Fight song tribute honors visitor
Letter to the Editor | Friday, September 22, 2006
I’m not sure whether to take the letter written by Pat O’Brien as one of wit and sarcasm, or one reflective of his true feelings ( “Limit visitor’s tribute to pre-game, Sept. 20”).
With due respect to O’Brien, he needs to lighten up. The tradition of playing the opposing team’s song both before and after home football games is indeed a sign of sportsmanship and respect, aspects of modern college football that are woefully lacking at other schools (think trash-talking, felony records, and pitiful graduation rates – problems thankfully not present at Notre Dame).
To read comments such as “it sickens me inside to hear our own band, a source of inspiration and pride, play the worst fight song in the world” indicates to me and probably many others that the message Notre Dame is trying to instill in her students somehow got lost on O’Brien. It’s quite ironic that he would follow that statement with comments about singing the alma mater for a university you so love.
This kind of blind loyalty is dangerous because one loses the ability to put things in proper perspective. First, it’s only a game, and second, the University, through its band, recognizes a tradition our rival brings – its own school song. The message the band’s tradition conveys is simple – this is not war, it’s a friendly competition between two rivals and academic neighbors. In the end, we still respect each other, and we go on, eagerly anticipating the next meeting.
Years ago, after Texas, another school rich in tradition, played at Notre Dame stadium, I heard numerous comments on Austin radio stating what a classy place Notre Dame is to watch a game, from Longhorn fans who attended the game – in particular, the band’s playing the Texas fight song before, and yes, after the game. Many came back with a higher level of respect for Notre Dame because they have never experienced this at any other school. Comments like these from campus visitors make me proud to be a Notre Dame grad. The class shown by Notre Dame, its teams, its community, and most of its students is one reason people love this place.
It’s also one of the reasons those who hate Notre Dame do so. And I hope this never changes, if for no other reason than to show the world that Notre Dame, despite its faults and weaknesses, is still a unique and special place.
Class of ’83