The Anti-Preview: Notre Dame vs Michigan State

The Anti-Preview is in a rush. In fact, it is in as much of a rush as this season has gotten itself into. This season has already got out of hand according to many fans. Tommy Rees sucks and the defense is now a charitable organization that just gives yards and points away like a local soup kitchen gives away, well… soup.

Mark me down in the "other" category. The Irish have not looked great, but they certainly still look like they have all the potential to make 2013 a great season. I'm not cashing in, and I'm not fast-forwarding to next season- but I am in a rush to see the next game.

Can this team improve as its competition stiffens? In a lot of ways, the improvement can be seen merely by execution of fundamentals. The defense needs to take better pursuit angles, they need to breakdown and wrap up the ball carrier, and generally play better assignment football (which also falls in Diaco's lap). The offense has got to get off to a better start and establish themselves physically along the line of scrimmage. Above ALL, this team has to, has to, has to, has to be mentally and emotionally ready for this annual game of brawn. That "fire" has to be there.

That shouldn't be too hard to ask as the Irish welcome Sparty to the Bend.

Michigan State

Classically brutal. That's a pretty good way to describe the Spartans almost every year. They are very physical and their defense is very experienced. Much like last year, the MSU offense is beyond suspect and despite an outburst of competency against FCS Youngstown State, no one is for certain what that unit is truly capable of doing with Connor Cook at quarterback. 

sparty on fire
image via @verypiratey

What Should You Be Drinking? 

Besides "heavily"? Gin. Figure out a way to incorporate more gin into your life. It's a detoxifier (I may have just made that up someone told me that once and I believe it with all my heart). It's science. So much science that a Doctor would recommend it.

Doc Z

1 oz. Dekuyper Hot Damn 100 Proof Cinnamon Schnapps
1 oz. Gin
½ oz. Triple Sec
½ oz. Rose's Lime Juice
Dash(es) Grenadine

Combine all the ingredients (except the grenadine)over cracked ice in a rocks glass. Stir, then add the dash of grenadine and serve with a wedge of lime.

If you need more proof of SCIENCE… This guy used to work with a Doctor:

What Should You Be Eating? 

Time to go GREEK. I know, I know… Notre Dame doesn't have a Greek System. That's doesn't mean we can't enjoy the greatest thing to ever come out of Greece, THE GYRO. If you want to make your own Gyro, here is a link to do that. However, my suggestion is to just go to your local King Gyros, or whatever Greek restaurant you like, and get like 20 of them for the game. Don't forget a tub of sauce too. 

What Should You Be Wearing? 

Break out the croquet clothes- whatever they may be. 

Irish Stew

With all of the talk a few weeks ago regarding the Skunkbears and the word "rivalry" I had planned on having someone (because I do not possess the skills) put together a video propping up Sparty in the role of RIVAL OTHER THAN USC. It's really amazing how many of those "rivalry moments" have happened between these two teams over the course of the series, and even more amazing how many of them have happened fairly recently. I'll throw 3 of them up just for the hell of it. (Is there some kind of irony that all 3 of these clips come from the Weis era?)


This has evolved into the greatest hits of Louis Nix section, but I have to give a shout out to a MSU account that went against the grain of all of the "@schoolboobs" accounts, and has instead focused on the booty. Say what you will about Sparty, but he loves him some applesauce apple bottoms.

Louis Nix responds…


Spartan Invasion
Penguins to Leprechauns
Megaphone impales

Something Else To Watch For

No games or jokes here. I/we want to see if the Irish offense gets more creative and how they distribute the ball to the running backs. This is serious business. Seriously.

Offensive MVP

DaVaris Daniels. If Daniels can continue to elevate his game against the "#1 ranked defense" than we may have just unearthed the next great Irish wide receiver. With 17 receptions, 299 yards and 4 touchdowns, Daniels is a legitimate threat and if the Notre Dame offense has trouble on the ground against the Sparty front 7, Daniels will be there to RISE to the occasion. 

Defensive MVP

Prince Shembo. Despite a slow start to the season, it's eatin' time for the Prince. I offer you no stats, facts, or proof of any kind other than my gut is just screaming out that Shembo has a monster game against Michigan State. Something happens… SPARTY NO!

Bragging Rights

Known only as The Megaphone Trophy, this trophy may now be the most famous of the Notre Dame trophies…or should I say infamous. Introduced in 1949, it is a joint sponsorship by the Alumni Clubs of Notre Dame and Michigan State in Detroit. Half of the megaphone is painted blue with an ND monogram and the other side is white with a green MSU. The score from each year is painted on it. The current trophy is the third one in use since it has run out of room for scores twice before.

This award became nationally known after the 2005 and 2006 games. The Spartans were outraged when Notre Dame did not present them with the trophy after they were victorious against the Irish in 2005. Notre Dame stated that it has been the custom all along to give the trophy to the opposing team after a defeat away from the field. This may have been the starting point for Johnelle to becoming crazy as a bat. Most of the Notre Dame players and Coach Weis himself, admitted to not even knowing the trophy existed. This is probably true since there was little written about the trophy prior to this game, and I don't remember hearing much about it until EA Sports NCAA Football began showing what games had rivalry trophies.

Notre Dame leads the series with a 47-28-1 mark. The one tie was one of the most famous ties in all of college football history, the 1966 "Game of the Century."
megaphone trophy

At The End Of The Day…

Notre Dame comes out with a passion, a fire under their asses, and a sense of urgency that we have not seen from the Irish at the beginning of games this season. There won't be any scoreboard explosions here from either side, but the Irish jump on top early and fight until the end. Lots of pain. IRISH WIN 23-13

image via NDMSPAINT

About The Subway Domer

Warlord and Emperor of the Subway Alumni... also, I do this "dad" thing pretty damn well.