Tag Archives: notre dame

Rivalry Week!

Today is the day the U ofs meet the States. That’s right, all the rivalry games go down this week. USC – UCLA, Florida – Florida State, BYU – Utah, Clemson – South Carolina, Oklahoma – Oklahoma State, TCU – New Mexico… wait, what?  How did that game get in there? Now, it’s not mandatory that all rivalry games take place this weekend, but how did some of these games sneak into the schedule? Sure, Mississippi – Mississippi State makes sense, but where did LSU – Arkansas come from? Are they really rivals? How about last night’s matchup of Cincinnati and Illinois? Some of these games don’t make sense. Nonetheless, there are plenty of rivalry games on the docket today. Along with the aformentioned games, we’ll also be treated to Georgia Tech – Georgia, Virginia – Virginia Tech, and Arizona – Arizona State. At the same time, nonsensical games like Navy – Hawaii, Syracuse – Connecticut, and Southern Miss – East Carolina will take place. Is it rivalry week or not? Regardless of the meaningless, pointless matchups, there will still be plenty worthwhile games on the schedule today. Here are the upsets I’m predicting today….

Oklahoma over Oklahoma State

South Carolina over Clemson

Arizona State over Arizona

Utah over BYU

And…. I’m REALLY looking forward to seeing Stanford roll over Notre Dame in Charlie Weis’ farewell game.

Happy Saturday!!!


Coaches Gone Wild, Part I: The Hawai’ian Rainbow

Isaiah: poster boy for coaches with issues...

Isaiah: poster boy for coaches with issues...

If you are a new coach at any level, whether it’s high school, college, or professional athletics, boy do I have a treat for you this week!  With the rash of poor decisions being made by high profile coaches across the country,  I have compiled four excellent examples of how not to behave as a person in such a position.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are several others out there, but these seemed to be the highest profile cases.

Each of these individuals is well versed in dealing with the media and speaking in front of large crowds.  It pretty much comes with the position, because even at the high school level coaches are asked to make speeches for groups like Booster Clubs, local Rotary chapters, or Pop Warner/Little League/etc. to encourage young athletes.  By the time coaches reach college and the pros, they are used to speaking in front of thousands and at times millions via broadcast.  Whether they are in front of 10 media members, 100 club members, several thousand students, or on TV, coaches are asked to be a leader of their community and a positive influence in all facets of life.

This week I will present the case of each “Coach Gone Wild” starting in chronological order of events from the summer and early fall.   We’ll examine exactly what they did and where they went wrong, and believe me it won’t be very difficult to find.

Brah, bathroom is that way!

Brah, bathroom is that way!

07/30/09 – Hawai’i football coach Greg McMackin makes a huge blunder at the WAC media football preview for the 2009 season.  Coach McMackin described how Notre Dame, their opponent and guest at the 2009 Hawai’i Bowl, had done “this little (gay slur beginning with f-) dance” at a celebration the night before.  He used the term not once but three times while explaining why Notre Dame might have been so fired up to play Hawai’i in the 2008 Hawai’i Bowl.  At the banquet the night before, as the Fighting Irish finished their version of a “ha’a”, an intense Polynesian war dance and chant performed by the Warrior’s before each game, Coach McMackin had his boys show up the Irish with a dramatic performance of their own.  Needless to say this made quite the impression on the entire banquet, and the next day’s game was won handily by Notre Dame 49-21, giving them their first post-season victory in the past 15 years.

Not so cool Coach, not so cool

Not so cool Coach, not so cool

Here is Coach McMackin’s explanation of what happened and why: “What I was trying to do was be funny and it wasn’t funny,” he said, according to a recording of the conversation posted on the Idaho Statesman’s Web site (provided below, with full graphic language of original statements). “It’s not funny. Even more, it isn’t funny to me. I was trying to make a joke and it was a bad choice of words. And I really, really feel bad about it. … It was really stupid.”

Bravo Coach, hindsight is 20/20, but the damage has been done because you’ve made it apparent the word rests on the tip of your tongue as an insult.  We the general public understands a word like that is used a hundred times a day on the field and in the weight room all across the country.  It’s not right there as it’s not right anywhere, but those are your places and you do as you please.  The WAC 2009 Preview event is definitely the last place you want to use a word like that.  Thank you for bringing your locker-room mentality and verbiage out to for show and tell so the public can fear and pity the sad state of affairs in athletics today.

http://voices.idahostatesman.com/node/20709 article –Idahostatesman.com

http://www.tri-cityherald.com/1412/story/666185.html article – tri-cityherald.com


Here’s your tip: Take some responsibility, Notre Dame

Beautiful campus, ugly lawsuit

Beautiful campus, ugly lawsuit

If you haven’t heard by now, there is a storm a brewing over an accounting mistake pitting David against Goliath.  Take a second, read it through, and tell me you can’t at least see both sides of the argument before settling on your own verdict. If you don’t want to read, here’s a quick recap: Notre Dame University fired, and is now going forward with a lawsuit against, a catering employee over an Accounting error made in the Employees favor.  Not just any old error, mind you, an error costing over $29,000 because of a careless slip of the finger and proofing of someone’s work.  Now it comes down to who’s responsible for what, and Notre Dame is on the offensive.

