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In Notre Dame

Mara Walsh | Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dear Mr. Lushis,

I am writing to you, as well as to the student body of Notre Dame, in response your letter titled “Where’s the Spirit?” that appeared in The Observer on Sept. 7. In that letter, you expressed your disappointment in the Notre Dame student body for the “lack of spirit” we demonstrated during Saturday’s six-hour game versus USF. When I read your letter, I actually became angry.

In the past year, I have found myself agreeing with many Letters to the Editor about how Notre Dame students should show more spirit, but this time was different. First of all, with all due respect, Mr. Lushis, Notre Dame football is just not the same as it was when you were a student here. Unlike you, the current students of Notre Dame have not had the pleasure of constantly having one of the best teams in college football to cheer for year after year. Instead, we watch our beloved Fighting Irish endure heart-wrenching losses and constantly be dismissed by college football analysts as “overrated” and “irrelevant.”

That is why on Saturday, when I came back to cheer on the Irish after both rain delays, my reaction upon seeing the student section was very different. Instead of noticing the few empty spaces, I was filled with pride upon seeing that the vast majority of the student body had returned again and again to stand in the rain and watch a game that we clearly were not going to win. Not only that, but in the midst of defeat, students were cheering even louder than before, swelling with pride as chants of “We are ND” reverberated through the stadium. While many (maybe even most) of the fans decided to leave the game, it seemed to me that, we, the students, were the ones who stuck around to support our team.

So Mr. Lushis, let me say that as a third-generation Domer: I know what Notre Dame spirit is all about. While my mother, aunts, uncles and grandfather have celebrated Notre Dame national championships several times, I have accepted the unfortunate reality that the Irish will probably never win a national championship during my time here.

The next time you watch a football game at Notre Dame, I would hope that you are able to look at the student section and see that the precious time and money that you and fellow alums have so generously donated has not gone to waste. Notre Dame football may not be as dominant as it used to be, but one thing will never change: the student body’s unwavering dedication to our team and to our school.


Go Irish, beat Wolverines!


Mara Walsh


Howard Hall

Sept. 7