Kansas should forget Notre Dame history
Saturday, Kansas’ football team should denounce Catholicism, forget about Touchdown Jesus, and for heaven’s sake, not rent a video at Blockbuster.
This is no time for “Rudy.”
Most Jayhawks have seen the feel-good, inspirational movie and many of them can relateto the story. Some are walk-ons, a handful are overachievers, and Kansas is slated as such a longshot Saturday that landing someone on Mars by kickoff is looking more plausible in comparison.
Kansas should forget Rudy and the past.
This is not the same program Rockne ran. Bob Davie, Notre Dame’s third-year coach, is far from legendary, and Notre Dame simply isn’t that good. Kansas can win this game, but only if it can forget history.
Notre Dame loves to divulge itself as legacy. Its hernia-inducing media guide has hundreds of pages devoted to the Notre Dame mystique. There are wonderful biographies of Joe Montana, Raghib Ismail and Ross Browner. The old names sound terrific, but how do Jarious Jackson, Tony Driver and Bobby Brown sound? About as threatening as California State-Northridge or a bad 1980s rap group; take your pick.
Notre Dame hates to talk about the present and the future. Currently, the Irish are very regular. They are average at most positions.
Jackson, the team’s quarterback and biggest threat to the Jayhawks, threw six interceptions last year.
Its running back, Driver played defense mostly in 1998, and no cajoling from Davie about the Gipper will turn their receivers into threats.
Notre Dame loves to talk about ’66, ’77 and ’88, past national championship years. Not much is being said about 1999 because Irish eyes can see the Pope might have better moves than most returning Irish.
There is no pressure laid on Kansas.
The Jayhawks are expected to be thumped, but happily so because the school is making a large profit from playing in the Eddie Robinson Classic. Notre Dame’s fans can thus carry the arrogance that their stadium is a shrine nobody can resist visiting.
Terry Allen won’t be watching “Rudy.” The only video Allen’s team will be watching is of the current Irish, who are nothing like the past.
The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.
All Sports Stories for Friday, August 27, 1999