Notre Dame has an insulting name and an insulting mascot. "Fighting Irish?" A crude stereotype of the Irish is that the Irish drink a lot and get into fights. You see boxing - a sport noted for its racism - utilizing "Irish" as a nickname for certain boxers, just as it specifies some boxers as the "Great White Hope" based on the color of their skin. As someone who is part Irish, I find Notre Dame's bigotry to be quite insulting. If Syracuse can change their nickname from Orangemen to a nickname based on fruit, Notre Dame can do the same. And note that Orangemen are also fighting Irish; it was simply less obvious.

Also, the Leprechaun as a mascot is quite insulting, as it simply combines the worst stereotypes of the Irish into one package and is very offensive. Why not go the whole 9 yards (something Notre Dame's offense can't do) and use the more offensive Clurichaun instead?

Ty Willingham and Charlie Weis were both recently hired by Notre Dame. Charlie Weis went a mediocre 5-2 in his first seven games with Notre Dame and was rewarded with a rich ten year contract. Willingham went a perfect 7-0 in his first seven games with Notre Dame.

What's the difference? Race.

A Black and White Issue

If I were Tyrone Willingham, I'd be pretty miffed right now.

Willingham had a pretty good season during his first season as the head football coach at the University of Notre Dame three years ago, going 10-3 and leading the Irish to the Gator Bowl. Notre Dame's new head coach, Charlie Weis, is having a pretty good rookie year, too — the Irish are 5-2 and ranked eighth in the country.

Weis has been rewarded for his success thus far with a 10-year contract extension that's reportedly in the $30-40 million range. What did Willingham get for winning big in his first season? Squat — and two years later, after he struggled in his second season and led Notre Dame to the second-tier Insight Bowl in his third, Willingham was fired.

Willingham is black. Weis is white.


"We can't stay as strict as we are as far as the academic structure is concerned because we've got to get the black athlete,"
-Paul Hornung, Notre Dame alum, Heisman winner, former broadcaster of Notre Dame games and bigot

Athletic bigots

Racism, bigotry in sports needs to end; stars half-hearted apologies no longer good enough

Every year, a handful of over-the-hill jocks make the news with an off-the-cuff remark they'd immediately prefer to take back. It's news because of its ignorant nature, the candid delivery and the jock's seemingly oblivious naiveté to the ramifications of their actions.

It's sexist, racist, discriminatory and out-of-date. It's shocking in its language and appalling in its intent, but the plot line always is the same. There is the outrageously provocative comment, followed by the uproar, then the ham-fisted apology, then the backlash. The backlash often includes the offender's cronies - some belonging to the maligned racial or ethnic group - saying that so-and-so really isn't a racist, just misinformed.

This happens at least twice a year, every year, and stays formulaic to the bitter end. Most recently, former Notre Dame football player and Heisman-winner Paul Hornung joined the list of numbskulls to tackle race in sports with an ignorant tongue and tone.


It is quite ironic that Hornung would make such stupid comments given that his Heisman Trophy was awarded to him only because of racism. You'd think he would have some honor.


Voters Choice: Paul Hornung Notre Dame

Best Choice: Jim Brown Syracuse

Quite possibly the most ridiculous of all Heisman outcomes, the Golden Boy won the award despite playing on a miserable 2-8 Irish squad. Its the only time the Heisman has gone to a player from a losing squad, an oddity thats unlikely to happen again. On the flip side, that just went to show just how good Hornung was. Even so, he wasn't the best player in 1956. All-American running back John Majors of 10-1 Tennessee would have been a fine choice.  Who couldve argued with the selection of Tom McDonald, top-ranked Oklahomas star halfback? However, no one in the country was more qualified than Brown, an almost mythical athlete who was stunted by the social climate of the times and a lack of respect for his program.

Punt, goddamnit!