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Notre Dame VS Central Michigan: The Personal Connection and Overreaction to This Game

It might just be another “tune up” game, but to me and my family, it means so much more

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports


As I have established, I’m continuing recapping overreactions after each of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football games this season. Admittedly, things got to settle down a bit after the rain delay against NC State, so I’m going to limit those actual overreactions from others. I will, though, call myself out for one to recap:

I was not really happy with the close score and unsuccessful plays on offense, so Gerad Parker caught some heat. However, if I just practiced patience, I would have let the game run its course to see great, big plays occur and scoring 45 points on the road. It’s all good stuff when you win by 20+ points.

But, I want to take the time this week to mention why I have more overreactions and nerves going into this game against the Central Michigan Chippewas than probably 99.9% of Irish fans.

The Irish and The Chips

We’re having a unique celebration this week. I, along with most of my OFD cohort, are definitely friends and supporters of the MAC (including Our Supreme Warlord, having attended EMU). I do love the memes and the craziness of MACtion, but I grew up indoctrinated in the MAC. My parents both attended, graduated from, and met at CMU. Notre Dame was and is always number 1, but I remember going to CMU games either up in Mount Pleasant, or when they would come 20 minutes away from home to play Joshua’s Eagles in Ypsilanti.

NCAA Football: Toledo at Central Michigan Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

I grew up admiring Dan LeFevour because how could you not. In the bleak late 2000s of Notre Dame Football, it was fun to watch him run a dynamic offense. Ironically, I attended Dan LeFevour’s first game, which had a lot of Notre Dame connections. The Chips played BC in Mount Pleasant, and BK was CMU’s coach (the Chips did lose late, so we saw stuff like that coming). BK trotted out their starter, who got hurt immediately on the first play from scrimmage. In comes LeFevour, and the rest is history.

My dad unfortunately passed away in 2020, and for as big of a Subway alum, Notre Dame fan, and ND Dad that he was, he was almost as big of a CMU sports fan. I might have laughed at it at times, but I truly loved how passionate he got about wanting his little alma mater in the middle of Michigan to do well. It was inspiring and I think what always made sports kinda romantic to me. He also went BONKERS when CMU went into the JACC in 2003 and beat ND on a buzzer beater three RIGHT in Chris Thomas’ face. I don’t even know if there is video of it, but it is ingrained in my brain since we were there for it LOL

Well, not too long after my dad passed, ND announced the game coming up against CMU. My family and friends started texting back and forth about how this is super fun and a wonderful way to remember and honor my dad. We’re gonna go all out with this one, and enjoy the hell out of a Gameday in South Bend where my collegiate alliances are coming together. Normally big ND fans who attended CMU are going to root for their school over the Irish during the game, and it will be a grand time.

Should this game be a worry, probably not. Will it be for this guy, though, because of my superstition and the history behind it? Probably. I could see my dad pulling some voodoo from up above so that it would make the Irish sweat the game out just a tad because we all know he would be going nuts and rooting HARD for CMU to get a massive win over the big guys.

If you would even for a second on Saturday, think about and/or pour one out for Jim “Gator” Greene and more than likely the biggest ND/CMU Football fan combo there could possibly be. GO IRISH and (until 2:30 PM on Saturday) FIRE UP CHIPS.