First off, I would like to thank everyone (BC fan or otherwise) for their input, either by way of email or the message board. Positive or negative, it is great to get your feedback.

The tone of the numerous email messages that I received from site visitors this year has changed dramatically over the past week or so. During the majority of the season I have received mostly inquiries about the team, site suggestions and questions about Alumni Stadium. Over the past week, however, I have received a series of acrimonious anti-BC messages, largely the result of the addition of several Notre Dame jokes and image of the tied-up Leprechaun (I borrowed the picture from the Anti-ND Alliance Page). In addition, the message board seems to have been "seized" by the Notre Dame faithful. I do appreciate the feedback and would like the chance to respond to the comments.

The following are a few of the questions/comments that Notre Dame fans have presented me with over the past week and my responses.

Why do BC fans hate Notre Dame so much?

As much as I hate to admit it, I once rooted for Notre Dame. I always felt the Irish were the 'good guys' fighting the evil entities of Miami and Nebraska, teams made up of felons and rapists. I owned a Notre Dame baseball cap and sweatshirt and even considered applying to school there. I respected the traditions, academics and ethics of Notre Dame football. This all changed for me in South Bend in the Fall of 1992. I was in attendance at Notre Dame stadium when Lou Holtz (or an assistant - this has been debated) called for a fake punt up 40 points or so on the Eagles. It was bad enough that the undefeated Eagles lost big that day (54-7 I think), but watching the opposing coach do his best to humiliate the BC players was a far more bitter pill to swallow (Wasn't that the first string Notre Dame defense in the game up 54-0 in the final minutes?) Since then I have seen Notre Dame get an $8 million Fiesta Bowl payday for a six or seven win season, barely enough to get any other team into any bowl game. The Irish also have a lucrative contract with a national TV network, an unfair financial and recruiting advantage no other NCAA team has. It's tough to lose a bowl spot to a Miami or West Virginia, but at least they earn their right to be there. All of these things help to bring about the animosity that BC fans (and other college football fans for that matter) feel for Notre Dame.

BC means nothing to Notre Dame and is not a rival

The more that I hear Notre Dame fans spout off about how BC is a "joke" and how BC is a "miniscule annoyance" and how BC is not a rival, the more I realize how much BC's win over the undefeated Irish in 1993 hurt the Notre Dame fans. They really do hate BC and that game in November of 1993 is the primary reason. BC was quite simply a better team that year and the next year and will probably be better in some season in the near future, but Notre Dame fans will always claim superiority. It's amusing for me to hear recent Notre Dame grads talk about those great teams that excelled years before they were even born. The Gerry Faust years, of course, don't exist in the minds of the Irish faithful.

What does BC have to be proud of ... hockey?

In case you South Benders haven't noticed, football isn't the only sport in existence. Your hockey team is in the top ten and played #1 BC to a 5-5 tie this past Friday on BC's home ice. Your hockey team could be pretty good this year and will be much more entertaining than your basketball team which is about embarrass itself for about the 20th year in a row.

This website is "juvenile"

What's your point? Most of the sports websites out there are a complete bore. I wanted to have some fun and try to be somewhat informative. Notre Dame fans are loyal to their football team and I knew that the ND jokes would provoke some strong responses. You didn't disappoint me. It wouldn't have made sense to publish say ... Temple jokes. I don't think Temple students and alumni even realize they HAVE a football team. The banter is for fun. It's what makes college sports great. I can't imagine us bashing each other over a Colts-Patriots matchup.

BC fans are fair-weather fans

Attendance at BC home hockey games was pitiful last season, but when the championship game rolled around throngs of BC "fans" crowded in front of the Fleet Center throwing dollars at ticket scalpers, many of whom didn't know Marty Reasoner from Harry Reasoner. BC football fans, however, have shown strong loyalty and have provided great support to the team over the past several seasons. Even with the misery of the past few seasons (both on and off the football field), home attendance has been strong and few fans have left games early. BC fans had a right to bail out on this team when the gambling scandal rocked the university, but didn't. They should be commended for this. Hopefully, the patience will pay off down the road.

The Notre Dame jokes weren't funny

I thought the jokes were funny. But, just for the record, there were some other very amusing Notre Dame jokes sent by site visitors, and although relatively tame, I felt that they were not appropriate for the eyes of children who may be surfing in. Although I think the web is a great place for us all to express our opinions, I am continually infuriated by liberal crackpots who feel it is their constitutional right to expose kids to anything and everything. I think anyone with a website needs to show some responsibility and realize that children have virtually unlimited access to the web (no more politics, I promise).

BC fans are "crybabies"

This is, in large part, true. BC fans - myself included - have often complained that because of the academic standards we can't compete with the iron of the Big East and other conferences. Unlike many - make that most - NCAA opponents, BC players must live up to an academic standard (Do you even need a high school degree to play for West Virginia or Miami?) However, Notre Dame has proven that a team can go to class (real classes - not Finger Painting 101 like they have for athletes at Michigan) and still win football games. Secondly, like BC, Notre Dame has been known to crack down on athletes with discipline problems. Case in point, Quenton Lee at BC and the scholarship revocation of Randy Moss at ND. At Nebraska, tossing a woman down a flight of stairs gets you back in time for the Orange Bowl. Although Notre Dame is not the ultra-clean program that they often claim, they have done the right thing more often than not. BC should aspire to the same.

Patrick Reilly, BC Class of '92