Some clown named Dennis Dodd, a wildly unfunny senior writer for CBS Sportsline, evidently doesn't much care for the Irish. I don't know if he's pissed because he didn't get in or what, but he never misses an opportunity to try to tear ND down. Let's dissect his remarks in this week's mailbag:
OK, let's get this out on the table right now.
All you Domers drinking the Kool-Aid, put your junk food where your mouth is. I'm willing to bet a super-sized order of McDonald's fries on your premise that Charlie Weis is a better hire at Notre Dame than Tyrone Willingham is at Washington.
Dennis is a classy guy. Only two sentences into the piece and Dennis is taking thinly-veiled shots at Coach Weis about his weight. I get the Kool-Aid reference, but the rest is a non sequitur, added only because Coach Weis has had a long struggle with his weight. Evidently, fat jokes get you to the top at CBS. That's beneath contempt.
Your reaction this week to a simple offseason ranking of new coaches (Changing of the guard: Rating the new hires, Jan. 19) bordered on the inappropriate.
Your fat joke was well over the "inappropriate" border, actually invading the land of "offensive."
Wish Notre Dame's defensive line had that much energy and meanness.
Wish your sentences had subjects.
Dennis is also yet another "analyst" who thinks excellence on the football field and excellence in the classroom are mutually exclusive. This is a reader letter, with Dennis's witty response in italics:
Please explain to me why many columnists like yourself at times paint ND academic standards as a negative and then at other times cry about the lack of academic integrity in college sports.
It seems to me that you guys talk out of both sides. Instead of labeling ND academics as a negative, should you be holding them up as to what college athletics should be all about?
Never said Notre Dame academics were "negative". I said it's a great, great school with a mediocre football program. Who can argue with that?
It seems to me the ND administration are hypocrites. Tyrone Willingham was praised for doing things right during the week but for falling short on Saturday. By firing him that seems to me that ND is backtracking on academic integrity and emphasizing winning football games.
Nothing hypocritical about it, Dennis. I'll try to keep the words small so that you can understand this concept: Notre Dame demands excellence on and off the football field. Where is the "backtracking on academic integrity?" In point of fact, requiring that players meet academic requirements above the NCAA's and earn their grades just like every other student is the essence of academic integrity. Why do people like Dennis insist that there is a sliding scale between "smart" and "football player," such that more of one means less of the other? Frankly, that's racism; it's the same nonsense Paul Hornung was spewing last year, just in different words.
You know what, though? At the end of the day, all of the disrespect just makes me prouder to be an alum and a fan. It shows that Notre Dame is still the center of the college football universe. What other 6-6 team gets so much ink?