Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 28, 2013 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 4 of 125

Upon Further Review todd D. burlage explained. "It's important to get the team back into the locker room and get them under my guidance." Huh? A 10-game home winning streak kept Kelly's decree guarded throughout the 2012 season and after wins over Temple and Michigan State this year. As a disclaimer, I am not a Notre Dame alumnus, nor did I ever play football for the Fighting Irish. But I've been around this university and football program long enough to understand an environment of tradition, history, commitment, reverence, excellence and respect that is evident on every corner of this legendary campus. And to me, removing a special part of the football experience based on what the scoreboard reads provides added credence to those that insist the elite Irish football players are detached from the rest of the student body. The students are rightfully upset because through rain, sleet, lightning, snow and cold — not to mention the unthinkable home losses to Navy, Syracuse, Connecticut, South Florida and Tulsa in recent seasons — they stood, cheered and supported their team through the entire miserable experience. Not unlike bratty little league children unwilling to line up and shake hands after a loss, Kelly's message seems to be, "If we win, we'll celebrate with the common folk. If we lose, leave us alone!" The football players are understandably staying loyal to their head coach when asked whether they agree or dis- agree with his decision. Members of the student body? They have been a bit more outspoken. After all, the entire "Notre Dame, Our Mother" song of devotion is only 41 words and takes barely a minute from start to completion. Seems like a small investment in time and effort for the players to recognize their Notre Dame family after a football game that lasts nearly four hours. A letter from Notre Dame junior Gordon Stanton published in the The Observer, the university newspaper, summed up very well the spirit of the song and its newly adopted conditional usage. "This is such a horrible interpretation of what the Alma Mater means," Stanton wrote. "It's never been a celebration. It is not the Notre Dame 'Victory March.' Instead, it's an affirmation of our commitment to each other and the bond that exists between all students of Notre Dame even when times are tough." And that is the message Coach Kelly ignored with his decision to immediately clear the field after a loss. I would more readily forgive the players for skipping the Alma Mater following a win than a defeat. After all, doesn't the support of family and friends mean much more after a tough loss to Oklahoma than it does after a double-digit victory over the Temple Owls? ✦ Todd D. Burlage has been a writer for Blue & Gold Illustrated since July 2005. He can be reached at

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