Thursday, December 29, 2005

Your Catholic duty

I am not Catholic. I don't profess to know what it is like to be Catholic. So would someone please explain to me this hallowed position the University of Notre Dame holds among Catholics nationwide?
I have nothing against rooting for Notre Dame. The campus is beautiful and there is most definitely a magic about football there, something you don't need to even watch the movie "Rudy" to sense.
It's more this sense that Catholics (at least the ones I know) almost feel it their duty to root for Notre Dame. Like God views it as a sin to root against the Fighting Irish. This is coming from people who have no connection to Notre Dame beyond their Catholicism and have never been to South Bend.
Would an Ohio Catholic even root against Ohio State in next week's Fiesta Bowl, an Ohio Catholic who is an avid Wolverine-despising Buckeye fan under any other circumstances?
Maybe not. But apparently the Notre Dame factor makes loyalties waver more than you'd realize.
Poll the Catholics you know. Not the Catholics in name only. Poll the ones who go to mass every week. You might be surprised at how many are at the very least walking the fence ("Does there have to be a loser?")
It's a unique phenomenon. Kind of like, "Man, I do want Ohio State to win. I really do. But if I root against Notre Dame, God might be looking over my shoulder, tapping his foot like a parent who caught his kid going through cookie jar before dinner."
No other school enjoys the benefit of implied wrath of God. And you wonder why Notre Dame will never join a football conference.
Notre Dame could really exploit their position if they wanted to. My guess is that if they wanted to build a new football training facility, they could get the money in about two weeks. Just place donation bins in every Catholic church narthex in America.

The tithing priorities for your average Midwestern Catholic:

1. Starving children in Africa
2. World Youth Day
3. Notre Dame
4. Local soup kitchen
5. Restoration of the Sistine Chapel
6. Notre Dame

Sometimes I wonder if other Catholic schools feel left out. Do officials at St. Bonaventure sometimes say "Hey, where's our piece?"
But the Bonnies don't wear gold-flake helmets. They were never asked to "win one for the Gipper." And they certainly don't have "Touchdown Jesus" painted on the side of their library.
Every religion has their pilgrimages, their own holy places. Muslims have Mecca. Jews have the wailing wall. Catholics have a college in northern Indiana where football and Christ are both kings.

6 comments:

Trey in Houston said...

Funny. As a Catholic, I can say that there's a little truth to this. Neither of my parents went to a Division 1 college, so when I was a kid and I needed a team to root for, it just made sense to go with the "home team" for us Catholics, so I grew up loving Notre Dame. My loyalties changed when I attended Texas A&M, but I'll always have a soft spot for ND.

Emperor said...

I found several aspects of this blog to be rather offensive and annoying, adjectives I can rarely associate with your work Mr. Cassano. I'll elaborate next time I see you in detail rather then going into a flame fest here.
As Im sure Im an example you mentioned, Ive stated numerous times my loyalties in this matchup are with the Buckeyes. Its the only matchup where someone else takes presidence over ND.

Emperor said...

Prescedence
or something close to it

Erik said...

Uh oh. I pissed off Dave. I'm sorry Dave.

Tonight, when I'm coming home from work, a black SUV with a Freemasons logo on the door will run me off the road.

A voice will come out of the passenger window. "You f**ked with the wrong guys this time."

Emperor said...

The more I reread this the madder I get. You claim not to target Catholics, but use them as an example of a greater problem of rooting against a home team? Really. Things like, putting Tithe boxes in Church and claiming we'd pay more for a College team then charity? Or, feeling that God will punish us for not rooting for Notre Dame? Yes truly this shows the example of the general fan-rooting-against-home-team right? Wrong.

You bulk all Catholics into the same group, with the quote: "It's more this sense that Catholics (at least the ones I know) almost feel it their duty to root for Notre Dame."
Now though you DO say the ones you know, yet the rest of the post goes on to call ALL Catholics to task as does the beginging of the post for rooting for the team of their choice.

On top of which, you set aim right for CHURCH GOING Catholics. You also insinuate that the school is only Catholic based so that it reaps in money and donations? That school was a religious site of education long before the onset of sports to the degree it is today.

I dont know why you seem to find it necessary to not only lump call Catholics together, but rake them over the coals and for what? Rooting for a team that they can associate a belief system and a way of life with their own? Would you prefer the type of person who wears a Red Sox cap simply because they won the Series, or a Yankee shirt simply because they are from New York? What the hell does it matter to YOU who people root for?

This has everything to do with an axe to grind against a religion and damn little to do with sports. I have lost a great deal of respect for you over this, not only in the fact you refuse to clarify your position as you claimed to me in person, but worse, you find nothing wrong with it. Now, shall I lump all Protestants together by claiming "All Protestants are spiteful flamemongers (at least the ones I know) and care only for their specific belief system when it comes to telling people who they can and cannot root for," or shall I simply say its one person?

I understand I said wouldn't post a flame fest here, but I also understood to have been discussing sports with a person who liked sports and was about sports, and not people's religious views and how you disagree with them. I wasn't aware of this, now I know. Its cool to root for a team or have an opinion, just as long as its part of YOUR religious background.

Emperor said...

Ah yes, and lets not forget that rather then acknowledging a differing opinion, you chose instead to publically mock me. Gotcha. You wanted a response, and you got one. Now while the idea is to bring more people to the site as readers because of the controversy, you instead have now cost yourself 1 reader. And far more elsewise.