Friday, September 9, 2011

on college football Saturdays

Mike is the proudest Irishmen I've ever known (well, until he took me to Ireland to meet his extended family that is, those are some proud people).  First generation on one side, second on the other, you can't talk to him for more than a half hour without hearing some fact about the country, story from his family, or rant about the English.

Mike was the first in his family to go to college and so, growing up, he didn't have any strong family ties to a college sports program.  Naturally that left him open to fall in love with the college whose mascot was a leprechaun.  Mike loves Notre Dame.  He loves their fight song, their history, the football team, all of it.

I didn't grow up with that kind of love, but I did watch Rudy.  A lot.  And so I might not have the decades of fan history that he has, but come on, you watch this clip and tell me you don't feel something as the music swells and little number 45 runs out onto the field.  I came into the relationship willing to take this on with him and because of my years of Rudy prep, I was an easy sell.

But somewhere along the way it stopped being about me supporting the thing Mike loves and became the thing I did on my own.  There is now space in my brain reserved for the mascots of most Division I schools (though I'm still not sure what a Nittany is, seriously Penn State?), of coaches and records and Heisman winners.  I'm not sure what has been pushed out to make room for it, but I'm hoping it wasn't anything too important.  Go Irish.


  1. Cait, it's a Nittany Lion. They actually existed, a kind of wildcat. The mountains (hills) around there are the Nittany Mts. How do I know all this? Rory Best, class of 2000. He recently drove home to Colorado from LI and got to enter Beaver Stadium at field level. He was so excited! I hope you and Mike get to go to Notre Dame some time.

  2. Hi Eileen, I see mom shared this blog! Yes, I know that it's a Nittany Lion, I had just never heard it before Penn State! My good friend just started teaching there, he was a ND fan until that first home game when he instantly became a Penn State fan. He said the atmosphere was amazing. We hope to get to South Bend at some point, we have a group of alumni friends but the trip has just never worked out.