EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 15: Manti Te'o #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish reacts after beating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 20-3 at Spartan Stadium Stadium on September 15, 2012 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Like most (if not all) Notre Dame fans, I was simply blown away at the performance of Manti Te'o on Saturday night. How one young man faced so much loss in a short span and was able to channel and redirect that emotion left me simply awestruck. I don't know any other way to put it.
So, when Sunday rolled around and I was catching up on yard work, I kept thinking about what I watched the night before.
Sure, Manti Te'o is a phenomenal football player. But what he showed us-yet again--against Michigan State on Saturday is that he is so much more.
I then began to compile a list in my head about why we as fans love this kid.
We love him because he showed up for an official visit from Hawaii to South Bend in late November in sandals, shorts and a t-shirt with 6 inches of snow on the ground.
We love him because he picked that Fighting Irish hat on a February morning when everyone thought he was going for the garnet and gold.
We love him because he made it cool for top defensive players to come to Notre Dame again.
We love him because he gave instant credibility to a mediocre defense.
We love him because in the face of adversity, he worked harder.
We love him because he can still have a little fun on the sidelines.
We love him because after the coach that recruited him was fired, he bought into what the new staff was selling.
We love him because when tragedy struck, he was the first to rush in to help with no regard for his own personal safety.
We love him because he decided to come back for one more season and chose the memories over millions
We love him because when he faced one of the worst weeks humanly imaginable, he played his most inspired game