Dayne Crist Who?
It’s an exciting time of year as football season approaches. News of training camps, quarterback competitions, two-a-days, heat exhaustion, Oklahoma drills and the like are hemorrhaging from news outlets everywhere. It’s hunting season for the 4 letter network (insert vomiting noise here), the earwig of sports news, and they can’t wait to lodge inside your skull and turn your brain into mush with hours of superfluous and sensational coverage. Exhibit A: Brian Kelly has named Dayne Crist the starting quarterback for Notre Dame this year. My response: In the words of my friend QCB “who gives a damn?”
No seriously, I was amazed at the attention this simple, pithy, and underwhelming nugget of news received the other day. I have a soft spot for Notre Dame Football but I don’t care any more about who the starting quarterback for Notre Dame is than I do for any other school in the country. I’m sorry if I forgot this was important, but I can’t believe I’m the only one. Therefore, I asked, via my new best friend twitter.
“Why is it still a big deal who ND names as its starting QB?”
The response was minimal except for a former classmate of mine who deemed my question “asinine” on his podcast, and responded with this in-depth analysis: “because they are Notre Dame, they have tradition, and people care.” 1) A little harsh on the criticism of my tweeted question. A sucker punch really. Not exactly the forum to get in depth about my true feelings. 2)That’s not a good enough response for me especially considering the team has been largely disappointing for the better part of 2 decades, declining television ratings, and the litany of bad press in which Irish football has been involved including arrests and a tragic death.
“Last season, the average Notre Dame game on NBC drew less than half the ratings than CBS and ABC averaged for their college football games,” according to the Huffington Post. On November 20th, 2010 Notre Dame’s much hyped novelty game against Army in Yankee Stadium drew an abysmal .7 rating and 2 share behind CBS’s “NCIS: Los Angeles”, ABC’s Saturday Night College Football (which was likely a Big 10 or SEC game), and the king of all things television, Fox’s “Cops.” That’s right, rednecks traipsing around in their skivees stole the top rating and topped domer football in the primetime slot on that fateful Saturday night.
I can hear your argument now. “Yea but it was Army and nobody cares about them.” Nay I say. NAY! At one time in college football history, Army was one of the most formidable opponents around and to this day, maintains as strong a tradition as any school in the country. The same argument I remind you, domers make to defend Irish football and the reason we care about who their opening day quarterback is. Additionally, the game was played in primetime. A trip back in time. When football was football. Two historical institutions doing battle on the gridiron in one of the most recognizable, if not THE most recognizable, sporting venues in the world-Yankee effing Stadium.
I realize ND has had more recent success than Army, the point is, a lot of programs have rich tradition. I know that Clemson, Florida, LSU, Alabama, USC, Auburn, Michigan, Texas, and Wisconsin fans, among others, care more about who is starting for them than who is starting for ND.
My question really speaks to a larger issue that is the fad and trendiness of big-time sports. Notre Dame is no longer trendy among younger generations. I hope you’re not a fan of a team because they are popular. Unless you are a diehard, lifelong Irish fan why would you take special interest in the starting QB of a team that has been slightly better than average, has waning national interest, and off-the-field problems? It’s not like they are churning out hall of fame QB after hall of fame QB lately. The answer is you wouldn’t. So ask yourself the question again honestly and determine if you are genuinely interested or if you are just another unfortunate victim of the earwig.