In reply to: The broken link: What has ND's football tradition meant to you? posted by Board Ops
At around this same time, my father's brother told him "There is this little school in Indiana that plays football -- and its a Catholic school -- and they beat everybody all the time." He saw in Notre Dame, an underdog that validated his experience as an American and showed that his people could stand on equal footing in something in this country. Until his dying day my father, a working class man who just finished high school, followed ND football religiously and felt an incredible closeness to the school and especially to the football team -- what is stood for, the way it did things, and its ultimate success on its own terms. The proudest day of his life was when I went off to Notre Dame. I can never separate Notre Dame football from thougths of my father and the literally millions of people like him and how Notre Dame football was and is a cultural symbol of their values, their strength and their hopes for success combined with loyalty to their faith and their families. These are the people who and Notre Dame football is the institution that made the University's success possible. Pillars, indeed.