I was born in 1970, in a one bedroom apartment in Schenectady, NY.
My old man grew up a catholic in Aberdeen South Dakota. He is 72 years old, as we speak.
From the day I was born, my father turned me into a Notre dame fan. He is one of the die-hard subway alumni.
I believe the first Notre Dame game I saw in person with him was the 1988 national championship game.
In hindsight, he must have spent crazy money flying us out for the game and staying at the Phoenician. Admittedly, some of it was subsidized by GE/NBC. We sat at the press box level right next to the WVU coaches box, with a view inside their coaching booth.
My first ND memories are, in no order: Harry Oliver, chicken soup, and asking my dad what "we're number one" meant after beating Texas.
I was with my dad, going crazy with excitement, over Rocket’s run back vs. Colorado, only to be crushed and dropped to my knees with the clipping call.
We attended a bunch of other games together: Bobby Brown, Michigan, both Nebraska debacles,
a few wins at home, etc.
Over the last 20 plus, years we have spoken at halftime of every game.
When we get on the phone to "talk in" the close games, it has been good luck. We pick and choose our spots.
We planned for years for him to join me and my uncle (his identical twin brother) for the Oklahoma game in Norman.
When he couldn't make it due to his physical condition, we spoke as I called him from an empty OU Memorial stadium with just jubilant ND fans left inside. It was an amazing feeling.
He has inoperable lung cancer and begins treatment tomorrow. We have known this since the week before the OU game.
We won't be attending the game in Miami because of his condition, but our family will be flying out to be together at his house in Arizona to watch the game. This is most likely the last game we will physically be together in the same room/stadium for.
My dad. My upbringing. Arizona. A father and a son, a twin brother, and a wife. All together.
We want no sympathy, no prayer requests, no sorry-to-hear-that's.
A win and a lot of ‘Let's Go Irish.’ That’s the focus.
His name is Jim.
Let's win the whole fucking thing...as Omahadomer says: "It's what we do."
We are going to win the national championship.
WE ARE ND!
I wrote this a couple months ago...it is time to win the damn game.