Always in thrall to ghosts, echoes and other graying traditions, Notre Dame is reaching waaaay back with an eye to reviving one of its most storied customs -- yearly games at Yankee Stadium, preferably against its old war-era rival from down the road in West Point:
Some significant college football games were played at Yankee Stadium, many involving Notre Dame. [ND athletic director] Jack Swarbrick said the rich history of Notre Dame and Army playing at the Stadium would make the Black Knights a preferred opponent.
"It would be of great historical significance for us if it would be Army," Swarbrick said. He added: "We would love that. Some of the most significant games in the history of college football involve those two schools and Yankee Stadium."
Getting headlines in a spanking new facility in the world's largest market aren't factoring into the decision, we're sure. But whether or not it's against Army or another adventurous East Coast outfit, an Irish return to the Bronx gets the Dr. Saturday stamp of approval, if only because the combination of the general public's widespread, virulent hatreds for the Yankees and Notre Dame in one place could become a source of clean, renewable energy. (And who knows? The locals might even be able to afford a seat for a change.)
We were also amused to note that the 1944 game excerpted above seems to have been the beginning of the end for Army-Notre Dame, a longstanding rivalry that met every November in the Bronx from 1923-46 (save one-year stopovers in Manhattan in 1924 and Chicago in 1930). By '44, the Irish had won 10 of 12 games in the series since 1931, with two ties and no defeats. But Army, fortified with the only able bodies remaining on the continent at the height of World War II, blew the Irish out two years in a row in 1944-45, leading up to the legendary 0-0 tie in 1946 and an abrupt 10-year hiatus in the series until 1957, long after the academy had fallen from its war-era perch.
So if the Irish are looking for an opportune moment to wake up these particular echoes, this would be an excellent chance -- Army hasn't posted a winning record since 1996, and hasn't won a bowl game since 1985.