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Notre Dame football: bringing back the glory days

Observer Viewpoint | Wednesday, November 17, 2004

In response to all the writers who have contributed their valuable opinions of the Notre Dame football program, I would like to pose a simple question: Why?

This is a real (read: fake) conversation I had with an alumnus:

Alumnus: The world is going to end if we keep losing.

Me: No, it won’t.

Alumnus: Huh, I never thought of it like that.

Every day, I read the words of an outraged letter to the editor, bemoaning our “mediocre” football program. And every day, I lose a little respect for my fellow Domers. Football is just a game, but it has become an obsession; students and alumni alike have been brainwashed to believe that a university is only as good as its football team.

I would expect that kind of obsession from state schools like Florida, Tennessee, Oklahoma and whomever else is good these days because that’s all they have. And that’s all they will ever have. But I don’t expect that from us. By getting sucked into the hype, we merely bring ourselves down to their level. Personally, I wouldn’t care if we lost every game during my four-year experience. I would still be proud to call Notre Dame my alma mater.

I know this is controversial, but I’ll take a risk in saying it: I believe Notre Dame is more than its football program. I could do all sorts of research on the awards and honors that Notre Dame has received for its amazing faculty, curriculums, social service, students, golden domes and the like, but I do way too much research as it is, and we all know that Notre Dame is the best college in the country.

While most of us enjoy football, we came to Notre Dame, first and foremost, for an education. We came to learn about ourselves, each other and the world around us. The Notre Dame experience is about the people here, who quickly become our friends and “family.” Notre Dame is about acceptance, love and learning. Thus, our football record of late is almost a blessing in disguise, forcing Notre Dame to achieve as a thriving University and a unified community instead of seeking a foundation in its football team.

I greatly appreciate Notre Dame football. It is entertaining to watch and it brings the students together; I believe that is the point for us. It brings publicity and millions of dollars to the University; I believe that is the point for them. And when the season is over, whether we had a winning record or a losing one, the heart of Notre Dame beats on. Because in the end, we are left with a single, simple truth: “We are ND.”

Stephen Dick


Keenan Hall

Nov. 17