The press box
Chris Andrews | Monday, September 20, 2010
This letter is written as a response to the column written by Mr. Chris Masoud on Sept. 16 (“Section 32”).
I’ll begin with a question: Of all the hundreds of universities in North America, did you choose Notre Dame?
I’ll return to that question in a moment. As a new student at the university, I’ve been asked all about life here by friends and family back home and at other universities. The most common question I answer is, “What’s football Saturday like?” As students and alumni know, the feeling of excitement that permeates the air as everyone rallies behind our beloved Irish is indescribable. A large part of what makes that feeling is the tradition on which football, alongside every other aspect of this university, stands. Tradition is more than the repetition of specific actions or phrases; it is the preservation of a meaning that unifies and inspires us. At Notre Dame, student leaders and faculty make it clear that integrity and self-respect are integral traditions that set this university apart.
It seems that you, Mr. Masoud, are under the impression that integrity is meaningless from 3:00 to 7:00 on Saturdays and that support of a different team is grounds for assault. It does not matter that the situation described in the article was perceived as playful or harmless; it was wrong. As an assistant sports editor, I’m sure you’re familiar with the nature of penalties in football games. When a player illegally holds an opponent, even if his intention from the beginning of the play was not to hold, he is still flagged. Why? Because holding is not acceptable in that situation. Similarly, shoving two girls off a bench in a crowded setting for wearing a different shirt is wrong and should not be tolerated, much less praised.
To return to the original question, why Notre Dame? Clearly your criteria of selection differ from mine. If you value making a fool of yourself in the name of hostility, head over and join the student body in East Lansing. I hear the Spartans do a great job of welcoming unappreciative transfers.