The Return to Glory Files: Disappoint Me No Longer

2/7/13 in NCAAF   |   4thegipper   |   2 respect

Feb 6, 2013; Auburn, CA, USA; Eddie Vanderdoes announces he will attend Notre Dame on national signing day at Placer High School. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY SportsI came late to sports. I was always the bookish kid growing up, much more interested in the ink stains on my bookshelf than the screaming going on in the family den every fall Saturday. Thus, when I arrived for my freshman year in South Bend, a non-Catholic kid  from the south who didn't know a D-lineman from a safety or Frank Leahy from my uncle Francis, there was much tight lipped nodding as the other froshes, indoctrinated in the church of Rockne from birth, went on about 12 and 0s and national titles. That was the fall of '06, when the bloom was very much on the Charlie Weis rose and the Heisman trophy was Brady Quinn's to lose. By the end of that year, I learned the words to the alma mater, the positions on the field, but most of all, I learned that lesson every Notre Dame fan knows all too intimately: the inevitability of disappointment.

Fastforward to now. Both my first season loving thee Notre Dame and this one ended with Heisman runners up and evisceration at the hands of SEC opponents in the BCS. It's so very tempting to write about the parallels, to wallow in that disappointment that's marked essentially 100% of my college football experience. But I just can't do that.

Yesterday's National Signing Day extravaganza is a big reason why. Sure, ol' Charlie had himself his share of banner Signing Days (remember when everyone's favorite sporting pariah, Manti Te'o, chose us over Southern Cal?), but this one feels different. And I want to emphasize that "feels" part. Sure, I could point to the much, much more balanced nature of this class, they eye-popping number of stars, especially on the defensive end, of yesterday's class that bears little in common with the offensive skill position heavy nature of Charlie's best classes. But Charlie recruiting was really never Charlie's problem. 

The real reason this class is the best I've ever seen in my short time bleeding Blue and Gold is that, for the first time since I watched my newly minted team get destroyed in the House that Rock Built (against Michigan, the second game of the season no less), I'm fully confident that we have a coach who not only can draw in the best of the best to sunny South Bend, but that he can teach them. Train them. Grow these boys into the bone-crushing monster gladiators we all desperately want to see. 

Sure, the '13 signing class could end up item #243 in the disappointment column for us, the battered fans in green and gold and blue. But, call me a hopeless romantic, call me blinded by faith, call me anything but late for dinner: with this coach, with these players, the Irish will be back for SEC revenge, sooner rather than later.
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2/7/13   |   Jess   |   34467 respect

Dream_Machine wrote:
WSU did break our hearts last year with that Apple Cup upset. Joe Salave'a is a former NFL DT that played with the Titan & Redskins. He currently is  D-Line Coach under Leach in Pullman. When recruits from American Samoa come for visits he drives them all the way from Sea-Tac International to Pullman, but I guess along the way, he forms a bond with the boys that always see them committing to WSU. He is a home-grown Samoan-American NFL player, so he shares a lot with these kids and the struggles it takes to make it to a Division I University let alone, try to make it to the Big Leagues. So With That, I wish UW had someone like Joe. Still jealous?...yes.

ahhh I see. UW gets some good talent though...and wins games more often than WSU. :/

2/7/13   |   Dream_Machine   |   13158 respect

Jess wrote:
I didn't understand a lot of that (I'm so awful at following anything NCAAF to be honest) other than the fact that you're a Huskies fan and you're jealous. That means probably good things for my guys...don't bring my hopes up just to squash 'em, Thomas angry

WSU did break our hearts last year with that Apple Cup upset. Joe Salave'a is a former NFL DT that played with the Titan & Redskins. He currently is  D-Line Coach under Leach in Pullman. When recruits from American Samoa come for visits he drives them all the way from Sea-Tac International to Pullman, but I guess along the way, he forms a bond with the boys that always see them committing to WSU. He is a home-grown Samoan-American NFL player, so he shares a lot with these kids and the struggles it takes to make it to a Division I University let alone, try to make it to the Big Leagues. So With That, I wish UW had someone like Joe. Still jealous?...yes.

2/7/13   |   Jess   |   34467 respect

Dream_Machine wrote:
I got my eye on WSU. Joe Salave'a, D-Line Coach, Is poaching a lot of talent from the shores of American Samoa. The top 5 from here, which isn't really saying much since the #1 ranked from here would be on average 2 to 3 star on Rivals/ESPN, this guy would bring 3 out of the 5 to the Cougs. IDK, that just kinda makes me jealous.

I didn't understand a lot of that (I'm so awful at following anything NCAAF to be honest) other than the fact that you're a Huskies fan and you're jealous. That means probably good things for my guys...don't bring my hopes up just to squash 'em, Thomas angry

2/7/13   |   Dream_Machine   |   13158 respect

Jess wrote:
I always love the feeling of hope that off-season signings can bring. I'm a WSU fan, so of course the off-season has been my favorite time of year when it comes to college football for a very long time...last year when they brought in Mike Leach I was pretty excited. That may still end up being a great thing. One of these days all of that hope will be rewarded. I have to believe that.

I got the opportunity to visit the Notre Dame campus this past summer, mid-August. Maybe it was my imagination because the campus and stadium are legendary when it comes to football, but there was just an amazing energy there. I've been to several campuses around football season, but none have compared to ND when it comes to radiating hope and excitement for the season. It almost turned me into a Fighting Irish fan - almost. My loyalty prevented that, but I did buy a ND Hockey t-shirt while we were there. My school doesn't have a hockey team. :)

I got my eye on WSU. Joe Salave'a, D-Line Coach, Is poaching a lot of talent from the shores of American Samoa. The top 5 from here, which isn't really saying much since the #1 ranked from here would be on average 2 to 3 star on Rivals/ESPN, this guy would bring 3 out of the 5 to the Cougs. IDK, that just kinda makes me jealous.

2/7/13   |   Jess   |   34467 respect

I always love the feeling of hope that off-season signings can bring. I'm a WSU fan, so of course the off-season has been my favorite time of year when it comes to college football for a very long time...last year when they brought in Mike Leach I was pretty excited. That may still end up being a great thing. One of these days all of that hope will be rewarded. I have to believe that.

I got the opportunity to visit the Notre Dame campus this past summer, mid-August. Maybe it was my imagination because the campus and stadium are legendary when it comes to football, but there was just an amazing energy there. I've been to several campuses around football season, but none have compared to ND when it comes to radiating hope and excitement for the season. It almost turned me into a Fighting Irish fan - almost. My loyalty prevented that, but I did buy a ND Hockey t-shirt while we were there. My school doesn't have a hockey team. :)