By the way, not only am I fun and lighthearted, but I am extremely handsome.
Anyway, I share your sadness. Yesterday, I thought about how this fiasco impacts families as I went about undoing a plan to bring my daughter and her husband back here for the BC game in November. Neither is a ND grad, but they are loyal fans, and Nick has never been to South Bend. It was to have been a "two-for-one" weekend--Irish on Saturday, Monsters on Sunday (the only weekend this fall when both ND and Bears have home games). At this point, I cannot justify the cost, particularly since the entire family will troop out to California for Thanksgiving. We'll go to the Stanford game instead, sit amongst the wine & cheese people, and watch Luck pick the Irish to pieces.
I could go down for the game on Saturday, but why? The fun has gone out of it. I don't enjoy the 2-hour drive back to Chicago late in the evening, still steaming with anger, passing station wagons filled with families kitted out in Book Store clothing. "Hey look at my wife's pink ND sweatshirt. It only cost $67.95!"
We are lucky though, you and I. We had some great years. I think back to my undergraduate years and the Ara era. My God, that was fun. Then, Devine, then Holtz. There were some bumps along the way (Faust), but I never thought I would end my years watching a slow, painful slide into mediocrity. Yet, for some, this is all they know.
And this is the saddest thing of all. We're not the biggest losers. The ones who have lost the most are current students and young alums like my daughter. Eighteen classes have come and gone without having experienced real Notre Dame football. Imagine. The most exciting moment in nearly two decades--the one time when the intensity in the stadium was electric--was a loss.