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Blue vs Gold: The Most Meaningful, Meaningless Game Of The Year.

By: Murray O'Connell | Writer | Twitter: @MurrayOConnell | Profile: @MurrayOConnell



Photo Courtesy of ON3


If you were to offer me a million dollars and a pill that would give me guns like Marcus Freeman, I still would not be able to tell you who won last year’s Blue Gold game, or who the winning QB was, or even who scored the first touchdown that day.


In fact, the odds are greater that Jason Garrett might actually say something interesting, for once, while broadcasting a game, than a lot of us staying awake for the entire duration of Saturday’s inter-squad scrimmage.



So how can such a meaningless game be so meaningful to so many?


For most, this will be the first time since the end of an exciting Gator Bowl game to see Notre Dame play in an actual “competitive” contest. Even though using the word competitive here might be stretching things a bit. Still though, the last on the field memory for Irish fans was a good one. The once upon a time starting quarterback returning from injury to lead his team to victory against a formidable opponent. Was Tyler Buchner perfect that day? No, but he showed Irish fans what he is capable of doing, and what he did, winning a bowl game, isn’t something Notre Dame fans have seen too much of these past few years.


Obviously there will be plenty of eyes watching the Hartman vs Buchner battle for QB1, and it seems as though, based upon word coming from spring practice, Buchner may be making the decision a little harder for new offensive coordinator Gerad Parker than many originally thought. I’m sure most Irish fans would agree though, having to pick between the two, with some exceptional talent waiting in the wings, is a good problem to have.


Speaking of, that will be another reason to tune in, to see how Coach Parker looks in his first opportunity at the controls. Coach Parker, the coach Irish fans didn’t know they wanted until Coach Freeman told us we did, will get his chance to show that he was promoted for a reason, and not because he was the last man standing. Will Parker use the game to show off some now more seasoned receivers, a stable of beasts at the running back position, or will he at least have something more creative on a short yardage play than the Mitchapalooza sneak, which ended up being about as sneaky as a giant pile of Jenga pieces crashing down?


There’s also the new portal players many will be interested in seeing suit up for the first time. Maybe not as many players as Notre Dame fans would like, but for a University trying to stay ahead of the curve, it’s a good start. Can Javontae Jean-Baptiste bring that Buckeye dominance to the Irish defensive line? Will safety Thomas Harper be the second coming of Kyle Hamilton? Irish fans will soon find out.




South Bend will also play host to both former and future Irish stars. Last year’s Blue and Gold game brought out the likes of Ian Book and Chase Claypool. Initial reports are there will be a large contingent of former players, which will be good for recruits like CJ Carr and Cam Williams who are rumored to be in attendance for this year’s game, making the Notre Dame sidelines the place to be on Saturday.


But yet, why will so many of us be asleep by halftime?

First of all, as important as developing depth will be to the success of the Irish this season, will a battle for backup offensive lineman be enough to hold an Irish fan’s attention? Last year’s Blue and Gold game’s box score reveals names like Andrew Yanoshak, Joshua Burnham, and Conor Ratigan. All three, I’m quite positive, possess more athletic ability in their big toes than I do in my entire body, but these were names we didn’t hear much from once the season started.

Although this will be the first look at Coach Parker’s offense, there is little hope that we will see anything but basic vanilla play calling that will more closely resemble the offensive play sheet from Nintendo’s 1989 hit game Tecmo Bowl than anything we’ll see come August in Dublin, Ireland.

I’m sure my glass of Jameson, my recliner, and a big pile of nachos will also greatly aid my napping experience Saturday afternoon, but I find myself, like many Irish fans, so greatly looking forward to a game that I know I won't stay awake all the way through.

Still though, any day you get to see those golden helmets run out of that tunnel, any day you get to hear the band play the fight song, and any day you have something better on tv to watch than an afternoon baseball game in Cleveland, is a good day, whether that comes with a nap or not.

By the way, last year the Gold won 13-10, Steve Angeli out dueled Drew Pyne at quarterback, and Andrew Yanoshak, a sophomore tight end, scored the game’s first touchdown. None of which seemed to matter once the season kicked off.

Tell us what you think Irish fans, does the Blue Game gold excite you, or will you be catching a quick nap in your man caves?

  • I'm in! Let's go Blue vs Gold!

  • Nah, it's nap time, but Go Irish!


 

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