In reply to: The broken link: What has ND's football tradition meant to you? posted by Board Ops
(from Wake up the Echoes)
I’ll let a former coach say the rest:
” It is important that I express my thoughts about this university - which you may or may not agree with. This school was founded by Father Sorin in 1842. It was founded as a tribute to Our Lady on the Dome. I believe the overwhelming majority of our football team believes in Jesus Christ. We may have some whose religious beliefs are such that they do not recognize Jesus Christ. That's fine also. I don't wish to change anybody's religion or philosophy. This school was built as a tribute to the Blessed Virgin, the mother of Jesus Christ. I firmly believe that if you really look at this school, you realize it has been blessed. The people who attend this school are blessed. Father Sorin said it best in 1842, "I've raised Our Lady aloft so that men will know without asking, why we have succeeded here. All they have to do is look high on the Golden Dome and they will find the answer." When we do what is right, we bring glory and honor to Notre Dame. When we win in football, we help this university. To reach your potential, you must learn to love this university. Put your faith, confidence and belief in Jesus. That is what this university is all about. It's your decision, but I firmly believe that Our Lady on the Dome will watch out for you. Spend some time at the Grotto, and you'll discover that this school is special. There is a special mystique about it. You are special for being here, a student at Notre Dame.
There are millions of people that live and die with Notre Dame football. There are an awful lot of Catholics and non-Catholics, Irishmen and non-Irishmen, successful and less fortunate people that follow the University of Notre Dame – and you should feel a sense of obligation to them. They follow Notre Dame football because it is synonymous with success. I really look forward to this season and working with you. We are going to be positive, and we are going to have fun in what we do.
I want you to pay very close attention to what I am going to say, because I don't want any misunderstandings about how I feel. I'm here to win football games for the University of Notre Dame. Not some of our games, and not most of our games; I'm here to win ALL of our games. Every doggone one of them! We aren't here to come close. We are here to win every single football game we ever play at the University of Notre Dame from this point forward. I want you to be the best, the very best, in all areas of your life. I want you to be the best student that you can be; I want you to be the best person you can be; and I want you to be the best football player you can be. The only reason a person should exist is to be the best he can. To play at Notre Dame is to seek perfection. I'm basically a perfectionist. I've heard all the reasons why you can't reach perfection. I want to tell you something. We are either going to reach it, or we're going to come so close that the average person won't know the difference. To strive for perfection means you've got to be totally dedicated. It can't be an occasional thing - it's got to be a total dedication in everything that you do. If you don't have total dedication to perfection in your life, then I believe your attitude toward life is flawed. Perfection at Notre Dame will not only be demanded, it will be expected. I don't ever expect to lose another football game as long as I'm at Notre Dame, and I sure don't expect to lose one this year. I expect to see a perfect football team, because that's going to be the criteria to evaluate it. A loss is absolutely disastrous. You cannot give me one reason in this world why we should ever lose a football game at Notre Dame - not a one! There is no reason we should ever lose another football game at Notre Dame, and we aren't going to. Less than perfection is a personal embarrassment to me, to you and to this university. For us to ever represent the University of Notre Dame with less than perfection is totally inconsistent with our goals, our objectives and our beliefs."
- Lou Holtz
The Irish went on to win 23 consecutive games and a national championship.