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Welcome to the Family, Coach

Mick Connors | Thursday, November 4, 2010

Welcome to the Notre Dame Family. In short order, you are getting a full taste of the Notre Dame family. Our family, like all families, is dysfunctional. We strive for perfection but often fall short. We have our flaws, disagreements and issues, but ultimately we love our family unconditionally. For those who truly know Notre Dame, love her. Those who don’t just don’t understand.

We love our football, maybe too much. Winning is an expectation. An expectation exemplified by our cheers when a trick play works and our jeers when the pass to the best receiver in the nation against the worst pass defense gets intercepted. Expectations that make many feel you have had plenty of months to turn around years of mediocrity.

We love this University, but sometimes forget her imperfections. “What would you fight for?” We state with great pride but when things aren’t perfect, we scream greed or accountability. Ultimately, though, we all have an indescribable feeling for her. A feeling that keeps us united.

We love our students and all the gifts they bring to our University. We don’t like them throwing snowballs or getting arrested off campus. Although imperfect, Notre Dame students are like no other. When we lose one, we lose a family member.

We love our football coach. We love him more with wins, and less with losses. With tragedy, thankfully rare, we don’t know how to respond. Please be patient. You have seen our dysfunction, our anger, our finger pointing and our calls for judgment. You have also witnessed the community of faith that makes this University great. Eventually, you will see the incredible forgiveness, compassion and love that define Our Lady. You are going through an incredible tragedy. We will come to recognize your eternal pain and that Declan was part of your family as well. The Notre Dame family, though dysfunctional, recognizes that we need to stay united in good times and bad.

Coach Kelly, stay tender, strong and true. Those who know Notre Dame, your family, will pray for Declan, the Sullivan family and everyone involved in any way with this tragedy.

Mick Connors


Class of 1988

Nov. 3