I remember my dad (class of '51) taking me to see the ND Syracuse game in New York a few years earlier, but the first real ND moment for me was the 1966 MSU game - the game of the century. I had a choice that day - go to a boy scout campout or stay home and watch the game with my dad and some of his friends. Despite some real pressure from the Scoutmaster, I chose the latter, and I could not believe the passion I was seeing from my dad and his friends during the game- I was hooked from that moment on. Two years later in 8th grade we were driving by ND in the summer, and when we stopped I went to admissions and picked up a catalog. It contained all the stats for the recently admitted class - how many high school sports captains, student government officers, top 10% of students in the class etc. I used that list as a blueprint for my high school years in an effort to match or beat all the standards listed. The drive was simple - I wanted to experience ND football. I wanted to be at ND when they won a national championship. I worked hard in high school, and applied to only one place ND, on an early decision, and got accepted.
I will never forget the first scrimmage play of the second half of the USC game when Eric Penick went 85 yards running right toward the student section. There have been over a hundred ND moments in the years since, although not enough in the last decade.
The decision I made to work hard to be good enough to go to ND to experience the football tradition and everything else the University offers was the best decision of my life.