Smile Friday: It’s College Football Season! It’s College Football Season! edition
As an undergrad at Northwestern, I went to my share of football games. I was a pretty good student fan…waving my growl towel, shaking my keys and singing the NU fight song the top of my lungs
but my institutionalized displays of enthusiasm aside, I wasn’t exactly hardcore about the sport. It was more of a fall-hobby than MYVERYFAVORITETIMEOFYEAR!
Fast Forward: Several Years
I had just started dating Simon. We were doing the whole long-distance thing and he flew out to NY to see me over Labor Day. I had the entire weekend planned. Friday Night: Dinner at Spotted Pig / Saturday: Trip to MOMA, then Shakespeare in the Park / Sunday: Breakfa….
Wait! What? He interrupted as I went through our itinerary.
“Saturday is the opening game of the Notre Dame Football season,” he explained
“Saturday is Shakespeare in the Park,” I countered
“Notre Dame Football” he pressed.
“Shakespeare in the Park” I repeated
And then we just stared blankly at each other. (It was one of those moments where you realize just how far you are from being on the same page about something). As we stood there awkwardly, I realized that I had 2 alternatives….I could either get on board with this football business right now or spend the rest of the season (of my life!) fighting it. Guess which one I picked?
Instead of an afternoon enjoying iambic pentameter in Central Park, I got to experience my first official “Football Saturday” done Simon-style.
We loaded up on sandwich stuffs and bottled beer(snacks are apparently a critical component of game-day greatness). We printed out 2 copies of the roster and he helped me memorize our key players (Brady Quinn! Jeff Samardzija!). Simon even let me borrow his Irish hat, since I didn’t yet have gear of my own (“if you are going to be a fan, you’ve got to look like a fan!”) We tuned into ESPN bright and early and spent the remainder of the day cheering hard for the Irish and rooting against all of ND’s rivals.
Pageantry! Suspense! So many high fives!
Our day was ridiculously fun. After that, I was hooked.
This year marks my 7th season as an Irish Fan. We have attended 20 or so games in South Bend and traveled from NY to CA to catch games on the road. I have missed exactly 1 televised game (Simon TIVO’d it for me, but it was a nasty loss against Michigan State, so I opted not to watch it).
I have been with the team through 2 head coaches, 6 QB’s and a couple of scandals
And, in case you are wondering, my closet is now filled with an alarming number of ND hoodies/tshirts/sweatbands and headbands.
I started watching football for my husband but somewhere along the way, I became an honest-to-goodness die-hard fan.
Let’s Go Irish!