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Jesus played basketball

Justin Tardiff | Thursday, December 4, 2003

Football season is done, and now we, the normal students, have no one to live vicariously through. Yet have no fear! Notre Dame has a hidden gem of a sports team on campus that you can still live your life through.

And this isn’t a make-believe sport like hurling, this is college basketball – the gift God gave to men when He realized the mistake He made when creating vegetarians.

So what prompted me to travel to Marquette, drink heavily, and get harassed by Jesuits the night before psych test on Monday? Passion for a sport that provides drama, quick momentum changes and upsets on a daily basis.

And the Irish are a team that should not be overlooked. They are strong on the inside, explosive up top, un”Dutchable” on the bench, and when the threes start hitting, they are hard to stop.

Many people mistakenly believe that, just because basketball games are played on weeknights and during the winter, they cannot tailgate and celebrate the sport as they do for football. This is not true. All you need is a George Foreman grill and a 21 year-old and you too can be prepared to fully enjoy an Irish basketball game. Since most games occur at night, you don’t even have to wake up early. After some brats and/or sausages, a few Keystones to wake you up and throwing on 57 layers to keep warm, you are ready to march to the JACC. Now some people like to run under the assumption that you can arrive at the arena an hour before tip-off and still get good seats. In actuality, that is when the doors open. In order to get seats where the opposing team’s coach can actually hear you tell him to start the bus early, you have to be outside so early that you beat Brey to the arena.

When the ushers finally unlock the doors, grab a seat and listen to the JACC PA system pump songs popular in the year 1999 such as Creed and Lifehouse – just the music needed to intimidate the other team. When the other team comes out to warm up, we, as Notre Dame representatives, are required to give them respect by requesting they shoot three pointers from NBA range or to “cut that mullet.”

And eventually the game starts. For the next hour and a half, be screaming, jumping, insulting and straddling the border of police escort.

A week from yesterday is the last day of classes and marks the beginning of “study days.” That night, we also play Indiana in the JACC. It is as if those who created this schedule understood what the definition of “home court advantage” really means. Celebrate the end of a semester, fire up that George Foreman and make sure that Mike Davis, the most unstable coach in the NCAA, has an angry post game press conference.