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I didn't even have to think about it.....For me it was the 1992 Snow Bowl vs Penn St. I didn't even get to watch. I was a freshman in high school, and had my own football game that afternoon. We got on the team bus and listened to the last quarter of the game on the bus...We went NUTS!! My favorite ND memory of all time and I didn't even get to watch it live....
LET'S GET IT ON!!!!!
I love this subject. I have been a fan since I can remember.I was born in Massachusetts but have lived in So. Calif. since I was four. I grew up as a ND fan because of my father(a very devout Catholic). I have been to ND to see games two times and I have seen them numerous times playing SC in La. I am 67 and the best game for me was the ND vs. Miami game in the 80's(don't remember the year). I was at a club soccer game for my son in Orange county and I was listening to the game on radio. What a great finish! One of the parents on our team,an MD and a Michigan alum and also Catholic, was rooting hard for ND .
'93 when ND beat FSU. I was only 12, but I remember that game being so hyped up. Seemed like everyone was talking about it. Such a great game.
6-Time POTW Winner, 4 time at BGI and 2 at 24/7
The game that got me hooked on ND football was the comeback win over MSU in 1990. I'd been a Michigan or Michigan State fan in my life up to that point (I was 15) but a guy I caddied for (who was like a father figure to me throughout my teens and early 20's) was a huge Irish fan and opened my eyes as to what made ND special. That entire season was special to me as Rocket Ismail was the man at that time. When they called clipping on his apparent TD return that would've won the Orange Bowl vs. Colorado I was crestfallen and almost got in a fistfight the next day at school when a guy who knew I was a Notre Dame fan was razzing me for it (I was yet to develop the thick skin needed to be an Irish fan). Living in suburban Detroit much of my life made being an ND fan humbling for sure. My moment of rapture would be the 1992 Sugar Bowl (following the 1991 season) when #18 Notre Dame just overran (via Jerome Bettis) #3 Florida in the 2nd half. I experienced just absolute glee that night. The momentum carried over into the 1992 season where I still feel if a college football playoff existed, that team would've won it all. Early in the season they tied Michigan and lost (inexplicably) to a Stanford team they had no business losing to. However, by the end of the year they were playing as well as anybody.
The heartbreak that made me realize the passion I had for this
team was the USC loss with Anthony Davis running wild. I never
wanted that mood in my parents house ever again.
The defining game was 1989 sitting in the top row of rain drenched
Michigan Stadium and watching and realizing that Bo don't know
football.........you kick to Rocket once, bad idea. You then kick to
Rocket again, please remove thy head from thy butt.
I never knew 102,000 people could be so quiet.
I have 3 "rapture" moments: one in person at an away game, one at a home game, and one watching TV at home.
1) Away Game: Ironically, the post from Lou that started it all--the 1990 game (ND vs. Tennessee in Knoxville). I remember well--my buddy ran the chain gang so we got to see the entire game on the field. My kid brother flew down. The game was great, the TN fans were amazingly nice, and what topped it off were the two gorgeous co-eds from UT that we got to spend a good bit of the evening with. What a weekend!
2) Home game: Sitting in the snow with my then girlfriend (now wife), packed in so tightly that you could almost lift your feet off the ground and be held up in the air--it was the now-famous "Snow Bowl" game vs. Penn State. We were on the goal line for that 2 pt conversion pass--everyone went wild. Nobody was cold anymore. Greatest home game for me.
3) TV Game--like SIMM, I remember best the 1978 Cotton Bowl where we trounced then No 1 Texas. We lived acrosss the street from two Texas grads who always had a friendly feud going with my dad. When we won that game, we hoisted the ND flag up the flagpole. Great TV game--I was always a fan, but that one was amazing.
2-Time POTW winner
Like many, I grew up in an Irish Catholic family where we all rooted for ND, so I have been a passionate fan as long as I can remember. But, I'm old enough to remember well the 73 Sugar Bowl against Alabama, and my memory is that the experts were all picking Alabama. So sweet when the Irish won that game and the NC. Followed closely by the 1988 win over Miami, as I was at that game with my Dad, and the feeling of elation I had when ND recovered the onside kick to finally insure victory still brings a smile to my face. Strongly disliked Miami then, and still do today (along with USC and Michigan, of course).
These four things culminated in the rapture:
1. Stepping foot on campus for the first time after I had been admitted to the law school, coming around the front of the Hesburgh library and seeing Touchdown Jesus and the Dome for the first time, before I had decided to enroll.
2. My first tailgate for a home game - Georgia Tech game in the rain - everyone stayed, everyone cheered, everyone was happy, the score long forgotten.
3. Michigan at home under the lights, 1982, first 'traveling' date with my later to be wife. Watching her turn into the cheerleader I didn't know she once was.
4. Michigan game my daughter's first year as an undergrad, taking my father in law (ND'44) to his first game in 30 plus years, where an ND gold medal winner from Barcelona tailgated next to us and let him wear her medal around the tailgate, having him buy three nuns coffee and telling them to pray for victory. Seeing him touch my taligate flag that has his deceased brothers names, his name, my name, my daughter's name, and years of graduation, and seeing him tear up.
