Sunday, November 18, 2012


During ESPN's post-game coverage of the Steelers-Chief Monday night game, Rick
Reilly was caught by millions of viewers begging Stuart Scott to tell everyone
he broke the Ben Rothlisberger "injury" by tweeting it "first on Twitter." It was
an "oops, I think I just soiled my shorts moment." Reilly was red-faced and then
widely mocked in the press for trying to take credit for something that everybody
watching the game already knew. Rothlisberger hurt his shoulder.

Things are about to get worse for Reilly. After Oregon and Kansas State were knocked
from the ranks of the unbeaten in college football, Notre Dame will take over the top
spot and have the inside track to playing in the national championship game. This is
the same Notre Dame that Reilly blasted in August, saying among other things, that
the Irish had become insignificant on the national landscape.

                "I don't love Notre Dame football anymore. Notre Dame football
                has been living a lie, as Lou Holtz likes to say. The echoes are in 
                REM sleep. It has failed to advance the football."

Notre Dame has done more than just wake up the echoes and advance the football.
They are a perfect 11-0, becoming more than just relevant in the process. Love them
or hate them, college football is more interesting when Notre Dame's in the picture, even
if Reilly believed they have long been out of it.

                      "Notre Dame is not a national brand any more than USC, Alabama,
                                           or Stanford. A national brand?"

Stanford? Really, Rick Reilly? Don't know how they made it in the same sentence as
Notre Dame, USC, or Alabama. ESPN is paying you $17 million, so they must believe
that you have your head on straight. Like the New York Yankees and Green Bay Packers,
Notre Dame will always be a national brand. The Irish, like the Yankees and Packers
struggled through some tough times after their reign of domination. The Bronx Bombers
didn't win a title from 1978 to 1996. The green and gold saw the well run dry from
1967 to 1996. That's one long drought. Rick, I'm sure you know these kinds of
things happen in sports.

                         "Wait, what? Coach Brian Kelly is the savior? Really? 
                      Because he looks to me like he's doing a very good impression
                     of Bob Davie so far. He's opened with back-to-back 8-5 seasons.
                     Wow. Give him a sitting ovation."

Kelly is getting standing ovations as he walks through the South Bend campus these
days. Kelly had to clean up after the mess left by Charlie Weis. The cupboard
wasn't exactly full with All-Americans and Heisman Trophy winners. Just as he did
at Grand Valley State and Cincinnati, Kelly has implemented a system that's won
a lot of games. It's running perfectly now, and after getting Notre Dame back to
the top of the rankings, the great players will once again have South Bend on their
recruiting itinerary, especially with them playing on NBC every week.

                       "In short, until Notre Dame football starts winning again, 
                        it's just Rice to me. You flunked Notre Dame. Go back a

Notre Dame has won every game it's played this season, Rick. And until you
start making sense again, you're just like Stephen A. Smith to me. You're flunking
at ESPN, go back to Sports Illustrated and you might just revive your career
like Notre Dame has rejuvenated it's football program.

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