A bit more than a month ago, just before Notre Dame's season opener against Georgia Tech, NBC's John Walters posed the following question:
Will freshman wide receiver Golden Tate emerge as a cult favorite, inspiring a freshman cheering section who dub themselves "Golden Taters" and toss Ore-Ida crispers after each score?From what I've heard this hasn't happened quite yet, though a recent opinion piece in the Observer - written last week, while Tate was merely "our best young kick returner," and not yet college football's hottest young commodity - does include in its byline the suggestion that "Golden Taters" should become a staple at ND's dining halls. (No word on that one either.)
In any case, there's no doubt that Golden's been on our minds: based on a quick glance over the transcripts from Charlie Weis's Sunday and Tuesday press conferences, I see at least six questions dealing specifically with Tate, and a quick spin on Google reveals 99 news articles and 20 blog posts that talk about the superstar frosh - all of these since Monday.
That Tate has become a hit should hardly come as a surprise to any of the nearly 20,000 people who have watched his high school highlight video:
Put all of this together and there's reason to think that Golden Tate, and not George West, is the diminutive Irish receiver soon to be a household name.
While we're on the subject of names, though, let me just go on the record as saying that while "Golden Boy" is definitely okay, it's been done - more than once, in fact - and so I'd prefer something more along the lines of "Jumpman23" or even "His Airness," though if it turns out that Adidas won't allow those, I could definitely live with busting out a classic once again.
But all of this hype pales in comparison to what the kids at Keough Hall are up to:
I mean, you can't be an Irish legend until you've been immortalized on a bestselling t-shirt, right? At present they're available for 15 bucks via Facebook, though I wouldn't be surprised to see them in the parking lot a week from Saturday. Nearly 80 have been ordered already, and it's hard to imagine that there's a ceiling on how many of these could be sold when all is said and done.
In any case, freshmen of Notre Dame, I think it's time to make Walters's prediction come true.