Nov 12, 2012, 10:37 AM EDT
Lately there have been two parts to watching Notre Dame football.
The first comes on Saturday and takes place either in Notre Dame Stadium or in front of the TV. The second falls on Sunday night and serves as a reminder of what we’re pushing for week after week—The BCS Countdown.
I have been eagerly switching over to ESPN for that countdown for weeks now, watching the undefeated teams whittled down to a smaller and smaller number. ESPN opens the show with that creepy rendition of “One is the Loneliest Number” played over images of the undefeated teams and a graphic arrangement of children’s blocks spelling out “One.” It’s weird how easily that song gets stuck in our heads and how often I catch people singing it under their breaths these days.
The countdown is driving us crazy.
I watched two complete football games on Saturday—Notre Dame’s and Alabama’s. Ten games in, being invested in our team goes beyond watching our games. Every single game that every undefeated team plays is painfully crucial. I have never yelled at my TV as manically for something that wasn’t Notre Dame football as I did during the Alabama-Texas A&M game.
That’s part of this experience now. I am just living and breathing every moment in the chain of dominos that is NCAA football.
Before the games this Saturday, commentators on ESPN were talking about how good the Crimson Tide was. They pulled through against LSU, and now nothing could stop them. They could even hold their own against a professional team! No one was going to be able to topple Alabama.
If this season has taught me anything, it’s that nothing is certain in this game. People said we’d never beat Michigan, we’d never beat Stanford, we’d certainly never beat Oklahoma. They said Alabama couldn’t lose.
On The BCS Countdown, the analysts talked about Alabama’s inability to hang on. “A championship team finds a way to win,” they said, shaking their heads at Alabama’s fall. A week ago, we were saying the same thing. A championship team found a way to win. A seemingly impossible win against Pitt kept us going to where we are now. 10-0.
All we can control are the two games ahead, and I know that is where the focus of Brian Kelly and the team is. One week at a time, one game at a time. That is the key to this team.
But like the intro to the countdown says: it only takes one.
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