Archived Story

Why the Irish being No. 1 is a good thing

Published 10:03am Monday, November 26, 2012 Updated 12:04pm Monday, November 26, 2012

As a Notre Dame Fighting Irish fan, I had to smile after last week’s outcome.

The Irish were sitting at No. 3 in the BCS polls and did not have a strong schedule of games to finish out their season. But the luck of the Irish rubbed off on this year’s team as No. 1 Kansas State and No. 2 Oregon both suffered losses last week and the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide lost the week before.

Notre Dame sat at the top of the heap of college football all alone for the first time since 1993. Nothing made me happier as an Irish fan who picked up on the team during the down years.

But for a friend of mine and several Irish-haters, this may not be a bad thing for either of us.

ESPN did a recent poll that showed the avid fans interest in college football are more excited about this season because of the resurgence of the Gold and Navy Blue. Linebacker Manti Teo has also provided an incredible story that any fan can love.

I have never been on the side of so much hatred (I am a Minnesota fan, so you get the picture), but this recent season has made me appreciate other hated rivals.

In baseball, the New York Yankees get much of my disdain, but without seeing them flounder the amusement of non-Twin related baseball disappears.

The same goes for the Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Detroit Red Wings and Los Angeles Lakers.

National media outlets have also fostered hatorade, but only in the form of the individual.

Many people dislike Tim Tebow, while others think he is the messiah of the gridiron. Alex Rodriguez goes down in my book as a cheat and liar, but for a Yankee fan he is an under achieving All-Star (those New York fans are very fickle). Even seeing the face of Peyton Manning on one of the several hundreds of commercials he is in makes fans happy and cringe at the same time.

This is what keeps things interesting. Each league relies on fans not only rooting for, but against superstars and teams.

Other than the commercials, most people told me that they were watching the Super Bowl to see the Patriots lose — that’s right, lose.

I can understand why major sports associations want historically good teams to remain prominent. The NBA has tried to get the Knicks back in that position for some time. Has this diminished my interest in basketball — no, but I couldn’t remember a time when the Knicks weren’t getting dominated by the Bulls or the rest of the league.

As Americans we love to root for the underdog and we also love to see David vs. Goliath storylines that turn out. This is in our nature and fuels our decision to witness upsets and the downfall of perennial powerhouses.

However their game with the USC Trojans ends, the Irish’s resurgence has created interest and intrigue outside of the SEC and allows fans to love and hate the outcome.

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