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Respectful rivalry

Michael Palena | Wednesday, November 11, 2009

 I have nothing but undying respect for the United States Navy. As it were, a close friend of mine is attending the Naval Academy. For these reasons, I refuse to tolerate any excuse to chant “kill” or “suck it” to the honorable members of our armed forces. Like Greg Robinson (“Show some respect,” Nov. 9), I cringed when I heard the band play the Imperial March, and I was utterly disappointed that the student section largely went along with it. I will concede Arthur Kostendt’s point (“Show respect,” Nov. 10) that many of our opponents may one day join the armed forces, but when they are on the football field, they are representing Nevada or Washington or Southern California, not Army or Navy or the Air Force. Last I checked, the order of importance went God, Country, then Notre Dame. I love Notre Dame. Like many of us (hopefully all of us) I hope to see us compete for a BCS Bowl every year. But without the sacrifices of our men in uniform (the kind not on the football field), there would be no BCS. There would be no Notre Dame.

So forgive me if I’m only sorry that we lost, not that we lost to Navy. Frankly, considering what those cadets are going to do when they graduate, I’m not sorry to see them make these great memories and enjoy themselves. Lastly, our respect for Navy was not the reason the student section “sounded like s**t” (as you so eloquently put it). We “sounded like s**t” because we were watching our season end (for all intents and purposes), which is a different argument for a different day.
Michael Palena
Morrissey Manor
Nov. 10