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Are the fans tough?

Frank Henninger | Monday, October 4, 2010

A Notre Dame fan since 1944, a grad student ‘56-’58, I well remember going to pep rallies because, even though my loud voice worked as an undergraduate cheerleader’s in Madison Square Garden, in the old Navy fieldhouse when cheering at the top of my lungs next to undergrads, I could not hear my own shouting. Is it like that any more?

Where are the students who are to greet the team on the stadium staircase? Where is the clamor meant to destabilize the enemy? Are the tickets so pricey that the average attendee is no longer a vociferous fan but one come only to witness talented football? The sport is grimy, sweaty, tough. Are enough of Notre Dame’s 2010 fans tough, or just urbane? One can be both urbane and tough, polite and implacable.

Football may be only a game, and I believe representing Our Lady’s school well is even more important than winning. But it’s the fans’ responsibility to cheer the team on, relentlessly, not to perform admirably but to win, and for the other team to lose. Do today’s undergrads agree?

Frank Henninger


Class of 1958

Sept. 30