It’s the morning after the big game and I have to admit, I am still in complete utter shock. Before I go any further, I will say that the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame had one hell of a fabulous season. They were undefeated. They proved time and again all season long that they had not only come to play, they had come to win. Maybe that is why I, like probably a lot of other Irish fans sat in utter silence and disbelief as the Alabama Crimson tide pulverized Notre Dame last night. The thousands of dollars that changed hands so Irish fans could travel to Florida to see last night’s diabolical loss is even more astounding. It is sickening and devastating and in the aftermath, my heart bleeds and my mind still attempts to make sense of it all.
It was pretty obvious Notre Dame left their game in South Bend last night. It was painful to watch and the Crimson Tide showed no mercy. By the time the Irish finally woke up in the second half to score a measly two touchdowns, the fans in attendance could only stare silently open mouthed. Even I didn’t have the energy to cheer when they finally scored. It was too little too late.
Even today my mind struggles to understand how a team that went undefeated all season long could have fared so poorly in this final game. How is that possible? It was hard to miss the fact that even Coach Kelly stood stoically by and watched as his team gave the National Championship title to Alabama. There was none of the frantic yelling that was present in other games. There was no attempt to light a fire under the player’s asses. There was only the comment at halftime that it was Alabama’s ballgame. No kidding, it surely was. The handwriting was on the wall. Notre Dame didn’t stand a chance. It wasn’t their night.
The Alabama Crimson Tide rocked Miami last night plain and simple. They didn’t let up even when they had an overwhelming lead. They continued to score touchdowns frantically until the bitter end. They won, and they won big. They played flawlessly, even if the referees had their heads up their asses on more than one occasion. What about Notre Dame? They still had an amazing undefeated season. They still did Irish fans proud. They still entered the season unranked and ended the season ranked number one in the country. They earned their place in the National Championship game even if the dream of a national title ended long before the minutes counted down to zero. It was a devastating loss against an unbelievably good Alabama team. If only the victorious football team that sparkled and shone all season long had made the trip to Miami. The team that showed up already celebrated their undefeated season and unfortunately had moved on to other things. Their hearts simply were not in it.
At the end of the day, I like many others am still a devoted Irish fan. I have loved Notre Dame my whole life and last night didn’t change a thing. I still will cheer the Irish on and proudly declare myself a fan. I will still don my Notre Dame jacket and hat with pride. There will be other games and other National Championships. This team did great things. I wish things could have been different. They had one hell of a run. Unfortunately winning the National Championship was not to be.