Thursday, September 10, 2009

#50: Telling Time in Terms of Football Opponents

Football is an incredibly important part of student life at Notre Dame, and almost every student plans their fall semester around the football schedule. Some students register for classes knowing that they will be attending various away football games, while other students take lighter course loads just to account for the toll that football season will take on their lives each week. Because of this incredible importance, students tell time in the fall in terms of football opponents.

If something is going to happen three weeks from now (with now being Michigan week), a student would not describe the event as happening three weeks from now, but they would describe the event as happening during Washington week. If their parents are coming into town next weekend, they would describe this as saying that their parents are coming into town for the Michigan State game. Midterm week [at least this year] is not described as midterm week, but is described as USC week.

The football schedule, therefore, is more than just a list of games that the football team plays, but a way for students to relate things that happen throughout their fall semesters. Students throw parties during specific weekends that relate to the team they are playing, friends and relatives come to visit depending on the team they are playing, students travel to different areas of the country depending on the team they are playing, and the excitement level on campus throughout the week is all determined by the team the football team is playing.

A year ago this weekend, there were torrential downpours throughout South Bend for much of the week. While this trivial tidbit of weather might not be important, it can be widely recalled by Notre Dame Students because it happened during Michigan weekend. Students can recall what happened a year ago, because they have a vivid memory of the football opponent. Five weeks from now students will throw parties and be eagerly celebrating across campus in anticipation of the USC game; they know what they will be doing on Friday October 16th, because they know the football opponent.

Each week a different opponent comes to town and this opponent, for better or worse, will define the weekends until December when football season will end and the weeks become much more difficult to define, and a lot more unpredictable

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