Luke Irwin takes a break from his weekly college football preview, and churns out a beautiful note about why Notre Dame is held to a higher standard.
Don’t ask a Miami fan what it means to be a Notre Dame fan. Miami coaches use that job as a stepping stone. Yes, wins and losses matter, but being a Notre Dame fan and booster means you’re not giving money to just wins, you’re investing in the program and someone that loves Notre Dame as much, and hopefully more, than you do.
It’s not just about winning at Notre Dame, it’s winning the right way, which is something other fans have never, and will never get. How many Notre Dame alums in the NFL get arrested every year? None. Maybe one every 5 years, and that’s an exaggeration. If they pull some stupid shit in college, they got booted, no matter if they’re a starter or a role player. Rashon Powers-Neil and Christian Fauriea, for instance. There is no “let it side this time” at Notre Dame.
We take pride in the fact that our pros, especially the starters like Brady Quinn, John Carlson, Ryan Harris, Chinendum Ndukwe, Anthony Fasano, and Ryan Grant never get in trouble with the league or the law. Even role players like Arnaz Battle, Maurice Stovall, Dan Stevenson, Dan Santuchi, Darius Walker, Jeff Samardzija (even in other sports), Corey Mays, Victor Abiamiri, Trevor Laws, Tom Zbikowski, David Bruton, Grant Irons, and others. No arrests. No suspensions. Seldom trouble.
Being a Notre Dame fan isn’t easy. You believe in the program and what it stands for. Not necessarily the religious part of it, but the fact that we’re not like Tennessee, we won’t have players robbing gas stations, we’re not Boston College, with its history of thugs, we’re not Oregon, we won’t have a player cheap-shot an opponent and try to fight the fans. You won’t see Golden Tate stick up a 7-11. You won’t see Brian Smith arrested for DUI. You won’t see Jimmy Clausen trying to get into the stands at USC and fight the fans.
Wins and losses aren’t everything at Notre Dame. It’s representing yourself, your fans, and your school in the best way possible. Which is why I would prefer a 10-2 team that does things right than a 12-0 Urban Meyer or Nick Saban team.