In reply to: The broken link: What has ND's football tradition meant to you? posted by Board Ops
Here on the western edge of the city, I live on a beautiful campus. The academics are first-rate. The facilities are excellent. And yet, it is a university without an identity. I had not even heard of Washington until I was in high school.
According to U.S. News and World Report, we are the #9 school in the country. And yet, there is nothing that will make us wish to return to the university when we have graduated. We are here for the common purpose of attaining a good education and a degree. This is the one thing we all have in common, and it certainly does not unite us in any sort of social manner.
There is nothing wrong with the academic focus that Washington has taken. The university is very straightforward in this regard. Yet, there is a genuine lack of concern for one's fellow man here. We are generally not selfish, but rather a community of individuals. I will always view myself as more of a product of the university than as a member of the university family. For this reason, nothing has yet compelled me to give anything back to the university once I have graduated.
The University of Notre Dame, however poses a stark contrast to this picture. I have hardly any living family connections to Notre Dame, and yet have always felt that I am a part of the university. Every time I am on campus in South Bend, even during losing seasons, I feel a genuine warmth, both for the football team and for the university itself. Notre Dame has never given me anything, save for a thin envelope, and yet there is little I would not do for the university.
I continue to watch every Notre Dame football game, always alone, while my classmates spend their Saturday afternoons either studying or recovering from the night before. The essence of Notre Dame is palpable even through a television screen. If Notre Dame does not consider excellence in football to be part of its mission, it ignores that which made it great and distinguished from America's other universities.
There are still many persons who understand what has made Notre Dame great, and this legacy must be passed on. As much as I have enjoyed my time here at Washington, I want to see Notre Dame retain the sense of community that is so lacking here. There is nothing that troubles me more than witnessing Notre Dame slowly lose sight of its greatest tradition, football. Please do not let this happen.