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It is still just a game

Observer Viewpoint | Tuesday, November 2, 2004

I love Notre Dame football as much as the next person on this campus. I have longed to attend Notre Dame my entire life, and I can be about as obnoxious as they come when talking football to those whom haven’t yet been converted to Irish super-fans. Despite this fanaticism, as some would call it, I remember one important thing: it is still just a game.

Why do I point this out, you ask? The answer is simply that some students seem to forget this fact. The following situation happens at every Notre Dame game: As most fans cheer wildly for the Irish defense, a cry rings out above the rest, “Injure him!” or “Make sure he never plays again!” Even worse, in that moment when play has stopped and an injured opponent lies on the field, “Yeah, he’s hurt!” Are fans really asking our team to attempt to seriously injure the opposing players?

As loyal and hardcore as many of us are about Irish football, there is no excuse for wishing “real world” harm on opponents. Football is a game, and while we may despise our opponents as players, we are called to respect them as children of God. You may pass this off as “just a part of the game” or say, “I don’t really mean it,” but this does not make it any more excusable. How would that injured player’s mother feel if she were to hear someone yelling such things? Would you want to hear such things yelled about your best friend as he lays in agony, knowing that this injury may have forever changed his life? Next time you start to raise your voice in celebration of the sight of an opponent laying motionless on the field, think again about the person that is underneath the helmet and the pads, the person that may be in serious danger as a result of that hit. God cares about his well-being, and we are called to do the same.

Phillip Nagel


Morrissey Manor

Nov. 1