The face of a player that only a football school could love.
One of the strange things about being a sports fan is the way you can sometimes develop an intense hatred of someone you’ve never met solely based on the way they play a sport. For some of these most hated players you have a legitimate reason, rooted in your fanhood, and it seems completely normal. Think Christian Laettner. But, for others, you just flat out hate them….sometimes for no real reason at all.
And that’s how I feel about Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody. I hate the guy. I really do.
It’s tough to say where it all got started, but I think it has its roots at a YMCA in Coppell, Texas a long, long time ago. You see, I once fancied myself as bit of a basketball player and there was nothing more demoralizing than taking the JV squad up to the local YMCA and getting worked by your pops and a couple of overweight forty-year olds who just used their middle-aged bulk to open up the paint for their array of awkward hooks and flat-footed set shots. You know you’re more skilled and in better shape and there is no way that this guy with the “dicky do” should be able to wrap up his knees with ace bandages, throw on his Rec Specs and completely dominate you….but he does. And that’s a big part of the reason why I hate Luke Harangody.
I mean, let’s face it. Luke Harangody is your father at YMCA. He won’t play you straight up. He’ll make you bite on the pump fakes and flip the ball up from his hip until you wonder if he’s a mix between Curly Neal and Satan. Harangody won’t make you beat Notre Dame. He’ll make you beat every grainy 1940s highlight reel you’ve ever seen. And, to top it off, he’ll probably corner you after the game, all smelling like Icy Hot, and ask you if you did your homework and fed the dog. Sorry, pops, but I have to hate him for that.
But, to be fair, I’m sure some of you probably like Luke Harangody and will throw the whole “he was a three-star who turned into an All-American” card. Well, the fact that he is a three-star that turned into an All-American is precisely why I hate him. The guy has no business being an All-American. He can’t dribble very well. He doesn’t defend very well. He can’t jump very well. He can’t shoot very well. In fact, his only obvious skill is somehow making awkward functional. As someone who has tried to make awkward functional my whole life and failed, I have to hate him for that. This is a guy that can trip over his own feet pretty much anywhere in South Bend, approach a hot Catholic girl armed with nothing but an $8 haircut and 15 minutes of incoherent hick talk and make the panties drop. Trust me, this is not a recipe for success if your name is not Luke Harangody or Larry Bird.
So, I’m sorry Luke. As much as I might want to run up to you and rub my cheek against your hair like one of those Brookstone blankets, I have to hate you with all my soul. I hope that you get exposed tonight as the church league fraud that you are. I hope you try this crap with Patrick Patterson and get jumped by Mark Krebs and Landon Slone. But, most importantly, I hope you’ll let me run pickup games with you at the rec center in the future. I bet we’d be unstoppable. You can think about it and get back to me.