As the story goes, Sara Gaspar saw this error as it appeared magically (ok, quite unexpectedly) in her account after performing a catering job per her usual duties.  Nothing special about this job whatsoever, most likely deserving of the tip amount Notre Dame claims should have been paid, $29.87.  Instead Ms. Gaspar’s account ballooned by $29,387, and it’s obvious the 3 was punched by an account-type on their 10-stroke keypad instead of the decimal point, located just below the 3.  Ms. Gaspar claims to have called several times to alert the University of the generous error, and eventually she was told there was no mistake by a “supervisor” and they would pass the message along to HR.  Can’t figure out why HR, they don’t make accounting tips under “tips” for work performed, but I guess it was handled more a complaint as she mentioned there was a “problem”.  That was an understatement for sure.  At this point it appears she’s either dumb like a fox or truly thought she would get away with the extra $29,357.13.

ND stays true to form: Looking for a fight!

ND stays true to form: Looking for a fight!

When the University finally realized the error only a month later, Ms. Gaspar informed the University she had none of the money left.   She had already spent the money on medical bills she had recently racked up and a five year old Jetta.  Sensible purchases for someone in her struggling position, but non-sensible logic as to whose money she was spending.  She acted in a hurry, perhaps a little too hastily, but how was she to know it wasn’t her lucky day?  Her thinking was she had finally received a break, the University of Notre Dame was providing a boost to her livelihood the next few months and it wasn’t anywhere near Christmas season yet.  Imagine what they were gonna do then!!

So we arrive at the point where mud is now being slung at Ms. Gaspar by the University in a series of condemning statements and a shiny new lawsuit, asking not only for THEIR error to be reconciled by Ms. Gaspar but for her to cover THEIR attorney’s fees.  Surprisingly I didn’t see anything about interest owed, however, but perhaps they can work that in as well.  GIVE ME A BREAK Notre Dame!!!  Unbelievable!!  At this point one has to think to themselves “How is this even possible??”  Not only has Notre Dame demonstrated their incompetence while suggesting they are are an institution of higher learning, they now decide their only remedy to the situation is to clog the court system with this totally lopsided case.  And by lopsided, I mean a billion dollar institution versus an employee they already fired over this issue, who was living paycheck to paycheck to begin with while taking care of her mother.

Excuse me, TD Jesus, how could you let this happen??

Excuse me, TD Jesus, how could you let this happen??

I’m not familiar with the actual statutes in place for this type of situation, so I’m just taking an educated guess here.  With total disregard to Ms. Gaspar’s failed “attempts” at notifying the University right away, shouldn’t she be in the clear as it was an error made under “Tips” and not under “Wages”?  It appears she has a leg to stand on, but to no one’s surprise she says she is having a hard time finding representation on the case, and it’s obvious that the girth of the University of Notre Dame and it’s team of lawyers is the only reason.  And of course Ms. Gaspar is now suffering from depression and despair over this, can you blame her??

Upon Further Review, the University of Notre Dame should take the loss and allow Ms. Gaspar to keep the money because it was THEIR mistake unfortunately made in an indefensible cost code, Tips.  I think they could make up the missing $30,000 by FIRING their accounting person not for the original error and oversight made but for causing all of this ruckus and dragging the wrongly fired employee in the first place back through this mess.  If they didn’t hire anyone to replace them for 6 months, they would easily replace that loss.  And Notre Dame comes out looking like the bigger person/entity here.  It’s a Win-Win-Win.


Three Types of College Football Openers

The college football season got off to a lackluster start last night – with the exception of LeGarrette Blount’s performance during the extra period.  What’s sad is Blount was in the shadow of Jeremiah Johnson last year, and this was to be his year in the spotlight.  Unfortunately, he wanted all of his spotlight on the first night, and because of that, he will be all but forgotten in our memories after the weekend is over.  That game, paired with the earlier game, South Carolina vs. NC State, left a lot of us wanting more.  Tulsa and Tulane didn’t exactly deliver Friday night either.  So, Saturday marks our best chance to see some real college football barn-burners.  Week 1 is typically reserved for the powerhouses beating up on some lowly D-1, and sometimes, D-2 schools, but there are a few games that stand out this weekend.  Here, we’ll list the three types of Season Opening games and how they might play out.

The Blowouts

These are the games that are so lopsided Vegas doesn’t even bother with spreads.  They’re the games that are built solely to ensure a team gets off to a 1-0 start and get them off on the right foot in they’re national or conference championship campaign.  You know the type, big school at home versus a small school with little to no national following.  Need some examples?

