why do they call notre dame the fighting irish
A squat man wearing a green and yellow suit, complete with a square hat, and pointed shoes raises his arms in a fighting stance. His bushy eyebrows like his beard are fierce. He is not the type of guy you want to meet alone in an alley or alone anywhere. As any college football fan could tell you this is the mascot of the University of Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish. But exactly are the ÁFighting IrishÁ? How did this name come to be and Why is this mascot so angry are questions that need to be answered. The name Fighting Irish finds its origins in the Anti-Catholic sentiment facing the Irish immigrants of the early 19th century. Being that the majority of the first Irish immigrants were catholic they were congruous in the minds of the puritans at the time. The Irish faced oppression in the forms of ÁIrish need not applyÁ signs in help wanted ads and chants of ÁIrish go home. Á The term fighting Irish was a slur in New England during this period. The school has thus embraced this underdog status and has used it as a badge of honor to represent Áeveryone who suffers from discrimination; to everyone who has an uphill fight for the elemental decencies, and the basic Christian principles woven into the texture of our nationÁ, according to Dorothy V. Corson in her essay Á
READá MORE: The University of Notre Dame was established in November 26th, 1842.
Its Irish tradition grew around the collegeÁs location. It was the first major Catholic college, founded by Holy Cross brothers, in the midwest with access to such major cities as Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwuakee. To this day 80 percent of the undergrad population at the university is Catholic. Another origin of its nickname as applied to its football team established in 1887 has many theories. The school originally played under the name of the ÁCatholicsÁ in the 1800s and the ÁRamblersÁ in the 1920s. The team officially adopted its current moniker ÁThe Fighting IrishÁ in 1927. The roots of its name run far deeper. It is believed in a game in 1889 as the the Irish led the Northwestern away at halftime by the score of 5-0 the crowd got whipped in a frenzy screaming, "Kill the Fighting Irish, kill the Fighting Irish. " in which the Fighting Irish were losing at the half to Michigan.
An incensed Notre Dame player trying to psych up his team called out some of his fellow Irish teammates. "What's the matter with you guys? You're all Irish and you're not fighting worth a lick. " Notre Dame came back to win the game and the press picked up on the players feisty comments and thus dubbed the squad ÁThe Fighting IrishÁ. The official reason for the name was printed in the journal á "The term 'Fighting Irish' has been applied to Notre Dame teams for years. It first attached itself years ago when the school, comparatively unknown, sent its athletic teams away to play in another city. At that time the title 'Fighting Irish' held no glory or prestige. READá MORE: "The years passed swiftly and the school began to take a place in the sports world. 'Fighting Irish' took on a new meaning. The unknown of a few years past has boldly taken a place among the leaders.
The unkind appellation became symbolic of the struggle for supremacy of the field. The team, while given in irony, has become our heritage. So truly does it represent us that we unwilling to part with it. " The leprechaun we know love and fear was not always the mascot for Notre Dame. The team for years was represented by an Irish terrier dog usually with the name Clashmore Mike. A relatively new invention the leprechaun was not introduced as the official face of the football team until 1965. á Notre Dame Fighting Irish today continues its fighting spirit today as the most dominant college football team in history on the verge of yet another bowl appearance this season. So itÁs come to this: Leprechauns are hateful. Not just any leprechauns, mind you. This particular oneÁhat cocked, chin out, dukes upÁhappens to be the mascot for the Fighting Irish of the University of Notre Dame. The little, green-suited man is now in the same politically correct crosshairs that recently locked onto the Cleveland IndiansÁ Chief Wahoo.
And ESPNÁs Max Kellerman has called on Notre Dame to follow the IndiansÁ lead and send this leprechaun back to the end of the rainbow where he belongs. ÁMany Irish-Americans are not offended, but many are,Á Mr. Kellerman said. ÁShould that also change? The answer is yes! Unequivocally yes. Pernicious, negative stereotypes of marginalized people that offend, even some among them, should be changed. Á ThatÁs some standard: The handful of offended trump the majority of unoffended. Notre Dame argues, correctly, that the leprechaun differs from Chief Wahoo and other Native American logos in a crucial way: The university is highlighting its own heritage rather than appropriating imagery from others. By embracing the Fighting Irish moniker, moreover, Notre Dame transformed an epithet into a source of pride. ThatÁs why generations of Catholic immigrants struggling to find their place in America cheered every Notre Dame gridiron victory as their own.
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