Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Journal on the NCAA and the Irish

At least when I take ideas from the Journal, I give them credit. But if they got the idea to talk about Notre Dame from me, I'll take it as a compliment. Here's Kenneth Woodward's echo of my NCAA rant:
Here's a suggestion: If the NCAA and other latter-day Puritans are concerned about social prejudice, they ought to investigate Notre Dame. Surely the name for its athletic teams, the Fighting Irish, is a slur on all Irish-Americans. The label derives from anti-Catholic nativists who reviled the poor and mostly uneducated Irish immigrants who came to these shores in the mid-19th century--a drunken, brawling breed, it was said, who espoused the wrong religion. When the fabled Four Horsemen played football for Notre Dame, the team was called the Ramblers. In 1927, the university officially adopted the Fighting Irish, thereby transforming a pejorative nickname into something to cheer about.

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