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Defining Miracles Down


In today's Washington Post, John Feinstein does his thing where he waxes rhapsodic about the virtues of college underdogs. His subject today is Navy's victory over Notre Dame last Saturday. Madly overwriting in an effort to make his subject interesting to a general audience, Feinstein asserts:

the Navy football team's 46-44 triple-overtime victory over Notre Dame on Saturday may rank, at the very least, a close second to that storied miracle on ice. This was a miracle on turf.

Miracle? Second-biggest upset ever? Navy was a three-point underdog! Notre Dame came into the matchup have lost eight of its last nine games, none of them close.

In his section attempting to explain why the Navy win was such a miracle, he notes that Notre Dame fielded 21 players who were invited to the high school All-American game as preps, while Navy has none. Well, sure. But then the miracle isn't that Navy beat Notre Dame, it's that Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis has managed to turn decent talent into such a disaster on the field.

--Jonathan Chait

Photo: Jack Dempsey, AP