We traveled down to South Bend for the game on Saturday, knowing what the likely outcome would be. Part of the fun for me was just to experience ND's campus - I had a lot of friends growing up who were big ND football fans. I never really understood why but just recently someone on Facebook asked a mutual friend who is a ND fan why so many people from Rochester love them. His explanation was simple enough: "Irish Catholic connection." That does make sense - my hometown has a very large Catholic population and a pretty robust Catholic high school system. I just never made the connection. But the allure of ND had always been so built up for me and I was just curious to get to experience the school and a football game there.
It was pretty neat to walk around the campus, especially since we were with two friends who were alum. Matt's college roommate Jason had attended law school there and his fiancé, Ting, had gone there for both undergrad and law school. I always like visiting other people's colleges - it's such a little bubble of life experiences and I always find myself imagining how my life would be different had I experienced those formative years in this bubble versus my own.
We stopped at all the important sites - the shiny gold dome, the basilica, the grotto and of course, Touchdown Jesus. I'm not sure he was taking Demon Deacon prayers that day.
Even though we got absolutely womped on the field, it was still a pretty cool experience. (Embarrassingly womped. Painfully womped.) It was an interesting seeing a game that was just so deeply entrenched in tradition. And, as a double bonus, the weather gods were kind to us still. It was cold but I was prepared to be miserably cold. With all my cold weather gear on and my hot hands in my mittens, it was tolerable. Which is more than I can say for our football team.