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The mystique of the TC gate

Kyle Cassily | Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The University of Notre Dame. Prestigious in every sense of the word, face of American Catholicism the world over, bastion for athletic talent (what post-Lou Holtz years?). Yet sometimes I wonder if I’m surrounded by a campus crazier than the locker room of the Portland Trail Blazers.The gate on the road to Turtle Creek. You all know it, and some of you love it. Almost as much as the University loves its attractive fluorescent orange and yellow patterns as well, it appears. It appears so often it seems the University would die without its presence.Honestly, some sort of University department needs to start keeping statistics on how many times this gate is torn down. These are the kinds of things the student body craves to know – forget which fencer stabbed which with a dull stick at Northeast Southern Springfield State. Sometimes I wonder if there is a room in the bowels of some campus building with an inconspicuous sign on the door that reads “TC Gate Room.” And every Saturday morning, a hapless NDSP officer must trudge down a twisting set of stairs to reveal a treasure chest of orange and gold two-by-fours staring back at him. With the number of PhDs running amok through campus, one would think at least one would have a brainstorm and realize that maybe they don’t build things from steel just for fun. That man would deserve his own Bud Light Real Men of Genius commercial.For those of you who cannot recognize the TC Gate, I have one of two explanations for this. The first is that you have never had the great fortune to stumble across one fully intact. Seeing the gate in its natural state on a weekend is like sighting Sasquatch at dinner (the line of girls at the yogurt machine does not count). The second is that fun is as foreign to you as the desert walls of Abu Dhabi. We’ve all seen your kind, working studiously just before close in the library on a weekend night. And don’t use the “I have a huge paper due Monday” excuse – you are there every weekend. The Princeton Review should collar your kind with homing beacons like they do orcas, in an effort to create a new national ranking detailing schools with the largest populations of tools. But then again that would only attract more of your people, dragging an already depleted ND Fun Index farther into the cellar.But despite my recommendation to the opposite effect, the day the wooden TC Gate disappears will be a day of victory for the weekend moles huddled in Hesburgh cubicles. I will forever honor my right to stumble past the library, gate held high in hand, waving it as a beacon of freedom for generations to come … and to make a really sweet TC Gate beer pong table.