November 03, 2006

Rudy Suits Up

"This is the most beautiful thing these eyes have seen."

There they are folks, I finally will be attending a Notre Dame game at Notre Dame Stadium. The journey began a long time ago upon the knee of my grandfather who passed away too early. It was the man who started it all, telling his young grandson of the Four Horsemen, Ara, Leahy, and the ever-present Rockne. The tales were spun and my catholic upbringing only drove the point home.

"My son, how did we do today?"

My grandfather passed away and the torch fell to Father Mac at St. Leo's Church in my hometown. With that one simple question before Saturday mass he would keep the fire going for me. While we never had much Notre Dame artifacts lying around in the house to prove our loyalty, the game would never miss a second of appearing on our television set. The Irish were always a concern amongst my grandparents. My grandmom who didn't care much for sports would always pop in for a bit to see the score.

The tradition continued with my mom, raised in the above household and ever aware of Notre Dame and how they were doing. Not too many times in life do you bond with your Mom during a game, but the times would come... the 1988 season of glory, that rainy September day when Rocket Ismail would take two back to the house in the Big House. We both were yelling at the TV when he took off on the second jaunt. Then, our most favorite, was Jerome Bettis running over Florida in the Cheerios, er Sugar Bowl.

I endured the heartbreak of 1993, enjoying being the only person who called Notre Dame over Florida State in my entire school - only to watch in despair as David Gordon's kicked ruined everything the next week.

We've documented the pain of the Davieham eras.

Now, I come to today, when I will hit the road immediately after work and head home to a place away from home. I will be the first in my family to see a live Notre Dame game at the Stadium and I will feel a bit like Ned Beatty, walking in to see his son.

I am getting goose bumps already...

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Heavenly time period: College football season until the championship game of March Madness.