Because of the latest conference realignment talk there has also been a lot of Twitter and bloggy buzz about Notre Dame’s perceived status as the only truly "national " program. Supporters can point to Notre Dame's national recruiting profile, the national schedule including the neutral site Shamrock series, and the only true cross sectional rivalries. But if there was any lingering doubt I submit one final piece of evidence for your consideration. (More after the jump...)
Old Steve isn't exactly what you call a world traveller, but when I do I peruse the ubiquitous SkyMall catalogs found in every seat back for amusement. As it happens I’ve had to take three trips over the last seven months (one an epic trip to NoCal with the estimable Blog Davie documented here). Something I kept noticing was Notre Dame was the only university hocking sports memorabilia on SkyMall.** Let me turn your attention to page 103 of the most recent catalog where you are able to order framed Play Like a Champion posters autographed by Brian Kelly or Lou Holtz (Order both for $99 each and you get an authentic brick from the stadium for free!).
Anyway, my recent travels have taken me to both coasts and while two trips with ND adverts constitute a coincidence, three trips with adverts definitely constitutes a trend. Given 1) that SkyMall markets to a truly national demographic and 2) only ND football memorabilia could be found on its pages, it follows that ND is the only TRULY national fanbase. (A second less charitable interpretation is that ND has the only fan-base douchy enough to shop on SkyMall, but I’m not gonna go there). Of course your humble blogger travels on a modest budget and by order of Mrs. Steve frivolous SkyMall shopping is strictly forbidden. But a guy can always dream, right? So I made a “Steve in Iowa SkyMall Wish List.” My birthday is in July and it’s never too soon to think about Christmas, people. So here goes.
5. The Easter Island giant monolith head ($999)
Because nothing screams “Iowa” like kitschy knockoffs of priceless Rapanui artifacts. I’m sure Mrs. Steve would totally dig this in her garden whilst I could reenact how the indigenous population destroyed their civilization by erecting too many of these heads (per the theory presented in Collapse by Jared Diamond)
4. The Portable Infrared Sauna ($499)
This is strictly for health reasons.
3. The Portable Lap Top Desk ($119)
Subway Domer was calling out staff last week for lackluster blogging. Supplying staff with these devices would go along way toward boosting morale and raising blogging productivity. Oh wait, I forgot that your Emperor is less forgiving than Lord Vader. Which of course leads to...
2. Voice Activated R2-D2 ($199)
Thirty one reviewers have given this little droid four stars out of five. Impressive. Most impressive! Alas the reviews don't tell me if his voice recognition understands the relatively simple command "Fetch me a PBR."
And of course, number 1, The Brian Kelly and Lou Holtz autographed Play Like a Champion posters (seen above). And I have to give props to the SkyMall folks who finally have some Brian Kelly merch in this issue. Last fall they were still selling stuff autographed by Weis.
* Image via @dcirish7, follow him on the Twitter.
**I’m sure that you can find merch from other schools on the SkyMall website. This post was just about the print magazine you find in the seatback.
To all ND fans, the most accurate college fanbase map: i.imgur.com/gpsca.jpg— Andrew Parnell (@dcirish7) May 22, 2012