How 25 cents became priceless
by CountyKerry (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

In 1966, I was a wee lad of nine. I didn't know much about football, and I knew nothing of Notre Dame. My father, however, was addicted, and with the game of the century at hand against MSU, he was so giddy with enthusiasm, he promised to give me 25 cents (bear in mind we were very poor at the time) if Notre Dame won that day. The lure of 25 cents got my attention.

Four decades later, I have a priceless treasure from that investment of 25 cents by my father.

Part of that treasure is the memories that we all share of game-day heroics, the kind of heroics that become frozen in exquisite detail in your memory, the kind that become indelible reference points, the "I remember exactly where I was that day" kind of bookmarks in your life. These include frozen moments such as Clements to Webber against the Bear, Penick going 89 yards straight into the student section against USC, the Trojan horse rolling onto the turf of ND stadium to herald the arrival of the Green Jerseys, Joe Montana overcoming the flu and a monumental deficit in the frozen Cotton Bowl, the scoreboard triumphantly blaring 31-30 against the despised Hurricanes, the Rocket taking a second kick-off to the end zone after General Bo defiantly roared "kick it to him again!", and the smashmouth thrashing we gave FSU in another edition of the game of the century.

But there is something deeper, something more profound involved here than just simple heroics on a playing field. For me, it begins with the ritual that starts every home game, including the reading of excerpts from the preamble to the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and the singing of America the Beautiful. It ends with the salute of the players to the student body and the stadium singing Notre Dame, Our Mother in unison, as a family. In between those two points lies not just a football game, but a celebration of cherished values and eternal truths. We embrace this university, not just because it's student can run fast and win games, but because it is a moral beacon for us, a communal reference point that guides us, a reminder that faith, country, and family are paramount, and that there is a right and golden path to follow. We love Notre Dame in a way that no other fan of any other university can possibly understand. Such a thing is priceless.

Even more priceless is the way it becomes the tie that binds. Just as my father bequeathed to me a love for Notre Dame, so have I done for my seven children. We have become a very large family, and some of our closest moments have been huddled around a TV screen, banners and flags draped around our family room, hanging breathlessly on every ebb and flow of an important game against a dreaded foe. It is then that we recognize, we feel, we embrace our love for each other, our passion for what is good and right in the world, and our respect for a University that dares to be magnificent example of all of these things.


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