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viewpoint

Rally for the team

| Friday, November 17, 2017

Notre Dame’s student body needs to create a more exciting environment leading up to Saturday football game days if we want Notre Dame Football to succeed on the big stage. We do not make our excitement visible on campus during the school week, and that is required to compete with top-level football programs across the country. As we all learned from Miami University last week, the community’s excitement and support for their football team throughout the week can make all the difference in success. If we want to compete as an elite football university, then the student body must make changes to how we prepare for game day.

During the glory years of Notre Dame football, students used to eat, sleep and breathe Fighting Irish Football. Lou Holtz explains in his audio book titled “Wins, Losses, and Lessons: An Autobiography” how the Friday pep rallies used to be packed with students. Alumni discuss fondly about how they would hang signs out of their windows during the week that would be cheering on the team or jeering the opponents. Now, when I walk around campus, it appears we are in the off-season throughout the week leading up to a game. For example, the school week before the Miami game, I saw zero displays of support for the Irish here on campus; meanwhile, ESPN and Barstool Sports were constantly posting about the large mural writing, “Catholics vs. Confidence” painted by Miami students and the signs they were creating mocking Notre Dame. The Miami students’ outward display of emotion likely made an enormous impact on their team and they essentially beat us before we even started the game.

We as students are blessed with the opportunity to watch the most historic and iconic college football program conceived, but the way we have treated this fantastic team has been utterly disrespectful. How about we as students move forward with our time here and make it a priority to attend the pep rallies? How about we decorate our dorms with support for our team on Wednesdays instead of getting excited just as we are leaving for tailgates on Saturdays?

I understand that we all have so much work and activities and priorities to attend to. Trust me, I do as well, but being able to live at Notre Dame and go to school here is special. Thousands of people across the country wish they could be in our shoes singing the fight song, and so many people before us have done so with incredible passion. I also know that many students here do not care about football, and this call to action does not apply to you. However, to those of us who were making plans to attend the Rose Bowl this January, we need to express our passion throughout the entire Notre Dame football season, not just on Saturdays, for as the University of Miami made all too clear, the student body can make all the difference.

 

Mason Sponem

class of 2021

Nov. 15

 

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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