October 21, 2006. The Day I Fell in Love

Ladies relax, your boy is still single.

October 21, 2006: The day I fell in love with Notre Dame football.

So a little back story, I’ve been a Notre Dame fan since the day I was born, and that’s not even in the discussion. I’ve watched over 80% of the games since I was 7 or 8 probably. When I was a young kid, yeah maybe I only watched some of the game or didn’t watch at all, but since I was 11-12, I’ve rarely missed a game. Do I remember the players when I was 7? Very few. ( Brady Quinn, Anthony Fasano) But I did watch the games because Notre Dame football was born into my blood without any connection in the world. The generic looking jerseys, the gold helmets, the hype, all of it. I couldn’t get enough of this team and still can’t to this day. I’m pretty much convinced my cause of death will be a heart attack during a Notre Dame game, and there isn’t a way I’d rather go out. (Obviously, give me 50 more years or so) All of my love for Notre Dame football comes straight from my dad. When I saw my dad react to the moment Matt Leinart fumbled the ball out of bounds and how pissed he instantly became after the Bush push, I knew then there wasn’t another route for me but to just fully accept Notre Dame football.

Back to October 21, 2006: My dad was given free tickets to go see Notre Dame vs. UCLA. I’ve been watching this team on TV for years now, so this is just a dream come true for the 10-year-old stud of myself. I didn’t know when going to this game that Notre Dame had the most beautiful campus that I’ve still ever seen to this day. I knew about touchdown Jesus and the Golden Dome and all that, I didn’t realize how spectacular these buildings were going to look. 10-year-old me is blown away by how a place can just be so much nicer than anywhere else I’ve ever been. Notre Dame is beautiful, you get it. Getting into my seats in Notre Dame stadium is something I will never forget. Seeing Brady Quinn, Jeff Samardzija, and Tom Zbikowski warming up was me basically seeing my heroes on the field for the first time. Eyeing down the smokeshow UCLA cheerleaders in front of me was clearly a plus, sup ladies. I remember very little from the game because it wasn’t like a high scoring game or anything crazy, just a pretty basic game. But the one thing I do remember, it was the 4th quarter it feels like Notre Dame is going to lose 17-13. Quinn hikes the ball with 40 seconds left, UCLA zero pressure Quinn steps up and throws a strike to Samardzija. And the rest is history, I remember that play like it happened yesterday. The moment Samardzija scored is the exact moment that I fell in love with Notre Dame football.

With Notre Dame 12-0 and going to their first playoff, it felt like a good time to let everyone know when my love for this team started. Notre Dame football needed this playoff berth for the sake of tradition. No matter how low or how high Notre Dame goes my fandom of Notre Dame football will never change.

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