You know, no winning or losing streak is meant to last forever. They all hit the skids at one point or another. Why would Irish fans think anything other then that? C’mon people, Notre Dame has a deep tradition of being streak-makers and streak-enders. It’s just the way of the world… nobody, and nothing is perfect all of the time.
Which brings me to Navy, those feisty Midshipmen. Navy was the thorn that eventually impaled Charlie Weis. As disastrous as it was for Charlie, it was an inevitability just waiting to happen. I want you to look at this graph of scores dating back to 1986:
Or perhaps a Bar Graph would suit you? (Just indulge me- I had it made up already).
As you can plainly see, the gap between the scores grew a bit narrow in the late 90’s and eventually 2007 and 2009 happened. The reasons behind this are a little more defined then just saying that it was “due” after 40+ years.
You may already know this, but… Notre Dame has been pretty mediocre since the days of Holtz. Shocking, I know. The talent isn’t quite what it used to be, but the real reason has been from horrible coaching over the last 15 years. Lou’s closest games against Navy came in 1986 and 1995 with 33-14 and 35-17 scores, respectively.( And he was scared to death of Navy ;])
The game had basically become an automatic win for fans, players, and coaches. No matter how close previous games had been, the streak continued as the streak pushed the Irish to victory after victory. There were a few pretty good ND teams that came really close to losing to pretty bad Navy teams in the stretch run of the streak. But… the wins kept coming, and the game was becoming more and more symbolic instead of being a “Rivalry” game.
That all ended on November 3, 2007.
A really, really good Navy team came to South Bend to play one of the worst teams in Notre Dame history. Even then, the streak tried to help the Irish, but after 3 overtimes, the job was finished- the streak was over. The following year, Notre Dame looked like it was back to its old self in the Navy series as it built a nice lead against the Midshipmen heading into the 4th quarter. But, as if the streak was lashing out from the grave against the Irish, Navy mounted a rapid-fire comeback that Notre Dame barely survived. When the game returned to South Bend in 2009, Navy had already broke free from the ghosts of the streak, and was ready to take the Irish to task. And take them, they did, as Navy won its second game in three years- both at ND Stadium.
By now you’re probably saying, “Well, no shit… tell me something I don’t know. Why are you so fucking happy about our Irish losing to NAVY? NAVY!!!”
- The streak was going to end sooner or later. It couldn’t of happened at a better time. Notre Dame fielded one of its worst teams in its history in 2007. It might as well have happened then- as opposed to a year where the Irish are in the hunt for a BCS game or even a Title.
- The game in 2009 was the straw that vaporized the camels back. Charlie Weis was finished. As much as I respected Charlie, he just wasn’t the answer at Notre Dame. That loss to Navy helped put in motion change, that most rational people consider to be for the better- by a long shot.
- Both games humbled the fanbase, but the 2009 game put it all into a greater perspective as ND had just lost to Navy 2 out of 3 years and both at home. The dogma of Brian Kelly about the ND Nation being too pampered and privileged is much easier to implement and swallow. It proved that ND football was a far cry from where it once was and there would be BIG changes needed to get back to the top.
- The series become a lot more interesting. Notre Dame will ALWAYS play Navy. Conference expansions be damned- that game will always be played. At least for the near future, Notre Dame will be playing for revenge in 2010, and in 2011 when the Midshipmen come back to ND Stadium to try and win for a third straight time. Plus, the 2012 game will be played in Dublin. This is a series on the rise, and I am actually pumped for Navy week. Pumped to kick their white wearing asses.
- That last statement leads me to this: we can finally quit treating Navy like that handicapped neighbor we play basketball against. No more pulled punches. I respect them more then any opponent we face, but I will no longer hold back the wrath. Why can’t I call these kids out anyways like I do with Michigan, U$C, Purdue, and whoever else? These guys are a lot tougher mentally then anyone else, so why not? We can quit saying how “hard, and determined” they are because of their status as a service academy ( Are you listening TV announcers?). This is a GOOD football team, with a great system in place, and a really nice QB. So, FUCK NAVY.
That’s why. I’m ready. I’m ready to destroy Navy, and quit acting like they are some pushover- since they have been knocking our dicks in the dirt. Nice.
I’m really curious to know what you all think about this. Let me hear it…