In reply to: I agree completely and I would add two games posted by jt
The Bruins had moved from the Coliseum over to the Rose Bowl and we got season tickets. So I was first and foremost a UCLA fan. Except that when the Bruins were away and on TV, my Dad would mute the television and listen to the radio. Though I was young, I could tell that what I heard and what was on the screen were not the same. I'd ask what was going on and be shushed - "Notre Dame is on. Be quiet son, I have to hear this."
In 1988, the Irish defeated Miami. I didn't fully understand why that mattered, but it was clear that it did. In the intervening weeks, the Irish came to be on LA television more than ever before. And to cap the season, they defeated the "damn Trojans" that had been worshipped all season by the LA Times.
The next fall, I went to barely any UCLA games and instead focused on the Irish. Two years later, I applied to ND not thinking that I would get in. When I received my admission on December 22, 1991, I was shocked. But I still was not sure that I would go. After all, ND could not be that much better than the local schools, right?
Wrong. On Palm Sunday weekend 1992, my folks and I visited ND. I'll never forget the first time driving up ND Ave. and turning right - back before they shut down the road between the Stadium and ND Ave. Looking at the Dome nearly brought tears to my eyes. I think it did bring tears to my Dad's.
The details of the weekend are inconsequential. The talk at the Huddle at which my folks told me that, if I really wanted to go to ND, we'd make it work - that was monumental.
I've since had great ND games with my Dad - and some awful ones. But none as fun as the blowout of Stanford this past year. While the game was nothing special, the weekend was just the two of us, brought together by ND football.
Yes, ND football taught me life lessons. But it also created a bond between father and son. I treasure it for both reasons.