Welcome to the second day of the 2006 College Football Blogger Awards ceremonies, which, despite taking longer than the Academy Award telecast, still manage to be a good deal funnier and smarter than any event hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.
We now come to the presentation of the award for the Best Big East/Notre Dame Blog. Because the Fighting Irish compete in the Big East in all other sports except football, and because the Golden Domers technically do not qualify as a non-B.C.S. conference team, Notre Dame weblogs were included in this category alongside other Big East weblogs.
Rutgers alumna Kristin Davis is calling everyone she knows and telling them to tune in to Dawg Sports for the announcement of the Best Big East/Notre Dame Blog award winner. (Photograph from Yahoo! GeoCities.)
Regardless of the category into which the winner of this award was placed, though, the fine fellows from The Blue-Gray Sky were sure to take home some hardware for their diligent efforts. The self-described "Notre Dame scrapbook" is the handiwork of no fewer than 10 contributing authors, each of whom brings his own perspective and expertise to the table.
In light of the large number of writers arrayed at this single team-specific weblog, as a matter of fact, it is almost a disservice to The Blue-Gray Sky to characterize the site as a scrapbook; it is more like a cenacle assembled to keep the flame of faith burning brightly, bringing light to an heretical world filled with we apostates audacious enough to question Notre Dame's grandeur.
I use the word cenacle advisedly; for, as bohemian painters ensconced in lofts below 14th Street in New York City tended their Modernist garden while Social Realism reigned in the art world during the politically-charged 1930s, so, too, do Michael, Jay, Pat, Sean, Dylan, Mike, Teds, Pete, Mark, and Jeff plug away on behalf of college football's most storied program, parsing the minutiae of Notre Dame's return to glory and conceding no ground to the enemy as they provide support on-line for what Charlie Weis is accomplishing on the field.
Unlike the Tenth Street School of Hans Hofmann, Willem de Kooning, and Jackson Pollock, though, The Blue-Gray Sky isn't producing the drips and splatters of paint that came to be known as Abstract Expressionism; rather, the best of the Notre Dame blogs brings us images like . . . this:
The Blue-Gray Sky guys offer something for every taste, from Jay's Veterans Day tribute to Dylan's take on Michigan's claim to a shot at the national title to Pat's analysis of the option to Mark's thoughts on what a difference a year makes. If you want it, they've got it . . . and you have to respect the volume, quality, and diversity of their work, even if (like me) you don't much care for their views on Robert E. Lee.
The runner-up spot in this category went to a colleague of mine here at SportsBlogs Nation, Card Chronicle. Mike brings an admirable passion to his support for Louisville athletics, calling out the hypocrites who demean the Cardinals' achievements in a way that affected the way I cast my BlogPoll ballot and turning his ill-timed haircut into a cautionary tale about jinxing your favorite team that completely changed my approach to the Auburn game . . . with quite positive results, I might add. (Much obliged, Mike.)
It's one thing to write a weblog about an historic power like Alabama or Michigan, like Ohio State or Southern California, like Notre Dame or Oklahoma, like Georgia or Texas . . . but it is something else again to rise to the challenge of boosting a team whose achievements have been undervalued, refusing to shrink from a fight and getting the satisfaction of being able to say afterwards: "See? I told you so!" Card Chronicle continues to tell us so, and the blogosphere is the better for it.
Please join me in congratulating The Blue-Gray Sky and Card Chronicle on their respective first- and second-place finishes in the Best Big East/Notre Dame Blog category.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the lovely and talented Orson Swindle, who will be presenting the award for the Best Big Ten Blog in another hour or so.