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From “Catholics Vs Convicts” To “Catholics Vs Cousins”

For those of you reading this site from points outside the SEC footprint, let me give you a simple word of advice:  It’s OK for Southerners to poke fun at inbreeding stereotypes.  It’s not OK for non-Southerners to do it.  When an outsider does it and if there’s nothing good-natured about the jab, well, it tends to get a Southern boy’s dander up.

Enter Notre Dame’s fanbase.

Back in October of 1988 — to make many of you feel old, that was four years before Johnny Manziel was born — #4 Notre Dame won a classic 31-30 contest over #1 Miami 31-30.  Thanks to some t-shirts sold in South Bend before the game, that encounter became known as the “Catholics vs. Convicts” game.  As any good sports fan knows, the Hurricanes of the 1980s had a pretty rough reputation, thus the “convicts” line.

Fast forward a quarter-century and the Irish are relevant again, preparing for a BCS title clash with Alabama next month.  With their swagger back, there’s also a new t-shirt making the rounds for Golden Domers to buy.  Former Notre Dame signal-caller Jimmy Clausen even tweeted out a photo of the design:

























Uh, yeah.

Now, anyone who’s ever been to touristy places like Pigeon Forge, Tennessee or Branson, Missouri knows that we Southerners often play up the hillbilly stereotype (Lord knows why).  From the weathered hats to the jugs of XXX moonshine, we bring a lot of this nonsense on ourselves.

But we don’t typically sell t-shirts suggesting we’re all inbred.  And Clausen has apparently found out the hard way that Southerners aren’t big on outsiders making jokes like that, either:














A number of Notre Dame supporters have rushed to Clausen’s defense on Twitter saying that Bama fans — a particularly thin-skinned bunch to begin with — need to lighten up because it’s just a t-shirt.

Well, in that spirit, we wonder if Figthing Irish fans would take offense if someone in Tuscaloosa started selling shirts featuring Alabama’s red elephants and a lecherous priest beneath the banner: “Pachyderms vs. Pedophiles.”  (Here’s guessing someone’s already got that in the works, by the way.)

Think any Notre Dame fans might see those shirts as being horribly offensive?  Yeah, we do, too.

So remember, Irish fans, when a shirt like that finds its way to the internet — if it hasn’t already — it’s just a t-shirt.  Lighten up!

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