Akron @ #9 Penn State, Navy @ #6 Ohio State, Jacksonville St. @ #15 Georgia Tech, Montana St. @ Michigan St., The Citadel @ #21 North Carolina, Louisian-Monroe @ #2 Texas, Florida Atlantic @ #24 Nebraska, Charleston Southern @ #1 Florida, and as much as I hate to include them since they don’t typically schedule easy games, #4 USC hosting San Jose State.

The Blowouts Gone Wrong

These games have the same intention as those previously mentioned, however, they can backfire, much as Michigan’s upset loss to Appalachian State.  There aren’t many of them, but at least one is sure to end in heartbreak for a hopeful team.  Here’s our pool of potential upset games.

#22 Iowa vs. Northern Iowa, Auburn vs. Lousiana Tech, #25 Kansas vs. Northern Colorado, #12 California vs. Maryland, UCLA vs. San Diego State, and my pick for the most likely upset, #23 Notre Dame vs. Nevada.

The Legit Matchups

These games are the exception.  They don’t always end in a competitive game, but you have to give the schools credit for diving right into the fray and not scheduling a pushover to kick their season off.  Much like the Boise State – Oregon matchup Thursday night, they can make or break your season.

#13 Georgia @ #9 Oklahoma State, #20 BYU @ #3 Oklahoma, and Week 1’s main event, #5 Alabama vs. #7 Virgina Tech at the Georgia Dome.


Big Opening Games of the 2009 College Football Season

Sep 3, Oregon @ Boise State

The college football season kicks off with a colorful combination of Oregon’s always intense jerseys and Boise State’s blue field.  This should be one wildly entertaining game, provided the High-Def broadcast isn’t too much on the retinas.

Sep 5, Maryland @ Cal

This is a pretty interesting season opening matchup for both programs, and I must say I’m surprised Maryland would make the trek to Berkeley so soon out of the gates. On the flipside, I guess when your yearly goal is to be bowl eligible at seasons end, taking a tough road game early on makes sense as barometer of where you stand. Neither team talent wise looks to have any serious influence on a conference title challenge this year (or any year for that matter). Gut feeling, Cal feeds off the home crowd, and its slightly better athleticism runs out to a two TD win.

Sep 5, Nevada @ Notre Dame

This game has upset written all over it.  Notre Dame always likes to schedule a lightweight before they get into the Michigan – Michigan State thing, but this year they might’ve picked the wrong opponent.  The game has shades of last year’s matchup with San Diego State, but I think the Wolfpack can execute at the right time and make the plays they need to take this game.  There’s also a strong likelihood that Jimmy Claussen could pick apart this defense in a blowout, but until then, I’ll be keeping a close eye on this score.

Sep 5, Georgia @ Oklahoma State

Georgia was great last year….Oklahoma St. was decent. Georgia’s coach is not quite as crazy as Oklahoma St. Coach. SEC Teams always destroy in these matchups. It’s the first big non-conference game of the year, but I still have Georgia by 21.

Sept. 5, Brigham Young vs. Oklahoma.*

It’s pretty tough to pick against the Sooners. With a seasoned duo of Bradford and Gresham passing up millions in the NFL to come back and play, they must be out to prove something. I think this will be close for a half at most. I hope we see a battle, but to be honest with you I think this one’s going to be a blowout on neutral ground.

Sep 5, Alabama vs. Virginia Tech.*

A great early season match-up of two highly talented and ranked teams with realistic goals of winning their respective conferences.  Alabama is coming off a banner conference season that ended with a terrible stumble to the finish line.  They lost their conference championship game to eventual National Champions Florida, then lost the Sugar Bowl to a serious underdog in Utah.  The underclassmen left over from last year will be aiming to correct their painful losing streak after starting the season 12-0.  The Hokies are by far the overwhelming favorites to win the ACC-Coastal over Georgia Tech as well as the overall Conference title this year.  The Hokies will begin as a preseason top-10 team due to a perennially strong defense and the emergence of QB Tyrod Taylor.  Should be interesting to see where these teams start the season in the polls, as each has been ranked as high as #6 in preseason polls.

Sep 6, Colorado State @ Colorado

These in-state rivals will again kick-off the season for bragging rights, and Colorado will be looking to extend their series win streak to three.  The Buffs will be looking to get off to a strong start to their season, after a disappointing 2-6 finish in conference capped by a 58-0 loss at Mizzu and a seat at home during bowl season.  For the Rams it was an up and down season as they showed great fortitude to win their final three games and finish above .500. They won the New Mexico Bowl by scoring 3 times in the 4th quarter to win a shootout by 5 over Fresno St., mainly behind Gartrell Johnson’s record setting 285 rushing yards, 375 combined yards, and two TDs… both of which came in the fourth quarter.

Sept. 7, Miami @ Florida State

The Seminoles look to win their third consecutive against their ACC rivals. The Canes have a very rough first month, and they don’t start things off easy for them  as they face a rowdy labor day crowd. Florida State should be able to continue their win streak capping off the three day weekend.

(* No Home Team)