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Team shows class

Letter to the Editor | Monday, September 25, 2006

Unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard of the affront that took place on the fifty yard line of Notre Dame Stadium after the MSU loss last year. You couldn’t miss it; it was all over the media. What happened after this weekend’s game, however, appears to have missed the media’s radar altogether. Immediately after the amazing Irish comeback, even before even shaking the Notre Dame players’ hands, three of the larger Spartan players took guard at their 50-yard line. They remained in position while their teammates shuffled into the locker room, through the Irish Alma Mater, and did not retreat until every Irish player had left the field. Sparty, State’s plush, pseudo-muscular mascot, even took a knee behind the guard’s protection and kissed the 50 as if to say, “win or lose, at least we can protect our field.” My question is this: how little class can a football team have? They obviously demonstrated their lack thereof at the end of last year’s match, but to assume that we would show a similar lack of respect for their program and players is just insulting. Every sane Irish fan knew that no Irish player would even contemplate planting a flag on their field, not only because Coach Charlie Weis would have no part in such an act, but because our players know how to win with humility. The only thing on their minds after that stormy comeback was to get over to our student section and celebrate with the fans. The simple fact that the hostile Spartans remained to protect the field shows that the State players have no idea how to lose with dignity. It was almost as if they were trying to imply that even though we beat them during the game, they succeeded where we failed last year: in defending the field. The Irish know that college football is not about planting flags. The antics before and after a game only detract from the sportsmanship displayed during play. The simple truth is our team doesn’t want to disrespect our opponents’ university, fans, or team; we know the game is over at the end of the fourth quarter. Gloating has no place in a well-disciplined football team. Notre Dame football is a class act and I am proud to call them my team – thanks Charlie. Oh, and thanks, Cory, for the tickets.

Joshua Mengers

South Bend

Sept. 24