University of Notre Dame
University of Notre Dame

PERSPECTIVES

Discovering the Spirit of the Fighting Irish

The day was November 3, 2012 a memorable occasion that would be forever engrained in the memory of those who watched the football game between the Notre Dame fighting Irish and the Pittsburgh Panthers. This game silenced all those who had underestimated the fighting spirit of the Irish. The Irish handed the Panthers a defeat that most people believed was impossible because Golson threw an interception with 4 minutes and 16 seconds in the 4th quarter with the Irish trailing 20-12. This interception made my friend, Jean-Pierre, and I conclude that the story of the Irish’s undefeated season would be the headline in the Observer, the Notre Dame’s newspaper on Monday morning. Consequently, we turned off the TV and headed to the South dinning hall. This injudicious decision hindered us from witnessing what would end up being a remarkable comeback.

On game day, I woke up around noon and went tailgating with my friends Geraldine, Jean-Pierre, Jasmine, and Annabel. The excitement on that day was palpable to the extent that everyone you saw was engulfed in Notre Dame apparel. We decided not to attend the game, so we mounted onto our bikes and headed straight to our favorite hangout—the fourth floor of the Hesburgh library. After a few hours of studying, we went to the first floor to watch the rest of the game, to our surprise Notre Dame was trailing by seven points. With four minutes and sixteen seconds left, Notre Dame’s quarterback had thrown an interception and the hopes of an undefeated season began to diminish. Knowing that this critical turnover would cause people to flock to the dining hall, my friends and I made a quick decision to head straight to the south dining hall.

As we approached Stonehenge, we heard the stadium erupt with chants of excitement. Not knowing what had happened, we parked our bikes, entered the dining hall, found a seat and frantically searched for a live streaming of the game. Unfortunately, the internet connection was poor, and as a result I left my friends behind and headed straight to Reckers to watch the game. Upon my arrival, I discovered that Notre Dame had miraculously sent the game to overtime. I was stunned. How had Notre Dame tied the game when the team was trailing by eight points, with less than four minutes to the final whistle? I hurriedly asked the people around me for an explanation. Since everybody’s eyes were glued to the TV, I was ignored. Still in shock, I witnessed Golson lead his troops to another Irish victory in a triple overtime. Wow! What a remarkable comeback. This incredible turnaround made me discover the spirit of the Irish, one who fights till the last second.