Motorola didn’t make a button I could push to instantly delete the off-key, amateur-hour version of the Notre Dame fight song. So I had to stand there and take it.
Seconds after Notre Dame stunned Michigan in Ann Arbor, one of my rivals speed dialed me into an Irish nightmare. He belted out a few bars of the college classic on my voice mail. It was 40 seconds of teeth-grinding animosity. Payback was worth the year-long wait this fall, as I continue to maximize brag use out of Michigan’s 47-21 slaughtering of Notre Dame right in front of Touchdown Jesus and all of his followers.
The truth of the matter is, I would rather swallow nails every night for months than see the golden dome of Notre Dame shine in all of college football’s glory.
As a country, we are missing that smack-talking, blood-boiling rivalry. The Cold War is long over, but there was a time when even the suspicion of communist loyalty branded U.S. citizens traitors for life.
China is still one-sixth the economy of the U.S., but it is not hiding the desire to be the most powerful nation on earth. The fact that this former consumer-goods punch line is building an interstate system that rivals our own should make those on Capitol Hill burst into a rant of “How dare they!”
The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) is very well aware of another Red threat, and has come out with the “3C Initiative”: The “Critical Commerce Corridors Program.” It is a 25-year vision this country has been feeling around for in the darkness of denial. Starting in 2010, the 3C Program would set out to create the ideal global economic environment that would achieve the following by the year 2035:
- A goal of zero motor vehicle crash fatalities. As a result, federal public health care and national insurance costs would be greatly reduced;
- A comprehensive national network of truck-only lanes where appropriate. These lanes would be separate from regular motor vehicle traffic for increased safety of private automobiles and improved efficiency for commercial motor vehicles. The lanes would be constructed using existing air rights, surface and below-ground right-of-way;
- The speed and efficiency of highway transport between the more than 200 U.S. military installations and seaports of embarkation would be greatly improved;
- It would provide a highly efficient Interstate Highway System connectivity to every major U.S. sea and inland water port, U.S. international ports and major U.S. border crossings with Canada and Mexico;
- It also would provide a highly efficient Interstate Highway System connectivity to a national, technology-driven “hub” network of large-scale freight terminals that expedite the intermodal exchange of freight; and
- The improved system would utilize and continually upgrade state-of-the-art communications technology to program and move traffic, enhance safety and ensure rapid incident response.
ARTBA hopes this is only the beginning of strategies to be launched by industry associations and other visionaries. The real dilemma is coming up with the political presence and stamina in Washington. The problem with elected officials these days is they are only looking at their next political face-off, which in most cases is two years down the line. Who has the will to take this on the next 30 years? It seems like China has a whole team driving toward the end zone. I don’t want to hear its fight song banging on my brain, do you?