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Dear Notre Dame fans: Our team deserves better

| Monday, September 11, 2017

Saturday’s football game against Georgia was a fast-paced, defense-heavy, heart-racing game that ended with the Irish losing 20-19. This game showed the dramatic improvements our team (especially our defense) has made in this past off season. We played extremely well, and while we had a few mistakes that ended up costing us the game, I was more optimistic with the 2017 season outlook than I was at this point last year. While I was not happy with the outcome of the game, I now express more displeasure with our fans — certainly not all, but many.

Our football players, managers, coaches and staff work their hearts out each and every day to do their very best to represent Notre Dame on and off the field. Our football team (players, coaches, managers, etc.) deserve our utmost faith and support, win or lose, we are Notre Dame and we need to start acting like it. To say that this season will be “2016 Chapter Two,” is a disservice to our team and the work they have been putting in all summer in preparation for this season. There is a changed mentality in Notre Dame football, and if you don’t believe me, go read the Sports Illustrated article entitled “Inside Brian Kelly’s Notre Dame overhaul.”

After our gut-wrenching loss, I saw many Facebook posts, tweets, comments, Snapchats and more talking about how this year would be “2016 chapter two” or “Brian Kelly’s last season?” To the people that don’t like Brian Kelly, or for that matter want to re-litigate the 2016 season and Mr. Swarbrick’s decision to keep Kelly, I speak to you now: We, as a student body and as Notre Dame football fans, have a duty to our team. We have just as big a role as some of the coaches and other units of our team. They cannot do their jobs successfully without our full throttled support.

This year, we need to be loud — we need to make the other teams despise playing in the “house that Rockne built.” We need to stand behind our team through thick and thin. Out of loss, we need to emerge stronger. I just saw an interview with Georgia’s head coach in which he said, “Our quarterback was able to go on his own cadence, which you don’t usually get to do on the road, definitely don’t get to do on the road in the SEC, the fan base don’t let you do that.” Although the crowd seemed very red on Saturday night, that should not serve as an excuse. That is unacceptable.

So, let this serve as a challenge to my fellow Irish football fans; be louder than ever before. Quit with the golf claps and let’s cheer our team onward to victory until our voices are gone. Let’s stop talking down this year’s team and start talking up the work they are putting in. As one of my favorite quotes says, “Your faith can move mountains, and your doubt can create them.” Let’s avoid building more mountains for our team and let’s stand with them as we move forward into a hopefully successful football season. You can save your skepticism for the end of the season when our record has hopefully proven worthy of your support, but in the meantime, don’t voice support for the doubters of Notre Dame football; reserve your doubts for another day, because our team will prove you wrong with their record and spirit at the end of this season. Put your full throttled support behind the Irish. Let’s help our team prove those doubters wrong.

Corey Gayheart


Sept. 10

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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