Temple-Notre Dame Q&A: Enter The Subway Domer

Temple-Notre Dame Q&A: Enter The Subway Domer

With Temple and No. 14 Notre Dame set to kick off at 3:30 p.m. Saturday (NBC / 97. 5 The Fanatic), we scoured the internet (ran a Twitter search) to find the best semi-amusing ND blogger we could find. We came up with The Subway Domer, who's the A-No. 1 Tommy Rees supporter on the interwebs. Our chat with the Domer appears below, and I answer some Temple questions over on his site. Enjoy:

1. First off, I had no idea Tommy Rees was referred to as the Reesus. I'm not sure this is a question. Respond.

Obviously, there is a resurrection that is happening here. It's OK. It may take 2000+ years before some people accept Reesus into their heart. The prophecies were correct!

@TheSubwayDomer @tricerapops @kevib47 How's this for photoshop? ::Flex:: pic.twitter.com/LcqIAtwDCb

— Brendan McAlinden (@verypiratey) August 12, 2013

2. As far as Tommy's concerned, he had some moments last year when he came into games, righted the ship, swung some games, and really kept the National Title hopes alive. But you guys had to think he would fully take a back seat to Everett Golson this year, right? Now Golson's off the team and Rees is back under center. Odd as it sounds considering what he did at times last year, is this a disappointment?

Yes and no. Golson would have definitely been been the starter, and Irish fans (myself included) would have been extremely pumped to see Everett blossom and grow in Year 2. But ... things happened, and we have Tommy Rees. I am still confident that this offense will do pretty well this season. Tommy is a senior, he knows the offense better than anyone, and he has won a lot of games for the Irish. I'm sure there is a little disappointment, but if the wins start rolling in, no one will care.

3. Another Tommy question before we move on: How does the Rees-Brian Kelly dynamic play amongst the fan base? There are always coaches who get on players, but for casual observers of the program, this is an especially high-value source of entertainment.

Honestly, I don't know if the fanbase is really all that concerned with it. It's noticeable, but more in a way that says, "Tommy is a tough dude, he can take Purple Face." This is almost a non-factor in my thought process during a game.

4. The Irish defense is now without it's most high-profile player from last year in Manti Te'o, but defensive tackle Louis Nix is likely a top-10 pick and the defensive line is arguably still the best in the country. The defense carried the team to the title game last year. Is it still on that level?

I truly believe that it is. Te'o was a great linebacker at Notre Dame, but like most great linebackers, he had a lot of help from the big boys in front of him with their hand on the ground. The defense returns so much back, and the secondary should be even better than last year when the Irish had to piece together the unit due to injuries. It may sound strange since this defense lost the runner-up to the Heisman ... but they will probably be better than 2012.

5. We just mentioned him, and we can't get through this talk without addressing it: Manti Te'o and Lennay Kekua/Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. The Internet can be a cruel place, but for a good while, people couldn't get enough and the details only got weirder, which kept feeding at the beast. How was the whole thing received amongst the fan base? Were Domers just as morbidly curious and entertained as the rest of us, or was there a sense of embarrassment or sympathy or exhaustion or ... ?

No offense, but I have zero time for any of this. Didn't care much then and don't really care now.

6. We're around a year out from ND's announcement that it's joining the ACC in 2014. The football independence is still in tact but now comes with a mandated five ACC dates a year. How was the move viewed at the time and how is it viewed now, a year later? Was there ever a shot with the Big Ten? Was that preferable? Or did it not particularly matter once the Big East became a rapidly sinking ship?

There's mixed opinion about this whole ACC deal, but I personally welcome the partnership. Notre Dame will never join the Big 10. Geography is the only similarity for that type of alliance. The ACC and ND fit together quite nicely and is a better match in terms of academics, and overall mission. Notre Dame would join the Sun Belt before they join the Big 10 (there's a history of "screw you" there).

7. Let's go back to June, when ND still had 14 teams on its 2014 schedule and things with Arizona State were getting testy. Since then, the Temple game originally scheduled for next year at Lincoln Financial Field was pushed back to 2015. You're Jack Swarbrick: Who would you have dropped at the time? And you've still got one more team to axe from next year's schedule. Who would you like to see bumped now?

Temple was the right call then and is still the right call as to what team needed to be dropped. As for the next "cut," I would say it should be Rice, but it could most likely be Northwestern.

8. I'm not breaking new ground here. Notre Dame fans are perceived as arrogant. Give us your best arrogant response. Inject a little bit of religious fervor into this if you're so inclined.

I can't believe I'm wasting my time by answering questions from a Temple writer?

9. Perfect segue to bring this back around to Temple and close this up. Is this game already an afterthought for Irish fans? Like, "Yeah, we have a game against some Jewish school (kidding) but the season starts Week 2 vs. Michigan." Accurate, not accurate?

A little bit. Mostly, Irish fans are just excited to get the season started and get this weird offseason behind us. If this was the third game of the season, I think you would see us looking past Temple quite a bit more, but we love football and are just excited to start another run at the title.

