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Students react to last home game

Ricky Mcroskey | Monday, November 15, 2004

For Notre Dame seniors, Saturday’s 41-38 loss to Pittsburgh capped off four years of mixed emotion as their experience of Notre Dame football as students came to a disappointing end.

In a game that exemplified the inconsistency and unpredictability of Irish football this year, most seniors sought to cherish their last game in the Stadium while reflecting on their memorable experiences as students.

“I think Notre Dame football is one of the biggest parts of being a Notre Dame student,” senior Frankie Bott said. “We’d be a different place without football and the tradition that goes along with it.”

Other seniors agreed their times at Notre Dame football games were unforgettable and can still look forward to supporting Irish football in a new dimension – as alumni.

“I was sad that it was over, but it’s not going to be the last time I go to a game,” senior Steph Sellinger said. “I’ll come back again with my family and friends when I’ve graduated. Plus, Notre Dame football is such a unique tradition – nowhere else does everyone have the same spirit and excitement.”

However, the same students also felt great disappointment at what they consider yet another lackluster Irish football season in a series of underachieving years.

“You come here, and you don’t think you’ll be the class that loses nine home games in four years here,” senior Pat Donlin said. “It’s incredible disappointment. I’ve been watching ND football my whole life, and the past four years have been some of the most disappointing in Notre Dame history.”

Senior Mike Sheehan voiced similar disappointment.

“It’s pathetic, what a way to go out,” he said. “At least we can be inconsistently consistent.”

Underclassmen too felt discouraged at the team’s inability to end on a high note in a season that started out on a particularly low note.

“I’m obviously disappointed in the loss, but I’ve been looking forward to next year since the BYU game,” junior Chris Collins said. “At least there’s basketball season.”

At the same time, most students agreed the Notre Dame football experience is upheld by a uniqueness that looks beyond the win-loss column.

“When we lose, everyone stays for the end and still supports the team,” freshman Thomas Manning said. “The team spirit is there even when we’re losing.”