Guess who’s back with a new 30 for 30 Reaction? I have been waiting to do this reaction piece since the John Daley film aired. So without further ado let’s dive right into this film and the things I found the most interesting.
Catholics v. Convicts looks at the 1988 College Football game between Notre Dame and the University of Miami, the U, and the events leading up to this game. If you didn’t know these two universities had some pretty bad blood between the two stemming from an earlier game in which Miami’s Head Coach Jimmy Johnson put his foot on the gas the whole game and blew out of the water. While this film surrounds one game between the two rivals, the heart of the film is about what happens when college students get greedy and the black market of making t-shirts that led to the infamous Catholics v. Convicts t-shirt. Which leads me into the first most interesting takeaway from this documentary.
Did you know that there was a large black market for collegiate t-shirts in the 80s? I’m blown away by the amount of money guys like Pat Walsh were making on collegiate t-shirts in the 80s and just how greedy they all were. That greed is what ultimately led to the Catholics v. Convicts shirt, which caused a cascade of events that still bothers those involved today.
Speaking of the infamous shirt, I find it hilarious that in this film the Miami players had hurt feelings at being called convicts because of the actions of a handful of players. Yet if you watch The U Part 1, the players relish in their bad boy images and continue to perpetuate the image. You can’t have it both ways here boys, you have to decide if you are going to roll with the bad boy image or change it. You can’t get upset at someone capitalizing on the image you are peddling in the media and during your games.
Finally, there’s one part of the film that I think is the most important takeaway. It has nothing to do with the shirt or the rivalry between the Hurricanes and the Irish, it revolves around the human spirit and how best to motivate people. If you get people to believe in themselves, they will work towards bigger things. This concept was discuss by Lou Holtz, the Irish Head Coach and this really stuck with me hours after watching the film because of the simplicity of it. Think about it, this goes for a coach of a sports team, a CEO, or manager at a retail store. If you take the time to help someone believe in themselves and their abilities, they will help you work towards your ultimate goal.
The Irish wouldn’t have worked towards beating the Hurricanes if Lou Holtz hadn’t made them believe in themselves. The Hurricanes wouldn’t have had their dominance if Johnson hadn’t made them believe in themselves. So just remember that if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.