College Football

You may have noticed a bit of radio silence here last week. I was in Florida starting Phase One of

Operation: Move The Parents To Chicago

First Giuliana and Bill, then Mo and Peter and now Gee Gee and Doc. All the cool kids are moving to Chicago.

We are very, very excited about the prospect of having the folks living so close and we feel incredibly blessed because they are so enthusiastic about the move. Well, maybe not so much about the actual move – no one likes that part. But they are excited that we will be almost neighbors.

Stay tuned for future reports on our wacky escapades.

Immediately upon returning from Florida, Peter and I were off to lovely South Bend, Indiana.

A sure sign that summer is over: college football season begins.

Fighting Irish

Our dear pals, John and Ellen, own a vacation football season home in South Bend and are kind enough to accommodate our crew with their generous hospitality.

Other pals arrived on Saturday but Friday night we had Ellen and John all to ourselves. We toasted the start of football season by enjoying a bottle of Chimney Rock wine purchased during our group trip to Napa.

Chimney Rock

Bright, but not so early, Saturday morning we got ourselves organized to head over to campus.

John, Ellen and some of their neighbors host an epically awesome tailgate party before every home football game. The party has taken place in the same spot for many years.

However, this year there is some construction in progress that made part of their party location potentially unusable.

No worries, the hosts planned ahead and secured permission to forge ahead as usual.

Well….seems that the person giving permission maybe didn’t clear it with all the right folks creating quite a kerfuffle in the early morning hours of game day.

text, text, text

phone call, phone call, phone call

angst, angst, angst

Finally, a temporary stay was issued and we were able to carry on as planned.

I know. First world problems.

The weather for the day started out promising. Promising to be wicked hot and possibly rainy. By game time the forecasters predicted pleasant temperatures in spite of 1000% humidity.

We strolled over to campus taking the scenic route along the lake.

ND View from the lake

By the time we got halfway to the tailgate site, the skies opened up.

Peter and I took refuge in the library recalling the many hours spent doing homework and studying in the very same library during our time on campus. Obviously these were Peter’s memories and not mine.

ND library in the rain

Soon enough the skies cleared and the quads filled with fans. I must say that I was impressed by how many folks were sporting the burnt orange (?) of the University of Texas Longhorns.

ND game day

Many of these folks were, just like us, ducking into air conditioned buildings periodically to fend off heat stroke.

Peter and I spent most of the afternoon at Ellen & John’s tailgate party visiting with our pals including Clare & Cooper and, all the way from Texas, Arthur & Gwen.

I was certain I had taken pictures of the tailgate party but then I remembered that I was too busy hydrating and enjoying the best meatball sub EVER!

Finally, the time came to file into the stadium for our 7:45pm showdown against Texas.

Rumor has it that #1 UT fan, Matthew McConaughey, was in attendance at the game.

I’m certain he drove up in his Lincoln. Not because someone paid him to. Not to be cool or make a statement. Just because he liked it.

ND vs Texas

As you can see our seats were great: 50ish yard line and high enough up to see everything.

We had an excellent view of the scoreboard and the final score, as well.

ND vs Texas score

At the end of every game, after greeting the opposing team at midfield, the Notre Dame football team gathers at the corner of the stadium populated by the students to join their classmates in singing the alma mater.

ND players singing the alma mater

All students and alumni in the stadium lock arms, rock from side to side and sing our devotion to Our Lady, Notre Dame.

I’ve been doing this for 40 years and, I’m not exaggerating, I get teary-eyed EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

Finally, it was time to walk back to John and Ellen’s house before we turned into pumpkins, looking way too much like the fans of our vanquished opponents.

And so ended the opening Notre Dame college football weekend of 2015.

Go Irish!

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  1. I also attended a college with Notre Dame in its name: however, no football and no men. Alas fond memories anyway…I actually visited ND in South Bend when I was ten in the summer of 1973…I told my parents that someday I wanted to attend ND…I had the name right, just not the location. Sounds like you had a wonderful time….Go Irish!
    Beemie recently posted…Summer Whites…My Profile

  2. I’ve never been able to sing our alma matter without getting teary-eyed either! I hate losing the opening game, sooo glad we won handily against UT. Sooo bummed about Folston out for the season though. GO IRISH!!

    • Yes to ALL of this! I was nervous about the game. What a relief that it wasn’t even close. You would have been shocked at all the UT fans on campus. I read that 80 busloads of Texas fans drove in from Chicago!
      Mo Lux recently posted…College FootballMy Profile

  3. Nothing better! I understand the tailgate spot angst. We are getting to MSU at 10:30 for the 8:00 game on Saturday night just to secure our usual spot. We’ve got Gameday, the blimp and hotels sold out for miles to contend with!

  4. Go Irish! I actually know nothing about college football, but my whole family is very excited for NFL season to officially start this week. Everyone but me is in at least one fantasy football league…my son is in three!
    Dana recently posted…The hills are alive…My Profile

  5. I’m so happy college football season is here. I love going to games at Florida but I imagine Notre Dame is pretty awesome as well.
    Kate recently posted…The unofficial end of summerMy Profile

  6. I grew up in St. Joseph, Michigan and grew up around many ND fans and made many trips to South Bend. Such a beautiful campus!!!! We are Navy football season ticket holders and had our first game and tailgate Saturday….love football season! And congrats on having your parents close by! One set of mine (mom and step-dad) live in our development and I’m so thankful to be abel to spend time with them. My step-dad calls himself “uber” because he drives the football carpool for me several times a week! xo
    Christine recently posted…Ladies Who Lunch…My BestiesMy Profile

    • Navy is my very favorite opponent each year. I love the pageantry and the good sportsmanship and the flyovers! My college roommate grew up around The Naval Academy, was married at the Naval chapel and now works on campus!
      Mo Lux recently posted…College FootballMy Profile

  7. It’s funny because I’m no kind of sports fan – pro or college anything – but I do welcome the start of the season. I also welcome when football season ends because.. spring is coming. There’s just something about it all – the coziness and spirit. And the food!
    Tamara recently posted…Keeping It Real For School Lunch.My Profile

  8. What a beautiful campus, even with a downpour!

    I climbed a mountain named Chimney Rock once. I’d rather drink the wine.
    Leslie Anne recently posted…Comment on Rick Bragg and . . . (BIG news!) by Leslie AnneMy Profile

  9. Looks like such a fun weekend. You are so lucky to have such a great group of college friends. I’m sure a couple of glasses of vino made you forget about the loss!!

  10. Fall is here when you see that football has started. And that is exciting,your parents are moving back to IL also. Fun times!
    Deanna recently posted…Sleeveless Chambray Shirt + Black Dress ShortsMy Profile

  11. I love living close to my mom, it’s really the best thing! And you are right, no one enjoys moving. We are about to move ourselves and I am dreading the whole process. I like the starting fresh, and being in a new place, but everything else is just the worst!
    Angela Gilmore recently posted…Our First Family HikeMy Profile

  12. Only Notre Dame has Touchdown Jesus! I was in high school when my Colorado Buffaloes were last good, and they had some battles with the Irish. Notre Dame was always my father’s favorite college program.

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