Andrew Digan | Thursday, November 1, 2012
As a 2008 graduate, I have seen my fair share of college football games, including Notre Dame or not. The experience I had the last weekend of October was incredible. I have not come across a friendlier and classier group of fans than the ones I encountered in Norman, Oklahoma. The overwhelming majority of Oklahoma fans were kind, welcoming and some even asked if my friend and former Zahm roommate Michael Loulan (Class of 2007) and I needed any help getting around campus. I was invited to one tailgate after simply greeting a few Sooners fans and striking up a short conversation. After the game, two separate encounters involved Sooner fans coming up to the two of us, congratulating us on our victory and shaking our hands. I had never experienced anything like this from opposing fans as a Notre Dame alumnus and fan.
Several factors are involved in why I believe Notre Dame fans were treated so well in Norman. The president of the University of Oklahoma allegedly sent fans a reminder of how well they were treated at Notre Dame in 1999. Some believe that Sooner fans’ overconfidence heading into the game may have played a role in their friendliness. Also, the people of Oklahoma in general, including ones I encountered off-campus in a non-football-related manner, were friendly and hospitable. No matter the intentions behind their behavior, Oklahoma Sooners fans deserve the usual classy Notre Dame hospitality next September when Oklahoma plays in South Bend. I wish more fan bases comported themselves like Oklahoma fans in general. If this if what we potentially have to look forward to by playing teams like Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue less, I fully support it. It seemed as if Oklahoma didn’t have to validate itself as a football program with derogatory comments towards their opponents. I would love to encounter more fan bases such as that of Oklahoma, and I hope Notre Dame takes this into account when creating future football schedules.
Class of 2008