Putting the game pin from that game on him during his wake many years later, praying someone has the good sense to do the same for me when I die a Notre Dame man.
"Welcome to Notre Dame" - Sweeter words were never spoken.
As I stated before, one of my first memories was listening to the 1966 MSU game on the way back from K-Mart my mom had to go shopping during the game and for some reason only I out of 5 kids at the time had to go. Probably because at that time the triplets sisters were just 6 months old and because of them my time with my mom was little. At that time I (3yrs old) began to spend most of my time with my dad an ND fan I remember asking my dad when I got home why did they go for a tie, why did he not want to win?
Yeah I did ask that question. So that game was probably a lot to do with it. But consciously though it would the 1973 Sugar bowl win over bama.
Interestingly to me is how the Texas game in 71 gave me a like for texas and the 73 game against bama a dislike for bama that remain to this day.
This post was edited by 2daniel6 2 years ago
poster of the century status-irishnd966/The Ohiosupergenius has spoken-Norberg/2D6 is always right-floridacarpenter/4/5/04 13,000+
ND v MSU 1966. I was 8 years old.
My family rooted for Notre Dame and we had many friends who rooted for MSU. We watched this game on TV as a family with some friends. It was the first time that I remember we all gathered around the TV and watched an entire game together and had people over to watch too.
So, I knew this was a big time game then because of everyone making such a big deal out of it. Only much later did I fully realize how big it was.
That honestly was the real start for me with ND football. I started watching Sunday morning replays when I could, and was able to go to my first game, I think when I was 10 or 11.
Have been a fan since about 1960 and the 1973 Sugar Bowl really kicked my fanaticism into gear. But the biggest moment was being in the stands with my wife and sons on October 21, 2006 versus UCLA!!
Irish Oak in Chicago
Wow Lou. Hard to come up with THE moment.
My first? 73 Sugar bowl; new year's eve game. 24-23 ND. 13 years old babysitting my niece. I yelled so loud when Clements hit that clutch 3rd down pass, she started crying! Some uncle, huh?
73 win against Southern Cal. 85 yard run by Erick Pennick
77 green jersey game against Southern Cal
88 against Miami. 31-30
93 against FSU.
All of the above are equal.
My biggest hooks have all been the close losses in recent years. Having been too young to really remember ND's best years, I remember watching the 93 win over FSU but remember the loss to BC even more. That was a hook for me.
Also the Nebraska loss at ND stadium when Julius Jones and Joey Getherall had special teams touchdowns to get that game into OT.
Also ND v USC 2005.
For me it is being so close to the huge win and falling just short that has kept me hooked. It's almost as if I have to see this through.
I really respect your perspective. Guys like Kmurr and I (I was 11 in 1973 when ND won the national title in football and 19 days later No. 1 in basketball after the incredible comeback to end UCLA's 88-game winning streak) were so fortunate growing up during a magical era. It was like living in Disney World.
The memories from youth are what keep me going, whereas the hope to experience that past is what motivates you and give you something to hope for.
I've often said that a generation of fans haven't truly seen Notre Dame's football program. The 20s saw Rockne, and their kids saw Leahy, and their kids saw Parseghian and Devine, and their kids saw Holtz ... but what does the present generation have? It speaks such volumes when the memories are built around almost beating Nebraska in 2000 and almost beating USC in 2005. I grew up believing winning such games was a birthright.
True respect to you, your resolve and attitude.
To add on to Lou's comments....
I've had a fairly mixed bag of ND memories really starting with Devine (too young to remember Ara), going through the Faust years, the pinnacle of Holtz and then the slide ever since. To be honest, the high that I experienced through Lou's years almost completely erased Faust. A lot of that was probably because Faust was a great guy just not a great coach.
The last 15 or so years have been the truest test for any Notre Dame fan, young or old. I would like to get back to consistently being a top tier team year after year but really I'm just clinging to that glimmer of hope that we can catch lighning in a bottle just one time and have that magical year where I can just walk amongst these SEC fans that I live amongst and just smile at them. I probably wouldn't even gloat too much, I'd just smile and accept congratulations.
Everyone that knows me applauds the fact that I stick by my team regardless of the losses. In fact, they get a little amusement over the fact that year after year of disappointment only seems to increase my Notre Dame passion. Being a Notre Dame fan is like cancer to many of us, the longer you are a fan the more it takes over your whole being. I don't want chemo to get rid of it, I'll take all the pain that comes with being an Irish fan for the chance to watch that one season...........the one season that makes the years of pain and suffering worthwhile. Give me that moment to smile, I just want that one moment.
Sitting in the box at ND stadium and watching Paul Hornung do everything.
Despite the guys cigar smoke(right in front) chocking me..the crowd went nuts..the band played the victory march and this 6 year old went nuts.
Paul Hornung became my idol. Every Halloween for a bazillion years..I would dress up as a football player with the #5 on my shirt.
PS: to this day i hate cigars..but love ND
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