Thursday, October 15, 2009
I spent most of the last 24 hours in South Bend, me having been invited to sit with a business school class that had been assigned my company as a case. The weather, having blown in from Chicago, sucked, but the students were bright and eager and my host -- an Australian visiting professor -- was interesting and generous, so all was good. We had lunch at a campus eatery, "Legends," devoted to Fighting Irish athletic glory, and I was able to explain the origin of the "Four Horsemen" paraphernalia wherever one turned (including "Four Horsemen" ale, which was not bad). Indeed, thanks to the Blackberry's excellent web browser, I regaled my no doubt charmed host with a dramatic reading of Grantland Rice's New York Herald Tribune story, originally published just shy of 85 years ago.
Outlined against a blue-gray October sky, the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as Famine, Pestilence, Destruction and Death. These are only aliases. Their real names are Stuhldreher, Miller, Crowley and Layden. They formed the crest of the South Bend cyclone before which another fighting Army football team was swept over the precipice at the Polo Grounds yesterday afternoon as 55,000 spectators peered down on the bewildering panorama spread on the green plain below.
A cyclone can't be snared. It may be surrounded, but somewhere it breaks through to keep on going. When the cyclone starts from South Bend, where the candle lights still gleam through the Indiana sycamores, those in the way must take to storm cellars at top speed.
Some would say that's the most famous bit of sportswriting in American history, and others would say it is the most overwrought. Either way, they don't make 'em like that anymore.
So, with that, a few pictures from our post-prandial stroll about the campus.
Dome from the inside...
Me, and "Touchdown Jesus"!
Awful lot of religious symbols still in evidence on campus. How ever will those young skulls full of mush avoid the the unwitting establishment of religion in their lives? I thought Notre Dame had deep-sixed all the claptrap in favor of secularism. I thought by now a "Keep your filthy hands of my ovaries" sign would have been slapped onto Touchdown Jesus.
I went to catholic grade school with the daughter of one of the four horsemen (members of our church). I was a little guy (until I went to college and really started eating) and in 8th grade, this young lady was near 6ft tall and built like her father. Beautiful and nice, but ... mountainous.