Well Irish fans the time has come. The 2018-2019 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football season has arrived. Old friends have reunited, laughter is in the air and the love of Notre Dame football has made it possible. As I walked around campus yesterday, there was a feeling of excitement, a feeling of nervousness, and a feeling of hope.
Anytime ESPN GameDay shows, it’s a big game. With that said, I even felt it myself. Most game days there is a sense of “the echoes” of years past. Not that the feeling is completely lost, but the calmness of a typical Notre Dame game day is overshadowed by the presence of the GameDay stage. This feeling may help overcome the nerves that are lying below the surface of many Irish fans. A distraction in this case could be the difference.
Every Fighting Irish fan understands how important week one is. Most D-1 teams set up a schedule that allows the team to ease into a season. Not this year for the Fighting Irish. The Michigan Wolverines will line-up first against Team 130. Many will say that Game One will define this teams season. That’s a lot of pressure to knock off the rust against. Oh, i forgot to mention that it’s a prime time match-up. The eyes of the country will be on this match-up for sure.
Being an Irish fan is about the need for hope. Faith also plays a role in being an Irish fan. Being a catholic and attending services at the Basilica, faith and hope is almost a weekly occurrence in the readings. The “Word of Life” mural that can be seen from beyond the Rockne gate. The mural in itself is a sign of hope and faith. Having this feeling of hope and faith, gives the fan a feeling that there team has that chance of having a special season.
In closing, there is a feeling of rebirth with a new season. All teams are on an even playing field. All teams have the same chance on week one. Curbing the excitement and not making a mental mistake is an important trait to shake off early. Using some of that nervous energy and turning into something positive and making a big play is what makes games like this special. Having hope, is the last trait that is necessary to get out of a jam late in the game when the game is on the line in the fourth quarter.
Best of luck to Team 130 in the upcoming season. There will be moments of challenge. The difference will be how you stand up to those moments of adversity and meet the challenge head on.
Cheers and Go Irish!