Sunday, August 30, 2015

Shake down the pixels

Old school wasn't born beneath Touchdown Jesus' gaze, but it grew to manly adulthood there. So it's safe to assume there might be some consternation among Domers at this latest affront to the memory of  Rockne and Leahy and all the other icons.

In the other words: What the hell is Notre Dame thinking, installing a videoboard and (ugh) ribbon boards in the House That Rockne Built And Lou Renovated? Who are we, Purdue?

Yet the boards will come in 2017, athletic director Jack Swarbrick announced this week, and the true outrage is that Rockne likely would have approved. The man was nothing if not a PR visionary, light years ahead of his time in flacking Notre Dame as a national brand. And modernity in pursuit of that goal was something he embraced wholeheartedly.

And so the videoboards will come, and Rockne will not so much as turn a hair in his grave. And the old-schoolers will learn to deal with it.

After all, they learned to deal with the idea of Notre Dame playing in something called the Pinstripe Bowl, after decades of being above even the Cottons and Oranges in the commercial vulgarity that is bowl season. They learned to deal with apparel company logos on the Irish uniforms. They learned, in time, to deal with a more obstructed view of Touchdown Jesus if expanded seating (and expanded revenue) was the tradeoff.

And so, bring on the videoboards. And consider the possibilities.

I mean, what could be more purely Notre Dame than looking off to the south on a game day and seeing a skyscraper-sized image of Pat O'Brien outlined against the blue-gray sky, reciting the Gipper speech from "Knute Rockne, All-American?"

Tell me Knute isn't gonna love that.

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