So, have you heard the one about Josh Elliott and Joe Theismann walking into a bar?
The scene was Miami's Delano Hotel, a swanky joint we had no business visiting if not for a get-together with a few media friends. In fairness, "swanky" doesn't quite do the Delano justice. It's an experience. With gratuitous and elegant drapery that sways gently in the lobby, and a pool area that looks too sophisticated for swimming, it's a scene out of every Dos Equis commercial. Hell, they probably wouldn't let the Dos Equis guy in the door.
Suffice to say, every trophy wife, girlfriend and escort in South Beach was impressed when we rolled up in our rented Nissan Versa.
See, normal people don't go to the Delano unless they have a reason. The scenery is surreal, but so are the prices. Plus, nobody smiles at places like this. Nobody acts like they're having a good time. It's just serious people being serious, wondering how best to cut their pretension with a knife. Even Nick Saban would tell these stiffs to lighten up. It's South Beach for crying out loud, have a drink and stop looking for a damn mirror.
But for high society, the Delano provides the perfect blend of privacy and pleasure. If you're a mover and shaker, you'll have your pick of the proverbial litter. You won't have to worry about people bugging you for autographs, just how they'll eventually angle for some of your money. All things considered, it's a good problem to have.
That's where Josh Elliott comes in. In case you didn't know, Elliott is a former anchor for ESPN and a rising star on Good Morning America. He's also a young mountain of a man with good looks who just happened to be in town and, if only for a few minutes, was forced to stand in line with a bunch of attractive nobodies.
Elliott's face said it all: "Wait, I'm standing in line right now?" We asked the same question as we waited for our car. This was essentially Elliott's kingdom; why weren't they taking him seriously? What's a guy have to prove to be a star in this town? Furthermore, why wasn't Elliott playing his DO-YOU-KNOW-WHO-I-AM Card? Clearly, someone must watch morning television. This would've worked, right? Right?
Instead, Elliott took his medicine, impatiently fidgeting and presumably screaming, "I'm the host of GMA!!!" and, "I'll be on TV this Monday!!!" over and over until someone figured it out.
It was especially unfair when you consider that Joe Theismann, the 63-year old former quarterback and announcer, stopped by moments later and, with complete confidence, walked directly into the hotel with zero resistance.
What's Theismann done lately? At last check, he was doing commercials for SuperBeta Prostate and looking for any way to get attention. Even if he reserved an entire floor, there's no reason he should've be given carte blanche to come and go with such ease. Not if they've heard him call a game, anyway.
We didn't follow either guy into the hotel. That's for TMZ. But there's a lot to learn from the plight of Josh Elliott. As Notre Dame marches into SunLife Stadium on Monday night, it'll be met with the same stubborn resistance in the court of public opinion, where it remains a 10-point underdog against Alabama. Though the Irish have long been a name brand, they've been forced to re-establish themselves as a national power, and it wasn't until October that anyone considered them a contender. College football has come full-circle; Notre Dame is somehow a new kid on the block.
And no matter how much I tried to paint Joe Theismann into the metaphorical Alabama of this story, I just couldn't do it. After all, the Crimson Tide have thousands of loyal fans. Nobody roots for Joe Theismann.
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