There's No "I" In "Fan"

Call me a horrible person if you want, but I got the idea for this post today during the priest's homily at Mass. He talked about how the most word used in the English language nowadays is "I." Thinking carefully about it, I realized he's right. It's very hard to say anything without saying "I." But he did go to mention that in the Catholic Church, it isn't about "I"; it's about us. His concrete example of this was the Lord's Prayer. "Give US this day OUR daily bread and forgive US OUR trespasses...." As he was saying this, I instantly thought of the Notre Dame community.

I don't yet belong to the actual Notre Dame community. In fact, I'm 13 hours away (by car) geographically and 1.5 years away chronologically. But technologically, spiritually, and emotionally I am right there under the Golden Dome, praying at the Grotto, standing in the tunnel in the House Rockne Built, and cheering my heart out for the Basketball teams at Joyce Center. All day, every day. How is this possible? I am a true, full-fledged fan. There are a few things that make my fan-ship more convenient. I've sung the praises of the main one already, but when you like something, there's never enough to say about it. So here we go...

The New Notre Dame Nation (Twitter: @thenewNDNation) is the group of people I can talk to about Notre Dame and they will NEVER get annoyed by me. And that's really good because no one I go to school with really cares. If I want to talk about KU or K-State, then they'll care, but unless it's that, they don't want to hear a word from me.

I am that girl who everyone knows that if they talk to me for a decent amount of time, Notre Dame will come up in some form. Whether it's the school, the football, or the fans, I'm likely to talk about it. Kansans don't really understand my passion for the Irish. I go to school with fake and fair-weathered fans. Fake as in, "I'm going to wear this sparkly KU Sweatshirt because it's a) cute or b) the team my crush likes." Fair-weathered as in, "I'm a KU fan...in basketball season. I'm a KSU fan in football season." *sarcasm alert* Yes, being a fan totally works that way.

Let me assure you, I am not fake or fair-weathered. I did not become a Notre Dame fan because of a boy or a good season. I can't say why exactly I did become a fan though. There was just something about it that drew me in. My dad says maybe it was because ND games were the easiest to access because the home games aired every Saturday on the same channel. But I don't think he's right. I think that was just a circumstantial bonus, if you may. Why I became a fan doesn't matter. What matters is that I am a fan and I am surrounded by a great group of other fans.

Now how does my title work in to this post? You're about to find out. When you're a true fan, you don't care about yourself. You care about the players, the coaches, and the community. I am sick of seeing negativity and selfishness everywhere in the sports world nowadays. To those negative, selfish people, take this into account: These sports are, for you, a hobby and a (maybe) passion. For the athletes and the coaches, it is a living, a lifestyle, and a true, unfaltering passion. What am I trying to say? There's more at stake for the athletes and coaches at the event of a loss or an injury. All you have at stake is a few bucks you bet or your bragging rights. So do two things for me: get over yourself and either be a true fan or don't be a fan at all. Fake fans are not a help; they're a hindrance.

With that, I'd like to say one last thing.

To Lynne, my "big-me", fellow dome-hard (ND die-hard), California girl, and wonderful, caring, kind woman, I wish you the Happiest Birthday and a great year. I also need to say thank you again for the kind words and support you've given me. I haven't "known" you long, but I know that you're one of the best people I've ever met. I really can't stress or say that enough. You rock!

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