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Support ND team unconditionally

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, November 5, 2003

I never thought I would see the day that a Notre Dame student would criticize his peers for having too much school spirit. However, Quinn Eide’s Nov. 3 letter has proven me wrong. In his letter, Eide criticized the student body for cheering extra loudly when the football team raised their helmets after an ugly loss to Florida State. He seems to think that our support of the team in some way defiled Notre Dame’s tradition of winning, which he proclaims to be “one of Notre Dame’s greatest football traditions.” What I don’t think he understands, though, is that while winning is a Notre Dame tradition, it is certainly nowhere near to being the most important.

Whatever happened to sportsmanship, pride and cheering for the Irish even when the “the team is down and the breaks are beating the boys?” What makes our University so amazing is that we are not one-dimensional. Our school is not only about football and winning national championships. At Notre Dame, we are taught to strive for excellence in the classroom and on the athletic field, despite the obstacles that may be in our path. I do not recall reading in du Lac that coming to Notre Dame entitles one to instant success and guaranteed victory. Rather, Notre Dame is a place where we are taught how to work toward goals with the determination of the “Fighting Irish.” The achievement is in the journey – whether or not we ever reach the pinnacle of success is irrelevant.

That being said, I find Eide’s suggestion that the student body tone down the cheers for our players as ludicrous and in complete contradiction to everything that Notre Dame stands for. Those players work hard every day to achieve the victories that Eide seems to think are his right. They play through injury and foul weather, they sweat and bleed and struggle and fight and try their hardest day after day, week after week, and even when all of that work doesn’t bring them a victory, they still find it within themselves to thank their fellow students for supporting them.

These are our classmates, our peers and our friends – the very idea that we withhold our support to “let them know that we are not satisfied” is ridiculous. Their job is not to “satisfy” us. They represent our school by playing football every Saturday afternoon against the best teams in the country, and their only job as an athlete is to do their best with the fight and determination of the Irish.

Sure, Florida State fans would have left the game midway through the third quarter, but this is not Florida State. I for one came to Notre Dame to embrace the school spirit and undying support that is the greatest Notre Dame tradition, not to demand a top-10 football team and be a fair-weather fan.

In conclusion, I would like to address the question which Eide posed to the student body at the beginning of his article: “Do we enjoy going to the games simply to cheer, do the jig, eat a hot dog and have fun?” The answer is simple: Yes. We go to cheer, to see the band and to see the gold helmets shine in the autumn sun. We go to watch a good game of football played by the most storied team in the history of the college game. But in the end, if a good game is not to be seen, we have fun anyway, because in the end, that is what it is all about.

Kathleen TallmadgejuniorBreen-Phillips HallNov. 3