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Things Notre Dame students like

Bob Kessler | Thursday, April 16, 2009

In my seven-plus semesters at Notre Dame, I have noticed a lot of things about the student body. Some of these things are good, some bad, and some are just plain silly. With the help of fellow Observer Columnists Andrew Miller and Brad Blomstrom, I have compiled a list of 85 things that Notre Dame students like. Ranging from the silly (No. 7: UGGs in Snow) to the serious (No. 10: Giving Peace) this list can help students understand each other, parents understand their children, alumni understand the new generation and our children understand us years from now when we are old and even more indignant. Most importantly, however, I hope that this list will help us to better understand ourselves.

So here it begins with the items most relevant for this Blue-Gold Weekend.

No. 2: Complaining About The Shirt and then wearing it.

Every year on the day before the spring game, a committee of students unveils the next year’s rendition of The Shirt, the t-shirt that the entire student body is expected to wear to each and every home football game the next year; and every year on the day before the spring game students almost unanimously begin to complain about the new edition. Whether it is an ugly yellow color (2005), putting the current coach in the skies amongst legends of yesteryear (2006) or having sayings that make absolutely no sense (almost always) Notre Dame students love to complain incessantly about the current year’s incarnation of The Shirt.

One of the main reasons why Notre Dame students love to complain about The Shirt is because it never seems to fit them correctly. Without fail every shirt is exquisitely crafted extra wide with a goofy neck so that the incredibly fit Notre Dame student feels like he or she is swimming in it. Even worse are the thickness and the length of the sleeves that are always sure to keep us extra warm on those sunny August Saturdays. Notre Dame students will, without fail, complain about these shirts for the entirety of the football season, despite the fact that they are not being forced to wear them.

The amazing thing about Notre Dame students and The Shirt is that after they spend weeks and months complaining about it, almost every Notre Dame student will proceed to wear The Shirt to almost every football game. Whether the students love to be dressed the same or simply can’t help but do what they are told, everybody comes into the stadium wearing The Shirt and the student section becomes a massive field of blue/green/yellow. Notre Dame students love it so much that everybody has failed to notice the increasingly apparent Curse of The Shirt (the fact that the Irish have failed to win a single National Championship since the project began).

This year promises to be no different. With the unveiling of The Shirt scheduled for this afternoon, the committee is promising that it will be the best The Shirt of all the The Shirts. The color and slogan will be revealed to triumphant fanfare, only to be brought down a couple notches when everybody realizes how much they don’t like it; and the complaining begins.

No. 8: Claiming to have inside information about the football team.

If there is one thing Notre Dame students love to do it’s going to football games, and if there is one thing they like to do at these football games it is claiming to have inside information about the football team they know and love. When Jimmy Clausen overthrows a receiver voices can be heard throughout the student section saying things like, “Dayne Crist has been looking really good in practice” or “I hear that Nate Montana is gonna make a play for the starter’s job next year.”

While these students do not have any rational basis for these claims, they love to think that they know more about the state of the football team than the next guy. Every student reads Rivals.com and ND Nation as if they are hidden gems of knowledge tucked away on some mystery machine known as the internet. Invariably they read posts by crazed alumni and feel the need to tell everybody about their inside information. Sorry bros, everybody knows that Coach Weis tried to woo Romeo Crennel here to be the D-Line coach.

The greatest source of inside information however, comes from the students who claim they know players on the team. Students love to say things like, “I don’t understand why Weis doesn’t run James [Aldridge] more. He (Aldridge) tells me that he’s been doing great in practice.” When a Notre Dame man claims that he is friends with a football player, it almost certainly means one of two things: a) they live in the same dorm, or b) they are in Professor McKenna’s Human Ethology class together. (Sidebar: if a Notre Dame woman claims she is friends with a football player, it probably means they had sex or are going to have sex.)

Inside information about the football team does not exist because the only people who happen to be insiders as well as normal students are the football managers. They have such a self-proclaimed level of stature that they would never reveal anything of importance to retain their self-perceived aura around campus.

Although my sources do say that Kapron Lewis-Moore has been looking really good in practice, and don’t be surprised to see Goodman play QB in a spread look.

Bob Kessler is a senior majoring in political science and economics. Read more of Things Notre Dame Students Like such as No. 5: Dressing Up to Go to Dive Bar at www.thingsnotredamestudentslike.com. You can contact him at rkessler@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.