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Lange: ‘Hartmania’ has infected the student body

| Thursday, September 21, 2023

​​After enduring the COVID-19 pandemic for the last couple of years, we now have a much more daunting plague to worry about: “Hartmania.”

It’s as if it happened overnight. While it briefly popped up last semester, it didn’t fully infect the student body until August of 2023. While “Book Fever” seemed to mainly manifest in the female population during Ian Book’s tenure, the Hartmania virus seems to be infecting both males and females alike. 

Symptoms include short attention span, hysteria, hot flashes and loss of filter. It often originates from contact (or even thought of) patient zero, Sam Hartman, who shows no symptoms himself. Alias for patient zero include Sam, Sammy Heisman, No. 10, QB1 and King of the Irish. 

All jokes aside, some say that Notre Dame football does better when fans find the quarterback leading the team attractive. Sam Hartman’s presence on the team seems only to add stock to this theory. Marcus Freeman’s smile doesn’t hurt either. 

A senior in the student section of Saturday’s game against Central Michigan called the pair “THE most attractive head coach and quarterback duo in the country.”

A TikTok floating around the internet embodies the sentiment on campus. The TikToker with the handle @uncrediblesports said “You expect me to believe that this [pointing to a picture of Hartman] is NOTRE DAME’S STARTING QUARTERBACK?! He looks like he should be saving the princess from her castle surrounded by dragons, and you’re telling me he’s good too? He looks like he just took on High School Musical’s football edition.”  

I think it’s safe to say that Hartmania is spreading to the outside world. Here on campus, it’s manifesting in group chats titled “Down BAD for Sam Hartman,” and even some group chats specifically designated to notify friends of “sightings in the wild” (meaning on campus).

While some might be concerned that this is a little extreme, I ask you what are 20-something-year-old’s to do? We grew up in the age of Justin Bieber mobs and One Direction hordes. This is simply how Gen Z reacts to handsome and talented men. 

For those who want to debate his talent, keep it to yourself. I have the stats to back it up. In his four career games with the Fighting Irish, Hartman has only been sacked four times, all within one game against North Carolina State. Additionally, Hartman has had zero interceptions so far this season, and 13 passing touchdowns in his first four games. He now leads the FBS in touchdown passes for this season. He even threw a pass for 76 yards to Chris Tyree during the Central Michigan game.

He has something I like to call “football etiquette.” Usually, I define this as a player helping an opposing team’s player, whether that be helping them off the ground after a play, or the way some players will make sure to shake the hands of their opponents after a game. In Hartman’s case, he showed his true colors after the game against North Carolina State. After the game, Hartman waited to hype up the Irish fans until after North Carolina’s band finished playing their alma mater. 

He’s even a man of the people. At last Saturday’s game against Central Michigan, he gave a special shoutout to the fan who stole everyone’s hearts: Obi. 

“Obi, wherever you are man, you rock! Yaaa!” he said in a post-game interview.

The Fighting Irish fans have really fallen hard for their new QB1, myself included. In a recent argument I got into with a friend’s boyfriend who is an Ohio State fan (GROSS!), I may have taken the trash talking a little too far, but it was all for the love of my QB and my team. 

He accused Hartman of being “geriatric“ and needing to be resuscitated on the sideline. I responded that a line of people, including his girlfriend and his mom, would be ready to bring Hartman back to life. In my defense, his mom is a hugeNotre Dame fan.

The only thing Sam Hartman should worry about is the next game, and maybe the girls fawning over him. But it all comes from a place of love and admiration and really, they can’t help themselves. They’ve caught the bug.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

About Meghan Lange

Meghan Lange is currently serving as the Saint Mary's News Editor for her second term in the position. She is a Senior from Saint Mary's College. When she is not working in the News Department, Meghan can be found in the Photo Department working as a Photo Journalist, shooting the many different sporting events and Lectures on the tri-campus.

Contact Meghan