A tradition that can define a family
by ndslc (click here to email the poster) (2005-11-09 01:07:26)
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  In reply to: The broken link: What has ND's football tradition meant to you?  posted by Board Ops



I still remember the day vividly. Dad rounded up me and my brother and announced that this was the year we would be introduced to Notre Dame football. It was late summer/early fall 1988 and he sure picked a great season for us to begin following ND football. We were spoiled. We would sit around the TV, cheering for the Irish, beginning a love of a university that we really only knew because it was on dad's degree. We grew closer as a family that year, all because of ND football. I know the bookstore loved my parents that Christmas....the Sears catalog took a back seat to the ND catalog that year. We were rewarded with a National Championship. The next year began and there wasn't a doubt. These boys were special. Notre Dame football was our must see TV from that season forward. Notre Dame and football became a topic on every phone conversation we had with any family member, friend, etc.

Then came the time for me to apply to college. It was the Jesuits vs. Notre Dame and my dad never pressured me to go to his alma mater. All of my acceptance letters came but no word from Notre Dame. At that time my dad was traveling for work and there were two weekends a month he would come home. It was a Saturday afternoon and my dad was home, my brother found me to say that he saw the mail delivered (family rule, I was the only one allowed to get the mail until all my letters arrived). Sure enough there was a letter from ND. I brought it into the house and opened it. I began reading the letter and you get to the part about being accepted and well, holy hell broke loose. The family thought someone had died downstairs but the letter in my hand told the story. Tears, phone calls and a celebratory dinner later.....and ND had me won over. When my high school found out, you would have thought we won the lottery. They paraded my acceptance letter around like it was a letter from the Pope. Our Catholic high school sent students to the top universities, but the only acceptance letter they cared about that year was the one from South Bend.

We move forward to the 1993 football season. I'm a freshman and after every victory, my dad calls to remind me how lucky I am to be experiencing such a magical season as a freshman. Then he tells me about his freshman year in 1966. We are not only sharing the same University, but also sharing the same football experiences. The two of us became very close over the next four years.

Notre Dame and Fighting Irish football define a family throughout the world too numerous to even begin to quantify, but to the four people in my family it has been a tie that binds us to our past, present and future. Our future generations will hear about the glory days, back in the day, we can only hope they have the opportunity to experience it first hand, because I can attest that there is nothing stronger and more powerful than a son and father sharing similar moments that occured decades apart.


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