During the month-long build up to the BCS National Championship game between Alabama and Notre Dame there will be dozens of "Notre Dame's Return To Glorry" pieces published. Some will be amusing diatribes by haters while others will be dull and sentimental odes to the history of the Fighting Irish.
So far though this SportsNation piece by author Greg Jordan stands out as it leaves out tired cliches while touching on Notre Dame's important place in American Irish Catholic culture and, more importantly, as an enduring brand like Apple.
Mike Golic made the un-American case against the wrathful on "Mike and Mike in the Morning" a couple of weeks ago, and he made it as a business school major would. Notre Dame does branding like nobody else, and the wrathful just can’t deal with that. And for this reason, they criticize Notre Dame for things that most Americans are praised for.
They are criticizing Notre Dame for things that most Americans are praised for.
He’s right: why should Steve Jobs become an American icon for obsoleting a well-crafted gizmo every two years and a few Holy Cross priests and their board be condemned for taking a football brand to the bank? In the big business of college athletics, nobody does the business side better. And now, after 20 years of jeopardizing that brand (see Jobs 1985-95), Notre Dame, like Apple, is back, and eyeing more market share than ever.
Golic’s point – that criticism on these grounds runs counter to an American ethic – would be exact if Notre Dame were solely a business. But it is a university, a great university in a country with the greatest universities in the world, and therein lies the additional complexity that makes Golic’s un-American charge even more troubling when played out further.
Read the whole thing here.
The hype for the BCS title game will be out of this world as it should be. This is a classic game between two of the most storied teams in the history of American sports. The sentimental pieces about this will be tedious but the ones that dig deep like Jordan's will be well worth reading at least twice.
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