Monday, January 7, 2013

kick-offs, and first downs, and heismans, oh my

If there's one thing I've learned about this semester, it's sports.

(Maybe other little lessons like Divine Providence and trust and the importance of Silence, and Interdependence in relationships, and receiving vs. grasping. But mostly sports.)

One Thursday, I was at a dinner banquet, and I learned about basketball formations and point guards (I KNOW NOW WHAT A POINT GUARD IS!!!! I could almost weep for joy).
Interesting stuff, in fact, I would even go so far as to call it fascinating.

And then one GameDaySaturday (you have to say it as one word, in one breath), I was at a brunch event and we were treated, at the tail end of the morning, to at least at least 30 minutes of "chalk talk." Which involves little-to-no chalk, but lots of overhead projections. (And lots of statistics that will neither solve global hunger, create a masterpiece of sculpture to rival Michalangelo's, nor pay the national debt, so I find them irrelevant) It went on a wee bit long, so I was struggling to stay focused as they walked us through different plays, strategies, and statistics.
Thankfully, the University's all-male a cappella group walked in about halfway through, in preparation for the serenade with which they closed the brunch.
Although I'm pretty sure I pretended to be even more engrossed in the overhead projector with a tangly hodge-podge of red circles and arrows on it.
Color me fascinated.


A while back, I walked by a dorm and say this banner hanging out of a window:

You'll never beat the IRISH.

Friend, I thought, as I walked by the dorm, I hate to break it to you, someone probably will.

But for an entire season, his banner was right: no one, so far had beaten the Irish.
And while that's admirable, and delightful, and an exciting football season to have been a part of, that's not actually the chant. Our chant is:


Because the point is not whether the Irish are victorious or get trounced, the point is that whether the odds be great or small, the Irish never give up. It's the Notre Dame spirit of fighting that will never be beaten. "Fighting" denotes a battle of some kind.
There are no battles without a few losses. As Tina Arena sings, "in a heartbeat, a wise man can be a fool." Victors go to vanquished in just a few seconds, and that's just the Way Life Is.

And that's the rhythm of the world, right?: to fall then rise again.

"We did not build this university for personal glory or for our pride. We did it because we were working for Mary and her glory."
--Fr. Hesburgh

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