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Limit visitor’s tribute to pre-game

Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, September 20, 2006

As the final whistle blows, Michigan’s players run on the field to celebrate the most disappointing loss that I have ever witnessed. They weave in and out of our band to go through the tunnel. Once they exit the stadium, our band strikes up the Alma Mater.

It was enough to see how badly our team was dominated on the field. To top that off, I’d had enough of hearing that annoying Michigan “Victors” fight song played by the Michigan band all day. Then the unthinkable happens. After a rendition of “Down the Line,” our own band, our glorious, historic, unbeatable marching band, turns away from the student section and starts to play it. Yes, they start playing “The Victors.”

I understand that it is a point of respect to play the opposing team’s fight song. Many teams do not do this, and it makes me proud to be a fan of a team with great sportsmanship. However, this needs to be reserved for the festivities before the game when it is announced what songs and marches our band is performing.

Playing the visitor’s song for a second time after the game is both unnecessary and wrong, even if Notre Dame wins. For instance, look at the Penn State game. Most of their fans had left the building before the game even ended, let alone stayed for the band’s performance. The majority of the fans hearing the Penn State fight song were Notre Dame supporters who could care less about this song and would rather celebrate the victory by hearing Notre Dame tunes.

Then take the few Penn State fans who heard their song being played after the game; they might have seen the performance as a slap in the face instead of a respectable tribute.

However, our band playing the visitor’s song after a Notre Dame loss is much worse. It sickens me inside to hear our own band, a source of inspiration and pride, play the worst fight song in the world after just suffering the worst defeat in the world. On Saturday, I stayed until the game finished in order to join arms and sing, “Notre Dame, Our Mother” because I love this University. I, along with the countless Notre Dame fans and supporters, did not need to hear “The Victors.” We might as well have played that dreadful song throughout the entire game if we were going to play it then.

Pat O’Brien


Siegfried Hall