In reply to: The broken link: What has ND's football tradition meant to you? posted by Board Ops
As I've gotten older, I can no longer get emotionally involved in most sports, especially pro sports. ND football remains the lone exception, and that is now at risk. The losses used to be devastating, but I'm pretty much numb to them now. The wins were euphoric, but they no longer bring the same joy. It's probably because we haven't been a top team in a while, nor have we beaten one. Our biggest accomplishment in the last five years is defeating Michigan in 2002. I enjoyed the hell out of that. I don't just want to beat our rivals, though, I want to own them.
When I think about ND Football now, I find that I miss the electricity. Anyone who has experienced it first hand knows whereof I speak. Although I will always have an emotional attachment, something truly valuable is fading from my life.
It's not possible to have been a Notre Dame fan and/or student in my lifetime and not develop a special bond. How can anyone witness the USC series since '64 and epic games with MSU, Michigan, Penn State, Alabama, Texas, Miami and Florida State without ND football becoming a big part of your life? How can you come to know heroes like Ara, Lou, Huarte, Snow, Lynch, Schoen, Hanratty, Theismann, Gatewood, Page, Hardy, Casper, Browner, Montana, Crable, Brown, Rice, Zorich, Rocket, Bettis, Young and Jones without wanting to take their place for one afternoon? Notre Dame football is about larger than life figures, glorious wins and a few gut wrenching defeats. It's not about mediocrity - that would be the greatest shame of all.
I didn't go to Notre Dame to spruce up my resume. I went there because I was proud to be part of a special place and a special group of people. It was not great because US News & World Report said so, but because of our shared experiences and the indelible marks those moments made on all of us. Everyone who followed me to Notre Dame should be as fortunate.