Thursday, May 21, 2009

Turn back the clock

I'm a sucker for tradition. I'm sure part of that is due to growing up in the Midwest and watching Michigan, Notre Dame, etc., but there's also a part of me that just hates the way everything now is catered to the dregs of society.

I don't need "MAKE NOISE!!!" videos and halftime extravaganzas -- I'm perfectly happy enjoying the natural atmosphere of the game and maybe some entertainment from the marching bands (excuse me while I yell at some kids to get off my lawn).

However ... I have to admit that I've enjoyed watching the Red Wings play the Blackhawks at Wrigley Field and the NFL play games in London and Mexico City, if for no other reason than the knowledge that I'm seeing something that's never been done before. Traditions and rivalries are borne of the teams involved and the history between them, not the field the game is played on. Seeing a traditional matchup in an untraditional place doesn't make it any less interesting.

How does this relate to college football? According to the New York Times, the Yankees are interested in bringing football to old Yankee Stadium in an homage to some of the historic events it hosted many decades ago (or possibly as just a way to milk a little extra money out of a now-useless baseball stadium).

As cynical as I am about the motivations, this probably shouldn't excite me -- but it does. And despite my general loathing of Notre Dame's ability to market itself far better than it has any right to*, I'm even more excited that one of the initial proposals for a game in New York includes Notre Dame taking on Army in 2013, exactly 100 years since the game between those schools that revolutionized the forward pass.

Let's be realistic: Barring the return of Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside, Army won't be putting up much of a fight against Notre Dame anytime soon. But a game between two old-school powers at an old-school venue would be pretty damn cool. I would tune in just for the experience, and I think a lot of casual fans would, too.

* Note to Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick: Feel free to schedule a future "home" game against Michigan in Detroit, Ann Arbor or anywhere else that will provide you less of an advantage than South Bend. Thanks.

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