1. Navy beats Notre Dame for first time in 43 years: 11/3/2007
Remember hearing about how the people of Milan beat the crap out of Benito Mussolini’s dead body as it hung upside down on a meat hook?
Same basic concept here…
2. Seniors forced to leave Notre Dame Stadium after loss in home finale against Pitt: 11/13/2004
Allow me to summarize:
- Team shows minimal effort in loss to Pitt at last home game of the year.
- Team gets booed off the field by the Senior Class (of 2005).
- Senior Class collectively wonders aloud why they paid $150,000 for cold weather, unattractive girls, ridiculous rules, and shitty football.
- Senior Class refuses to leave stadium.
- Senior Class threatened with imprisonment by police.
- Senior Class leaves stadium.
3. "The Push": 10/15/2005
This is back when people still thought that Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, and Dwayne Jarrett were good football players. But I digress…
Sitting on the same side of the field, but near the opposite end zone, there was little doubt that Notre Dame won the game when Dancing Matthew fumbled at the goal line.
There’s nothing like having a full-blown celebration and rushing the field after breaking your rivals 27 game win streak, only to find out that it was all a big mistake.
USC wins 34-31.
4. "The Shovel Pass": 11/2/2002
The week before this infamous BC game, Notre Dame destroyed Florida State in Tallahassee, and improved their record to 8-0. This was the single best football moment during my tenure in South Bend.
One bad call, a back-up quarterback, and a shovel pass later:
The Dream. Was. Over.
5. Michigan Routs #2 Notre Dame at ND Stadium: 9/16/2006
The expectations in Charlie Weis’ second season were extremely high. With the return of All-Americans Brady Quinn, Jeff Samardzija, and Tom Zbikowski, the 2006 Irish team was supposed to compete for a national championship.
It was in this game when it became apparent that Weis couldn't give Notre Dame a 'strategic advantage' that would compensate for a lack of talent. It also became apparent that his teams could get blown out of the water.
6. Notre Dame Quits Against Florida State: 11/1/2003
For anyone who was there, this was the lowest of the low during “The Tynasty.”
It was also the only time I walked out of a game during the First Quarter.
Let me set the stage:
- Florida State has the ball on their own 1 yard line.
- Much-maligned FSU quarterback Chris Rix takes the snap and scrambles into his own end zone.
- Several Irish defensive linemen, including the great Justin Tuck, take turns finding new ways to not tackle Rix.
- Rix eventually heaves wobbler 40 yards down the field toward the left sideline.
- Irish cornerback Vontez Duff elevates to make what should be an easy interception.
- Ball goes through Duff’s hands.
- Ball caught by Craphonso Thorpe for huge gain.
- Dave leaves cold stadium to watch Oklahoma game in comfort of his dorm room.
7. Notre Dame at USC: 11/30/2002
The first USC blow out.
This game is noteworthy because it proved conclusively that the Irish were relying on luck and not much else.
To many Notre Dame fans, this game planted the seed that Tyrone Willingham could do little to improve the long-term outlook of the team.
That seed sprouted and grew into a Redwood Tree.
8. Tailgate Security Enlists Nazi Secret Police: Fall, 2002
At this year’s Georgia Tech game, I was almost arrested on two occasions for playing beer pong with water at a tailgate outside Notre Dame Stadium.
I literally have not been to a game in five years where someone in my party was not harassed by South Bend police officers trying to take “preventative measures.”
This is a bad practice for maximizing donation revenue.
9. Notre Dame vs. LSU 2007 Sugar Bowl: 1/3/2007
You can get used to being embarrassed on a national stage, but few things feel worse than being responsible for JaMarcus Russell being the number one pick in the NFL Draft.
10. Notre Dame Loses Season Opener to BYU: 9/4/2004
Notre Dame forced San Diego State and Nevada to move their schedules around so they could get a tune up in against BYU before the Michigan game.
Notre Dame lost to BYU…but they did beat Michigan ☺.
Honorable Mention: George O'Leary hired/fired—or did he resign?