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Notre Dame Football: The Quiet Mind

A night discharged of all care. Which is awesome, because my brain works differently.

Robert Farmer

It’s quite a thing to be a football fan of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. After all, they are one of the so called “blue bloods” in the country, and the mere mention of their name ignites instant opinions and the hottest of hot takes. The reactions fans have to these opinions, hot takes, and “reporting” usually varies in one degree or another depending on the amount of wins.

We’ve talked about this many times before. The most recent was an attempt by One Foot Down editor Pat Sullivan. Pat asked Irish fans to go ahead and roast Notre Dame. It was a call to make fun of ourselves- which is really a call for sanity. Although it was applauded by many (most of which are not Irish fans) it didn’t get quite the response we were looking for from our readers (which we assume is mostly made up of Irish fans).

It mostly backed up our thoughts that the Notre Dame fanbase is a little too sensitive. So much so, that we bicker with one another constantly over almost anything that has to do with the program. It’s a constant theme, and one that is only amplified as the losses add up.

You already know this.

So why am I bringing this all up again? Well, because I keep seeing social media posts and message board posts that are full of outrage over any misrepresentation of Notre Dame. And now, more than ever, it’s ND fan on ND fan bashing as opposed to fan on media outlet bashing. It’s just so damn loud- and equally annoying anymore.

People hate us. Get over it. Our struggle for the college football world to just respect us anymore is difficult enough, and that boils down to wins and wins and wins. Who doesn’t hate Alabama, and yet they demand respect. It’s a respect that Notre Dame has had and lost a handful of times. It’s not everlasting.

It reminds me of the old poem from Henry Howard, the Earl of Surrey. It’s called “The Means To Attain The Happy Life.” I first came across it in college while talking about “old ass poetry” with some of my co-workers at the school newspaper. One line stood out the most: The night discharged of all care. It was something a person struggling with life’s pitfalls as a young adult would be attracted to and take to heart.

There was a great explanation of this poem in the Showtime series, “The Tudors” in a conversation between Howard and Charles Brandon. It could actually be wrong (as a lot of that series was) but the explanation had me think a little differently about the meaning and what I could take from it.

We search for the happy life and the quiet mind, but that search never ends. Why? Because it is unattainable. Sure, there are times when it seems like we have found it, but the horrific truth is that those moments aren’t lasting. Ask the Alabama Crimson Tide about their search for the happy life after losing to Clemson. Despite being THE dynasty right now, even they have these same issues.

Look, I’m not sure if any of this makes sense to you, and I’m willing to accept that. However, if there is anything you can take from all of this, I hope it’s that you look at your own reactions and thoughts about the program and readjust a little bit.

People hate us. Get over it, and better yet... embrace it. If you’re searching for the quiet mind (as far as your fandom is concerned) it may be the only way to even come close to it.

Ridiculous rant... over.