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Irish performance pleases fans

Justin Tardiff | Monday, November 14, 2005

Many Notre Dame fans – who sometimes deal with rude fans and opposing team members spiking their flags into Irish turf – saw Saturday’s respectful matchup with the Naval Academy as a breath of fresh air.

Fans said the respectful nature of Navy’s players, fans and band along with the winning Irish performance made the game an enjoyable experience.

Freshman Courtney Vietmeier was particularly amused and impressed by Anthony Fasano’s vertical jump over a Midshipman at Navy’s 10-yard line.

“Fasano displayed great athleticism and agility when he bounded through the air over the midshipmen defense,” Vietmeier said.

Freshman Cameron Muhlenkamp was pleased with the victory, and is looking forward to what it means for the team’s future.

“It was great to get a step closer to [a] bowl game,” he said.

Freshman Tom Mazzacavallo said he was fond of Navy’s sportsmanship.

“I liked the Navy fans. They’re classy people,” he said.

Upon completion of the game, Irish football players traditionally shake hands with the opposing teams and hold their golden helmets up to the crowd before heading to the locker room.

Saturday, however, after shaking hands with Navy, the Irish players followed Navy to their band, and stood silently, along with the rest of the Stadium, to listen to the playing of Navy’s Marine Hymn by the Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps.

Navy fans then returned the respectful act by removing their hats during the playing of the Notre Dame alma mater.

Sophomore Peter O’Malley said this was a significant reflection of Notre Dame’s character.

“At the end when Navy played [the] Marine Hymn and people gave respect, it was very important,” he said.

Notre Dame band member and freshman Lauren Momenee said the Navy band not only exemplified good sportsmanship, but was also very talented.

“[The] Navy band played very well, and compared with other schools we played, [they] were one of the nicer bands. They congratulated us afterwards,” she said.

Momenee also said it is important to remember that the game is a friendly competition.

“Even though [there is a] rivalry, with Navy everyone comes together and hangs out the night before,” she said.

Freshman Janelle Wise said she also admired the Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps.

“I thought it was a good game. Navy was the only band that turned around and played our song for us, it was great,” she said.

Freshman Lauren Mangiaforte said that what makes this game unique is the history behind it.

“If you are a true, hard-core Notre Dame football fan, you understand the magnitude of the Notre Dame-Navy series,” she said. “[It] is so pure, and so intense.

“[The] fact that two teams share this tradition and respect for one another is amazing. It is nice to have a connection that goes so far back.”