Sunday, September 16, 2007

There are hardly words...

...but I have to write something anyway, because this has become my own personal form of therapy.

Michigan 38, Notre Dame 0

I don't really want to talk about it. But I am going to babble about it. And then I'm going to try not to think about it; otherwise I would just spend all day curled up on the futon eating chocolate, watching mindless television, and praying for the Bears to win because...I've got nothing left.

As painful as it is these days to love the Irish, I think it's twice as painful to be in the band. After all the fans have lapsed into an astonished, horrified stupor and can't bring themselves to respond to Celtic Chant, we have to keep playing. Long after any hope of winning the game has passed, we still have to cheer "Go Irish Beat Wolverines!" because that's our job. And way past the point where the team has left the stadium and the cheerleaders have packed up their pom-poms and headed for home, we still have to stand on the field and numbly play through school songs and halftime music to a crowd of Michigan fans who only stayed behind to hear the Michigan "air guitar" Band play Hail to the A**holes one more time.

And then we had to move aside for the Michigan band to take a picture. And then we had to line up in post game formation again. And then we had to wait. And then, when pretty much everyone had left the stadium except a few douche tools who decide to hang out above the tunnel to heckle us (as if there was anything more to say), we had to march out of the Big House, down the street, around the corner, and across some railroad tracks in the midst of hundreds of degenerate, drunken Michigan fans, who at the very least did not throw their beer cans at us--but that's only because they didn't need to.

One little punkass kid, though, did walk next to us for a few seconds to make fun of how we marched and his parents laughed as though it was cute. I almost whacked him over the head as I went by, but I restrained myself. He'll probably need those four brain cells for something one day. (Possibly to buy crack from his neighborhood drug dealer.)

At any rate...

Analysis is pretty much pointless right now. There's nothing I can say about the game that the scoreboard didn't say.

What I can say, though, is that at this point I'm seriously concerned about our team's recovery. I can't imagine how the team's feeling at this point. I personally feel like someone ripped out my heart and stapled it to a dartboard and let people (in really hideous helmets) take shots at it all night. Maybe if you multiply that by a hundred and ten thousand...that's probably how the team feels. Plus, I imagine that about half the team is pissed off because our offense is doing a stunning imitation of a whale dive-bombing off a cliff into an ocean of horseshit (can't you smell the stench from here?), and the other half is pissed off because they can't figure out wherethefuck they went wrong.

At this point I'm not as much concerned with coaching or playcalling or execution. I'm worried about our pride. I'm worried about whether the team has anything left. I'm worried about how you rally from an 0-3 start and get your team (your team that has failed to score an offensive touchdown in twelve quarters) to believe that they can go out and punish someone and bring back a win. Where do you even begin?

Maybe (and I'm not saying this because I'm in it, I'm saying it because it's the only place I can even think to begin) you start with the band. Maybe you start with the fact that we come out for every home game and we're traveling to every away game in September and we scream as loud as we possibly can on every [defensive] play not just because we have to, but because on every play we want to see our team do something good. Because even if we've spent an entire game (or multiple games) in the gutter, all it takes is ONE PLAY to make us all jump up and down and scream like morons and pee our pants (<--okay, exaggerating) from excitement. That's it. Just one.

And that's easy to forget. It's easy for a crowd to lose faith, but it's just as easy to get them hooked again.

We got some pretty remarkable first downs against Michigan, after digging ourselves into some painful 3rd-and-20's. It just seemed like every time we got one of those first downs, something terrible happened.

We need to stop shooting ourselves in the foot. We need to rebuild team confidence.

I think the first step toward doing that is to keep Notre Dame Stadium sold out for the rest of the season. (And for the rest of eternity.)

I know the price of an ND ticket keeps dropping, but I think that should only make people more eager to snatch them up, because hey--at least now they're affordable.

Maybe I shouldn't be worried about this? We aren't the best fans in the country because we color-coordinate or because we wave pom-poms (gag me...I would die if we did)...we're the best fans in the country because we pack the stands every weekend, and we stay to sing the alma mater after every game. (No matter how painful that might be.)

We just have to fight the mental war NOW. That's one we have to win. Because if other teams (formerly viewed on our schedule as cupcake teams) become convinced that we have nothing left, that they can come into our house and beat us, that we don't even have it together enough to even beat ourselves, then we're screwed. Then this is going to be the worst losing season in ND history. Then we're finally going to break our win streak against Navy.

But this is not acceptable, because We are ND. Maybe the entire football team should just stand on God quad for a while and stare at the Golden Dome and think about what that means.

You know, I'm not skipping out on my brother's wedding reception early so I can march into the stadium and watch our team lose to a bunch of miscreants who can't even find the fifty-yard line. I expect more. In fact, I'm counting on it.

Enough of this.

I'm going to the band picnic.

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