‘Notre Dame football’s rise paralleled Irish-Americans’ societal ascent’

Indianapolis Star | Catholic News Service

January 7th, 2013 by 

In articles by the Indianapolis Star and Catholic News Service, Edward O’Donnell, associate professor of history at the College of the Holy Cross, offered insight on the parallels between Notre Dame’s rise as a football powerhouse and the rise of Irish-Americans.

In advance of the national championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama, O’Donnell observed that the history of Notre Dame football mirrored Irish-Catholics’ struggle for acceptance in the U.S. “In the first 60 years of Notre Dame football from the 1920s to the 1970s … it meant a lot to Irish Catholics. This national football team reflected a lot of Catholic aspirations to upward mobility and this inferiority complex that a lot of Catholics, especially Irish Catholics, seemed to carry with them,” O’Donnell said.

“Notre Dame kind of becomes this representation of ‘we can beat you guys. We’re getting our slice of the American dream and no one’s going to take it from us. We’re able to knock off your very best—Princeton, Harvard, Army, USC—and to be able to do so year after year,'” he added.

This “Holy Cross in the News” item by Kristine Maloney.

    | More
    In The News, News

    Comments are closed.

    Sort By:
    11/25/15 Two-Time Super Bowl Champion Bill Curry to Join Best-Selling Author Steve Almond for Working Writers Series
    11/25/15 Holy Cross Hosts Annual Tree Lighting and the Time-Honored Tradition of the Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols
    11/25/15 ‘The Curse of Black Friday’
    11/24/15 Holy Cross Community Celebrates Retirement of Beloved Employee
    See All
    See All

    Featured Videos

    See video
    Video: The Splendor of Autumn on Mount St. James

    Watch Video >
    See video
    Photo Gallery, Video: Campus Conversations and Discussion Connect Students with Distinguished Alumni

    Watch Video >
    See video
    Video: Holy Cross Faculty Offer Multidisciplinary Analysis of Pope’s Encyclical on Environment

    Watch Video >

    What’s Happening on Campus


    Men's Ice Hockey vs. Niagara University

    See More >

    Men's Basketball vs. Harvard University

    See More >

    Katrina Then and Now: Artists as Witness

    See More >

    Winter Holidays Celebration

    See More >

    Holy Cross in the News


    Holy Cross Accounting Program Ranks No. 3 in Massachusetts

    Accounting Degree Review

    The College of the Holy Cross’ accounting program ranks No. 3 in Accounting Degree Review’s “Top 10 Undergraduate Accounting Programs in Massachusetts.” According to...


    ‘Women in Business conference: Holy Cross alumna at Vanity Fair says degree is key to success’

    Telegram & Gazette

    “Earning a liberal arts degree is the smartest thing a person can do to become successful in the business world,” said Aimee Bell ’88 to the Worcester Telegram...


    Economist Magazine Places Holy Cross in Top 3 Percent of ‘Best Value’ Ranking

    The Economist

    The College of the Holy Cross is No. 36 among 1300 public and private institutions reviewed by the Economist in its first-ever best value rankings, putting the College in the...