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FAQ: Notre Dame

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Friends,
As UK plods along toward the illustrious goal of being named the 66th best team in the country, the mighty Cats tonight face the “Fighting Irish” of the University of Notre Dame. While the Irish have not been traditionally memorable, at least by “NCAA greats” standards, in the realm of basketball over a past many years, they have in the past few seemed to put together fairly plucky teams. That said, it’s always hard to tell which band of Emerald Isle brethren are going to turn up. One one hand, they defeated the Cards. On the other hand, I was personally on-hand for a drubbing at the hands of UC only two weeks before the Louisville victory, and they looked terrible.

Being married to a Domer myself, however, means that tonight’s game will be a big one in the Tomlin household — and as an ND/UK matchup rarely occurs, I recently hit up ND’s website to learn more about the school behind the team. Please, then, enjoy Frequently Answered Questions: The University of Notre Dame.

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Where is Notre Dame located?

The University of Notre Dame is located in South Bend, Indiana, next to the Rax off highway US-31.

Do I have to be Catholic to attend Notre Dame?

No. Though the school is traditionally a “Catholic” school, its enrollment includes a host of thick-skinned Protestants, Jews, Muslims, and at least two students who worship the prophet Zoroaster, though privately. Diversity is a key to life at UND!

How long is a typical class period at Notre Dame?

Class lengths vary. A recent, more relaxed educational policy at UND now allows professors to begin and end classes as they see fit within their curriculum. This process, known as the “rhythm method,” means that your class will end when the natural breaking points occur.

My family is third generation Irish, but by and large we are a peaceful people. Will this be a problem while on campus?

Absolutely not. While the school’s moniker is that of the “Fighting Irish,” you and your family have no reason to fear any inappropriate aggression during your trip here. Unfortunately, recent trends on campus upend this same peacefulness among Italian-American students from the Northeast US. These students can be identified by their gold chains, and a buffer zone of 15-35 feet should prove a safe distance.

My local cable provider does not carry NBC. Does Notre Dame have a football team?

Yes, actually. The Notre Dame football team has accumulated quite a wealth of success and tradition over the years, with seven former players receiving the coveted Heisman Trophy. They do not play in any pre-assigned conference, which allows the team to, for a fee, be hired to play against your college team or show up in their van to retrieve any hostages you may need rescued. The latter service, however, is disavowed by the U.S. government.

My mother, who is a ND fan, sent some cookies to Charlie Weis. How can I deliver those to him?

Sorry, no. Head Coach Charlie Weis is kept in a cage beneath Notre Dame Stadium and fed a strictly-enforced regiment of oats, tree bark and raw meat. Cookies are forbidden. DO NOT APPROACH CHARLIE WEIS’ CAGE AT ANY TIME.

Can you tell me about “Touchdown Jesus?”

Sure. Touchdown Jesus is a figure in artist Millard Sheets’ mural, entitled “The Word of Life,” at Notre Dame’s grandiose Hesburgh Library, which depicts Jesus Christ performing a motion similar to a successful touchdown. Other noted murals at Notre Dame include “Time Out Pope Clement XIII,” “Spirit Fingers Infant of Prague,” and “Interference Judas.”

Why does Mike Brey wear crew-neck T-shirts under his blazers? I really love his look.

Few people realize that during the mid-1980’s, Mike Brey was a very popular touring stand-up comedian, featured in such compilations as Funny Business: Caroline’s Presents Today’s Greatest Jokers! and Loose Screwz: The Best of Montreal’s Comedy Festival (1986). His refreshing brand of observational humor had him fast-tracked to stardom before he began as assistant coach at Duke in 1987.

I was recently at Notre Dame and I think I saw a leprechaun! Did I?

You might have! The Notre Dame leprechaun mascot has been a long-revered figure in college sports. DO NOT APPROACH THE LEPRECHAUN’S CAGE AT ANY TIME.

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There you go, folks. Big night tonight — the way I see it, it should be a pretty interesting matchup. As it stands, both UK and UND are capable of fielding great or lousy teams at any given game. Let’s hope we bring our A-Game, and down with the Irish!*

*Both the Notre Dame “Fighting Irish” and individuals from Ireland.

Article written by C.M. Tomlin