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Last week, as I watched the Notre Dame-San Diego State Suck Bowl, which came directly off the Season of Epic Suck, the very thought of facing Michigan was close on intolerable.

I hadn't realized that The Phelps, formerly a student there, had singlehandedly channeled Michigan's win mojo.  He's clearly exhausted the reserve.  Yesterday's massive pick-me-up arrives just as I had officially thrown up my hands as Old Alum:  I watch home games much closer than aways, because the ambient band and chant noises wrap me in a warm, if vastly pathetic, nostalgia blanket.

I can accompany the drum beats and kickoff points without even looking, one hand following along, the other updating my course website.  But last week, various crowd shots kept showing the student section twirling its arms about in some sort of whirlygig fashion.  What th-- I would have remembered this.

I had to hit the student paper website to figure out what-all was going down, and was relieved to find it was a new cheer which was just introduced at the pep rally the night before, but it didn't fumigate the stench of Old which hung about my bedtime-at-ten self.  I sat and reflected that young whippersnapper Jimmy Clausen needs a haircut.

But!  This week!  The Lord doth wash the iniquities and eighty gajillion sacks way with a rainstorm which sent water cascading down the stadium steps.  Lo, He sent Lou Holtz, cast in bronze, down amongst the people, although we certainly could have suited up one or the other when our current coach was taken out at the ACL by his own player, which rendered him on the sideline in crutches, looking very much like a soaked, belted cat.

I've been in Notre Dame football games in the rain, and they are miserable.  It's soaked hot dog buns, puddly benches at the half, and long, pelty-walks back to Saint Mary's once the whole affair is done.  The only thing more miserable than standing for four hours under a soaking Glad bag of a poncho is standing for four hours under the same conditions in wool. Once again, the Band of the Fighting Irish proves itself superior to me in all things.

But I will tell you, freshman to senior, these students will take this game through life with them:  The soaking merely imprinted the memory all the deeper.

NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL COVERAGE QUOTE OF THE WEEK:  "The team did practice with wet balls this week."

missing the "Call Me Al" performace in the third quarter at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com

tip the bartender

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Reader Comments (8)

Even though I am normally neutral towards Notre Dame I was pleased as punch they won on Saturday. Up the Irish!
Best NFL quote I heard yesterday: "The players will make a tremendous difference to this game today."

September 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterstarnarcosis

Regarding the quote of the week: That is why your mama always told you to pack spare underpants--just in case.

September 15, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterj.s.

1. I miss Call Me All Too
2. On TV you miss Sargent Tim McCarthy
3. The game was AWESOME in the rain, and normally it just makes me miserable. At least it was warm rain. then it continued to rain for the next day and half. I think saturday brought us 7 inches.
4. For the first two touchdowns Lou was actually standing by the pep band in the endzone where the TDs were scored. Coincidence? I think not.
5. It's "Crank Me Up" which is lame, but seems to work.
6. Jimmy Clausen was asked when he was going to cut his hair at our dorm's Football 101 night and he said, "uh I dunno, not until we lose" so . . . bring on the long hair Jimmy. May it grow all the way to your butt . . . just keep winning.

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDanica

See, this is why TV, even as close as it is, ain't the same. There's a LOT missing, and even the old journalists can't get the names of the new chant right..

I've never experienced a "warm rain" game. They were all, of course, in November. But I'm glad the weather was kinder to you :)

September 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMB

My dad had this old Army poncho that I would wear to rainy games, and it wasn't one of those Saran-Wrap Wal-Mart Ponchos. This thing was made out of thick sailboat canvas, and weighed like it was made of lead, but I had the only dry torso in the House after the game was over. I wore it to a ND win over Oklahoma in my junior year when the skies opened in the second half and the Irish overcame a two-touchdown deficit.

Rain games rock.

I started watching during the 3rd quarter. I was watching in a GIANT 'pub tent' at the Michigan Irish Music Festival. Talk about your divided loyalties!

This caused me to ponder, Notre Dame is French for Our Lady...How the heck did you become the 'Fighting Irish'???

If you know this story, please let me know. I am hoping as an alum you may be privy to such info.

Saturday's rain was warm, Sunday's was not. Yes, I was dancing in the rain, to the sounds of Gaelic Storm and Seamus Kennedy, like the fool that I am.

The incredible thing??? Sunday at 6:45 Seamus wrapped up his last set of the evening (ending the festival), stepped off the stage and IMMEDIATELY the sun came out. That's right, MI is SO devoted to presenting the Best Darn Irish Fest in the Midwest that we import authentic Irish weather. :-)

September 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTamar

That's a great question, Tamar. The Congregation of the Holy Cross, the founding order of Notre Dame (and Saint Mary's, and our other brother school, Holy Cross) was French. The brothers and sisters who came over to start both schools arrived right from France as missionaries; Indiana was wilderness back then. (And really, with the exception of a Best Buy and an outlet mall or two, the terrain from the drive up from Ohio hasn't changed that much.)

The term "Fighting Irish" came from the first students, who were initially poor immigrant families from guess where. Many families could not afford to pay cash, and exchanged goods or services for tuition. Since so many of the students' fathers were laborers, they contributed to the initial infrastructure of the campus in a big way. Some even showed up with tuition in the form of horses or cows, which I think would go over big in the bursar's office today.

September 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMB

Sweet! An answer that makes sense. I was truly confused. Thank you!

January 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTamar
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