I'll repost what I posted over there
by FightOnForMorrissey (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've been out of school 12 years now, but were I a student (or fresh out of school) I would have probably reacted to that letter with much the same vigor as some have: I wouldn't want ND to turn into a football factory, become beholden to the cesspool values of Big Time Athletics, or compromise its integrity in any way to further "simple" football objectives.

However, I can tell you honestly that the football program -- and more specifically, the game weekends and attendant events surrounding them -- have become more important over the post-grad years than I would have ever believed possible. As unofficial class "reunions", football weekends have allowed me to build upon a vast network of classmates and helps me keep in touch with friends who I otherwise would probably never see as often. I can't overstate how important these social experiences have become -- and not just in terms of catching up with old chums. I've been able to meet and visit with all manner of alums (and their friends) from a wide range of class years, and even met my soon-to-be wife as a result of newfound alumni relationships.

While a student, I went to the games, roadtripped, went to the Bowls, and had a blast. But as an alum, I see the games as something distinctly different: a homecoming in some sense, but also a chance to meet some new faces and build new relationships, all without having to wait for the 5- and 10- year reunions.

And so, for me, anyway, I see football as intrinsically valuable...perhaps even a "pillar". I don't know if you can get that kind of perspective while still in school. I know I didn't.


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