Disappointment in team
Observer Viewpoint | Monday, September 19, 2005
In recent weeks I have read letters in The Observer expressing disgust and embarrassment regarding the behavior of the students, alumni and fans during our visits to Pittsburgh and Ann Arbor. I was very proud to be part of the Notre Dame community during the Michigan State game and thought that fans of both schools behaved very sportsman-like.
Unfortunately, after the game my emotions immediately turned to anger and frustration. I was not disappointed in the loss or the effort the team exuded. I was not angry at the Spartans for celebrating their victory. I was not embarrassed by the behavior of anyone in the student section. I was however incredibly disappointed in the behavior of the team after the game.
Notre Dame is a place that prides itself on tradition, respect, will and perseverance. The raising of the golden helmets to the student section is a display of respect and a tradition that shows the solidarity of students and athletes that is hard to find at other institutions. There are no names on the backs of our players for the same reason that those players raise their helmets to their fellow classmates – we are all part of the same family.
The fans stood by the team throughout the game only to be abandoned at the last moment. At least half of the team walked directly into the tunnel and those that did stay and raise their helmets did so in a seemingly purely obligatory way. The team, as a team, shows their thanks to their classmates before walking into the tunnel, while the students and alumni stay until the Alma Mater is played, swaying arm in arm for the same reason. This is because win or lose, Notre Dame is a proud family. I guess the members of the football team forgot that Saturday.