Miami had it in the '80's and '90's.
USC has had it throughout this decade.
The Cowboys had it in the '90's.
The Patriots have enjoyed it this decade.
Swagger. You know it when you see it.
Whether it's the Yankees, the Lakers, or the teams listed above. Some teams just have it.
It's about knowing who you are. Knowing that everyone knows who YOU are. It's about knowing that many hate you and are against you. Because of your name, what you've done in the past and what you will do in the future. It's about going on the road and embracing the boos and being the big bad wolf.
No breaks from the refs. Everyone circling your name on the schedule.
Beating you might save the opponents season. Indeed, it is very much 'you against the world.'
Notre Dame used to have swagger. They used to understand and embrace all of the points above. But somewhere along the way they lost it. They lost their swagger and forgot who they were. That's a problem in itself. Another problem is that the world never forgot who the Irish were. And play them accordingly.
It's time for Notre Dame to get it's swagger back. It's time to embrace who they are. To understand that it is them against the world....and act like it. It's time to intimidate teams who come to South Bend. And be the big bad wolf on the road.
Get in people's faces after a tackle or sack.
The referee won't let you shush the crowd? Find something within the rulebook that you CAN do and say 'this is what WE are going to do when we score. It may not be what other teams do, but it's what WE do.' And do it every bleeping time. And don't give the ball to the referee until you do it.
The days of Notre Dame meekly taking everyone's best shot like Little Red Riding Hood need to be over.
Time to be the Big Bad Wolf.
And a hungry one at that
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)