Letter to the Editor | Monday, September 18, 2006
OK, so the game was not pretty, let’s get that out first. It will be analyzed to death by ESPN, every sportswriter in America, my grandmother and that kid that sits behind you in your 9:30 history class. Everyone will have an opinion about what went wrong, and I guess I am no different. My disappointment however, lies not with the team, but with the fans – the student body in particular. In fact, I was so saddened by the lack of energy displayed by the students that it prompted me to write this letter. I started my collegiate career at Notre Dame in the fall of 1996. So for those of you who keep track of such information, I was here for the last season of Lou Holtz (8-3) and the first two seasons of the Bob Davie era (7-6 and 9-2; I was gone for the harsh 5 and 7 ’99 season). I returned to the University this past January, looking forward to cheering on the Irish again come fall. After six long seasons away from the stadium, it was awe-inspiring to again be a part of the amazing tradition that is the student section at the University. But that awe was dulled this week as I watched senior after senior leaving the game before half time or during the third quarter. For the majority of the game, there was little to no cheering coming from the entire senior section. I overheard comments such as “I’d rather go drink at Legend’s then watch this.” The low point for me came when we allowed the 5,000 or so Michigan fans to be louder then the entire student section, with chants of “why so quiet” and “overrated.” I look around and see thousands of fans proudly sporting The Shirt with its proclamation of “Tradition,” and I wonder do we really know what tradition is, or worse yet, do we care? Coach Weis and the players started a tradition last week of having the team sing the Alma Mater with the student body. It is a beautiful scene, and I hope that it holds as the years go by, but I couldn’t help but notice how empty the seats around me were as the band played at the end of this week’s game. I know how fleeting it is that we get the chance to be a part of something as amazing and inspiring as Notre Dame football, and I pity those seniors who will regret leaving even two minutes early when they look back on their time at Notre Dame. You may return for games as an alum, but it is and never will be the same. Treasure your time here, treasure the traditions and the history.