Friday, April 18, 2014
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Old Navy, even older Irish fans at the Meadowlands

With apologies to Herm Edwards, the real Miracle at the Meadowlands will be trying to find a parking spot Saturday that doesn't need a shuttle bus. Or perhaps finding a clear path off the New Jersey Turnpike, Exit 16W, toward an EZ Pass lane.

Old Navy, even older Irish fans at the Meadowlands

With apologies to Herm Edwards, the real Miracle at the Meadowlands will be trying to find a parking spot Saturday that doesn't need a shuttle bus. Or perhaps finding a clear path off the New Jersey Turnpike, Exit 16W, toward an EZ Pass lane.

Notre Dame makes a pilgrimage to take care of its Subway Alumni, most of whom are driving hybrids and haven't taken a subway in 40 years.

It will be a celebration of Irish looking people with gray hair, mostly men in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, who have long waited to see the gold helmets in person. The Blue and Gold haven't visited much recently, but through some divine providence, will actually be in the NYC vicinity twice this season, with a trip to the new Yankee Stadium against Army on November 20.

The upper middle class crowd will gasp in horror if the game is even close, which of course it shouldn't be but undoubtedly will. High school All Americans, tons of them, against scrappy 240-pound linemen running the triple option.

Now, long ago and far away, coach Ara Parseghian devised a defense against the Wishbone of Woo-Woo Wooster and the Texas Longhorns. The Cotton Bowl triumph is legendary. So why can't anyone stop it now? And we're not talking Dee Dowis and the Air Force machine of yesteryear.

In 1984, the crowd at the Meadowlands was silenced for most of the game, stunned by a scrappy Navy team. Only a last-second field goal by John Carney, the same kicker who just got cut last week in the NFL, gave the Irish an 18-17 win and many feel it shouldn't have counted because the clock had run out.

Many in the stands were rooting for Navy because it deserved to win. Half the Irish mugs in the stands were in the Navy anyway.

Just to show how important this matchup is for fans, the 2012 game will be played in Dublin.

Road trip!

I have fond memories of watching Roger Staubach tear it up in 1963, 35-14, the last Navy win before the streak ended. Even better was the next year when John Huarte outdueled Staubach in what would become a battle of Heisman Trophy winners. That was Ara's first team.

This is Brian Kelly's first team.

Dayne Crist needs to light it up. The Irish fans need a signature moment this season. Beating a crumpled BC team, Central Michigan, an inferior Purdue squad and a Pitt team in disarray, isn't going to do it.

And coach Kelly, stop yelling at the players on the sidelines. You are on TV, that peacock network, replayed every week for five hours on the UHD channel where it interrupts infomercials every three minutes or so.

Make it rain, coach Kelly. Make Crist to Floyd, like Hanratty to Seymour, like Huarte to Snow, like Theismann to Gatewood ...

Old Irish guys need to see it so they can tell their grandkids, who are about 40 years old by now. So they can have some common ground on the Air Lingus flight in 2012 ... the year the Mayan calendar ends ...

 

 

 

  

John Quinn Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
John Quinn, 57, is sports editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a third generation member of the Subway Alumni.

His grandfather used to listen to the radio and yell out to his son playing on the hardscrabble streets of Corona, Queens: “Bill Shakespeare just threw another touchdown pass!”
His father used to listen to the transistor radio and yell out to his son playing for Stony Brook on Long Island: “Joe Montana just threw another touchdown pass!”
He listens to the radio and yells out to his son watching Phineas and Ferb on a 46-inch HDTV: “Dayne Crist just threw another touchdown pass!” Meanwhile, Jack, 9, will not be a fourth generation member of the Subway Alumni. Reach John at jquinn@phillynews.com.

John Quinn Inquirer Staff Writer
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