Gould Headshot squareSOUTH BEND, Ind.—Sports teams don’t let the media get as close these days.

But watching Notre Dame in the aftermath of yet another wrenching meltdown on Saturday, a 34-31 loss to Virginia after the Irish had led 24-7, I couldn’t help but think of 1985.

The final insult came that season on Nov. 30, a 58-7 rout at Miami in which the Notre Dame chaplain was reduced to cursing on the sideline while Jimmy Johnson had Vinny Testaverde passing in the fourth quarter because—well, the Hurricanes were a passing team.

Heading upstairs to write after doing locker-room interviews, I happened to be on an elevator with Johnson as he went upstairs to visit with Hurricanes supporters. Yeah, it was different back then.

“Ask them about the Japan Bowl,’’ Johnson said defensively to someone in his entourage, referring to a 1979 game in which Notre Dame had taken apart Miami 40-15 in Tokyo. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.