Joe Peluso | Wednesday, February 22, 2012
I want to applaud the article, “Legion Expands to Unify Irish Fans at Sporting Events,” (Feb. 20) written by Drew Pangraze in Monday’s issue. As a dedicated fan of all Irish athletic teams, I have seen a number of positive changes surrounding our teams directly supported by the Leprechaun Legion. From basketball and hockey to soccer and volleyball, the Legion has taken the lead in unifying our student body in support of our entire athletic family and produced amazing results. No one can deny the wonderful job the Legion does with men’s basketball as our team consistently ranks among the national leaders in home winning percentage.
Arguably one of the most memorable events of my years at Notre Dame took place during our upset victory over then-No. 1 Syracuse, and I thank our now nationally ranked men’s basketball team and the Legion for making that special day possible. The Legion’s creativity and unyielding passion for supporting Irish athletics has helped take our athletic program to new heights, and it will only continue to grow with their new social media outreach initiative and expansion into other sports.
The Legion’s record demonstrates its willingness to serve the students of Notre Dame, and I believe that we, in turn, should help expedite the process for their inclusion in all Irish athletics. As we all know, no student athletic organization at Notre Dame is complete without a presence at football games, and dialogue with The Shirt Committee is exactly what the Legion needs.
In a viewpoint published on Jan. 24, President Andrew Alea of The Shirt Committee claimed, “The Shirt Project today remains true to its initial mission of being created by students, for students and supported by thousands of Notre Dame fans around the world.” With the Legion quickly emerging as the leading authority of the Notre Dame student section, including it in the design and mission of The Shirt appears to be an ideal solution for allowing this accomplished group to bring its talents to Notre Dame Stadium, as well as spreading its name and influence across Irish Nation.
The Leprechaun Legion and The Shirt expound the similar goal of unifying the Notre Dame student section, so why not unite these groups for the common good of all Our Lady’s students? Why not give the Legion an opportunity to do what it does best — help us win? I’m not saying The Shirt is flawed, but winning talks at this University, and no one can deny that the Legion wins, consistently. I have no doubt that if the Legion is allowed a greater presence at Notre Dame Stadium, with support from The Shirt, we will usher in an exciting new era of Irish athletics centered around the unity and dedication of our student athletes and unwavering support of our student body.
Including the Legion in football would allow us to focus on more pressing issues than how many times we play “Crazy Train” on third down. Personally, I’m thinking about making room for a crystal football in Coach Kelly’s office.