Tag Archive: Fighting Irish


Every time “Rudy” is on TV, I drop everything and I have to watch it.  Even though I’ve watched it about a hundred times by now.  And every fucking time, it makes me cry, right at the end.  I’m an enormous pussy like that.  But then again, I understand that this movie has the same effect on a lot of dudes.  Even some die-hard life-long Notre Dame haters.

“Rudy” is one of the greatest films ever made.  Shut up, ‘cause I’m not taking any argument about this.

So Game 1 of the 2012 World Series rolls around, we cut to a commercial break and I hear the “Rudy” theme.  It’s quick cut footage of kids and grown-ups, all doing every manner of sport.  90-seconds later, the end frame reveals that it’s a spot for Dick’s Sporting Goods.  90-seconds of growing aural exhilaration and it’s a giant cock tease for a shitty sporting goods chain store.

Fuck. That.

You can’t fucking do that.  The “Rudy” theme carries meaning.  It has a certain quality to it.  In fact, it’s got lots of qualities to it because of the film: tenacity, redemption, grit, glory.  NONE of which apply to a sporting goods chain store.  So, fuck Dick’s (that sounds weird).

There are very limited occasions in which you’re allowed to use the “Rudy” theme.  Here are the very few occasions the “Rudy” theme is be allowed.

  • Football games.  Of course, part of it is the theme’s pedigree – it’s football music for a football film.  But it can only be used with football.  Not hockey, not basketball, not baseball, not any other sporting event – despite what Dick’s wants to sell you.  A lot of that has to do with the late, great Steve Sabol, who with his dad, perfected the art of overdramatic football film.  The Sabols had this remarkable talent to slow down film and make even the derpiest football action look like a Wachowski action sequence.  And not to get all band geek here, but mostly because the “Rudy” theme is a bit of a march.  No other sport has in-game action that mimics a march like football does.  No other sport has such military-esque assembly in which such attention is paid to orchestration and timing.  No football, no “Rudy”.
  • Weddings.  Specifically as the bride walks down the aisle.  Shut up and stop being so selfish, girls, let the groom have this one.  The whole fucking day’s already all about you chicks.  For some reason, dudes always are nervous as shit on their wedding day (I have no idea why – I got married in my mid-20s and it was a fucking breeze).  So the least the guy can have is a cool-ass theme song as his bride walks down the aisle.  It’s a fucking kick ass piece of music, it’ll pump up the dude and get rid of his nerves, and it’ll be the one thing – the one fucking thing – that’s about him on that day.
  • Pre-school graduations.  This is mostly for the dads who have to go to these stupid things.  As a rule, kids get too many graduation ceremonies growing up.  Pre-school graduations, kindergarten graduations, first grade ceremonies, the list goes on.  Stop making a big deal out of something the kids are SUPPOSED to do – finish the grade and move the hell on.  So for something as goddamn gratuitous as a pre-school graduation, you might as well make it kick ass for the attendees.  No “Pomp and Circumstance” – that’s college material, and you 5 years-old ingrates haven’t earned it.  No, put on the “Rudy” theme, the kids won’t know any better and every fucking dad is going to be high-fiving each other.  Everybody wins.
  • After an In-N-Out Double-Double, Animal-style French fries, and a milkshake.  Because you know that meal is fucking epic.  Which means it needs to be celebrated.

So, just for good measure, here’s the ending of “Rudy”.  The bit that always makes me cry.  That’s what the “Rudy” theme means.

Goddamnit, I just cried again.

 

 

It started as a grand ambition.  To squeeze some major Americana into one weekend in some distant city.  I scoured the sports schedules.  MLB schedules, NFL schedules, NASCAR, you name it.   After several evenings of fucking around with dates and events, it came together:  I would go to Chicago one September weekend.  A Cubs game on the Saturday, and a NASCAR race on Sunday.  Two of the most Yanktastic sports imaginable: baseball and idiot car racing.  If we were a smarter nation, we’d combine the two – baseball car racing.  Both sports involve going around in circles anyway, how hard would it be to drop a dozen cars in the middle of a ballpark and go nuts.

Anyway.  Cubs and NASCAR.  The sports of kings.  No, I don’t mean “kings”, do I…  The sports of Larry The Cable Guy.

 

The Cubs game was superb.  The bonus bit was that the Cubs actually won (!!!).  I was convinced that they’d find a way to choke (you know, like the Mets’ season-long game plan), but holy shit, they won!  Truth be told, I didn’t give a shit if they won or lost, it was being at Wrigley Field that made it such a goddamn thrill.   The ivy-covered wall in the outfield, the absence of a blinding jumbotron or other gratuitously shiny gizmos, and… the Old Style!  Ohmigod, where have you been my whole life, Old Style?   The ridiculous cheap-ass cans, the crisp yet watery flavor, the logo that looks like it was lifted from Medieval Times?!  It fuckin’ made the ballpark for me.  It allowed me plenty of visits to Wrigley Field’s famed piss troughs.  And that was fucking awesome.

After the Cubs won, we wandered down the street and checked into some lively bar.  It was a glorious moment when I realized that we’d walked into a Michigan State bar.  Michigan State and the Indianapolis Colts bar, actually.  How the fuck you put those two together I have no idea.  But I didn’t give a shit – on every screen in this place was the Notre Dame-Michigan State football game and I was surrounded by stupid Spartan green.  Fuck it, I was going to ride this game out in this bar.  It was a peculiar thrill ‘cause I had never been around so many Michigan State fans before.  This was going to be awesome!  Many, many, many, many pints later – and some hot wings that seemed to be made of molten lava – Notre Dame soundly spanked Michigan State.  And with that, we took our leave.  But not before we were treated to some of Chicago’s finest partying heavyweights:

500 lbs of grain-fed, alcohol-marinated Iowa football fanatic, sprawled in the middle of Clark Street with such finesse and grace, it took half a dozen pedestrians (who themselves were a right mess) and two squad cars to drag this lifeless lump off the asphalt and onto the sidewalk.  Well done, Hawkeye, well done.  I, for one, have never seen a beached whale this far from the ocean.

 

But you can never get too from the hipster douchebags.  Here were two of the top candidates who sauntered right by me.  It was interesting how these two bros were playing off each other.  I really didn’t quite get the vibe they were going for as a unit.  Was there a costume party that spontaneously broke out in the middle of a Saturday afternoon?  Did Chicago have its own Running Of The Bulls event that hadn’t been savvy to?   ‘Cause I’d love to have seen that – several hundred shitheads getting mauled by tomorrow’s Applebee’s combo dinners.  What of the colossal douche in the hat, sportcoat and penny loafers?  Maybe these two assholes confused a bull run with a bull fight.  How I wish the shithead with the hat was on his way to a bullfight.  Those red shorts would be the most perfect target for getting cockpunched by a raging ox.

 

 

Tomorrow: I fail to take a bite out of the chicken-fried steak of American sport