Ok, that’s a lie. I cried. It’s kind of impossible not to when you sit down and think about it. Unless you’re a robot or have never competed in athletics and don’t know the hard work that goes into having the slightest bit of success. Sure, you may have gotten a promotion a few years before me because of hard work, but that doesn’t compare to the daily grind of trying to be successful in a violent sport, nerd.
I can relate to Rudy in a lot of ways. I grew up a huge Notre Dame fan and always thought it would be awesome to play there. That’s what Catholic kids do until they start to build grudges with their dickhead coach who bailed on the local team at the senior banquet. While I don’t necessarily lack the size like Rudy, I definitely didn’t have the speed or many other qualities scouts at a place like Notre Dame look for. If you asked 12 year old Mac what he wanted with his life, he would’ve said he was going to go play wide receiver at the University of Notre Dame and then take over the reigns at shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds when his childhood hero Barry Larkin was ready for retirement. Spoiler alert: neither of those things came close to happening. I did play a mean left-center field in beer league softball for a few years though.
A lot has changed since then. Brian Kelly pulled a fucking Benedict Arnold and bailed on the Cincinnati Bearcats before the biggest game in school history and it’s completely soured me on the Blue and Gold ever since. Sure, I still watch every single Notre Dame game on TV, but it’s just to hope they get beat and get Brian Kelly one step closer to being fired. I thought yesterday was the day after last week’s blowout at The U followed by what could’ve been a devastating defeat at the hands of Navy. Close but no cigar (shout out Bill Clinton).
Fast forward 12 hours and I’m sitting around bored, looking for something to watch. Ah fuck it, I’ll watch one of my favorite movies from my childhood, Rudy. And I’ll be damned.. that 5’6″ son of a bitch with the engine that never quit had me doing something I haven’t done in years. For the first time since 2009, I didn’t despise the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and their butterball coach for two full hours. Say what you want about Coach Dan Devine; he wasn’t portrayed as a likable guy in the movie, but he was never responsible for a student manager’s death. In fact, it’s a little known fact that in real life, Coach Devine was in favor of letting Rudy dress and wanted to get him in the game as a reward for all of his hard work on the scout team. Look it up, it’s true. Also, I’ll reiterate, he never killed a kid (by refusing to cancel practice in harsh conditions.. our lawyers made me clarify).
All in all, it was a good Sunday morning. It got me reminiscing about my childhood fandom and dreams to run out of the tunnel in a gold helmet followed by slashing down the sideline for a 70 yard touchdown. It also got me thinking about how excited I am for the day that Brian Kelly gets fired or decides to film practice himself on a scissor lift in gusting winds (just so he can see how scary it can be, not that I hope he dies.. again, our lawyers made me clarify). Will Mac return to South Bend and toss on the Notre Dame hat again? Probably not, but I wouldn’t rule it out. As easily as I adopt grudges, I can quickly forgive someone’s wrongdoing or facilitating of the biggest pussy move ever pulled off in college football coaching history. Until then, I’m a fan of whoever Notre Dame plays as long as that pud of a coach roams the sidelines.
What if Marvin Lewis and Brian Kelly both get fired this year? That’s all I’d need for Christmas. Make it happen, Football God.