Oct 30, 2012, 2:55 PM EDT
I’ve lived 3 hours from OU my entire life, but I had never been there. The campus was prettier than I thought it would be, the fans were nicer than I thought they would be*, and I was more excited than I thought I would be.
*Seriously. The OU fans were unbelievable. Instead of saying things like, “Irish suck!” and “Notre Lame!” they said, “Welcome to Norman! We’re glad you’re here!” Even after they lost, they thanked us for coming and wished us safe travels back home. If you’re an OU fan reading this, thank you so much for having so much integrity and class. It was quite impressive.
Being a fan of the vising team comes with its fair share of frustration though. We waited in line at will call for an hour to find out that visiting will call wouldn’t be open until two hours before the game started. We got to the visiting will call promptly at 5 and then found out we couldn’t get our tickets until the gates opened. I just had to remind myself that I was there, I would be in the stadium for the game, and waiting an extra 30 minutes or an hour was no big deal. Plus, we got to meet 1987 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown while we were waiting in line, so that was a little bit awesome.
Once we got to our seats, we had another 1:15 to kill. Rachel and I had been separated from Sarah and her brother by this point, so Rachel and I just people-watched. Our seats were really close to ND’s locker room entrance, so we also got to see the players coming and going from warm-ups and cheer them on.
The stadium and its atmosphere were intimidating. The stripes in the stadium, the fireworks, and the Ride of the Schooner were all very cool. I’m not going to lie. (I still think the Band of the Fighting Irish, Irish Jig, and Players’ Walk are cooler.) This was the first time I was really nervous for the entire game. I was pretty nervous during the Stanford game, but it was only for the second half. This game, I was scared from before kickoff all the way until the clock read 0:00 after the fourth quarter.
I had a fairly-vicious cold this last week, and while I wasn’t stuffed up anymore, I was pretty phlegmy and had half of my voice functioning. During the game my yells made me sound like a pubescent boy. If I spoke/yelled in a lower register, my voice worked, so I’d start yelling in a low voice, and then my voice would crack. “Let’s go, boOooOys!” After the game, there was nothing, absolutely nothing left. I tried to speak, and nothing came out. I felt very successful.
Watching OU’s offense was horrifying. They weren’t giving our defense any time to breath. Play, right after play, right after play. I was exhausted just watching it! But when they held OU to just a field goal, I was relieved. Then Cierre Wood had his 62-yard run that told the crowd, “We’re here, and we can—and will—win this.”
I loved sitting around people I don’t know. The people in front of Rachel and me were clearly annoyed by us (they were very dull Notre Dame fans), but the people behind us loved our enthusiasm. In fact, at halftime, I overheard some older men saying, “I think those two girls in the jerseys are players’ girlfriends.” I thought, “Nope! Just extremely dedicated fans.”
To be 100% honest, I don’t remember a lot of the game. I really wish I could.
Rachel and I decided to take advantage of our proximity to the tunnel where the Notre Dame players and coaches went back to their locker room. We went down to congratulate them and celebrate.
We left the stadium, and couldn’t believe what had just happened. “We’re 8-0. We’re undefeated!” we kept saying. It was unreal to us. To think that this time last season, Notre Dame was 5-3 astounds me. That’s some serious improvement over the course of one year.
My freshman year is barely even a quarter of the way over and it’s already off to an unbelievable start. I can’t even truly comprehend how amazing this all is. I left my voice in Norman, but I brought some amazing memories back to South Bend with me.
uNDefeated. Let’s go, Irish.
About Strong and True
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