Part of what makes Notre Dame football special is its traditions. Many of those traditions will be forced to be put on hold this season.
To be honest, I really wasn’t sure that Notre Dame football was going to play this fall.
Even as one who is generally an eternal optimist, the feeling of doom began to set in this summer that there would be no Notre Dame football. The fact that Notre Dame is playing a football game later today is nothing short of a tremendous weight off my shoulders.
But even as excited as I am to turn to NBC at 2:30 and watch the Irish, I can’t help but have my enthusiasm tempered, just a bit.
For me, the love for Notre Dame football is a family affair. Notre Dame football is a common ground and uniting force for friends and family. It’s a place where I was fortunate enough to many unbelievable memories with my late father. It’s a place where I’ve met new friends for the first the first time. It’s a place where old friends return to catch a game. It’s a place that often centers me when I’m feeling anxious. It’s a place that I went to have fun.
And without the pageantry and traditions that come with Notre Dame football on fall Saturday mornings and afternoons, without having a game to look forward to attending in person later this fall, I must admit that it takes a little bit of the allure away from this football season.
Maybe I’m crazy. More likely, that apathy will mostly wear off when the Irish kick off against the Duke Blue Devils. After all, there’s plenty to look forward to when it comes to Notre Dame football — one of which is the fact that the Irish will play a conference schedule for the first time in the history of the football program.
Let me make this clear: I’m eternally grateful that Notre Dame will play football this fall. I just hope the world returns to normal sooner rather than later.