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Football should learn from soccer

Letter to the Editor | Monday, September 8, 2008

This past Sunday evening, as I slogged through the security line at the Raleigh-Durham airport, I found myself weighted down by reflexive consideration of the bizarre and disappointing performance of Charlie and the Notre Dame football team from the day before. Just then, as if sent straight from “Wake Up the Echoes,” an iridescent platoon of kelly green-and-blue clad lady athletes came bounding by my flank and, low and behold, it was the Notre Dame women’s soccer team, fresh off the destruction of local pretenders to their throne, UNC and Duke. I told all of them within earshot that I was a Notre Dame alum and that we were all very proud of them and rooting for them to go all the way. I was struck by the matter-of-fact nature in which these women described how they had rolled over the vaunted Tar Heels and Blue Devils and I could see a confidence, poise and overt aura in this Notre Dame team that reminded me of the Notre Dame football teams of my youth. Such auras come from teams that annually reside at or near the top of the national rankings and play for or win the national title, it seems, every other year.We should all celebrate and congratulate the Notre Dame women’s soccer team, for they embody all the ideals of our great University: excellence in athletics, academics and in life. Ironically, the Notre Dame women’s soccer team has become the “Notre Dame football” of women’s soccer, as Rockne himself once imagined it. Perhaps Charlie and his staff can study the women’s soccer team tapes and how they do their business and learn what it means to “Play Like a Champion Today.”

John Chute M.D. Chapel Hill, NCSept. 8