Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Notre Dame Stadium

Originally uploaded by ..Sally..
The first time I stepped foot in Notre Dame stadium was almost twenty years ago: October 24, 1987. Notre Dame played USC that day, and happened to be in the middle of an eventual 11-game winning streak against the Trojans. The streak continued that day, and I'm sure the win was important to me at the time, but more than any specific play in that game, I remember entering the stadium itself.

My brother was an athletic manager at Notre Dame. His senior year, he was lacrosse manager, and his roommate was one of the football managers. Their positions afforded me -- a thirteen-year old nobody -- certain privileges. Not only did I get a tour of the fabled locker room on Friday night, slap the Play Like A Champion sign, and watch the painting of the helmets --- but I also entered Notre Dame stadium, on gameday, through the home locker room.

This is like going into the Vatican through the Pope's entrance.

This entrance was likely more necessity than anything else. My brother's plan was to sneak me into the student section without a ticket of my own. In a wonderful lesson on rules-meant-to-be-broken, my first entrance into the Stadium remains a highlight of my long career as a Notre Dame fanatic.

Twenty years after I first visited, Francis made her debut. (really second, but she doesn't remember the first, being only 3 months old). She was a great fan. She stayed for the whole agonizing game. She cheered. She craned her neck to see. She demanded to be lifted during play. She was a credit to Notre Dame fans everywhere, and I am proud to be her father.

1 comment:

Jeff Gulde said...

It is hard to believe it's been that long. What an amazing event, from my perpective as well. I am proud to be the one who helped you experience Notre Dame Football in a way few others can. Tell Francis I am also proud of her being an exemplary fan.