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What should it be, a ‘W’ or a ‘C’?

Observer Viewpoint | Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Drum beat. The all too familiar tune, like the flare gun in a race, sends 8,000 sets of pointer-finger-thumb combinations flying sky bound from the blur of yellow and green of the student section. The “Ws” fan up and down pointing toward the field as the chant of “Weis” echoes throughout the stadium. Yet the same recognizable beat reverberating throughout the stands, empowered by the bowing “Ws” rings with nostalgia for some of the student body – memories of performing the same action half-heartedly last season following one disappointing loss after the next, brings a heavy case of deja vu many want to forget.

Yet did Coach Charlie Weis not recognize this the potential negative connotation of the “W” in the minds of the fans at the USC pep rally when he requested that a “C” replace the “W”? Yet as Pavlov would predict, the music begins, and the “Ws” continue to be raised. We can chant Weis, but how many have fully erased the memory of discouragingly going through the forced motions and mumbling “Ty” or (screaming in desperation for a “tie”) for half or some of our college careers? Theoretically, “W” may also stand for “win” but the motion has been hammered into Notre Dame psyches to relate to “Ty,” and the “W” has come to subconsciously represent “Willingham.” A “W” for win isn’t what the fans truly want anyway – as a student, I want to see a hard fought, well-played, passionate, spirited football game (which consequently often results in a winning score) which our Notre Dame football team, fans, band, Irish guard and cheerleaders have quintessentially embodied this season. A word to represent Weis‚ team is not “win,” but “character,” which can be symbolized in the “C.” Alright, getting a little abstract, but back to the point:

Why have the cheerleaders not adapted to the “C”? The leprechaun? The band? A confused student section now consists of mostly “Ws” offset by some non-conforming “Cs.” Most hail “Weis” while few chant “Chuck.” I’ve also seen a creative combination of a right handed “C” and three fingers on the left hand forming a “W.”

During this football season, constant debate has ensued over the shirt color, and now differences exist in cheers. We all agree on one thing: the awesomeness of our 2005 Fighting Irish football team. They’re a pretty big deal, no one is denying that – and although cheers are not, for the sake of honoring a request made to the student body by Weis, and for unity in our last home game this weekend, may I ask that we, as a student body, confident of and ready to support a “win” with “character” this weekend, answer the question: Are we going to raise a “W” or “C”?

Julie PutnamjuniorPasquerilla WestNov. 14