2013 Notre Dame Football’s Awakening Begins

"I've come to find that writers write. I make time to write every single day." – Best Selling Author Nicholas Sparks (Notre Dame 88')

The Irish alum, ND track record holder, and novelist who penned what later became the 2000's signature romantic film, The Notebook, dropped this nugget during an interview I had with him last spring. I thought about what Nicholas Sparks said often during the long lapses in time between my posts this off-season. "You need to write … You're killing any momentum gained in 2012 … You know you're getting worse …" were some of my inner refrains. It turned into months of ideas that never made it to my screen or keyboard and we've reached the point where it's put up or shut up.

Like many bloggers – I attacked at the beginning of this writing venture with rabid zeal while full of ideas for posts and features. I had more free time then, posted nearly every day, included a million links, and relentlessly tried to create a name brand and incite page views that drew comments. I laugh looking back – I was writing daily about TWO completely unrelated topics at a nearly 3,000+ word/day clip. That's probably the guy Subway Domer thought he was hiring last July. Oh to be young. Writing was intoxicating then and still is for me 2 years later. Unfortunately, life catches up and priorities change and, as much as I love blogging and interacting with ND fans, finding the time to put out quality content on a regular basis became a challenge I rarely accepted during the spring and early summer of this year. I'd like to attribute it to a Crimson Tide induced hangover but that's a lie. I transferred focus to other things, bought a house, and neglected y'a'll for way too long in favor of broken sprinklers and mounting flat screens.

No – this is NOT one of those "retirement from blogging" posts. It's a gut check column for me: the 2013 football season is awakening its echoes and my personal Fall Camp starts now. The time has come to start posting, getting some research in and most importantly to me – trying to get stuff out there that you can't find on other sites. This is my favorite challenge as the ND blogosphere features as many diverse outlets for information and content as any sports team on the planet. I'm thankful to some of the special access I've gained in recent years that allows me to believe this is possible. I also know that the more regularly I write, the faster/more efficient posting becomes and I'll have developed a routine and groove by late August. That's the plan, it's time to execute.

If there was a current ND player for my blogging comparison, I'd go with Amir Carlisle. Reality says I might be a little more Bruce Heggie (a throw in player of whom little is expected) but let's stick with the oft-injured USC transfer as a comparison for now. Glimpses of me since the National Championship Game have been few and fans of ND and SubwayDomer.com aren't holding their breath in regards to a great or expanded role during the Fall of 2013. You'd be shocked if we were even in the rotation by USC on October 19th. Let me tell you this here and now – Steve Herring & Amir Carlisle are playing in that game against the goddam Trojans!

Seriously – I'm rededicated to my craft. We hope Amir follows suit or stays healthy enough to just suit up.

Offseason Reserves & Notes

Manti – I spent more time and effort on an article about the Manti Te'o hoax situation than anything I've ever written but have yet to post. Why? It's so completely abstract in its content that I wonder if people will be offended or confused or stop reading after the first paragraph. I banged away at it on and off for 2 months and the 1500 words compiled so far have yet to be read by anyone but myself. I'd like to finish it and throw it out there for the masses but for now I'll just tease you with what could have been. I promise you – it's a weird triangle of connecting stories of which you might have no interest.

In regards to Te'o I'll be brief – he's going to be fantastic in San Diego on Day 1 of the NFL season and start for a decade. Sprinkle in a few Pro Bowls and he'll far, far outperform his Day 2 NFL Draft draft status. On the hoax – he's culpable of a few errors in judgement and the circus that played out in February is partly his own doing. He knows that and has owned it (kinda). There remains no doubt in my mind that he played no role with the actual hoax and he didn't fail as a journalist like many paid professionals who used the story's front and back-end to their own benefit.


Vanderdoes – Eddie Vanderoes's Placer, California home is a 7-8 hour drive from the UCLA campus. The 5 Star recruit defended his case by claiming the need to be "closer to family". As Cousin Vinny might say "Does the defense's case hold water?" Feel free to use your best Marisa Tomei voice to shout "NO!" If a ND recruit from Washington, DC wanted to be released from his Letter of Intent to be closer to home but then enrolled at Boston College what would the basic reaction be?

I once hopped in my truck in Boston at 1am and pounded the gas down I-95 South through Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York City, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland until I arrived 8 hours later at my dad's house on Capitol Hill so we could watch a big basketball game together. In perspective – that's how "close" to his family he'll be while playing in Los Angeles. I completely approve the way in which Brian Kelly and the University handled the situation and disapprove of how selective facts drove the mainstream conversation elsewhere.

Kiel – Hindsight on the Golson expulsion is 20/20 but he probably wasn't playing in 2013 unless ND started 1-3 and Tommy Turnover returned to glory. I don't think those things happen. He's going to be good if not possibly great at Cincinnati.

Neal – This sucked. His development was going to be fascinating from Year 1 to 2.

EA Sports Cover – No picture in the history of College Football pictures was ever more tailor-made to be the cover of a video game than the iconic Te'o reaction to the Stanford goal-line stand. Ever. What's that? This amazing photo is of a player who won the most awards in CFB history AND the reigning Heisman winner is still in school and his likeness can't be used?!? Game Over (pun intended) for deciding the cover shot , right? Instead, Denard Robinson appears on the front sleeve of what is the final "NCAA" game. What an embarrassment to this Electronic Arts stockholder. The game hits the shelves in JULY. As in this month! You didn't need to announce the cover in early March! Actually – wouldn't the buzz of Te'o on the cover be the hot button topic you WANT to sell it. Rolling Stone is nodding their heads.

As Bill Simmons might say if he knew anything about college football: When you can brand your billion dollar game enterprise with a crappy QB who completed just 53.3% of his passes and threw as many interceptions (9) as TDs AND will never play QB in the NFL … you have do it.

I feel like I'm warmed up a little now. Not quite there yet.

Got any ideas for posts or topics? Feel free to email or tweet at me:

Twitter: @ManCaveQB

Email: HerringBoneSports@gmail.com

I'm no "Mack" but this post is a great excuse to watch this 90's classic: