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Winning tradition lacking at ND

Observer Viewpoint | Thursday, November 6, 2003

This letter is in response to Kathleen Tallmadge’s Nov. 3 letter “Support ND team unconditionally.” In the letter, she argues that “while winning is a Notre Dame tradition, it is certainly nowhere near to being the most important.”

Quite frankly, in all sports, the purpose of the game is to win. If sports were not about winning, there would be no point in competing with other teams. Everyone would go to watch practices and be perfectly happy. But people don’t enjoy going to watch teams practice. Why? Because sports are about competition and winning, and anything in sports that does not bring you closer to the goal of winning is a failure.

At Notre Dame, we have a great tradition. That tradition only exists because our teams have won. Sure, we have had a few bad stretches in our history, but if the Irish had not won consistently over the past 80-plus years, our football tradition would be no different from that of any other sub-par program or, at the least, from any of the former football greats such as the University of Chicago.

We, as the inheritors of the tradition of Notre Dame football, should walk into that stadium every Saturday expecting a win. That has not been the case for the past six years or so. Many people even expect us to lose to Navy this year. This is unacceptable at Notre Dame.

The coaches, the players, the fans and we students owe the former players, coaches, fans and students who built the Notre Dame tradition before us, as well as those who will carry it on after us, nothing but excellence in everything we do, including football. We should win, and we should win in the right way. That is what Notre Dame and her football team are all about. Cheering for a team that has just lost to FSU by 37 points like they just beat FSU by 37 points is not demanding excellence. It is embracing mediocrity or worse.

Christopher CascinojuniorDillon HallNov. 5