The Loyal Treatment: Why We Need More Lou Holtzes in College Football

Lisa Horne@LisaHornePac-12 and Big 12 Lead WriterAugust 27, 2009

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 13:  Former head coach Lou Holtz of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish walks out for the coin toss with David Grimes #11, David Bruton #27 and Maurice Crum #40 prior to playing the Michigan Wolverines on September 13, 2008 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Lou Holtz has done it again with another shocking prediction.

Everything in college football will be back to normal when, according to Holtz, the Fighting Irish will go 11-1 and play for the National Championship against Florida in the Rose Bowl. Didn’t he also say the Irish would go 11-1 in 2008?

For all of Holtz’s false prophecies on predicting the record of Notre Dame’s football team, one thing remains constant—he never changes his stance.

You have to respect that.

Oh, to go through life with rose-colored lenses on, nothing but blue skies above you and that proverbial glass not only half-full, but overflowing with some good Kool-Aid, baby. Mark May can kiss his ass.

Eventually he’ll be right—it may just take 10 years. Someday, some year, the day of atonement for the Irish haters will come to fruition. “I’ll told you so” will be ringing in their ears. Prepare thyselves, pigskin nation.

Why, we are just actors on a world stage, waiting for Lou to give us the Full Monty in the final show. The scenery is there, the script is there, the props are in place, but the director keeps changing up the plot with teams like North Carolina and Syracuse stealing the show, while Holtz, of course, remains ever hopeful that the original screenplay will eventually be used.

Let’s be honest here, Holtz has kept Notre Dame relevant in college football conversations for years when the Irish had no business being mentioned. Yet we talk about them.

Oklahoma has Toby Keith, Texas has Matthew McConaughey, USC has Will Ferrell and the Fonz, and the Florida Gators inherited Snoop Dogg from the Trojans’ sidelines. But none of the celebs has endorsed their school like Lou has. None has stood by during the down years.

I want Lou Holtz on my team. Nebraska and Miami were huge football programs but recently have been out of the cycle. No pundits are really talking about them, which is exactly my point. Who is backing them up? Who backed out? Where is their Lou?

Are we not just cardboard cutouts of football fans? All talk but no backbone? Compared to Holtz, we don’t have the passion, the fire, the undying devotion that he has. Holtz’s mission—to come off as a complete, unabashed homer—is accomplished. Critics be damned.

We, the collective football fan union, are unworthy. We need Lou Holtz, and his purpose is obvious—to be a punching bag when our team loses. While our team may not be expected to win, his team is always expected to win, so kick him when’s he’s down to make ourselves feel better. Mr. Transference is alive and well in football nation, and his best friend is Mrs. Schadenfreude.

There simply has to be a villain for the college football fan.

While the BCS remains as heartless and faceless as a terrorist, Holtz provides a humane outlet to the frustrated fan whose team has tanked another season. Whose team got left out of the BCS. Whose team doesn’t get any special favors. Petty we stand, vicious we fall.

Lou is real. Lou has faults—he’s made some serious gaffes on television. Lou isn’t perfect, but Lou never, ever speaks badly about his team. He never says, “We suck.” He would never go to his room and tear down a poster of his favorite football player after he fumbled away the game-winning touchdown.

Lou reminds us of what we all should be but don’t have the patience to become—A Few Good Men’s Colonel Jessep.

Holtz is to football what Jessep was to military skeptics.

"My existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall."

We do need him on that mythical wall. To remind us that passion and undying loyalty should always be part of a football fan’s life. That there’s always next week. Next year. Next decade. That patience has its just rewards, and ignorance is bliss.

That “I told you so” are the sweetest four words in the English language.


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