I’m not sure what I was looking for. I’m not even sure I was looking at all. After getting settled into my seat inside the Notre Dame press box, I got an overwhelming feeling that I was missing something. As the snow picked up and the wind started swirling around like a midwestern hurricane, my curiosity and restlessness found me bolting for the outdoors (well an elevator ride anyways).
How were fans of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish reacting to the weather? How were they acting at all? During a 4-6 season it’s easy to go online and find a large amount of angst, disappointment, and melancholy. There is no shortage of articles, tweets, Facebook comments, and blog posts that document the underwhelming let down of a season. Who are these people?
These are all questions that I started asking myself as I walked around the stadium a little bit. I found my feet finally took control of the direction I was heading and there I was in the middle of a crowd of people in front of Touchdown Jesus. The glee club (or whatever they are called) just finished a wonderful version of the Victory March, and almost immediately after, the bagpipes started playing.
I looked around at the crowd as I strolled back to the stadium (it was an Andy Dufresne type stroll) and I paid close attention to people’s facial expressions. What I found was that rather than displaying the pains of the cold weather bearing down on them, and despite all the negative and awful noise coming from the outside world, I saw something else entirely. Something that surprised me and made me feel good for the first time all season.
I saw determination. I saw hunger and I saw faces that shouted out for victory. I saw the faces of people ready to rally for Notre Dame and determined to get a victory over the Virginia Tech Hokies.
If the Notre Dame players throw on that same game face, and turn up the emotion level to something they can channel into pure focus, we may see one of our better wins on senior day than we have seen in quite a while. The opportunity is there, and a win will require that this team remains focused.