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.