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Five Foot Nothing: Trade Off

Sep 15, 2013, 6:24 PM EDT

Sep 14, 2013; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish cornerback Bennett Jackson (2) and linebacker Jarrett Grace (59) celebrate with their teammates after Notre Dame defeated the Purdue Boilermakers 31-24 at Ross-Ade Stadium. Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Lauren Chval graduated from Notre Dame last May. She will be chronicling the 2013 season as a first-time alumnus. You can follow her on Twitter at @lchval or check out her blog Image Moved about all things athletics and entertainment.

Yesterday was actually my two-year anniversary. My boyfriend came to me in the morning with an air of excitement, planning our day, and said, “So, we can go out to dinner, but we’ll miss the Notre Dame game…”

We went out to lunch.

I wouldn’t even think of missing the Notre Dame-Purdue game for an anniversary dinner. When did this happen to me? Four years ago, when I was an idiot of a freshman, I’m pretty sure I missed more than one game for long distance boyfriend-related activities.

When Notre Dame was down 10 in the first half, I texted my dad (a regular game day occurrence now), “I hate you for introducing me to this team.” Which is to say that sometimes it’s hard to care so much. Once upon a time, I might have been able to shake off a loss to Purdue, but when I was facing that realistic possibility last night, I knew it wasn’t going to go down smoothly.

I pulled my hair out all week fielding comments from Michigan fans and reading Deadspin articles about the morality of Notre Dame. The only way to win this game is not to play (War Games*, anyone?), and I’m already in too deep.

I used to roll my eyes when my dad and brothers screamed bloody murder at the TV during Notre Dame games, and now I’m just as guilty. I swear and flail around on the couch like a complete psychopath.

Again, I’m asking, when did I succumb to this? As a sophomore, when I started writing player features? As a junior, when I got to go down onto the field every game to do player quotes afterwards? As a senior, when I blogged about our magical season all the way to Miami?

Oh…yeah. Notre Dame football has brought me so many amazing things. And last night, when Tommy Rees launched a pass to DeVaris Daniels for an 82-yard touchdown and Bennett Jackson picked off a pass and ran it back for a touchdown of his own, I was reminded of how much joy there can be in being a fan of the Irish.

2013 isn’t going to be 2012. There is much to be done and much to learn. It seems like with each passing year, I feel the losses harder. But the wins seize me more now, too, and that’s a trade off I’ll take.

Although it’s not like I have much of a choice anymore.


*The scene I’m talking about from War Games, if you’re interested:

  1. hui73 - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    Lucky you. In 1971 we were down 7-0 to Purdue (away game). Just before the end I thought I would go over to the South Dining Hall to beat the lines. As I was crossing the South Quad there was an almighty roar coming from all the dormitories. The defense had scored on a fumble. We went for 2 and won 8-7. And I missed the action. Some time later we heard that a kid had thrown his colour TV out of the window (this was 1970) and missed the touchdown.
    Here I am in Australia. This year Eurosports channel is not carrying NBC feed of the home games, so I’ll only watch the away games on ESPN. I’ll have to get up at 5 a.m. Australian Eastern Time to follow the updates of home games before going to church. Maybe there is an internet audio channel I don’t know.
    If your boyfriend doesn’t understand, he needs to go to ND grad school.
    Don’t pull your hair out. I’m sure you are very attached to your hair.

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