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Saturday sell-outs

Tim Dougherty | Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I woke up Tuesday morning to perform one of the proudest deeds of my life. Since I’ll be covering Saturday’s game from the press box, I told my dad that I would exchange my student ticket for a regular admission ticket with which he could enter the game. No big deal. You know, just a little thanks for the 21 years of lessons he’s taught me about the value of hard work, integrity and the importance of Notre Dame football.

He’s not an alumnus. Actually, he graduated from Ohio State. Before you start booing, I must say I’d never seen a man so sad to see his alma mater win when the Buckeyes defeated the Irish in ’95 and ’96. In our house there was never any question as to allegiances: God, Country, Notre Dame. The way it should be.

Not to mention, he really hates Michigan.

Everyone has a favorite part in ‘Rudy.’ For many, it’s when Rudy reads his acceptance letter by the lake. Sure, my eyes start to well, but the tears don’t really start to flow until the next scene – when Rudy comes home to tell his dad the good news.

“My son’s going to Notre Dame. You hear that my son’s going to Notre Dame.” Every time, I realize how proud my own dad is of me and the “charmed life” I’ve been living in a place Jim Caveizel told me at halftime last Saturday “is heaven.”

But amid all the excitement, sometimes he’s got to wonder what it’d like to be me. So I was going to give him that chance – and more importantly, that third ticket he needed to bring my two brothers (one still studying at Ohio State – we REALLY hate Michigan) to the game this Saturday.

But when I got to the Joyce Center at 8:30 a.m., I was informed that in less than two hours, 300 shameless students already exchanged their tickets – most, no doubt, to turn around and illegally sell to the highest bidder at upwards of $400.

At a university founded on a relentless Notre Dame spirit so embodied by our storied football team over the ages, I hadn’t fathomed the possibility that so many schmucks that chose to attend this school would rather whore out their treasured place in this community that they apparently don’t deserve than to participate in one of its most inspiring traditions.

Notre Dame continues to police for those who scalp tickets for profit because taking advantage of one’s privileged position for monetary gain is antithetical to the goals of this Catholic institution. Unfort-unately, they’re not the ones failing us. They’re not the ones who cleared them through admissions.