xuberance last year.)

Tennessee falls all the way to #9… where they’re matched up in a brutal first-round game against #8 Davidson. (Stephen Curry FTW!) This year’s mid-major superpower that almost beat UT, Butler, is on the bubble but out, as are the Washington Huskies. The UConn Huskies, though, are sitting pretty as a #2 seed. Oh, and the University of Hartford Hawks, after falling one game short in 2008, make their NCAA Tournament debut in 2009 as a #16 seed. Hurrah!

Yeah, so, we have a college football season to start — and finish — before I’ll get really excited about any of this, but it’s fun to look ahead. :)

Notre Dame loses in hockey title game

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

Notre Dame’s magical, unexpected run through ice hockey’s NCAA Tournament ended one step short of a national title, as Boston College beat the Irish 4-1 last night.

I neglected to post about this last night (sorry!), but on a different post, several commenters complained that the Irish got screwed by a wrongly disallowed goal that totally changed the momentum of the game. *sigh*

Regardless, and despite the loss, an amazing run for the Irish.

Toledo hires ND assistant coach

Friday, April 11th, 2008

Notre Dame’s men’s basketball assistant coach Gene Cross, credited by some with turning Mike Brey’s team around over the last two years, has been hired by Toledo as their new head coach. (Hat tip: Chris A.)

Whenever I’ve eaten crow and praised Brey — whose first name, for blog purposes, used to be "Fire" — over the last two years, Becky has countered that "he has an awesome assistant coach," choosing to credit Cross rather than Brey for the Irish’s improvement. I guess now we’ll find out who’s right.

(Well, maybe. There is, of course, a third person whose arrival between the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons was also rather a big deal: Luke Harangody.)

ND, Michigan battle in Frozen Four

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

The Frozen Four is underway, and Notre Dame leads Michigan 3-2 with 10:44 left in the second period. It was 3-0, but Michigan just scored two rapid-fire goals to get back in it.

Liveblogs here and here. The game is being televised live on ESPN2. Winner gets Boston College in the national championship game Saturday. GO IRISH!!! BEAT SKUNKBEARS!!!

UPDATE: Michigan tied it at 3-3… then Notre Dame just took a 4-3 lead with less than 9 minutes left.

UPDATE 2: Tie game 4-4, with 5:21 left. Ugh.

UPDATE 3: Overtime. And, alas, I have to go to bed. Go Irish.

UPDATE 4: IRISH WIN!!!! (Okay, so I didn’t actually go to bed…) WOOOHOOO!!!

UPDATE 5: The Associated Press is mean. Check out their lede:

Michigan has Notre Dame’s number on the football field. Not so the ice.

Jeez! Is that really necessary? The Irish hockey team makes it to the national championship game for the first time ever — upsetting the #1-ranked team in the country, and becoming the first #4 seed ever to advance this far — and the first sentence of the AP article takes an irrelevant shot at the football team? WTF?! Is Brian Cook working ghost-writing for the AP or something?

Moreover, it’s inaccurate. Yes, Michigan beat Notre Dame — badly — in 2007 and 2006, but the Irish won easily in 2005 (when Michigan was ranked #3 in the country, the Irish just #20) and in 2004 (when ND was unranked and Michigan was #7). Michigan won in ’03; Notre Dame won in ’02. That makes them 3-3 in their most recent series. (They didn’t play from 1998 to 2001.)

If you want to go back further, the Irish are 12-11-1 against the Skunkbears since the series was renewed in 1978 after a 35-year hiatus. Michigan leads the overall series 20-14-1, but somehow I don’t think the Wolverines’ 9-2 record between 1884 and 1943 was what the AP reporter had in mind.

In any event, 20-14 is hardly a massive advantage, and 11-12 isn’t an advantage at all, nor is 3-3. However you look at it, you simply cannot construct an accurate historical reality in which "Michigan has Notre Dame’s number on the football field," unless you’re looking only at the last two years, which is rather myopic and hardly a sufficiently representative sample to make such a sweeping statement. Neither team has the other’s number; they’ve been very even in recent years.

Maybe the AP’s hockey writers should stick to talking about hockey. How about that.

Anyway, here’s a better ESPN article about Notre Dame’s amazing run to the national championship game. In hockey.

P.S. Now, if you want to say that USC currently has Notre Dame’s number in football, thanks to six straight wins — five of them blowouts — that
would be accurate. :) Likewise, it would have been accurate to say that
the Irish had the Trojans’ number back during their 13-year undefeated
streak in the ’80s and ’90s. But no way does either ND or UM have the
other’s number right now.

A good omen?

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

Last night, Kansas won its first national championship since 1988. You know, it occurs to me, there’s another storied national powerhouse that won its last national championship in 1988. Hmm… could the Jayhawks’ return to glory be a good omen for the Irish?