Green jerseys leave Irish feeling blue

Tyrone Willingham refused to use any excuses for Notre Dame’s 14-7 upset loss to Boston College Saturday at the Stadium Rockne Built and NBC Incorporated. That doesn’t mean the Fighting Irish faithful don’t need a few implausible explanations of their own.

Here, then, are the Top Five mythical excuses for Notre Dame’s fall:

1. Irish running backs had a pregame meal of barbecue ribs, but there weren’t enough wet naps to go around. You trying holding onto the football after a couple helpings of baby backs.

2. Notre Dame picked an inopportune time to salute the Bob Davie Era.

3. When Willingham decided to use throw-back jerseys, confused Irish offensive players thought they had to “throw back” the ball to Boston College.

4. The referees, seeing only ugly uniforms, mistook Notre Dame for Penn State and cheated the Irish out of a clear touchdown.

5. Alien abduction.


Ever since I adjusted the hue on my television trying to compensate for Notre Dame’s green jerseys, Tom Brokaw looks like a member of the Blue Man Group.


Super-human undefeated seasons went by the wayside for Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Georgia and North Carolina State. In each game, the Kryptonite appeared in different forms.

Notre Dame: green jerseys and butter fingers.

Virginia Tech: the Wreck of the Pittsburgh Fitzgerald, aka Larry Fitzgerald, who had three touchdown catches.

Georgia: Rex Grossman, impersonating himself, circa 2001.

North Carolina State: a dose of reality.


Four undefeated teams remain as the Bowl Championship Series takes shape, but two things appear certain: Bowling Green will not play Notre Dame and Notre Dame will not be bowling green.


Penn State’s 18-7 win over Illinois was remarkable on two fronts: Larry Johnson broke his own single-game rushing record with 279 yards and Joe Paterno did nothing to elicit a cringe from the Big Ten director of officiating.


Wisconsin wide receiver Lee Evans, out for the season with a knee injury, was charged on Friday with possession of marijuana and speeding. He faces a maximum of a $1,000 fine or six months in jail or both. The school is deciding whether to get tough with its punishment and make him sit through a replay of Wisconsin’s 20-3 loss to Iowa.


Michigan players, coaches and fans felt cheated last season when a Michigan State’s scoreboard clock stopped with one second left on a Jeff Smoker spike and the Spartans staged a final game-winning play.

History repeated itself in a fashion Saturday: Michigan State had about one second of quality play in a 49-3 loss to Michigan at Ann Arbor.


Michigan State has lost four straight games by an average of 28 points per game. The Indiana Hoosiers, meanwhile, managed to lose to hapless Northwestern 41-37 Saturday in Evanston, Ill.

So when Michigan State travels to Indiana this week, the game will not be televised because of an FCC rule against airing programming unsuitable for children during daytime hours.


Purdue freshman quarterback Brandon Kirsch admitted injuring his throwing hand when a punch aimed at a frat-party antagonist ended up hitting a wall instead. He apologized to his teammates, coaches and Purdue fans last week.

Moral of the story: Never leave your dorm without your brain or at least an offensive lineman.


There is no truth to the rumor that No.1 Miami fell behind 17-8 before beating Rutgers 42-17 because the Hurricanes were distracted by Notre Dame’s green jerseys.