Saturday, October 23, 2010

Football, Cleaning and Crying

So today is Saturday which means that in my house it's "Football Saturday". I have programed my monsters to know that Saturdays are dedicated to Notre Dame Football. Now I suppose I should start from the beginning of where and how my obsession of Notre Dame Football all started.

 My earliest recollection of Notre Dame came when I was about 7 years old. I was at my cousins house one Saturday afternoon and my uncle happened to be watching the game. My cousin and I were doing whatever we used to do back when we were kids, playing Lego's or picking on his little brother, whatever. With just a few seconds left in the game, Notre Dame had an opportunity to win. My uncle excitedly called my cousin and I into the living room to watch the final seconds. So as time ticked down in the game Notre Dame lined up and kicked the game winning field goal. Now I'm not sure if my uncle maybe was just a big fan,  or if he had money on the game, or if he was just a big fan at that very moment because he had money on the game, but I didn't care. They won. My uncle was excited, my cousin was excited, and I was excited. Now at that time and age, I wasn't really sure why I was excited, or why it mattered, but it was cool. And it was a cool moment with my cousin and my uncle that I will never forget.

Ok so from that point on I have been a Notre Dame fan. I have watched year after year. Game after game. I have seen and heard it all being a Fighting Irish fan. I have lost my entire paycheck on a "sure thing" bet as a young adult. I have visited the house that Rockne built and have seen the Golden Dome shine in person. I am one of those who bleed blue and gold, or is it green and blue? Or maybe green and yellow? Anyway, I have had everything from Notre Dame key chains, blankets, shirts, basketballs, books, mouse pads and flags. You name it I own it, or have owned it Notre Dame, all to show my support because after all "You Gotta Support the Team"(Seinfeld).

Which brings me to present day. Every Saturday that the Irish are playing there are certain "rituals" that I feel must happen at my house. First and most importantly, I have to have a clean house and again the monsters know this. So we get up, have our breakfast and go about our day until it's time to clean. And every Saturday I have at least one monster, usually two.. in tears. "It's not fair" and "this will take for ever" I'm told repeatedly. "Why do we have to clean, and I didn't get that out or that's not mine" echo through the house. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not a clean freak. I don't have a spotless house. I do however think that everything has a place and before Notre Dame plays I want everything put in that place. After a few hours of telling them no your room is NOT clean, and just making "a path" is not good enough, followed by more whining and crying, it's game time.

My other game time rituals involve my putting on some sort of game day shirt, having something handy to eat and drink and settling into my chair to watch my team. Now remember that I've seen the highs and now the lows of Notre Dame football. I was about 14 when they won their last national championship. Since then they have, (it pains me to say it) sucked. Oh sure they've had their ups and downs. Been ranked in the polls and been beaten by schools they should have crushed, but all in all they have been disappointing.

Today has been no different. We got up and had breakfast. We cleaned, I yelled, they cried. I got my sandwich and iced tea and sat down to watch what I thought would be a walk in the park game. Because after all Notre Dame was turning the corner.... (again). After a quarter of football much like so many Saturdays before it, there was more crying. Yes Notre Dame was getting beat by a team they should have beaten easily. And just like my monsters hours before, I was mad. I whined and cried and I thought about what's it gonna take for Notre Dame to be good again, and I thought..."this isn't fair" and "this will take forever".

Next Saturday is another game for my beloved Irish. Next Saturday just like the Saturday's before it, we will get up, have breakfast and go through our Football Saturday rituals. We will clean, we will get out snacks and put on our attire and root root for 'ol Notre Dame, but hopefully, just maybe, there will be a little less crying. 


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