It was a surreal experience watching that National Championship game Monday night.
I’ve never watched a game with a team I rooted for where I was so certain of the outcome so early.
Watching Notre Dame get man-handled by Alabama after the first quarter was simply an exercise in self-loathing.
I know in my heart of hearts, the Irish had no shot.
But in the days leading up to the game, I went through every permutation of how they could win.
The only way, I thought, was if they jumped out to an early lead. Get up 21-0 out the gates and just hold on.
That of course did not happen.
Not even close.
Sure I got upset at two bad calls that went against ND. But I knew it didn’t matter.
My anger boiled over from the game. But I knew it was a bit foolish.
This team was special. There’s no denying that. Sure the Manti Te’o stuff got old, but this was a great team to watch.
Monday night was tough.
It was hard to watch the game. It was hard to see ND haters rejoice on social media.
It’s hard to see the likes of A.J. McCarron and Eddie Lacy hold up that crystal football.
I understand those who hate ND football. Their fans. Their university.
But I feel that way about a place like Alabama. They pull scholarships based on performance. Their historical track record with black players is despicable.
The program wasn’t integrated until 1970.
The Alabama media is the worst. They refer to the team as “we”. They wear ‘Bama gear. They are utter homers. The South Bend Tribune doesn’t even rate compared to these guys.
Every time there is some story that bubbles up about secession and some group in Alabama hops on board I think “Good. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”
But all of this is just sour grapes.
No matter what I say, it doesn’t change the fact that Alabama playing Notre Dame is like when I used to try and box my older brother. He is 11 years old than me. At 7, I’d challenge him to box in the basement. Basically he’d smack me around a few times and then spend the rest of the time easily swatting away every haymaker I threw.
And it’s not going to change. There is a good chance ND will be back next year. They return 14 starters. They have the top recruiting class in the country.
But even if they do make it, the result will be the same.
This season was great to watch. But to be honest, if you gave me the choice that the Irish go 12-0 and get smoked in the championship game. Or they go 11-1 and win a top-tier bowl game, I think I go with the latter.
Maybe that makes me a bad fan. I think picking the former just makes me a glutton for punishment.