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Seniors celebrate last home victory

Joseph McMahon | Monday, November 19, 2007

Saturday’s game against Duke was the last time the Class of 2008 would crowd into Notre Dame Stadium as students and cheer on the football team.

“It was good to see a victory, but it was rough that it took until Duke to see it,” senior Brian Bak said.

Buoyed by the successes of years past, including upsetting Michigan freshman year, coming within seconds of beating USC sophomore year and starting the season ranked second overall in the BCS last year, many seniors were disappointed with the team’s current record.

“We had two really good years our sophomore and junior years and then had a very rough rebuilding year. I was hoping for at least four victories,” Bak said.

Senior Nick Ransom echoed Bak’s sentiments. “It was very disappointing considering our freshman year, where in our first home game ever we stormed the field because we upset third-ranked Michigan, and our sophomore and junior years where we were pretty good.”

This year has also been a shock for the freshmen, who are experiencing Notre Dame football for the first time.

“I think it was great to finally get a home win, but I think it would have been even better if it had happened earlier in the season and against a better opponent than Duke,” freshman Chris Gattis said. “You come to Notre Dame expecting a great football season and when you don’t get to experience a home win until the very last game when nobody is that much into the team anymore, that’s kind of disappointing.”

However, senior Brittany Baron chose to look at the positives of the season.

“The tradition of Notre Dame is just really special in general because even though we’re 2 and 9, all the students, especially the seniors, still went to all the games,” Baron said.

During halftime Saturday, the entire senior section engaged in a massive marshmallow fight, a tradition banned by the stadium’s security team because some students were putting coins and other hard objects in the marshmallows. Against Duke, the marshmallow throwing escalated.

“We weren’t that worried about getting kicked out considering it was our last game,” Bak said.

Although there is a disciplinary risk for throwing marshmallows, many seniors overlooked that to revert back to tradition.

“I enjoy the marshmallow tradition and it’s definitely a huge part of being a senior. This year, even more so because nobody really cared about the game that much,” Ransom said.

After the game, the seniors stayed long after the Alma Mater. For many, it was an opportunity to reflect on their four years of football.

“We stayed in the Stadium until all the ushers came and physically started pushing us out,” Ransom said. “We wanted to savor it. I went down to the bottom benches just for a little bit and just took it all in. When you’re in the student section cheering for Notre Dame, you all cheer for the same things. It just brings everyone a lot closer together.”