Bama Exposed the Irish Myth in BCS Stomping
By: Larry Burton
For weeks the media has sung the praises of the Irish. Most of it was deserved. They stood as the only undefeated major college team to have survived the regular season and NCAA penalties unscathed. They unquestionably deserved to be in the national championship game.
However, they didn’t deserve having anyone with a serious reputation to cast an opinion that they could, much less would, win this game against Alabama.
Quite simply, they were exposed as what they were. A good team, certainly with the luck of the Irish on their side, but not a team worthy of being in this game.
They deserved to be there because the system is in place, rules are rules and they met the requirements under those rules to be there as the only undefeated team in Division One, not under probation.
But they were not worthy. That Notre Dame team was clearly not the best team in the nation as their ranking showed coming in to this game. They would not have beaten half the teams in the SEC. The Irish clearly showed they had never stepped into the ring with a real puncher this season and as one ESPN reporter said, had not, until this game, been exposed to “Big Boy” football.
Alabama just didn’t defeat them, they punched them in the face, took their lunch money, had everyone laughing by giving them a wedgie and left with their girlfriend.
If this was a gang fight, Notre Dame’s biggest and baddest would have been Manti Te’o. He’d only missed two tackles all season they said. He missed more than that in the first quarter of the game. He made less of an impact in the game than Alabama’s third string linebacker and missed far more tackles.
Te’o’s play in this game would not have qualified him to have even made the starting or second string at Alabama. He made not one significant play against the Tide last night. If he was the best they had and this was a gang fight, he was decked with the first punch in the brawl and spent the rest of the fight in a daze simply wandering around with his ears ringing.
Alabama simply did what they wanted, how they wanted, when they wanted in this contest that was really never a contest at all.
I don’t know if the members of the media that picked Notre Dame to win this game, picked the team came to play, or Notre Dame’s mythical image in their mind.
If it were the team, it was a ludicrous notion.
This game exposed that no one on the Irish team, not one member on offense or defense could have said to have a better job than any member of the team in white with Crimson numbers.
Every Alabama player was better than any Irish player they faced. There was not one single Irish player you can point to that dominated any Alabama player over the course the evening.
The only bright spot for the Irish to relish that was the fact that they were not allowed to be shut out on offense and they the defense did at least make the offense punt four times.
But in every other way imaginable, the Irish were neutered on national television and removed for a whole generation who watched, the Notre Dame myth.
Notre Dame hasn’t been a player in the championship picture for a whole generation of fans. But movies like “Rudy” and other Irish folklore may have helped perpetuate the Irish myth. But now, this generation has seen the Irish in the big dance and there is no myth any more.
They have seen reality. And in reality, they learned that the difference Lucky Charms cereal and Notre Dame, both represented by Leprechauns, is that one is best in a big bowl and one is not.