10. Last one. We've known the spread was going to be quite large for some time, and that it was only going to get bigger. I'm writing this to you on a Tuesday and the line is currently Notre Dame (-29.5) or (-30) depending on where you get your numbers. That number is getting a lot of love here locally, and not for emotional, fan-related reasons, with Temple to cover. If you're putting down on this game, are you taking or laying the points?

Historically, Notre Dame hasn't covered the spread very well and this would look like another game that I would take the opponent and the points -- at least a couple of years ago. Temple is not a good football team, and Kelly really steps on the throat against those types of teams. I'll spot ya 30. [ducks]

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Head over to Subway Domer as we flip things around and talk Temple.

Tranquillo Barnetta will not return to Union next season

usa-tranquillo-barnetta-union.jpg
USA Today Images

Tranquillo Barnetta will not return to Union next season

Tranquillo Barnetta is going home.

In an abrupt announcement on Tuesday, the Union declared that the skillful Swiss attacking midfielder will not renew his contract with the club and will return to Switzerland following the 2016 season to play for his hometown club, FC St. Gallen.

According to MLS Players Union, Barnetta’s exit will free the Union of $687,500 next season.

“The entire soccer community here was so welcoming and I’m so thankful to everyone at Philadelphia Union for making me feel so appreciated,” Barnetta said. “Playing in front of my friends and family and making plans for life at the end of my career where I want to live is a force I can’t resist.”

Although the timing of the announcement is a surprise, the move isn’t one. With Alejandro Bedoya now in the mix, currently playing out of position in a box-to-box midfield role, the Union will replace Barnetta with Bedoya at the center attacking midfield spot. It’s a position that Bedoya is comfortable in, playing there with his previous club, FC Nantes.

Bedoya played for the injured Barnetta in the center midfield spot last Saturday and scored his first goal of the season in a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC.

But even with Bedoya ready to take over, the Union will miss Barnetta. Since joining the Union in 2015, Barnetta, 31, has been one of the better possession playmakers in MLS, scoring six goals and seven assists in 37 games.

“Tranquillo has been a key piece in what we’re trying to build here in Philadelphia but we appreciate his decision to return to Switzerland,” said Union sporting director Earnie Stewart, whose club has three matches left in the 2016 season, and will likely make the playoffs. “We look forward to continuing to push for the postseason.”

As Eagles enter bye, Doug Pederson aims to thwart complacency

As Eagles enter bye, Doug Pederson aims to thwart complacency

The Eagles are 3-0. They’re alone atop the NFC East and have been the biggest surprise of the young NFL season.

Doug Pederson’s message to his team: You haven’t done anything yet.

Although the Eagles are riding high, Pederson doesn’t want his team to change its outlook or hard work. That’s what teams have to worry about once they’ve found some success.

“The biggest thing is complacency,” Pederson said Monday. “You think you've arrived. You think you are all that. When that creeps in, that's when you get beat. It's my job not to let that creep in. I've got to keep the guys focused and grounded. I told them this week they're going to travel and go home and people are going to pat them on the back and say how great they are.

“But next Monday, I'm going to tell them, ‘Hey, we're back to work. We're 0-0. This is Game 1 and let's go.’ That's just the way it has to be. You are building for one ultimate goal and that's a few weeks down the road. That's what you are trying to get to. But you can't get there unless you take care of the next opponent. It's my job to keep them focused that way.”

Being 3-0 (they’re one of five 3-0 teams) gives the Eagles a head start, but it certainly doesn’t guarantee them a playoff spot. This is the ninth 3-0 start in franchise history. They’ve made the playoffs just five times in the previous eight. And they recently missed the playoffs after starting 3-0 in 2014 under Chip Kelly.

In NFL history (before this season), there have been 276 teams to start with 3-0 records. Of them, 200 (72.3 percent) have made the playoffs.

“We just have to approach it the same, one day at a time,” Pederson said. “That's the way this business goes. You are on top of the world one minute, and you can be at the bottom of the heap the next. Just got to keep things even-keeled and can't get too high, can't get too low. Approach it the same. Like I mentioned earlier, you can't substitute for hard work. That pays off on Sundays. We just have to stay the course. Again, a lot of football left.”

While the Week 4 bye comes pretty early, the Eagles have a couple key players who will use the time to get healthy. And Connor Barwin pointed out that the bye is coming about closer to the halfway point between when the team started its tough training camp and the end of the season.

Pederson told his players to use the week to get away from football and free their minds. Meanwhile, Pederson and his coaches will use the extra time to self-scout and prepare for the final 13 games of the regular season.

With a first-year head coach and a rookie quarterback who was thrust into action a week before the opener, expectations outside (and perhaps inside) the building were tempered.

The Eagles aren’t an underdog anymore.

“We kind of enjoyed flying under the radar, but obviously a win like this against a team like the Steelers will open some eyes around the league,” Malcolm Jenkins said. “For us, nothing different. We’ll keep our preparation the same. We’ll stick our heads down and focus on the work day to day and understand what’s gotten us to 3-0.”

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