By Steve Delsohn

An wonderful fusion of truth, legend, and lore, Notre Dame soccer has transcended the limits of the game and the college to turn into a usual American culture. For its legions of committed fanatics and alumni, conversing Irish vividly captures all of it: the exhilarating wins, the beautiful defeats, the tumultuous training adjustments, and the prestigious mystique that surrounds this cherished soccer dynasty.With never-before-told anecdotes, this candid and revealing oral historical past -- the 1st ever written on combating Irish soccer -- is instructed within the phrases of greater than one hundred fifty Notre Dame gamers, coaches, major activities reporters, and faculty school. This rousing narrative starts off within the Forties, a decade after the dying of the fabled Knute Rockne, and concludes 5 many years later, with the ambitious exploits of Notre Dame soccer on the finish of the 20th century.

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Extra resources for Talking Irish: The Oral History of Notre Dame Football

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So before he sent me in against North Carolina, Leahy told me to keep the ball on the ground. “First we ran some counters and options. But then we got hit with a fifteen-yard penalty. That gave us a third down with twenty-five yards to go. So I threw a long pass and we scored a touchdown. “Now I’m proud as hell as I come off the field. —I get hit in the back by Leahy. I turn around and he screams, ‘You’re a disgrace! You’re a disgrace to those beautiful nuns who taught you! ’ “He followed me around, shouting like that.

One afternoon, I had a hemorrhoid operation. But I knew I dare not miss practice, so I went out on the field just to 48 / TALKING IRISH watch. It was freezing outside. I had on this big parka. The anesthesia still hadn’t worn off. ’ I said, ‘Coach, I just had an operation. ’ He told me, ‘You don’t run on your ass. ’ “That was Joe McArdle. His nickname was Captain Bligh. But he wasn’t even Leahy’s toughest assistant. That was Bob McBride. He went into World War II as a 200-pound tackle. He got captured by the Germans and came out skin and bones.

But Leahy was on him so bad, Joe couldn’t catch the ball. It would hit him right in the hands and he would drop it, because he was so nervous and uptight. After that fifty-one season, Joe quit playing ball at Notre Dame. “See, Leahy was a great coach right after World THE ORAL HISTORY OF NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL / 49 War II. He was dealing with men. War veterans. Leahy could work the shit out of them. And they could handle that pressure. But all the war vets were gone by 1950. The younger players had different temperaments.

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