The recent realization that I only have the privilege of serving as your Fighting Irish Leprechaun for two more home games inside Notre Dame Stadium has me in a panic. Before I have the honor of taking my final steps on that hallowed field, I would like to thank you and share with all of you the most important lesson that I have taken away from my experience here at Notre Dame.
Rocket was right when he told us that “some legendary stuff” was about to take place inside our stadium as our Fighting Irish took on Southern Cal. On that day I came out of our tunnel ready to be all that I could be for Notre Dame, our student section came out in full force wearing green and chanting “Here come the Irish” and our team came ready to fight like the true champions they are steadily becoming.
As we fought back within yards of tying the game, the overwhelming emotion of it all washed over me and I shed quite a few tears. They were not tears of sadness, but of amazement and joy as I stood in awe of the power of that moment. When the game ended I was stung with sadness and my tears continued, not out of disappointment, but because of pride.
I have never been more proud to be a student at Notre Dame than I was as I stood facing the student section with tears streaking down my face while we all sang the Alma Mater together. I felt the power of the Notre Dame Spirit at that moment, and I hope that you all get to feel that same way about something at some point in your lives.
Enjoy every moment that you spend as a fan of the greatest tradition in all of sports. Soak it all in and let yourself get swept away by the Notre Dame Spirit. So many times we forget what it is like to truly live in the moment. The most important lesson that I have taken away from my position is that living in the moment with love and gratitude in your heart will feed you with an energy and a perspective that you may not have known you were capable of achieving.
When it is all said and done, I hope that I have shared that lesson with as many members of our Notre Dame Family as possible.
We have something special here at Notre Dame that can’t be replicated anywhere else in the world. I want to thank all my fellow students, all of our fans, all of the alumni who still feel that spirit and our entire Notre Dame family for contributing to it.
Love thee Notre Dame,
Your Fighting Irish Leprechaun
Daniel Colt Collins