my earliest recollections of sports of any kinds and of my Grandfather, uncles and cousins. My Grandfather emigrated from Castlebar, County Mayo in 1909. He came over as part of the Irish National Rugby team loved it here and didn't go back. He was a sports fanatic and quickly became a football fan naturally following the Irish as they gained prominence among Irish Catholics and the nation as a whole. My Dad and uncle went to the USC game with my Grandfather every other year when it was played in South Bend from when they were old enough to appreciate football until his death in 1953. My 2 aunts went to a ND game with my grandfather every other year when USC was an away game as kids. As a result my entire family had followed ND football as far back as any of them could remember. Any family gathering for whatever holiday began over a beer, etc with the topic of ND football. It went something like this... "John, will you be having a beer? (POP) So when do you think they'll get rid of Kuharich(sp)?!...." I guess talk of improving the ND football program is also a tradition. I remember my dad and Uncle off to the side at a family party following my graduation from ND thinking I wasn't in ear-shot discussing how proud "Dad" would have been to have a Grandson graduating from ND. So as far as I'm cocerned you can have Stanford, Duke or whatever pretender you fathom as an "aspirational peer". There is but one ND and it shouldn't be F'ed with.