To all BYU students, alumni, family and friends,
Greetings and salutations! I write to you first as a Notre Dame alumni who can’t wait for the Irish to crush the Cougars and secondly as a dear friend of many BYU students. If I can take a moment of your time from Wednesday Night Mutual or picking out the perfect black-suit/white-shirt combo for the upcoming stake dance, I’d like to offer a brief, friendly, sportsman-like bit of trash talking.
Now all in all, the meeting of our two great schools is a wonderful opportunity. A chance for two private, religiously-affiliated institutions with great histories of inspiring academics, faith, and service in their students to meet on the gridiron. A chance for one of those institutions to administer a butt-whooping the likes of which BYU hasn’t seen since that Florida State game back in 2009.
But just as Touchdown Jesus watches over the ND stadium, so too does real Jesus watch over us all and teach us to love thy neighbor. So, after visiting BYU’s lovely campus a few years back and being treated to such a wonderful time by all its wonderful students, I thought I would do the Christian thing and offer up some “Do’s and Don’ts” for any BYU fans who may be in attendance on Saturday. In the interests of ecumenism and fair play, here’s my guide:
DO: Root for Manti Te’o for Heisman. He’s a super nice guy, and we have you all to thank for him! Seriously. He’s the greatest.
DON’T: Ask for directions from any Holy Cross priest. They’re notorious bad sports and you’ll find yourself in the state of Michigan.
DO: Enjoy a lovely walking tour of our many historic sites and buildings: The Golden Dome, the Basilica, Touchdown Jesus, the Radiation Research Laboratory, etc.
DON’T: Walk too closely to the Radiation Research Laboratory.
DO: Feel free to dress in full BYU regalia. Notre Dame fans praise themselves on treating their opponents with the utmost respect and goodwill. Unless we’re playing USC or Michigan. In which case the Roman Collars are coming off.
DON’T: Be afraid of attending the game dressed in your missionary regalia – nametags and all. In fact, come to think of it, that’s exactly what you should wear to the game! We could start a whole tradition of wearing our respective vestments to games! I mean, back in the day Miami fans used to dress up in orange prison jumpsuits when they played ND and let’s be honest – you can do better than Miami fans.
DO: Enjoy a steak sandwich from the Knights of Columbus. You’ll find them in the center of South Quad (the biggest patch of grass outside the stadium) dishing out what I have been repeatedly assured is delicious, totally real beef. If nothing else, the funds raised help a number of wonderful charitable organizations in the local area. (Plus, bonus points if you can figure out their secret handshake and gain access to the underground lair. I know for a fact it exists!)
DON’T: Say the Leprechaun’s name backwards. It sends him back to Ireland in a puff of green smoke and we’ve already played Navy.
DO: Take a tour of Washington Hall for a chance to hear the Gipper’s Ghost moaning from the belfry. Usually it’s something like, “Weeeeiiii…. Weeeiiii…. Weeeeiiiissss you big dummy!”
DON’T: Go to any student tailgates. And DON’T drink anything called “Natural Ice”. ‘Tis the Devil’s brew.
DO: Take a stroll through ND’s bookstore and pick up some Irish merchandise. Your purchases help student scholarships and Adidas’ bottom line. But heaven help you if you dare to buy a “Hello Kitty” ND sweatshirt. They have those and I am still furious about them.
DON’T: Be alarmed by any inappropriate t-shirts that students have made for the game. Such past notables include “Backup College” for BC, “You Can’t Spell ‘SUCKS’ Without ‘USC’” or “Even the Pope Hates Trojans,” and several for Michigan that I don’t think your paper will allow in print. ND students are dangerously clever when it comes to T-Shirt design.
DO: Be sure to buy the $5 elevator pass if you want to see the inside of the Golden Dome. It’s the best view of campus! Just go to Sorin College, located to the left of the Dome, and ask any resident to help you out.
DON’T: Feel alienated from any games of “Beer Pong” you might see being played. As some of my good BYU buddies once learned, a steady supply of 7-Up or Root Beer can turn any drinking game into good, clean fun. Try not to get too burpy, though!
DO: Have safe travels and a wonderful visit – ND welcomes you and hopes you have a great time!
DON’T: Feel too bad when we beat you.
In Love and Notre Dame,
ND Class of 2011