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Stay for the Alma Mater

Joe Graham | Thursday, October 7, 2010

Notre Dame upperclassmen, you’ve been receiving a lot of “commentary” regarding your fandom over the last few weeks from alumni and underclassmen. I’ve seen you stick up for yourself, and I understand where you are coming from. I know why you leave games early and have stopped cheering. This is my 7th year as a student here. Years 1 through 4 were 2001-05, meaning I saw teams that went 5-6, 10-3, 5-7 and 6-6 (including an appearance in the prestigious Insight Bowl). While I was lucky enough not to be a student during the 3-9 2007 season, I have seen two 6-6 records since I returned to school here in the fall of 2008. I understand disenchantment. This is my first letter to the Observer in my 7 years on this campus, and I want to let you all know one thing: stay for the alma mater.

In 2003, I was disenchanted.

I love Notre Dame and was the guy who went to multiple away games each season. I’ve been to Notre Dame games in Colorado, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts and Tennessee. But in 2003, I left two games early because of the beating that our team was taking (if you need to know, they were FSU (37-0) and USC (41-14)). I thought that would show the team they needed to work harder and that they had disappointed me. But in the end, what I really learned was that being a Notre Dame student was more than being angry at our football team for not winning. It’s about singing the fight song, screaming on third downs and being with your friends. Most importantly, it’s about staying for the alma mater and cheering for the school that you love. You have a finite time to stand in the student section, and you will not think any moment there was a waste of time later in your life. I challenge you all to stay for the next four games, no matter what happens on the field. Stay until the end and sing the alma mater with our team.

Go Irish!

Joe Graham

alumnus

Class of 2005

law student

Oct. 5