The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Respect for our season

Kirby McKenna | Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I am generally a pretty easygoing person. I wait patiently in the sandwich line of South Dining Hall while the student in front of me can’t pick up a slice of ham. I nod politely when the barista at Starbucks writes the name “Curry” on my coffee cup. I even chatted with the occasional Alabama fan loitering around Sun Life Stadium in Miami. However, one of the few things I cannot stand is the “Hate on Notre Dame” train that seems to be gaining steam this semester.
Being from Columbus, Ohio, I have had a fair share of Irish discrimination from my Buckeye peers. I’ll even admit I have probably contributed to the target on my back from all of the Notre Dame-related statuses I have been spewing as of late. What I don’t understand is for the need of perfect strangers to insist I am aware of their distaste for my University.
Now, I am all about school spirit. I will forever believe we have the privilege of going to the best school in the world. I also understand everyone else participating in collegiate academia believe the same about their respective establishments. Whatever happened to coexisting peacefully?
Instead of being recognized for the incredible season we have had this year, the legacy of this football season has now become a public whipping by the SEC, a case of cold feet and an overblown piece of gossip. Rather than commendation from my Ohio State friends on also being undefeated, I have the pleasure of hearing what they imagine what would happened if they faced Alabama. Real talk, it would not have been any prettier.
I do not feel like I am asking for a lot. It is not necessary for others to cheer for old Notre Dame with the same gusto we do. What I request is a little respect. Regardless of who you are, if you start the season unranked and end up going to the National Championship, kudos is well earned. If you dislike Notre Dame, you are more than entitled to your own opinion. What I do not need is for you to expel your hatred all over my Facebook wall/phone. Pointing out another school’s flaws does not make your institution look better. If anything, it results in returned scrutiny.
Notre Dame is not perfect. No university is. We have had a lot of negative attention these past few weeks, heck, the past couple of decades. What students from other universities fail to understand is how far we have come. As the wise Thumper once said, if you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all.