Just a few of my memories: 1. 1971 - One of my earliest memories of any kind; me at Age 4 running around the living room babbling my usual nonsense . . . until my 6"4", 250 lb father (who was just intrinsically so imposing that he never had to hit me and rarely even had to raise his voice to get good behavior) looks up from our 13" black and white TV and bellows at me at the top of his lungs "Now you listen up -- Notre Dame is playing football on TV. So you can sit down and shut up and watch, or you can leave the room." I sit down, I shut up, I watch; clearly this ND football thing is pretty important. 2. 1979 - Joe Montana, chicken soup. If I go to college, this ND place might be worth looking into... 4. January 1985 - Accepted to ND. Much to father's delight and mother's dismay, I turn down several other schools (subsequently denominated as "aspirational peer institutions") in order to attend school with real college football atmosphere. Several weeks later, I score 28% on an AP Physics exam (perhaps foreshadowing future careers as accountant and lawyer). Physics teacher tells me to take test home, show it to my parents, and report back their response. My father's response: "You go find this teacher tomorrow and you tell him that I said he can go pound sand -- my son was accepted at Notre Dame and that's good enough for me" (perhaps my biggest bonding moment with Dad until the blizzard of 1993, when I shovel entire driveway by myself, prompting Dad to exclaim "that was worth every penny I ever spent to feed you"). 3. November 1985 - Freshman year at ND; chills run down my spine as I hear Ara announce, as the 58-7 Miami debacle is winding down, "from these ashes, a phoenix will arise." Of course they will. 4. August 1988 - Senior year at ND; arrive on campus in August and we promptly hang a sheet out our window overlooking North Quad: "Hate Miami Now, Avoid the Rush"; the sign stays up until the game nearly two months later. Several days later, we head over to the ticket office to camp out for tickets -- four days before they go on sale. We are the second group in line. 5. October 1988 - Pat Terrell (#15) leaps into the air, bats down two point conversion attempt thrown to Leonard Conley (#28); absolute pandemonium and joy (I remember their numbers because a portrait of that play hangs in my living room for the next nine years). 6. January 1989 - sun setting over Sun Devil stadium in Tempe Arizona; 40,000+ ND fans serenading Major Harris, the West Virginia team, and the rest of the stadium with John Denver ("Country Roads, take me home, to the place I belong, West Virginia, mountain mama, take me home, country roads") as ND dismantles West Virginia to win the National Championship. I am so happy, I don't even stop to worry about the fact that I have spent every penny I have to get here; every penny spent thereafter until graduation is put on a credit card until I start working. Best investment ever. 7. 1993 - in law school in Williamsburg; roomate (ND '90 Keenan Hall, Keenan sucks!) and I skip classes for a week and return to ND to see second loudest game I've ever heard as ND whups up on Charie Ward. If only we hadn't stayed to see the next game as well... 8. 2002 - Wife is in months 5 though 7 of pregnancy with our first child during Ty's improbable opening run to 8-0. Displaying the qualities that make her the love of my life, she sits patiently on the couch through each of these games while I lay my head on her belly and whisper to my as yet unborn son, "Now you listen up -- Notre Dame is playing football on TV. So you might as well just sit down and shut up and watch, because you can't leave the room."