Monday, September 11, 2006

Notre Dame Football, or A Way of Life

Notre Dame Football.

Honestly, I think it's a cult here in South Bend. People without question buy "The Shirt" for the year and faithfully wear it at gatherings as they gesture in unison. Look around you in the stands at any given moment, and you will see every member gesticulating as one. "They" snare new members as the youngest ones enter the university, even getting them to fork over money with the lure of standing on a narrow bench for hours on end. The weather is questionable during these services, and yet they still manage to woo them with the guise of student-priced season tickets.

Then, at certain moments in the program, the members respond in thanksgiving by lifting up chosen ones from among them and raising them up to the heavens, symbolically elevating and lowering them repeatedly. Those nearby chant numbers to participate in this ceremony. It is not clear to those outside the fold who or what entity is the focus: perhaps the pseudo-deity floating above by some unknown force, known by the moniker Goodyear Blimp. These actions also appear to correspond to the movements of several men cavorting on the grass below as well as the views of men dressed much like their zebra brethren. A deliberate homage?

Then, at the close of this spectacle, all congregate at key sections of the manicured lawn to link arms and sway in unison while a tune with special hold over the members is played, mesmerizing them. Quite an experience. Yours truly may be yet captured in their fold, as my husband already appears to be falling under the spell, and I fear he may break down my spirit.

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