The date where the latest round of college sports realignment goes into effect. The Big East is now decidedly Catholic, and The American is decidedly UConn-driven (hey guys, how's that view from The American? I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you over the sound of our national television deal). The ACC is now large, but don't worry, we'll trim the fat right off our turtle shells faster than you can say, "13th best football program in the B1G."
But where are my manners? I need to say hello to that one school that we all need to say hello to. Notre Dame. Welcome! I'm so happy you're here. I mean, I know it wasn't enough to let you into Hockey East (by the way, THANKS for that national television contract you brought with you). You almost assuredly had to abandon the
Titanic Big East for the allure of big money. I know all that money's going into the collection plate on Sunday just like ours is.
For all of our Eagles and Eaglettes, it's been a long time since you saw Notre Dame in a sport other than football. So in case you're old enough to remember when Notre Dame's name had mysticism, allow me to reintroduce why there's a magic in the sound of their name. Here come the Irish of Neutered Lame:
-- I'd like to welcome Notre Dame to the ACC. I'm sure we'll be their natural rival in football given the Holy War and Catholic relationship and all that. Oh, wait, what's that? That's right, kids. Notre Dame is allowed to stay independent in football as long as they play five games a year against ACC teams. That means they stay on their own network, don't have to share, and get their own deal with whatever the BCS is now. That's the equivalent of buying a girl drinks at a bar, dancing with her all night, dedicating everything possible, and then at the end of the night, she says, "Thanks for the drinks" and goes home with her boyfriend.
-- But it's okay. Notre Dame should stay independent. Look at all the games they've
gotten obliterated in appeared in! You did, after all, win a national championship in 1988 when most of your current student athletes and fans weren't even born. And your "special arrangement" with the BCS is totally worthwhile to schools like TCU or Boise State since you competed so well in the 2001 Fiesta Bowl, 2006 Fiesta Bowl, 2007 Sugar Bowl, and last year's national championship game.
-- And that doesn't include David Gordon in 1993 (seriously, that was the ONLY field goal he kicked over 40 yards in his career, I think), Tyrone Willingham's great idea to play in green jerseys in 2002 (eight fumbles? Where was Spaz that weekend? Was he in South Bend teaching you how to play offense?), or the Charlie Weis era. But we know your Manti Te'o chants at Alumni Stadium were totally worth it since he looked great against an offense run by Frank Spaziani. We'll completely ignore that he disappeared worse than his girlfriend against Alabama.
-- I'm paying way too much attention to football, though. Your football team isn't in the ACC. There's always your storied, recent national championship teams in
basketball hockey fencing.
-- To give credit where credit is due, you did make it to the 2008 and 2011 Frozen Fours, and you did make it to the 2008 national championship game in men's ice hockey. Too bad you forgot that Jesus loves Jerry York a lot more than he does you.
-- Bear in mind that none of these things I've mentioned has anything to do with the ACC. So I'm willing to bet you'll compete nicely in this conference in other sports. Like lacrosse. At least the last 11 out of 15 championships were won by teams either currently in the ACC or by Syracuse, who's also part of your league here. There's a very good reason the powers that be haven't axed baseball in favor of lacrosse yet.
-- I just realized that when I went to go look up something on your baseball program, you don't even have a Wikipedia page. Thanks for taking Mik Aoki, by the way. Really happy about that. We love having Mike Gambino.
-- At least you have home games at Yankee Stadium for stuff. You know, because South Bend, Indiana is close to the Atlantic. Or New York City. Or Chicago. Or Indianapolis. Or Boston, where I actually saw people taking tags off their jackets and sweatshirts on the shuttle bus to the ND-BC game last year. That's a really great fan base you guys have there. Guarantee half of them think South Bend, Indiana is just north of the Bronx.
We'll see you once every five years in football since you need to make sure you renew rivalries with Duke and Louisville. And welcome! We'll be happy to show you around the league when you get here. Just avoid Sebastian the Ibis on Taco Tuesday. It's not a good idea to see him in the afternoon.