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You Should Care

Douglas Farmar | Thursday, October 15, 2009

When asked if his high number of strikeouts bothered him, 1970s New York Yankees slugger Reggie Jackson said, “A billion people in China don’t care.”

After the last two meetings between Notre Dame and USC have gone the Trojans’ way by a combined score of 76-3, many Irish supporters might try to borrow Jackson’s quip in hopes of minimizing embarrassment.

They could likely add to the list the populations of Honduras and Colombia, high schoolers in fly-over states such as Kansas and Montana and even a percentage of Notre Dame students.

But that last group, the students here at Notre Dame, as Eric Prister first said in this space in Tuesday’s paper, should care, even if from Honduras or Columbia, Kansas or Montana.

If you weren’t dressed in Domer diapers, one of your better friends on campus was, and aren’t we supposed to support the passions of those close to us?

Even if you are too selfish to consider the guy across the hallway, think of yourself. People associate Notre Dame with football as much as anything else, if not more so. Do you really want your first interviewer to crack a joke about Charlie Weis’ decisive digestive advantages, and you not have anything more than an embarrassed ignorant laugh as a comeback.

Oh, you’re going to own your own business right out of school? Fine, be difficult (and unrealistic). As that business owner, won’t you hate the big corporations such as Wal-Mart and Bank of America? Isn’t it kind of nice to hate things like that? Yet, some would argue hate is an unhealthy emotion, but sports is one area that hate can be channeled with positive results. I hate the Boston Red Sox, the Minnesota Vikings and USC, and I enjoy saying such.

When I undoubtedly tank my mid-term today, instead of hating my professor or the honors program kid who ruined the curve, I will channel my hate toward Pete Carroll and USC. Try it out. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by its effectiveness.

So let the billion people in China, 50 million in Honduras and Colombia and two thousand in Kansas and Montana remain indifferent.

But those of us here should care, should be proud of our school’s most public representatives, as we eat the same meals and walk the same campus as they do.

Do I think the Irish will win Saturday? Well, USC is ranked sixth for a reason. But will I still care? Assuredly.

So don’t let the game this weekend simply be a social event. Pay attention. Care.

Be worried about Jimmy’s toe, Armando’s ankle and the defense’s tackling. Enjoy Golden Tate’s hurdling and Manti Teo’s exuberance.

After all, if you don’t care this year, you’ll be hypocritical if you claim to care next year, and by the end of the 2010 edition of this rivalry, perhaps Notre Dame will be riding a lopsided two-year winning streak of its own.