Sep 15, 2013, 6:24 PM EDT
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:
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