13 February 2004

Big heads under the golden dome

It's been a slow sports week here in Chicago.  The Bulls and Blackhawks are having miserable seasons, there's no news to report on the Bears and spring training is still a few weeks away.

Ah, thank God though for the alumi of Notre Dame  412 of them have sent a letter to the university demading that changes be made in the athletic department so that the football program can "return to its greatness."  I must disclaim-I despise Notre Dame football.  I always have.  And I'm Irish AND Catholic-go figure.  For as long as I can remember I have been turned off completely by the attitude and pomposity of a majority of its supporters, and the way the media feeds off it.  The campus is quite a distance from Chicago, but if you check out the front page of the Tribune sports section on Sunday during the college football season you would think the school is downtown.  The coverage is all over the place.

I realize that the Notre Dame network is extensive, especially in the midwest, and I have nothing against the school, or even the other programs in the athletic department.  But I am fascinated by the attention their football program receives, how nothing else there seems to matter.  I'm all for history and lore, but I fail to see how 412 graduates writing a letter complaining about the football team demonstrates the priorities of a university from an alumni perspective.

I went to Iowa, which for the last three decades or so has had a fairly decent football program.  Some of my fondest memries of college are of attending football games.  The team went to the Rose Bowl my senior year.  It's always better when the team you support wins instead of loses, of course, but if someone approached me and asked me to sign a letter essentially telling the school that I am unhappy about the team losing, I'd be tempted to say yes, then burn it when it was given to me to sign.  I'd rather Iowa field a team that plays to the best of its ability and graduates every player, rather than an undefeated team that graduates less than a third. 

I received a BA from Iowa.  On my diploma it says "Bachelor of Arts." 

I assume at ND it would say "Bachelor of Arrogance."

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